996XT Problem

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sragen

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Anyone heard of something like this? Recently the scanner has developed an INTERMITTENT problem where is just will not receive signals. It is mobile mounted and I cannot consistently re-create the issue by shaking, tapping, changing antenna etc, it just happens unexpectedly. No changes to programming or operating version has been done. The way I confirmed this was to program a constant transmitting NOAH freq, and it will go from full bars to none, but INTERMITTENTLY. Sometimes if I turn the scanner on/off, it'll come back.

UNIDEN said to send it back, which I will, but what bothers me is it's INTERMITTENT. I am hoping that there is something I'm missing OR someone will say "IT HAPPENED TO ME". I will go nuts to send it back to them, have to turn it on and say this guys (me) is nuts, and send it back.

Or, am I not giving UNIDEN enough credit?

Currently, i trying to re-create the issue by moving the unit in the house. We'll see
 

Markscan

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I had a similar experience with my 396xt. I listen all day at work. One day I noticed I had not heard any transmissions for quite a long while. When I got home, I put the radio next to my 996xt on the same frequency. The 996xt was receiving fine while the 396xt was silent. I turned the power off and then right back on, and then the 396xt was back to normal. Now every time I don't hear anything for a few minutes, it makes me wonder. But then I hear something. So far it has been ok. But it does make me wonder.
 

sjlamb

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Whenever I hear the word "intermittent" associated with a radio; I look to antenna, cable and connectors right up to the PCB. If no joy there, I then test the board with application of both heat and cold (freeze spray and blow dryer). Temperature related component failures can be duplicated and located in this manner.
 

Kennrth

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Reminds me of computer users who complain there computer is F@#@#ed up. Clue- this radio is CPU based. What else is new. LOL Merry Christmas
 

sragen

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It's been in the house and so far I haven't seen the issue develop (go figure). I also put my "old " 99T back in the vehicle, so I wonder if we'll see something there.

Close call and other settings were verified and are not the issue.

Anyone have any experience w/UNIDEN on things like this? Have they taken the customer's word if they cannot re-create the complaint. My concern is like was previously stated, it is a CPU and stuff happens.
 

cg

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With you being in NJ this time of the year, the radio probably has a 50 degree or more temp swing when you start the vehicle and run the heat. Put it is the warm house with minimal temp swing and you have no problem. Almost certainly it is a connection issue either in a bad solder joint or even a loose connector.

If it is under warrenty, send it back. If it isn't and you are comfortable cracking the case, open it up and look at as many solder joints as you can. You need to do it under strong magnification. A bad joint isn't easy to find especially one that is close enough to break contact by heat/cold expansion/contraction.

chris
 

sragen

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Thanks Chris, I'm not sure I'm technically proficient enough not to do more harm than good on this. I'm going to let the original one stay in the car for another week or so for due dillegence. I may take a crack at sending it back to UNIDEN hoping they would do the same thing.
 

kb8rvp

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What type of system are you listening to in the car analog or digital? I have have been using a Radio Shack Pro-2096 in the car and listen to the Michigan State APCO 25 800MHz digital system with an outside antenna and it works great most of the time. I do get some drop outs near cell towers on the express way but not to bad. I changed out the 2096 with my Uniden BCD996XT and now I miss about half the transmissions on the express-way with all the cell towers I pass on the way to work and in some area no bars and no signal because the system I listen to and the cell towers are all on 800MHz. The new XT model scanners are more sensitive that the T models so I think they are more prone to front end overload... Using the 996XT at home I have no issues. Maybe something you may want to look into. I have put the 996XT back at home and put the 2096 back in the car and all is well. You may want to watch for cell towers along your drive to see if they could be causing your issues. I have tried driving up close to the cell towers and it wipes the signal right out with no bars showing and when I get about a half a mile away the signal come back and the scanner starts working again. I was able to get around this with the 2096 by programming each control channel in twice, once with the att on and once with the att off and the scanner will switch to the one with the att on when you get real close to a cell tower... I tried this with the 996XT but it doesn't work as well because the 996XT reduces the signal almost to much with the att turned on and it can't hear the control channel.

Mike
 

sragen

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Wow, interesting stuff. My routes are very irregular, but I have seen this issue develop most recently without any parameters changing in the more common locations I may be in. I listen mostly conventional analog (NYPD and Bergen Co), but hit the trunked systems (NJSP) when on 95 for an extended period of time. It's just that it's been so recent that I would find it strange to be something other than a hardware issue.

I did put the 996T back in the car and we'll see what happens.
 

sragen

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Its been a week and I haven't seen this problem w/the switched out 996T. I am going to put the XT back in and see what happens. All I did was re-program it while out of the car.
 

sragen

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On day 1 the XT cut out again. listening to the NOAH Freq in NY, it went from 5 bars to none. It appears when the car heated up it did this. I immediately brought the scanner indoors and the issue continued. What was interesting was later in the day, as the scanner sat, it went back to 5 bars signal strength. Off to UNIDEN. I'll keep the board posted on the final results.
 

Danny6569

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996 xt

Hey sragen are you leaving this radio in the car over night and leaving it in the car all the time ? it might be the cold weather damaging something if you are, ive done that before and to find out my scanners would practically freeze up and take like 30 mins to start scanning right, just like in the summer time also these radios could get heat damage! i never leave mine in the car long anymore due to the weather maybe this could be part of the problem ?
 

sragen

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Hey sragen are you leaving this radio in the car over night and leaving it in the car all the time ? it might be the cold weather damaging something if you are, ive done that before and to find out my scanners would practically freeze up and take like 30 mins to start scanning right, just like in the summer time also these radios could get heat damage! i never leave mine in the car long anymore due to the weather maybe this could be part of the problem ?
Yes I do. I have never had the problem before. The 996T was in the car 3 years and a 780XLT prior to that. I agree it's a temperature thing and that the swings are affecting the scanner. Once acclimated, it works fine. I hope UNIDEN does the right thing as I've documented all of this. In the end, I'll post whether they are a hero or goat.
 

cg

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The operating range of the scanner is -4F to 140F per the tech specs. I would guess that you haven't seen that low end in NJ yet this year. I would suggest you include rough local Hi-Lo temp range on your last test date.

chris
 

sragen

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After all this, the scanner is returned with a paper stating "Cold Solder Joint". My excitement turned to disappointment in that when I re-installed the scanner in the vehicle, the same issue resulted. I realize it's under a warranty but Jeez, had to sent it back again.

Not very confidence inspiring I tell you.
 

sragen

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Uniden did the right thing

It's been awhile, but after the second time sending the scanner back, Uniden replaced the 996XT with a new Unit. I have to give them kudos for doing the right thing. I'll continue to be a loyal customer.
 

Highpockets

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It's been awhile, but after the second time sending the scanner back, Uniden replaced the 996XT with a new Unit. I have to give them kudos for doing the right thing. I'll continue to be a loyal customer.
I wonder if this sets a precedent for defective scanners. :D
 
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