Wouxun PTT Voltage Limit

TinyTrak3+ D6 - SMD Schottky diode
TinyTrak3+ D6 – SMD Schottky diode

It seems that Wouxun KG-UV3D HTs require nearly 0 V to activate the PTT input, which I discovered after the radio on Mary’s bike began acting intermittently. The TinyTrak3+ would transmit correctly, but the PTT button on the handlebar began to not work at all / work intermittently / work perfectly. The switch and cable were OK, pushing the button produced nearly 0 Ω at the 3.5 mm plug, the connections seemed solid, but the radio didn’t transmit reliably.

I finally got the thing to fail on the bench, which led to the discovery that:

  • Shorting the PTT input to the GPS+voice adapter PCB to ground didn’t make the radio transmit and
  • Data bursts from the TinyTrack3 worked perfectly


TT3 PTT In-Out
TT3 PTT In-Out

The TT3+ pulls its PTT OUT pin down from +5 V using a 2N2222A NPN transistor (off to the right in the schematic snippet), but, for reasons having to do with ESD, the input from the PTT switch on the handlebars goes through a 100 Ω series resistor, then passes to the TT3 board through PTT IN to D6 before joining the TT3 transistor collector. The low-active diode-ORed signal heads off through PTT OUT to a 10 Ω series resistor, thence to the KG-UV3D PTT input. D6 is an ordinary 1N4148, with the net result that the PTT input voltage at the radio dropped to 630 mV with the PTT button pressed.

Not finding anything else wrong, I replaced D6 with a BAT54 Schottky diode that pulled the PTT voltage down to 300 mV and the radio worked fine.

Of course, a BAT54 is a surface-mount diode, so I clipped off the unused no-connect lead (it’s the only way to be sure it doesn’t do anything) and tacked it down slaunchwise between the PCB thru-hole pads. If I had a BAT54C with common cathodes, I could replace both D5 and D6 in one shot, but D5 just pulls down a PIC input that has an ordinary logic-level threshold voltage.

I don’t know why the KG-UV3D PTT is so fussy, although it may really be a current-driven signal that requires more current than can flow through the 110 Ω + diode forward drop in series with the PTT button. Wouxun presents no specifications that I can find.

The identical circuitry on my bike works fine with the stock D6 diode and a presumably identical KG-UV3D. I should replace that diode before it gives me any trouble, but I’ll wait until I must take the box apart for some other reason.