a few days ago I received my new AR8200 mk3, I still have my old mk1 but since I have all the accessories for the mk1, I figured it would be worth the buy, with the benefit of having two scanners w/computer control.
Well, I was wrong. In fact, this week has been a bit of slightly expensive PITA, thanks to AOR. First surprise was, my old mk1 RS232 cable won't fit the interface jack on the mk3. Typical AOR. Why on Earth did they need to change the jack? I paid nearly £100 for my mk1 cable some years back. What's more, is that the pins inside the jack appear exactly the same, same number, size and layout as the pins on the new mk3. Just the outer plug pin casing shape is different - almost as if they just didn't want you using that old cable anymore.
I saw on ebay an AR8200 mk3 usb cable (claimed to be a replacement for the CC8200 computer control cable but with a USB plug) and I thought that would be handy, so I bought one for £30 quid.
Arriving a couple days later in the post, it turns out that cable wont fit the AR8200 mk3 data socket either, so I figured it was a mistake by the vendor - I sent him a polite message advising that the cable he sells doesn't fit the mk3 model, but I can still use the cable for my mk1 so I wasn't looking for a refund.
I trawled through the internet to find a "proper" mk3 cable, and found a second hand one for £55, so bit the bullet and bought it. Took me about 3 hours to find too. Most ads don't mention the mk model, so didn't want to take a chance and have it not fit, so it really had to be the perfect CC8200 ad so I knew there were zero chances of this cable not fitting. A little annoyed at the silly e-bay wheeler dealers not checking their facts, I felt confident that this problem was well and truly sorted. Lesson learned.
Today I received a reply from the e-bay vendor I bought the AR8200 USB cable from, informing me that many of his AR8200 mk3 customers are using the same cable I bought, without problems.
That's when the alarm bells started ringing. I sent him pictures so he could see the problem. He was very surprised at the different sized jack.
So, after a lot of confusion it has become clear that - AOR in their infinite wisdom and shrewd entrepreneurial spirit, have decided to change the interface jack on the newer
mk3 models, and all without telling anyone it seems.
So, now I'll need to buy a CC8200B for $104. That's right, the mk3 I've ended up with is actually an AR8200 B mk3, not an AR8200 mk3. So none of my cables fit, not even the one that is due to arrive in the post soon.
This link is the only reference I can find on the internet that mentions this new interface jack. http://www.universal-radio.com/catalog/ ... /0083.html
The cynic in me seems confident the only reason for the jack change is financial, at $104 bucks a pop, someone's doing well out of this.
So, moral of the tale is - if you're thinking of getting an AR8200, ensure you know which submodel it is and get the right interface cable, and save yourself a lot of agro.
BTW, anyone looking for an AR8200 mk1/mk2/early model mk3 computer interface cable at a reasonable price that's never been used and only cursed at once, pm me - I've loads of 'em now.