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BCD996XT: 996XT Woes

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Jaxco

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#1
First the problem. All audio, including analog audio is chopped. I get 6 out of 7 words. Because by trade, I am a network administrator I will put it in computer geek terms. It is like listening to audio with regular packet loss.

Here are a list of things I have tried:

* Tweaking the P25 setting for digital channels and all of the suggestions related to P25 found on the forum and in the Wiki.

* Checking my squelch - seems like a no-brainer but yes, I checked it.

* Assured that I had the most recent firmware, I do.

Things I noticed:

* Squelch seems to close on many channels at the same interval on both analog and digital even when the squelch has been turned down all the way to zero - it is just as if some clown was dead-keying on top of those speaking - on every channel. I used my old Pro-46 on an analog channel side by side on the same channel, the reception was stronger on the Pro-46 and it was lossless.

* Even when I set a 9 second hold time on a system, it will resume scanning after 2 or 3 seconds, no matter how many times I reset it. It retains the settings I entered so, reset may be a bit misleading.

I checked 996XTs on the shelf in 2 different stores - they did the same thing, same firmware version!

Has this issue come up for anyone before? Suggestions?
 
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#2
Is the WX alert priority on? If so, that would cause the issue your having. Always make sure the WX priority is turned off.
 

Jaxco

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#3
Just checked it because of your suggestion. It was off, toggling made no difference.
 

Jaxco

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Is Close Call turned on? Or any type of priority?
Turning off Close call closed it up and made it 60% to 70% better - no other priority on... It still has a little 'funkiness' left, but cutting off Close Call helped considerably.

I will have to go back to the stores I visited and check their 996's by comparison to mine.

Too bad there is no secondary tuner to alleviate this bug because Close Call is a nice feature, I found an amazing amount of non-public service radio traffic near me. I was surprised.

Perhaps if the next firmware had some sort of polling interval adjustment for Close Call, the nasty side-affects could be minimized.

Great start though - that took a lot of the bite out, Thank You.

The scanner still will not hold on channel more than 2 seconds after the last transmission even though each system was set to 9 second hold.
 

JamesO

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#7
Reset the scanner to factory defaults and make sure you have the latest firmware.

I hate to say it, but this sounds like a pilot error situation.

Just the fact that Close Call was enabled and you have set a 9 second hold time tells me something is up.

Not sure if this was a demo unit or new out of the box, but factory reset and current firmware would be my suggestion.
 

Jaxco

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#8
I have current firmware (I checked that - 3rd point of OP) and the pilot error was identified and admitted. It was a new sealed box. Just as I said a little funkiness remains. The Close Call was a simple enough error - but now I understand how the unit selects and polls signals better - by making the mistake.

Just minor clipping left and I set the hold for 9 seconds to hold the channel because the unit is out of reach most of the time.

Edit - The changes to the hold time still do not work, unfortunately.
 
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cg

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#9
System hold and channel hold are two different things. System hold is how long the scanner will check one system before going to the next when more than one system is active. Channel hold is the duration the scanner waits to resume scanning after traffic stops the scanning.
I prefer "0" for system hold to allow the scanner to go right through all inactive channels as fast as possible. If you have 3 systems scanning with 9 seconds on each, it will take 18 seconds of inactivity to come back to the first bank.

chris
 

Jaxco

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System hold and channel hold are two different things. System hold is how long the scanner will check one system before going to the next when more than one system is active. Channel hold is the duration the scanner waits to resume scanning after traffic stops the scanning.
I prefer "0" for system hold to allow the scanner to go right through all inactive channels as fast as possible. If you have 3 systems scanning with 9 seconds on each, it will take 18 seconds of inactivity to come back to the first bank.

chris
I agree completely, I am trying to find all of the channels in my area and then decide which ones are actually most important. This is the first scanner that I have owned that handles digital, trunked, or P25 systems, until now it has been my 1992 model Pro-46, so really it has been simple analog only. I will shorten all of the 'lesser interest' channel hold times and system times after I have gotten used to the new channels that were impossible to know about before.
 
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#11
Jaxco the default setting for hold time is 0, the default setting for delay time is 2. Give those a try and see if your results are better.
 

Jaxco

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#12
THANKS, I appreciate all suggestions, keep 'em coming! I will know more when I check the other 2 scanners at the stores. I have already learned a lot from this thread.
 
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#13
Do you have a remote thermometer for measuring outside temps? I had one that was on 433mhz, but splattered and interfered with signals up to 465mhz! These remote thermometers transmit the temp data once every 5-10 minutes.

I know the above is most likely not your issue, but when you've tried everything else.....
 

Jaxco

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#15
Obviously the signal strength depends on location of the system that I am scanning but the clipping is uniform across all systems. Turning off all priority features took care of 60%-70% of the problem, now it is down to the level of an annoyance, I will say that I am using the stock antenna, but my old Pro-46 pulls in the same frequencies better in a side by side comparison.
 

JamesO

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#16
Do you have a remote thermometer for measuring outside temps? I had one that was on 433mhz, but splattered and interfered with signals up to 465mhz! These remote thermometers transmit the temp data once every 5-10 minutes.

I know the above is most likely not your issue, but when you've tried everything else.....
Good point, between any wireless thermometers, weather stations, thermostats, alarm system components, WiFi systems, wireless audio, doorbells. You name it, you have to be very careful what is going on in the house with anything wireless.

You never know what may be causing permanent or even sporadic interference in and around the house. It may not even be YOUR wireless gear, might be the neighbors or even something in the neighborhood like wireless metering for water, gas, electric, AC compressor cut off devices, Ricochet Networking devices or even intermod and garbage from the local cell tower.
 

Jaxco

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#17
I use a very wide variety of electronic gear at home and will certainly did not think of radio interference. Excellent thought. I will try to see if any of the 3 I carry on me are the problem. II figure it would be one of the 3 if that is the problem because that would be the constant condition with my experience with my scanner and the 2 in the stores.

I have not tested yet but I literally slapped my forehead when I read it. The other commonality could be the security system in my home and at the stores.

My home is also only about 150 yards TOPS from an AT&T cell tower.
 

Jaxco

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#18
Alarm system was the culprit! It phases everytime it polls the sensors. Now if I could get favorite channels to hold longer when a conversation was going on, Id be a happy camper.

The transmitter for the alarm system was so far away I didn't think it would be a problem. Maybe some bleedover from sensors?

Oh well, I am glad I had you guys around to sling out more ideas.

Thanks!
 

JamesO

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#19
Alarm system transmitter should not cause significant problems. If it does, then likely there is a problem with the specific transmitter,. could even be a low battery compounding the problem?

Also keep in mind that receivers can also have Local Oscillator leakage out the antenna.

Something still does not seem right with what you are having issues with. What happens if you attempt to manually hold on a talk group?

Also a simple way to rule out RF interference it to take the scanner to a different locations a few blocks away and see what happens.

150 yards from a cell tower, good luck to you on that one!! This is a lot of the reason rebanding happened.

Post a video of what the scanner is doing, this will make things much clearer so someone can offer a solution.
 

Jaxco

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#20
Alarm system IS wireless, however that may figure into it - plus extremely close to cell tower
 
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