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Volume control for a CED 6000


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Fuelled by the tales of PACT volume-control derring-doo, I decided to pry open my aged (and loud) CED 6000 and see what could be done (note that no actual prying is involved. That was metaphorical. Anyway.)

What I discovered is a pretty slick mod. I slightly redid the AUX port (which I never used) so it now disables the internal buzzer when there's a plug inserted into it. I then made a quiet buzzer that plugs into the AUX port for dry-fire use. So, plug in the quiet buzzer for dry-fire, pull it out for loud live-fire. What could be easier? The cool part is CED made it easy, assuming your definition of easy includes soldering on PC boards.

[Warning Mode]This is probably not something you should do as your first soldering project, and there are some springs and other tricky-to-reassemble bits inside a CED that can cause headaches if you didn't pay careful attention when disassembling. Your AUX port will now emit 9 volts instead of 5 during the buzz period. This will no doubt void your warrantee. Your CED may be nothing like mine inside. Check it before changing anything.[/Warning Mode]

So, on to the mod:

Go by Radio Shack or equivalent and obtain a 1/8" jack and a 3-20V piezo buzzer. I went with #274-287a and #273-059.

First off, remove the battery. If you had trouble with that, stop now, otherwise remove the little screws holding the back on.

Carefully remove the back-- At this point nothing should spring out at you. Take a good look at how the battery contacts are installed, remembering which way around they were (color is important here) and lift them out.

Eyeball the AUX port and how it sits-- it's a little PCB held in by a ledge of plastic. Carefully spring it out as well. Check to see if it's got an unused solder pad on it and looks like the one in the pictures. That's important or you'll need to buy another jack and wire it up yourself.

Now look at the backlight button-- this was the trickiest to reassemble for me. Once you remove the screw holding the PCB in, it will tend to fall out. You will need to put it back the right way around later and also get it's spring-contact in the right spot. Carefully remove the center screw and free the PCB. It won't come out all the way because the microphone is glued in to the front plastics. Don't force it, just flip over the PCB so you can see the other side.

Note the buzzer. Big white thing in the middle, with red and black wires wrapping around it. Note where the red and black wires connect to the PCB (it may be under a glob of hot glue, which you'll need to loosen eventually)

Warm up the soldering iron and unsolder the AUX wires from the main PCB and the red buzzer wire from the PCB. If CED left you enough slack in the AUX wires you can reassemble in mod-mode with the same wire. If not, you'll need to swap them out for slightly longer pieces. You will be much happier if you keep the color scheme as-is.

Solder the end of the red buzzer wire to the unused center contact (Pin 2) on the AUX board. This is a normally-closed contact that connects pins 1 and 2 when there's no jack inserted (you might want to check this with a voltmeter since it's like, important and stuff). What we're doing is splicing this jack switch into the buzzer power lead, then moving the AUX power from the 5 volts it was on to 9V buzzer power instead (if you don't do this the main buzzer sounds pathetic)

Solder the AUX wires to the bottom side of the board where the buzzer leads connect in on the other side. Match up the colors and you'll be good to go.

While you're soldering, solder the black lead of your newly obtained piezo buzzer to the outside terminal on your new 1/8" jack and the red one to the inside terminal. If you poked the wires through the sleeve before you soldered, it'll screw back on neatly.

Temporarily replace the main PCB and battery contacts. Put the battery in and make sure the timer still works properly. Plug in your new buzzer-jack and make sure that the main buzzer doesn't buzz and the new one does, but much more quietly.

If all goes well, glob some hot glue on your new connections to keep them from breaking loose in the middle of a match, and reassemble everything properly. While you're hot-gluing, stick your Piezo buzzer to the 1/8" jack in a tidy fashion.

Here's a picture that should replace the previous thousand words:


And one of the dry-fire buzzer under assembly: CED6KMOD2.jpg

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