536HP Remote Power Suggestion For Use With Siren App

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JamesO

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There might be hope for the Siren App and using a smart phone or tablet as a Remote Head in a mobile environment? Now maybe I am putting the cart before the horse, but I fully expect that the Siren App will show up sometime later this year.

After some thought and some testing, it seems that Uniden may have some of the hooks in place for allowing the 536HP to be remotely powered on and off to allow concealed mounting in a mobile environment.

This theory revolves around the situation where the scanner currently has a power off timer that puts the scanner into a “Standby” mode and the fact the 536HP has a “sense” wire for the display dimmer.

Assume Uniden could look into these features if they are not already working on it.
One of the problems with the x36HP scanner platform is the requirement to write to the SD card on shut down. From my understanding, this is required to save configuration changes as well as recordings.

After some checking, it seems the Orange power sense wire on the 3 connector plug is primarily use for dimming the display. There is even a reverse logic option for this power sense wire that is user configurable in the firmware.

With the shut down timer, the scanner is able to be programmed to perform a proper shut down, writing to the SD card and then going into a “Standby” mode. Then if the scanners primary power source is interrupted, the scanner will power back up. The only problem I have found is the scanner “Standby” current is too high, measuring in at 160mA. I did not wait to see if this changed over a longer period of time, but the “Standby” current would need to be reduced further if this feature was to be used. “Standby” current would need to be somewhere in the 25mA or less range, under 10mA would be far better.

I was able to also measure the “Standby” current with the physical switch turned off. I measured 280uA or 0.280mA which is very acceptable if Uniden could somehow get closer to a sub 10mA current draw on “Standby”.

It appears that the Orange “sense” wire would be the key to the feature for allowing remote mobile mounting of the scanner and remote power control. Currently the Orange “sense” wire is used for display dimming. This feature is not required, if for example the scanner is mounted under a seat, in the trunk or some other storage area where the display is no visible. If there was a user configurable menu option for the Orange “sense” wire to be either for display dimming or remote power off and on this would be ideal.

So If the scanner could be “soft” power controlled this would be ideal. For remote applications, the Siren App could have a Power Off button, no Power On as there would not be an option for the App to turn on the scanner because the WiFi would not be on if the scanner is in a “standby” mode as this would consume too much current.

Ideally the Orange “sense” wire would be connected to an ignition source, so the scanner could automatically power up and shut down when the Orange “sense” wire detects the ignition being turned on or off.

Another good option would be a user selectable shut down timer, which would stay unlike the current one time shut down timer configuration, so the scanner would not always turn off immediately when the ignition is turned off. For example if someone arrives on the scene of event, they may need the scanner to continue to operate for some period of time. Maybe the Siren App would have a single button to over ride the auto shut off for the this current ignition shut down cycle?

So hopefully Uniden has already thought about this issue. There is a large number of users that want to remotely mount this scanner in a vehicle and just having the scanner connected to ignition power is a problem and will not allow saving of user changes and recordings and may also result in more corrupt SD cards
.
With a bit of mental thought, I believe the firmware should be able to be tweaked to fully support the Orange Ignition “sense” wire feature for remote power on and off as well as allow user choice between display dimming and remote power control. I hope if Uniden has not already thought about this feature, they would strongly consider this feature and I would also hope that users that are expecting to remotely mounting the scanner would speak up in favor to support this type of feature.

Yes we are still waiting on the Siren App as well as the Analyze and Discovery features, but Uniden may as well surprise all the users with a decent feature like an Ignition “sense” for remote power on and off.

Something to think about and consider.
 

JamesO

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Wow, 150 views and not a single comment?

I would hope at least some would chime in with interest and/or see the need for the full remote power feature.

I also hope UPMan/Paul will at least see this and maybe comment good or bad.

For mobile operation with a device for a remote head, this remote power control is really a requirement for this series of scanner.

You can just leave the scanner on and allow it to power off with the car/truck, but this brings up issues with this SD card based design.
 

durangoGreg

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I just saw your post and It sounds very promising to me.

The main reason I bought this scanner was for mobile operation. My vehicle, due to air bags, digital touch screen, storage compartments, etc has absolutely no space for a regular scanner. So I bought the 536 so that I could mount the radio under my rear seat in the toolbox then use my iPhone as a remote head. This in conjunction with a Bluetooth audio connection to my truck sound system would allow for a slick system.

The only draw back was that I would have to access the toolbox to turn the radio on and off every time I wanted to use it in my truck. But a remote power option would be outstanding.

I was not too worried about SDCard corruption because I have an un-interuptable power supply under my seat that I also use for my ham radio.
 

Boatanchor

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Judging by the numbers of 536's that are starting to appear on the used market, people have begun to give up on waiting.

Using a 'smart' device to control your scanner in the car was always a stupid idea IMHO and in their rush to abandon the KISS principle, Uniden have only succeeded in producing a product that is resulting in disappointment and anger from it's customers and a world of pain for itself.

At risk of stating the obvious, the longer this drags on, the worse the pain will get.
 

JamesO

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I already have a number of ideas for bandaids that will likely work fine to allow for working around the lack of a true remote power control for the scanner. Not pretty, not convenient, but would likely allow for the scanner to be "soft" powered off using the Siren App, would allow for time for the shutdown and data/recordings to be properly written and save to the SD card and would allow the scanner to be powered up without a requirement to turn the scanner on physically.

Again, it is not the prettiest, cleanest or most user friendly approach, but I am very confident this would work and be far better than just allowing the scanner to power on and off with the ignition and, which would NEVER write to the SD card on shut down.

If just baffles me that Uniden did not address this idea of a remotely located scanner that could use the Siren App as a remote head. It appears the hooks are really there for the changes to be implemented in the firmware, however, someone needs to see this is a really required feature and have the firmware team see if this is really feasible.

This might also also allow for improvement of the the overall problems of the tow truck drivers where they leave the scanners on and audio would drop out?? I know having a fixed power off timer would be a very good feature for this application where the scanners would power off automatically after a configured countdown timer if the truck was parked and someone forgot to turn off the scanners as they left the truck for more than an hour.

There are just a lot of good things that could come out of having the additional power sense wire that is already in use for the display dimmer. This wire/input could have multiple uses and I really think there is no need for hardware changes.

Uniden/UPMan/Paul are you listening?? I realize you have other priorities at this time, but this is a very important and needed feature.
 
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