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SDS100: Broken battery door clip due to large battery tightness

mule1075

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Jan 20, 2003
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Washington Pennsylvania
Replacement parts go through a different supply line before they end up at the consumer as opposed to the manufacturer.
Hey pdfdems is worried that us owners of the sds100 has to pay $11 for a cheap piece of plastic battery cover. We have to pay $1 and 1 penny more than the $9.99 for the 436hp cheap piece of plastic battery cover.
 

trp2525

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Mar 31, 2010
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1,026
I guess this shouldn't surprise me, but $11.00 for a cheap piece of plastic ?.
Don't forget the $7.95 Flat Rate Shipping charge from Bearcat Warehouse making the order total for the SDS100 battery cover $18.94 ($10.99 plus $7.95 shipping).
 

kruser

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The entire battery door on the SDS100 is a poor design. Both the original slim door and the new large door rely upon a somewhat flimsy plastic catch that will break over time regardless of handling by the user.

Then we have the foam pads. They are responsible for keeping the battery pack in contact with the contacts inside the compartment. People are already talking about reducing the foam's thickness to give less stress on the latch mechanism. Most probably know that foam compresses over time and eventually people will have loose batteries resulting in their SDS100's powering off.
I did a test just now by reducing the foams thickness by half. It did help some with the force needed to latch the cover shut but not really a lot.

The big finding, after reducing the thickness of the foam, I was able to rap on the rear of the battery case kind of hard with just my knuckles (nothing near like smacking it with a hammer)! When I did this, my SDS shut off as the foam obviously compressed enough for the battery to lose connection with the spring loaded contacts inside the compartment.
I replaced the foam back to its original thickness and harder raps with my knuckles to the back of the battery door did not cause my SDS to shutdown and longer. If you can picture the battery sandwiched between foam and the electrical contacts inside the compartment, you will see the foam is acting like a spring and keeping positive pressure between the battery and the radios contact pins. When this spring (foam) compresses from a thump, the spring will compress enough and cause the radio to lose power for a few milliseconds. It's enough time for it to shutdown the radio. Hopefully there are no card writes going on if this happens otherwise users may start seeing SD card corruption.

To me, this method of retaining the battery cell in its compartment is a poor and cheap design. The foam alone is what is responsible for the battery making contact with the radios power pins. As the foam breaks down over time and starts to compress, it will become easier to tap on the radio causing the electrical connection to break for a fraction of a second.
I think it will eventually breakdown to the point that just the small thump created when setting the radio on a table or other hard surface will be enough to knock out the power.

I've seen keypad buttons on radios that used foam for their spring to make the buttons pop back out after being pressed. Each of those designs I've seen over the years did fail as the foam broke down or naturally compressed. I buy old radios for a collection. Every one I've purchased that used foam for the keypad buttons had to have new foam created so the keypad buttons would work again. I see no reason that this same problem will not start happening with the SDS100's battery. Uniden may know this will become a problem so they may have increased the foam's thickness in the very early Alpha testing stages. If they did, they also increased the force needed to operate the latch that keeps the battery door locked shut.

I mentioned this concern in another thread or post a month or two back.
Uniden is not the only manufacturer that uses a plastic latch to retain the battery cell. Icom's newest portable, the R30 also uses a plastic latch to hold the battery tight to the radio. In the R30's case, its catch is even harder to latch or unlatch than the one Uniden is using. That will also become a weak spot for the R30 over time. In Icom's design, the entire door is also the battery so foam is not needed to keep pressure between the contacts. Both Icom and Uniden do use spring loaded electrical connector pins which do allow for some play and maintain a decent connection as a result. The R30 does not need any foam to keep pressure between the mating contacts.
At least one can easily swap out the foam pieces in the SDS as it naturally compresses over time so that's a good thing.
It's too bad the weak item, the catch, is not a part of the door on the SDS or part of the battery pack on the R30. If they were, replacing them would be cheap or in Icom's case, you would get a new catch when your battery starts to fail as it ages.

All in all, I don't think the cheap plastic catch is going to be the only problem relating to the battery in the SDS. It's going to be the foam breaking down and losing its ability to spring back to its original thickness so a proper and solid connection is made between the battery and the contacts inside the SDS. It's a shame Uniden did not design a catch that is made to be replaced by the user or a whole different design that eliminates the catch all together. To maintain the splash resistant feature, the retention mechanism does need to be solid regardless of what type of door retention they may come up with.

Using just foam to keep pressure between the battery cell and the connection pins inside the radio was a very pore choice in my opinion. This will fail, mark my words!

One thing Uniden could do is replace the latch with a machined aluminum piece and a stainless dowel pin for the latch to hinge on. As long as the case is strong enough where the dowel pin sits, this should solve the latch breaking problem. The catch part for the latch that breaks is a part of the door so replacing just the door would fix that if it snapped of or wore down where it has no surface left for the latch to hook onto. A machined aluminum latch would be the place to start though if latch breaking becomes a common problem with this radio model.
It would be very costly for Uniden to redesign an entirely different battery compartment and door assembly if they admit this is a problem and do a repair campaign like they did for a few problems in the x36HP line. Only time will tell if latch breakage is going to become a common problem.
I also don't really think the larger battery is the sole cause of the latch breaking. It may speed up latches breaking though as more people will swap dead for charged batteries now that they sell an external charger.
They may have also been better off by following the design used by others where the battery is actually a part of the door. No foam is needed in those designs but a new battery would cost the end user a bit more.

It will be interesting to see if this becomes a common problem over time or if these reports are just isolated incidents caused by a cheaply made or defective latch part.
 

buddrousa

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Then my advise to you is to design and build your own scanner market it and sell it and listen to all the cry babies complain about how stupid you are because it is not how they would do it.
 

AvidHiker

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...Uniden is not the only manufacturer that uses a plastic latch to retain the battery cell. Icom's newest portable, the R30 also uses a plastic latch to hold the battery tight to the radio. In the R30's case, its catch is even harder to latch or unlatch than the one Uniden is using.
It sounds to me like your complaint of "poor design" is based on nothing but speculation. I have actual field experience with a 20 year old Icom IC-R2 (and a newer R6) that has been dropped countless times onto concrete, sometimes from a substantial height (it saw daily use in a warehouse for 3 years). It has a very similar latch, which is actually a good bit thinner, and it's never shown any sign of weakening. These radios are constructed of plastic composite material that, when properly selected (or QCed), is more than strong enough.

...Using just foam to keep pressure between the battery cell and the connection pins inside the radio was a very pore choice in my opinion. This will fail, mark my words!
Eh, so what? Super easy to replace. Costs next to nothing.
 

kruser

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It sounds to me like your complaint of "poor design" is based on nothing but speculation. I have actual field experience with a 20 year old Icom IC-R2 (and a newer R6) that has been dropped countless times onto concrete, sometimes from a substantial height (it saw daily use in a warehouse for 3 years). It has a very similar latch, which is actually a good bit thinner, and it's never shown any sign of weakening. These radios are constructed of plastic composite material that, when properly selected (or QCed), is more than strong enough.



Eh, so what? Super easy to replace. Costs next to nothing.
No speculation really but rather based on other designs I've come across and observed over the course of 50 years. I too own or have owned many other brands of radios and other devices that use a similar fashion of battery retention or accessory compartment access.

My point was that shaving down the foam thickness to make the latch snap open or shut easier will likely just create a new set of complaints and possible power problems down the road.
The plastic latch itself probably costs just pennies to manufacture. Shaving down the foam to save a super low cost plastic piece is just not a good idea. It would just speed up the foams compression and cause the battery to disconnect more often. This could cause card data corruption depending on what the radio is doing when the loss of power occurs.

And yes, replacing the foam is probably about as near to free in cost as one can get!

If latching and unlatching is done slowly and somewhat cautiously, I don't really see a problem with the design. It's those users who may accidently push or pull the latch further open than its mechanical limits allow for. Doing this could easily break the latch. I really think this is the cause of the latch breaking and not from the pressure or weight of the larger battery

Shaving down the foam's thickness may just introduce power issues as the battery can't maintain a solid electrical connection. This can corrupt your card which is worse than breaking the battery compartment door latch in my opinion.

I think just being careful when working the latch is the best idea. Some people get in a hurry and accidently open the latch further than it can travel. Being a cheap cost plastic part, it can and will break.

Again, I don't recommend shaving down the foams thickness. The battery pack needs the pressure on the battery to maintain a solid power connection between the battery and the power input pins on the radio's board.

For the record, I like Uniden's scanner radios. They are my favorite over any other brand.
The SDS was a step backwards for me however. It does not pickup our statewide VHF P25 system due to the SDS overloading from strong VHF paging signals. That kind of surprised me. It also did not sway my decision to keep the radio or return it. I kept it mostly for the really cool and innovative display. It does work very well for the simulcast 7/800 MHz systems in the area.

My post was not meant to be a complaint but rather my observations of others suggestions about shaving down the foam in the battery cover which prompted the post. It was intended more to point out the reasons for not shaving down the foam so one does not introduce power issues with the radio.
 

radio3353

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Jul 25, 2003
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Any time I see foam being used as a mechanical hold down I just shake my head. Foam will take a set and become ineffective over time (maybe a very short time.) Amateur hour in the engineering department.

Any time I see people defending a bad design I just shake my head. Amateur hour in the consumer world.

Uniden is capable of doing better than this. I think.
 

AvidHiker

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...My post was not meant to be a complaint but rather my observations of others suggestions about shaving down the foam in the battery cover which prompted the post. It was intended more to point out the reasons for not shaving down the foam so one does not introduce power issues with the radio.
Agreed

Any time I see people defending a bad design I just shake my head. Amateur hour in the consumer world...
LOL, all this speculation has ME shaking my head. Amateur hour indeed.
 

wbigcount

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Just happened to me today, held battery tight, didn't put much pressure on it, it was the small battery btw. This is maybe the third time I've removed the battery.

Now what do u do.
 

denrodg

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how to start this comment? The internet has seemed to turn mankind worldwide into nothing but a bunch of complaining whining humans that feel the need to discuss and rehash, over and over again and again their broken toys and inabilities to operate their toys and complain in forums about everything, everywhere at anytime day or night. Ever since "things" have been made, there have always been some of those things that are defective and break, but the internet, oh the internet has made a bunch of complaining wusses out of people. I am so sick of the daily complaining and bi#$@ing. My suggestion to those of you that feel the need to complain about everything you buy that isn't 100% perfect, take your griping to the company, no one cares about your broken battery clip or the 100s of reasons it is unidens fault, NO ONE CARES or want's to read this crap daily! this is supposed to be about the operation of radios, not the I've turned into a wuss and broke a nail trying to put a battery clip back on their radio, be a man and stop the dang daily complaining....
 

Frankhappyg

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how to start this comment? The internet has seemed to turn mankind worldwide into nothing but a bunch of complaining whining humans that feel the need to discuss and rehash, over and over again and again their broken toys and inabilities to operate their toys and complain in forums about everything, everywhere at anytime day or night. Ever since "things" have been made, there have always been some of those things that are defective and break, but the internet, oh the internet has made a bunch of complaining wusses out of people. I am so sick of the daily complaining and bi#$@ing. My suggestion to those of you that feel the need to complain about everything you buy that isn't 100% perfect, take your griping to the company, no one cares about your broken battery clip or the 100s of reasons it is unidens fault, NO ONE CARES or want's to read this crap daily! this is supposed to be about the operation of radios, not the I've turned into a wuss and broke a nail trying to put a battery clip back on their radio, be a man and stop the dang daily complaining....


Careful you might break someone’s feelings.
(Next round is on me)


Sent from my iPhone using Tapatalk
 

ipfd320

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oh man i see definately where this is going to go after reading the above post by denrodg--Just to let you know if you dont want to read this pass on--people who have this problem are letting the rest of the population know its a possible defect for others to be aware

sorry if it rubs you the wrong way but this is what forums are about

i know im gonna get a bashing now...lol
 

CQ

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Maybe people are a bit abusive when placing their units on a surface and eventually weakens the latch area.

I see plenty of people tossing their mobiles on desks all the time.
 

wbigcount

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how to start this comment? The internet has seemed to turn mankind worldwide into nothing but a bunch of complaining whining humans that feel the need to discuss and rehash, over and over again and again their broken toys and inabilities to operate their toys and complain in forums about everything, everywhere at anytime day or night. Ever since "things" have been made, there have always been some of those things that are defective and break, but the internet, oh the internet has made a bunch of complaining wusses out of people. I am so sick of the daily complaining and bi#$@ing. My suggestion to those of you that feel the need to complain about everything you buy that isn't 100% perfect, take your griping to the company, no one cares about your broken battery clip or the 100s of reasons it is unidens fault, NO ONE CARES or want's to read this crap daily! this is supposed to be about the operation of radios, not the I've turned into a wuss and broke a nail trying to put a battery clip back on their radio, be a man and stop the dang daily complaining....
Did You Just Assume My Gender in that wall of text?
 
Last edited:

CQ

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Teh Snowflakes Are Coming!

... this is supposed to be about the operation of radios, not the I've turned into a wuss and broke a nail trying to put a battery clip back on their radio, be a man and stop the dang daily complaining....
Hahahah

http://www.icomamerica.com/en/downloads/DownloadDocument.aspx?Document=959

Look at page 1 of the IC-R30 manual.

NOTE:
••BE CAREFUL! Do not break your finger nail.

I didn't have a problem with their latch, but their damn rubber cover to get to the USB port. Always need something to stick in there to open since I don't have nails. :lol:
 
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