- AVA Cradle, part #PLN7736A. Yes, it is intrinsically different than the NTN7727x AVA cradles all over eBay, although how exactly is not known at this time.
- XTVA handheld control head, part #PLN7737x. The kit pictured below uses a PLN7737A head which works with the AVA, but not with an XTVA. However, a late-revision PLN7737E head was also tested with the AVA and found to work identically. It plugs into the 8-pin RJ45 mic jack on the side of the cradle using a straight-through (1-1, 2-2, etc.) coiled cable that is identical to the cable used on DTMF and side-button MCS2000 microphones.
- A very specific range of HOST firmware in the Astro Saber radio used: between AP_R03.20.01 and R05.60.xx. DSP version is irrelevant, as is the VOCON size. Both 512K and 1 MEG radios with firmware in this range were tested and found to work. Conceivably a 512K VOCON with DSP8 firmware forced in through chip programming would work. HOST firmware outside this range will either exhibit erratic or nonexistent function of the HHCH, or cause it to flash FAIL 01/90.
- Handheld control head button functions enabled in the Astro Saber's codeplug through LAB programming. Some whoreflash s-recs/codeplugs floating around out there are set up for it, others are not. There is an option under the Labtools menu in old Astro Lab B03.04.xx to enable HHCH capability which works for old VSELP-era codeplugs and LA_ROVER.S, but obviously won't work for later 1C5E/4F1E whoreflash codeplugs or legit factory codeplugs.
Pictures of my personal kit, installed in a 2007 Impala. The radio used is VHF, 1 MEG, Host R05.60.00, DSP N06.05.02 and is a Model 3 in a Model 2 case with a 1C5E flash.
A brief demonstration, including the demo radio in test mode showing its firmware revisions: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=LvPqXzNQcAs
A second, possibly earlier version of this kit has been rumored to exist since the earliest days of the Board which used a standard NTN7727x AVA cradle and a HMN4044 W3 Astro Spectra handheld control head connected with the amplified speaker to the DB25 connector on the bottom of the cradle through a Y-cable. Compelling evidence for its existence has been found over the years including PTT and Mic Audio functions on the DB25 connector, references in AVA installation manuals and the Astro Spectra control head service manual, and even a part number for the Y-cable (NTN8077A) which of course is NLA. However, a complete working kit has never surfaced and various attempts to probe a NTN7727 cradle for SB9600 data were unsuccessful.
Discussion threads and relevant information:
Attention Elroy - AVA HHCH
Information about the HMN4044 W3 head, including caps from the Astro Spectra control head manual
AVA HHCH dilemma..
Astro Saber HHCH