BCD436HP: A marriage of cutting edge and obsolete technology?

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CaptWill

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I'd like to know, from those in the know, why Uniden hasn't either:

A) included a GPS chip in the 436HP, such as most cell phones, cameras, and even some metal detectors have. Then this feature wouldn't require an external puck, with it's associated exposed wiring issues...
BTW, GPS chips are cheap.

or

B) at least offer or allow use of an external GPS that does not require a serial-usb converter (even though it comes with their GPS. I mean, c'mon Uniden... who still uses serial ports? Even laptop computers haven't had them for YEARS. You make a product without a serial port, then sell a GPS with a serial port, and require a serial to usb converter dongle.

Or is this too much to ask for a $600 scanner?
 

UPMan

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A) Not as cheap as you think in the qty's we'd be buying (probably add $75 to the retail, whether you used it or not).

B) There is no standard for signalling GPS data over USB. The industry standard is NMEA 0183, and calls for RS422 signalling at 4800 bps (RS422 is compatible w/RS232). To be USB compatible, we'd have to pick one model from one vendor to be compatible with.
 

CaptWill

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A) Not as cheap as you think in the qty's we'd be buying (probably add $75 to the retail, whether you used it or not).

B) There is no standard for signalling GPS data over USB. The industry standard is NMEA 0183, and calls for RS422 signalling at 4800 bps (RS422 is compatible w/RS232). To be USB compatible, we'd have to pick one model from one vendor to be compatible with.
Thank you for your reply, Upman. I am not sure I agree with you about the cost of a GPS chip, but maybe when factoring the cost of redesigning the circuit board (engineering; production changes; loss of profits from GPS accessory sales, etc., it might be.

But NMEA 0183 has been a standard protocol for many years, and although there may be "calls" for RS422, the 0183 is likely to be the 'standard' of choice for years to come. I have been installing, interfacing, and servicing marine navigation and security electronics for decades, and 0183 has and still is being used. RS422 is the control standard for remote surveillance equipment. And while it may be true tha some laptops still offer a serial port, most desk-top and laptop computers have done away with serial, years ago.

I suppose one could argue that adding a built-in GPS would raise the MSRP by perhaps $75, but I'd say most buyers at $500 are still buyers at $550, and gladly have the location based service without buying 'extra stuff' , hanging from their 436HP.

Maybe someday someone will offer it. I think the market is ready for it now.
 

Diggie

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A) Not as cheap as you think in the qty's we'd be buying (probably add $75 to the retail, whether you used it or not).
Adafruit sells individual GPS chips including their own markup for $30. It would be amazing to believe Uniden would do worse. Although then you wouldn't be able to sell accessory cables for $90.

B) There is no standard for signalling GPS data over USB. The industry standard is NMEA 0183, and calls for RS422 signalling at 4800 bps (RS422 is compatible w/RS232). To be USB compatible, we'd have to pick one model from one vendor to be compatible with.
If you had supported connection to a cell phone in the 436 you could have sent the information from an app using the phone GPS any way you wanted to.

Your reasons for not having these features, to me, speak to a lack of creativity/innovation/wanting to do it.
 

mikewazowski

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But NMEA 0183 has been a standard protocol for many years, and although there may be "calls" for RS422, the 0183 is likely to be the 'standard' of choice for years to come.
There are no calls for RS-422 to replace NMEA0183. Apples and oranges.

NMEA is the standard for GPS communications and data which specifies the RS-422 standard as the electrical interface. RS-422 is close enough to RS-232 that it works with our RS-232 gear.

When you're interfacing all that gear you speak of, you're using RS-42/.
 
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NHdave

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Are they serial ports or VGA for an external monitor? Both my laptops, have the ports too, but the ports are for an external monitor.
The two are not the same, nor do they look the same, vga is 3 rows of female pins, serial is two rows of male pins. I order laptops all the time for clients that include a serial port, they aren't hard to find.
 

CaptWill

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There are no calls for RS-422 to replace NMEA0183. Apples and oranges.

NMEA is the standard for GPS communications and data which specifies the RS-422 standard as the electrical interface. RS-422 is close enough to RS-232 that it works with our RS-232 gear.

When you're interfacing all that gear you speak of, you're using RS-42/.
Well, that is just what I said, Mike. The "calls for 422" was not my quote; that was Upman's.

You may have found a laptop with a serial port, (you didn't state a make/model and year purchased), but I would guess you didn't have too many choices out there. I use a laptop to do communication systems programming, and it needs a serial port. I use an old Toshiba XP that I've had for many years. When I shopped for a new one, there were few choices to be found.
 

sibbley

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The two are not the same, nor do they look the same, vga is 3 rows of female pins, serial is two rows of male pins. I order laptops all the time for clients that include a serial port, they aren't hard to find.
Thanks, I know the difference. I have just not seen a laptop with a serial port in a long time. Heck, I haven't seen a desktop with serial in years.

I'll have to look a bit further next time I'm in the market for a laptop.
 

mikewazowski

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Well, that is just what I said, Mike. The "calls for 422" was not my quote; that was Upman's.
Here's what UPMan said:

UPman said:
The industry standard is NMEA 0183, and calls for RS422 signalling at 4800 bps (RS422 is compatible w/RS232).
This is 100% accurate. The NMEA-0183 standard calls for RS422 signalling.

The inaccurate comment I was addressing was yours:

CaptWill said:
But NMEA 0183 has been a standard protocol for many years, and although there may be "calls" for RS422, the 0183 is likely to be the 'standard' of choice for years to come.
You don't seem to understand the difference between what NMEA-0183 and RS-422 is. If you did, you would understand that RS-422 is the physical transport that the NMEA-0183 specification calls for. RS-422 has nothing to do with the GPS protocol. All it does is convey the NMEA-0183 GPS sentences over physical wires.

Yes, NMEA-0183 will be the 'standard' of choice for many years as you said but that standard also specifies RS-422 as the physical transport method. I'm sure at some point the NMEA-0183 standard might be rewritten to include other forms of physical transport other than RS-422.

I use an old Garmin GPSIII with my 536. It sends NMEA-0183 sentences to my 536 using RS-422.

CaptWill said:
You may have found a laptop with a serial port, (you didn't state a make/model and year purchased), but I would guess you didn't have too many choices out there. I use a laptop to do communication systems programming, and it needs a serial port. I use an old Toshiba XP that I've had for many years. When I shopped for a new one, there were few choices to be found.
Yes, I agree but that's not what my point was. You said:

Even laptop computers haven't had them for YEARS.
People tend to put more stock in what you say when you have all your facts correct. As myself and others have pointed out, laptop computers can still be bought with real serial ports. I also do communications systems programming and was able to buy myself and all the other technicians computers with real serial ports. I have a CF-53 which is still available to be purchased from Panasonic.

While the inclusion of a GPS with the new Uniden scanners would have been nice, not everybody would have wanted to pay the extra cost.
 
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CaptWill

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Beg forgiveness MIke, on the RS-422 comment, and not to make excuses...for the way I said it. I've been interfacing marine electronic nav systems for years, as well as remote PTZ CCTV cams and esi servers, so I really DO know.

Yes, I agree that Panasonic Toughbooks are the way to go, for those in the business, but that is an exception, and not a laptop that most people ever heard about, let alone purchase for home use. I didn't intend to be taken literally that no laptops offer serial ports any longer; but most of the laptops on the consumer market do not. I was in 2 electronics reatailers this morning, that sell a variety of brands and model laptops and none of them had a serial port. The sales person in one store had never even heard of it.

I stand by my opinion that Uniden could have included a GPS chip at relatively little additional cost, and it would have been a fantastic inclusion.Even some cheap digital pocket cameras have a gps chip in them. I think Uniden Electronics buying power would get them some pretty good prices on those chips.

If they think that many buyers wouldn't want to pay for it, they could have it disabled until an activation fee was paid. In the meantime, I think sales numbers may have been even better than they are.
 
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