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SDS100 Audio Muting Mid Transmission

jmulvihill

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Messages
53
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North Texas
#1
I have a recently purchased SDS100 that I am having the previously reported transmission muting issue. I believe that the other post was for the SDS200, whereas this is the SDS100...

I got my first SDS100, had the issue described below and returned it for a new scanner from Zip Scanners. Both units exhibit exactly the same issue. First scanner had the prior version of the firmware (1.07.04/1.02.00). Second scanner had the prior version and was then updated to the new firmware (1.08.05/1.02.01), with both firmwares exhibiting the same issue. I also have the Remtronics 820s antenna on scanner #2 ( was out of stock when I got the first scanner). This seems to not be a hardware issue since it happened across 2 different units, unless there is a batch of scanners that has junk chips inside affecting many units. Also, there have been a few others on FB that are having exactly the same issue with their SDS100 on at least 2 others systems in 2 different states. The SDS200 issue reported here on RR is VERY similar too, so it seems to be something more systemic with the new SDS radio designs around analog systems, but maybe analog trunking system only as some people are complimenting the scanner for its analog audio quality on conventional scanning.

Just some background that most ask:
System : Collin County TX Public Safety System, Analog Motorola Type II Smartnet, As defined in RR and added with Sentinel
Signal : -65dBm to -80dBm with Remtronics 820s antenna. Stock antenna was -75dBm to -95dBm
Noise : ~200-600
Priority : All OFF
Close Call : OFF
Search : All OFF
Filters: Every filter setting has been tried (Normal, Invert, Auto, Wide Normal, Wide Invert, Wide Auto, Off)
FL hpe File : Was uploaded here to RR forum and checked, I was told all settings looked to be correct

Description of the issue: I have setup a FL for this system, but have removed a few TGIDs (Jail, roads, one encrypted ID, etc, although it still happens when I use the full system DB definition as downloaded from RR). When scanning the FL, scanner finds the control channel and goes in to ID Scanning. At times, scanner will lock on a transmission on one of the other 5 defined system channels and I hear the start of the transmission. After a variable amount of time (1-5 seconds typically), the in-progress transmission will "mute" and go absolutely quiet for ~5 seconds, but the scanner display is still showing the TGID and channel as being open and no major variations to RSSI or noise. After this 5 second mute period, scanner unmutes, and if the transmission is still going, it continues to hold the channel and can hear the audio. If the transmission has ended, it waits the typical 2 seconds before going back in to ID Scanning mode. Lather, rinse, repeat... Some transmissions have zero issue and can hear them start to finish. I have gone for stretches where it does not happen as often, and at other times like this morning, it may happen 30-40 times in 15-20 minutes... I have another BC250D scanner set to the same frequencies to manually scan (250D doesn't support rebanding, so I can't trunk track), and the transmissions are NOT dropping out, nor does there seem to be any change in audible noise during the transmissions. This happens regardless of the control channel frequency in use, and happens across all of the other system frequencies. Collin Freqs = 851.225, 851.725c, 852.225c, 852.725c, 853.125c, 859.5875, and have been validated in the Sentinel DB and in the scanner.

I have debug files (attached) that have were active during occurrences of this issue, but do not know how to decode the 7 digit leader to each debug line to cross reference it to the date/time. If anyone can help me understand how to decode this 7 digit number into date/time, that would be very helpful to allow me to cross reference the issues I hear to the debug file. Also, there are 2 debug files created when I turn on debugging... Not sure why the scanner creates the first, small log file and then opens a new log file and continues... You will see 2 log files for each date in the attached ZIP file because of this.

This is a VERY frustrating issue for a new-again user with high hopes for this supposedly great scanner. This Collin County Smartnet analog system is the primary system that I listen to as it is the PD & FD system for where I live. It is the whole reason I got the scanner since my old one doesn't support the rebanding and can't track or filter TGs correctly. If this SDS100 scanner is really a digital only scanner primarily for P25 Phase 1 & 2 systems only, then Uniden needs to provide some clarity on this to their potential buyers. But all that I read before buying it was touting the analog performance as being as good as or better than previous Uniden scanners. This Uniden top-of-the-line flagship handheld scanner was supposed to be THE scanner of all scanners on the market. Unfortunately I am out of my return period to send it back, so trying to dig in and figure out if this is something that can be resolved by Uniden in firmware, or if I am looking at having this TERRIBLE performance until this system maybe goes digital sometime in the future. The scanner costs too much for me to sit idle and say nothing. I don't mind paying a premium price for a premium performing scanner. What I have is just unacceptable. Maybe my info can help someone else make a more informed decision before deciding to buy these Uniden units.

I really want to love this scanner...

If there are any Uniden reps on here that would like any additional info on this issue, please do not hesitate to contact me. I tried to reach out to one here on the RR mail system, but he does not accept incoming messages, so not sure where to turn... I call Uniden tech support and they want this barely 2 week old unit returned at my expense and out for 4-6 weeks, but given that this happened to 2 different units for me, and it has occured with others, I think this is not a hardware repair issue. It is either a general design flaw in the chip set or it is something that is not right in the firmware.

Thanks all for listening. Keep your fingers crossed for me...!!
 

Attachments

UPMan

Uniden Representative
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Messages
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Location
Arlington, TX
#2
We checked the attached logs, but found no decoding issue.
It is possible that there was false detection of the end code.
Please set end code to ignore, and try to see if the issue persists..
 

jmulvihill

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Messages
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North Texas
#3
Yes, I can give that a try later today. If it detected an end code, would it not go back into ID Scanning rather than just muting the audio and staying locked on? I sent an email on the Uniden Support page that also has a video if you would like to hear/see exactly what is happening during this muting. More to come later as I test this End Code Ignore flag. Thanks so much!!
 

UPMan

Uniden Representative
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#4
Not sure what you meant about video and Uniden Support page. If you want myself and the engineers to see something, you should just post it, here.
 

jmulvihill

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Messages
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Location
North Texas
#5
I changed the End Code field for this FL from "Analog" to "Ignore" as directed. I get the static at the end of each transmission before the scanner unlocks from the frequency, but I am also still getting the muting. It maintains the display of the locked frequency on the detailed display (right above Site ID in the lower right portion of the screen), but audio is still absolutely quiet/muted for the ~5 seconds before returning to the control channel.
 

jmulvihill

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May 13, 2011
Messages
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#7
Not sure what you meant about video and Uniden Support page. If you want myself and the engineers to see something, you should just post it, here.
Went back and looked everywhere on RR to see if I can figure out how to post a video within a forum thread. It seems as if it is not allowed. All of the other videos are links to videos posted on YouTube or other websites... Not sure exactly how to go about doing that. I will look and see if I can figure something out, but in the interim, please advise if you have an alternate location where I can upload this for you. I thought that the email I submitted on the Uniden Scanner Support page, where I included the video and log files, would make it to you. My apologies if that was a bad assumption, but seemed logical given the circumstances of not being able to post it here and I wanted to get it to you somehow. Thanks
 

UPMan

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Messages
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#8
They might eventually make it to me, but no guarantee. That is not my system to manage...and if it does make it to me, it can take 2 or 3 days to do so. I just got your original logs by email this afternoon. But, we've already evaluated and responded to them because you posted them, here.
 

jmulvihill

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#9
They might eventually make it to me, but no guarantee. That is not my system to manage...and if it does make it to me, it can take 2 or 3 days to do so. I just got your original logs by email this afternoon. But, we've already evaluated and responded to them because you posted them, here.
OK. If you have any other suggestions, please advise. I just got a recommendation from a gent of the Uniden SDS100/SDS200 page suggesting to set both the global and system filters to OFF, which I had done before but tried again. Here is an excerpt from his post:

--------------
The filter ‘auto’ setting, I have been informed, was not designed for use with analog transmissions without triggering an intermittent diagnostics routine of approx 5 seconds during which time scanner reception is shut down.

In the settings menu, Global Filters, if you are going to monitor any analog stations place the select to ‘Off’ and leave it turned off and control the filtering only through the individual systems filter settings. For Collin County also turn the filter selection ‘Off’. This will eliminate the diagnostics interruption.
---------------

Sounds exactly like what I am seeing, but just updated the settings again to off (Global was Off and the Collin System was on Wide Auto), but I have already had 3 occurrences in the last 10 minutes... And so the search continues....
 

UPMan

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#10
I'm not aware of any intermittent diagnostics routines as he described (and I would be aware of that).
 

jmulvihill

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#11
I'm not aware of any intermittent diagnostics routines as he described (and I would be aware of that).
Probably why it did not solve the problem... ;-) The filters to OFF have made it worse, so hopefully that tells us (you) something... As you can tell, I am not a scanner guru. Thanks for all your assistance!!
 

jmulvihill

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#12
They might eventually make it to me, but no guarantee. That is not my system to manage...and if it does make it to me, it can take 2 or 3 days to do so. I just got your original logs by email this afternoon. But, we've already evaluated and responded to them because you posted them, here.
See if this link works. It goes to the video I took that demonstrates what I am seeing.

SDS100_Mute_Issue.mp4
 

jmulvihill

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#13
Just some additional info. I have been noticing at times that I get the muting, and when the audio returns after the 5 second delay, I am then getting the fast staccato-like static pattern until it goes back in to ID Scanning... Not sure if that means anything... Just trying to pass along anything that I am seeing that is potentially related...
 

jmulvihill

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#15
I'd like to see that with error rate displayed. I find it strange that none of the system fields populate.
Is that just a new field in the detailed display setup...? I can add it if so... Also, I will be posting a new video that has the mute issue and the mute + static issue... I got lucky and hit the motherlode while trying to reproduce the problems.
 

UPMan

Uniden Representative
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#18
That is an analog system, so digital error count would be meaningless. NOISE would have some meaning, though.
 

jmulvihill

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#20
That is an analog system, so digital error count would be meaningless. NOISE would have some meaning, though.
Here is the video that has both the Muting issue and the static issue.

@22 seconds mute starts
@27 seconds mute ends
@27-43 seconds static, but @41 sec the Noise value jumps up to 50K then bounces in the 35K-50K range before transmission ends. This is the first time I have noticed this Noise value, but may just be the only time I was watching and videoing such that I could notice.

SDS100_MuteandStatic 031419.mp4

Most of the time, I get the mute OR the noise, but have noticed both more with the filters set to OFF.
 
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