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PSR 800 & BNC Design

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Ensnared

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I happen to own a PSR 500. So, I am wondering whether or not GRE has improved the design of the BNC module on the PSR 800 model. If I decide to buy an 800, I would like to know whether I have to baby this unit to avoid repair costs.
 

krokus

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Good question. My 500 looks like it has the same low quality BNC that my Pro-39 had. (I replaced it with a better one, a number of years ago.)
 

IowaGuy1603

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I switch my 800 between the house (ducky) and two cars with external antennas..........probably 5 -6 times a week.

Been doing this for the 6 months I have owned it & have had no problems. I even put an adapter on my outside antenna in the house and occasionally hook it up to the 800.
 

Ensnared

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PSR 500 Woes

I switch my 800 between the house (ducky) and two cars with external antennas..........probably 5 -6 times a week.

Been doing this for the 6 months I have owned it & have had no problems. I even put an adapter on my outside antenna in the house and occasionally hook it up to the 800.
I too have switched antenna quite frequently. However, several things have contributed to BNC failure. I am positive that some of my drops have hit the antenna. I had a professional antenna which required a great deal of torque to put it on. I still think this contributed to BNC loosening in the PSR 500.

But, I hope GRE has fixed this design in the PSR 800.

I am like a bull in a china closet. Ha.
 

IowaGuy1603

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I am positive that some of my drops have hit the antenna. I had a professional antenna which required a great deal of torque to put it on. I still think this contributed to BNC loosening in the PSR 500.
But, I hope GRE has fixed this design in the PSR 800.
I am like a bull in a china closet. Ha.
I wouldn't necessarily call the problem a "design problem"

If you are having to apply a great deal of torque to attach the antenna to a hand held radio, you are going to have problems.. These radios have a plastic frame where as the area that the connector attaches in most "base or mobile" radios are most likely metal and a bit more sturdy
 

Ensnared

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Semantics

I wouldn't necessarily call the problem a "design problem"

If you are having to apply a great deal of torque to attach the antenna to a hand held radio, you are going to have problems.. These radios have a plastic frame where as the area that the connector attaches in most "base or mobile" radios are most likely metal and a bit more sturdy
I don't understand how this wouldn't be called a design problem. Perhaps, I should refer to it as a design problem for me and several other folks.

When I speak about this, I am referring to the screw that tends to loosen along with the wire that reportedly goes to the circuit board. From what others have told me, this was a bad design. There are some postings about how some have modified this design and strengthened it.

I would also add that the loosening of the BNC tends to be a gradual problem for some folks. Not everyone has this problem I suppose.

At present, I have spent over $150.00 for the two trips my radio has taken to CA.

So, if you don't have this problem, that is good.

Before I spend money on another scanner, I want to insure that the PSR 800 BNC design has been improved.
 

Ensnared

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Tight Antenna

I wouldn't necessarily call the problem a "design problem"

If you are having to apply a great deal of torque to attach the antenna to a hand held radio, you are going to have problems.. These radios have a plastic frame where as the area that the connector attaches in most "base or mobile" radios are most likely metal and a bit more sturdy
I do understand that these radio chassis are not as sturdy as radios made by ICOM, etc.; however, this has been a process of trial and error for me.

I suppose that I inadvertently test the limits of any radio I own.

Thanks for your response.
 

Ensnared

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BNC Replacement

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Good question. My 500 looks like it has the same low quality BNC that my Pro-39 had. (I replaced it with a better one, a number of years ago.)
I would appreciate hearing how you made this BNC modification. If you have any posts concerning this issue, I would appreciate having the hyperlink(s). I seriously doubt I could modify the radio myself, but I would still like to know the details.
 

KK4HG

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I wouldn't necessarily call the problem a "design problem"


I respectfully disagree. When living in Tennessee I would on occasion, move my 600 from the bedroom to the shack to the truck. I had an outdoor discone with connections at home and a mini Diamond discone on the truck and had trouble connecting "professional" cable connectors to the stock BNC connector on the radio. Subsequently I replaced the radio's male connector with the Amphenol version which eliminated my problems. It seems the dimensions (perhaps manufacturing tolerances) are less stringent for the GRE connector then what a company like Amphenol may require.

The telescopic antenna which was included with the radio always fit with no problem, however I didn't use it much!

In fact, I started a thread about this very subject back in 2006 or so but don't feel inclined to search for it!:D
 

krokus

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Ensnared said:
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Good question. My 500 looks like it has the same low quality BNC that my Pro-39 had. (I replaced it with a better one, a number of years ago.)
I would appreciate hearing how you made this BNC modification. If you have any posts concerning this issue, I would appreciate having the hyperlink(s). I seriously doubt I could modify the radio myself, but I would still like to know the details.
It was rather straight forward. I just purchased a panel-mount BNC, and disassembled the radio.

The only "tricky" part was that the GRE BNC was not round, but had a side shaved, leaving it looking like a "c" with a straight line across the opening. I used a utility knife and X-acto knife to shave the openings, in the plastic case and the metal brace, to accept the regular BNC.

I then reassembled the radio, and never had an issue with that connector.
 

Ensnared

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Amazing Skills

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It was rather straight forward. I just purchased a panel-mount BNC, and disassembled the radio.

The only "tricky" part was that the GRE BNC was not round, but had a side shaved, leaving it looking like a "c" with a straight line across the opening. I used a utility knife and X-acto knife to shave the openings, in the plastic case and the metal brace, to accept the regular BNC.

I then reassembled the radio, and never had an issue with that connector.
Now, I don't want to raise the ire of other individuals skilled in the art of soldering, but I don't know how people do it. I compare some of their actions to microsurgery. You lost me at dis-assembly. Ha.

First of all, speaking from inexperience, I got in a mood one day to fix the factory-stuck keyboard on my AR 1000. I think it was less than 10 minutes before the radio started smoking. One of the small wires made that awful smell when I unplugged and then plugged a component. I went right into the trash.

That was an interesting read, but I am going to leave this stuff for the pros.

Now, hopefully, someone can answer the original question, "did the BNC design change on the PSR 800." I surely can't fix it. I am laughing when I type this.

Thanks for you input.
 

rwier

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....................................................................

Now, hopefully, someone can answer the original question, "did the BNC design change on the PSR 800."
.............................................................................

Thanks for you input.
I am going to try! I did some "unhooking" and now have a 500 and an 800 side-by-side in front of me. The antenna connector appears to be the same on both radios. The following observations were made by holding one radio up to the other:
___________________________________
Both connectors are at the upper top left (facing standard front)
Both are very "shiny" (chrome, stainless?)
Both are the same apparent diameter
Both are the same apparent length
Both have two nipples, on opposing sides
Both nipples are the same apparent distance from the radio
Both nipples are the same apparent distance from the end of connector
Both nipples extend the same apparent distance from the barrel of the connector
Both connectors have the same apparent interior (looking down into them)
Both have the same apparent rubber (?) earphone plug/cover attached
Both have the same apparent slightly wider shiny ring where the antenna connector meets the radio top surface
I find both to be equally resistant to the "last bit of twist" that seats the nipples, when attaching the antenna to the connector
Attempting to "wiggle" (by hand) these connectors versus the radios was not successful (no wiggle)
______________________________________________________________________

It overall appears (to me) that the two connectors could have came out of the same bin.

I have ather..unowhat, no grip, no strength, and am clumsy holding expensive items, and have not babied (nor could I) these devices. Some days, I must resort to pliers to fully connect the antennas (that last little twist to seat).

This being said, I have not, so far (wish me luck) damaged (to my knowledge) the devices.

I will make further comparisons at your request.

Rob
 

Ensnared

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Comprehensive

I am going to try! I did some "unhooking" and now have a 500 and an 800 side-by-side in front of me. The antenna connector appears to be the same on both radios. The following observations were made by holding one radio up to the other:
___________________________________
Both connectors are at the upper top left (facing standard front)
Both are very "shiny" (chrome, stainless?)
Both are the same apparent diameter
Both are the same apparent length
Both have two nipples, on opposing sides
Both nipples are the same apparent distance from the radio
Both nipples are the same apparent distance from the end of connector
Both nipples extend the same apparent distance from the barrel of the connector
Both connectors have the same apparent interior (looking down into them)
Both have the same apparent rubber (?) earphone plug/cover attached
Both have the same apparent slightly wider shiny ring where the antenna connector meets the radio top surface
I find both to be equally resistant to the "last bit of twist" that seats the nipples, when attaching the antenna to the connector
Attempting to "wiggle" (by hand) these connectors versus the radios was not successful (no wiggle)
______________________________________________________________________

It overall appears (to me) that the two connectors could have came out of the same bin.

I have ather..unowhat, no grip, no strength, and am clumsy holding expensive items, and have not babied (nor could I) these devices. Some days, I must resort to pliers to fully connect the antennas (that last little twist to seat).

This being said, I have not, so far (wish me luck) damaged (to my knowledge) the devices.

I will make further comparisons at your request.

Rob
Man, thanks. You did a great job with your visual analysis of the BNC. To me, it sounds like they have kept the same BNC.

Still, I might consider getting the PSR 800 since I do more traveling than I used to do.

Yes, I think these radios have a fairly sturdy chassis for their price and material selected, plastic.

I can remember seeing the inside of my Regency HX-1500. I thought this radio was pretty darn solid. But, "they" tend to charge more for professional quality radios.

Again, thanks for your "extra mile" response. I greatly appreciate it. I think I now have my answer.
 

Ed_Seedhouse

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I wouldn't necessarily call the problem a "design problem"


I respectfully disagree. When living in Tennessee I would on occasion, move my 600 from the bedroom to the shack to the truck. I had an outdoor discone with connections at home and a mini Diamond discone on the truck and had trouble connecting "professional" cable connectors to the stock BNC connector on the radio.
Well, logically, how do you know that it is not the "professional" cable connectors that were wrong? Did you measure them both carefully against a published spec or something? If not, what basis in logic do you have to conclude that it was the Radio that was wrong and not the Connector?

I switch antennas back and forth on my 800 often several times a day and have, so far, noticed no problems. But then I've only had it a couple of weeks.
 

Ensnared

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BNC Challenge

Here is something I do know. This antenna, this operator, and the PSR 500 do not work well together:

800 MHz 2.5db Gain Antenex Professional Portable Antenna

Both times I attempted to use this very tight antenna, it was sent to GRE within a month. I have owned this radio for over two years.

To me, this a BNC movement-based problem. If it does not move, for whatever reason, it seems to be ok. However, when it does, things get out of whack inside. Now, I am not a professional radio technician, but I do learn about things to avoid in my life.

So, it looks like the BNC has stayed the same in the PSR 800.
 

mancow

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It's really not that difficult. It's just like anything else and requires training and practice. If you do it enough it becomes second nature. After a while you will get the feel for how much heat is needed and can predict how the materials you work with will react. There are lots of small kits available that will allow you to learn. Even if you don't get proficient enough to do SMT components it's nice to have the basic skills so you can fix some of the regular stuff.


Now, I don't want to raise the ire of other individuals skilled in the art of soldering, but I don't know how people do it. I compare some of their actions to microsurgery. You lost me at dis-assembly. Ha.

First of all, speaking from inexperience, I got in a mood one day to fix the factory-stuck keyboard on my AR 1000. I think it was less than 10 minutes before the radio started smoking. One of the small wires made that awful smell when I unplugged and then plugged a component. I went right into the trash.

That was an interesting read, but I am going to leave this stuff for the pros.

Now, hopefully, someone can answer the original question, "did the BNC design change on the PSR 800." I surely can't fix it. I am laughing when I type this.

Thanks for you input.
 

ratboy

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This is just a matter of GRE (and Uniden) using the cheapest BNC connectors out there. I've replaced so many BNC connectors over the year on my own stuff, let alone friend's radios that I expect them to fail within a couple years, at most on a handheld. Why they can't use a "normal" ring type center contact BNC is beyond me, the price difference cant be much, and they would eliminate a lot of warranty claims.

And sometimes, they just aren't tight, and the antenna lead twists off. This can be pretty much eliminated by using a "keyed" BNC that can't rotate. For some reason, this is another thing Uniden and GRE avoid. Why? I have no idea, other than a tiny bit of cost, which is everything to these companies.
 

KK4HG

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Well, logically, how do you know that it is not the "professional" cable connectors that were wrong? Did you measure them both carefully against a published spec or something? If not, what basis in logic do you have to conclude that it was the Radio that was wrong and not the Connector?

I switch antennas back and forth on my 800 often several times a day and have, so far, noticed no problems. But then I've only had it a couple of weeks.

When I first noticed the problem a micrometer and digital calipers were used to compare the GRE BNC to replacement chassis mount, female Amphenol parts in my stock. I keep a lot of spare connectors of many types in my "ham box" which is a large, old tackle box filled with all sorts of RF connecting stuff for field day, antenna parties and mobil installations (which I do a lot of for fellow, like minded truck drivers and friends). Also, I DO NOT buy cheap RF connectors, especially for VHF and above. Why would you infer ignorance on my part?

As mentioned in my OP, my 600 used to be used in three different locations (I have since purchased one which stays in the truck). All three coaxial male connectors had similar "tighter" tolerances.

Sorry but in my case, the odds are stacked against the GRE BNC female, chassis mount connecter by 3 to 1.

Obviously I'm not the only one who has noticed the subject issue, hence this thread.

By the way, if you are switching antennas frequently on a handheld scanner, you WILL eventually experience a mechanical and probably an electrical breakdown. Go easy when you "push down and turn" the knurled ring on the male connector.
 
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fourthhorseman

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IMHO,

the BNC is far from the issue,

i had to do my own repair,to my 106

the problem lies in the anchoring of the BNC
to the radio,
its held in place by a 1-1.5mm thick metal(a poor grade-soft makeup)
material.
secondly,that metal is directly anchored to the PCB when it should be
attached at the chassis..

the rigid connection from the BNC to the board becomes stressed,due to
the flex that occurs,as a result of the poor design of the 3 piece radio case,
front-back and top/knob plate.

the back and top should be made from 1 piece,maybe a a die cast metal,charge an extre 15 bucks
and make the radio more rugged,,

i fixed mine,i cut the metal shielding ,then ran a wire from the BNC center pin to the pcb,so now if theres flex,the soft wire provides me with all the leeway needed..
 

Ensnared

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Soldering

It's really not that difficult. It's just like anything else and requires training and practice. If you do it enough it becomes second nature. After a while you will get the feel for how much heat is needed and can predict how the materials you work with will react. There are lots of small kits available that will allow you to learn. Even if you don't get proficient enough to do SMT components it's nice to have the basic skills so you can fix some of the regular stuff.
Yeah, I once tried to solder my guitar cord. Those are larger input jacks too. I suppose if I was trained on how to do it, had decent equipment with a magnifying lens/lamp, and had practice, I might be all right.

At present, I am dangerous.

Oh well, one day.
 
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