SwapMyRigs (SMR) is a product designed and manufactured by AE4S, LLC. After many years of frustrating mobile radio installations, Bill Jordan (AE4S) believed there should be a better way than routing multiple cables from trunk-mounted radios to dash-located controls, microphones, and speakers. By extension, the method should apply equally to extending radio controls at home, say from the radio room to an office or den.
Each transceiver model, even from the same manufacturer, uses different connectors and connecting cables. Changing radios generally involves removing old cables and running new ones.
In recent years manufacturers have converted from proprietary connections to modular jacks, the same jacks used in the communications industry. Modular jacks conform to the standards of Registered Jacks. Registed jacks originated in the 1980s after the breakup of AT&T. Standardized jacks were required to connect a variety of communications devices both to each other and to telephone service providers.
Using registered jacks, perhaps a single cable could connect many manufacturers’ mobile transceivers to their remotely located components. The cable should:
- Have enough conductors to equal the inputs and outputs of mobile radios;
- Be flexible and small enough to route easily through a car or truck’s interior or from the shack to a remote operating location;
- Have conductor resistance not exceeding that of manufacturers’ proprietary cables;
- Be readily available and not require special adapters or proprietary input and output jacks; and
- Be commonly available and reasonably priced.
A suitable cable should terminate so that it appears at each end as either the radio itself or the remote components. The radio and its remote components should see each other as if directly connected.
A 15-conductor VGA cable terminated by two SMRs meets these requirements.