Is there anything more
fun than listening to E Skip? Or staying up all night logging long haul
tropo, or going to bed at 4am and getting up for work at 8?
PI Code Mod for the Sony XDR-F1HD
Created by cedric F4EZG. Email him here.
Now you can view PI codes on your Sony XDR-F1HD with this handy little mod made in France. The mod will cost you roughly about $109 USD depending on the rate of exchange that day. The mod consists of a PCB, a separate LCD display and a short wiring harness with three leads. The extra display will show you PI codes and a numerical "signal strength" display. It will also show you the maximum signal level received for your DX session.
For more documentation go here.
Before you order one of these, understand that you will have to partially disassemble your XDR and solder three wires to the appropriate places on the back of the LCD display. If you are not into soldering or if you don't want to take the cover off your tuner and remove the switch board and the LCD display, then DON'T DO THIS MOD.
To do this mod, I'll tell you how I did it.
1. Take off the top cover. Turn the radio upside down and take out 5 tiny screws. Use a tiny little watch screwdriver like the one you'd use to tighten the screws on your glasses (if you wear them). Don't lose them!
2. Turn the radio back over with the top up. Remove the long narrow board with three little screws. This board has the switches on it. Swing the board out of the way (see the photo above).
3. Remove two more tiny screws and lift up on the LCD display and swing it so you can see the back side of it (see photo above).
4. Now that you can see the back of the LCD display, note that you will have to solder three wires to the back of this board, then run the cable to the back of the radio and out the back. Doing this will be a little tricky because the harness is fat and two of the leads come with resistors on the ends. There's little room to work with and you do NOT want to short out anything.
The only decent photo of the solder locations is here. Make a copy of it and use it as a reference as you work. Scroll down the page until you see a picture of a green PCB with two leads with resistors soldered to the board. One point is called SDA; the other point is called SCL. The resistor from the orange lead is soldered to the SDA point. The resistor on the blue lead is soldered to the SCL point (SCL is not shown on the picture, but it is just to the right of R410. The third lead is ground. There are two ground points on the left side of the LCD display that you can use. I used the upper left point. It was easier to solder there.
Once you've soldered the leads to the back of the LCD, you have to figure out how to put the whole thing back together. You can get the LCD display back into the radio if you take your time and go slowly. Put the screws back. You can screw the switch board back also. You can route the harness around the middle of the tuner and out the back through the vents. Break off two tabs and you will have just enough room to run it out the back. Remember, parts get hot inside the radio after it has been turned on a while. I'd keep the harness away from that area.
You also need 3vdc for power. If you look closely at the bottom picture you will see two wires connected to the jack on the bottom left of the board. These leads go to a 4.5vdc wall wort I had laying around. Plug it in, you have power and the display lights.
So, if you put everything back together properly, you will probably see something that looks like this.
Here's the mod. the PI code is on the top. The signal and signal max readings are below.
The unit holds the PI code until you tune to another station with RDS. Press the right button and the screen goes black and resets to the welcome screen, which turns into what you see in the above photo. I am not sure what the center button does. There is also a small reset button on the board behind the display.
Price: 50 euros plus 21 euros shipping. Delivery time took two weeks to my house. Cedric will take Paypal.
This article is not meant to be very technical. If you want to see PI codes with your XDR-F1HD, this is one way to do it. I am not being paid to write it. I am doing this as a service to other FM Dxers to alert them to the availability of this unit.
If you have technical questions, contact Cedric on the top of this page.
No reprints without permission.