BC780XLT Screen

PA-SCAN

Newbie
Joined
Aug 6, 2020
Messages
2
I have not had my scanners out in a while - they were sitting in boxes from a move and despite the best intentions they sat there for a few years. A couple of weeks ago I pulled out the Uniden BC780XLT and the BC785D. The 785D came right on and I spent time loading frequencies and have had a great time listening to local fire and EMS on conventional frequencies. A county just north of us has not gone digital etc and I can hear all of their activity. We have been having storms and power outages for the last 3 days and localized flooding. With a battery I was able to follow the nearby flooding during the outages. I can get some of the activity in my own county as they rebroadcast a lot of the fire/EMS that is handled on the county Phase 2 system. I did order an SDS100 that will be here soon so I can hear the Phase 2 which is simulcast. ( A lot of RR reading this week led me to the SDS100).

The 780XLT powers up but the screen seems to stay a bright orange and not show any characters to be able to do anything. I would like to see about getting this working again. It would be great to just leave it on my desk (working at home these days and for how long - who knows) or next to the chair where I sit in the living room. Any repair tips or ideas on anyone who may still be working on these devices?
 

hiegtx

Mentor
Premium Subscriber
Joined
May 8, 2004
Messages
7,560
Location
Dallas, TX
I have not had my scanners out in a while - they were sitting in boxes from a move and despite the best intentions they sat there for a few years. A couple of weeks ago I pulled out the Uniden BC780XLT and the BC785D. The 785D came right on and I spent time loading frequencies and have had a great time listening to local fire and EMS on conventional frequencies. A county just north of us has not gone digital etc and I can hear all of their activity. We have been having storms and power outages for the last 3 days and localized flooding. With a battery I was able to follow the nearby flooding during the outages. I can get some of the activity in my own county as they rebroadcast a lot of the fire/EMS that is handled on the county Phase 2 system. I did order an SDS100 that will be here soon so I can hear the Phase 2 which is simulcast. ( A lot of RR reading this week led me to the SDS100).

The 780XLT powers up but the screen seems to stay a bright orange and not show any characters to be able to do anything. I would like to see about getting this working again. It would be great to just leave it on my desk (working at home these days and for how long - who knows) or next to the chair where I sit in the living room. Any repair tips or ideas on anyone who may still be working on these devices?
The 780 can still be repaired via Uniden. You'd pay the shipping to them. The cost is $69.95, which includes return shipping.
The repair cost includes parts unless the scanner is beyond reasonable repair.

I have not personally used them, but G & G Communications does repairs on a number of scanner models, and a number of other RR members have used them and have recommended them.
G & Gs cost is shown as $40 plus parts.

I think, before I sent a 780 off for repair, I'd open the case & make sure all of the ribbon cables are fully & correctly seated in place. You might not find any, but if you did, and a "reseat" cleared the problem, you would save yourself some time and money.
 

PA-SCAN

Newbie
Joined
Aug 6, 2020
Messages
2
Thank you both for your ideas. I took a quick peek at the display thread but will have to read it more. I have done a fair amount of soldering over the years in radio kits - but mostly through the hole components. The inside of the BC780XLT looks a lot smaller when I first opened it up! I will first check the cables and the easy stuff.
 

MDScanFan

Member
Joined
Jan 23, 2010
Messages
121
Location
USA
FYI, regarding G&G, the 780XLT is on their “do not repair list” due to lack of company support.

The 780 can still be repaired via Uniden. You'd pay the shipping to them. The cost is $69.95, which includes return shipping.
The repair cost includes parts unless the scanner is beyond reasonable repair.

I have not personally used them, but G & G Communications does repairs on a number of scanner models, and a number of other RR members have used them and have recommended them.
G & Gs cost is shown as $40 plus parts.
 

iMONITOR

Member
Premium Subscriber
Joined
Sep 20, 2006
Messages
8,180
Location
MACOMB, MI.
I'm know some of you guys just can't let go of your old favorites, they're like an old girlfriend! But before I'd consider spending $70 on repairing one, I'd upgrade to a BCT15X for about $160 and you would get so much more for your money!

Or if you insist, run it remotely on a laptop using ProScan!
 

JimD56

KO9JAD/Fire Lieutenant/Paramedic
Feed Provider
Joined
Nov 18, 2004
Messages
216
Location
Davie, FL (Miami/Fort Lauderdale Metro)
BCT15x is currently $118 on Amazon. Uniden handles ALL their returns for resale through Amazon Warehouse. They are BRAND NEW NOT refurbs. Advertised as scratch and dent, and returns. You have to look at the bottom of the product description section for the used/return link.
I bought a BCT15x for $114 and 2 BCD996p2's both for $276 and all 3 work great.
 

Ubbe

Member
Joined
Sep 8, 2006
Messages
4,908
Location
Stockholm, Sweden
I'm know some of you guys just can't let go of your old favorites,
The 780 are the only scanner that have varicap tuned filters in the VHF band like most commercial 2-way radios. There have been no other scanners manufactured that has that feature.

/Ubbe
 

N9JCQ

Member
Premium Subscriber
Joined
Aug 30, 2005
Messages
614
Location
Buffalo Grove, IL
I don't have BCT15 to compare them with but I would wager that the 780XLT will be a much better scanner receive wise, than the 15, especially in the Civil air and milair bands. As Ubbe pointed out, the filtering on the 780s is really nice. Listening to my 780 now as I work in the home office monitoring Chicago O'Hare, Chicago Center and Midway clearly and clean from 25 miles north of O'Hare with a discone up 15 feet above ground. My 325P2 can't hear 10% of what the 780 can, no matter how I adjust it.
 

eorange

Secret Agent Man
Joined
Aug 20, 2003
Messages
2,444
Location
Cleveland, OH
This has been debated quite a bit. I have a 780 and to me, it's the gold standard for airband. Notions were floated here that the BCT15 is closer to the 780 than the BCT15x. It's hard to know what's truth unless a side by side comparison is performed. This is not to say necessarily that either are better than the 780. Maybe someone can weigh in.

I've had my 780 for 16 years and it's in perfect condition, but I'm thinking ahead for when it dies someday, for civ and mil airbands.
 
Last edited:

RBMTS

WA Database Admin
Database Admin
Joined
Apr 28, 2002
Messages
956
Location
Naperville, IL
Just to eliminate all possibilities, did you try performing a master reset to see if that fix the problem?
 

lbashaw

Member
Premium Subscriber
Joined
Jun 25, 2007
Messages
34
Location
Somerville, Texas 77879
I have several "old girlfriends" (780 XLT) that I cannot part with...one of them was stored for several years and had an issue when finally powered up whereby the screen came on, but no display. Frustrated, I just turned it on and left it. Low and behold, the "Uniden guardian angel" must have appeared a few days later and resurrected the old girl. I walked in one morning and the disiplay was working as if brand new....so, try just leaving it on for a while and see what happens. BTW...I use them primarily for "AIR", "RAIL", and some area public safety are still on older legacy systems.
 

iMONITOR

Member
Premium Subscriber
Joined
Sep 20, 2006
Messages
8,180
Location
MACOMB, MI.
The 780 are the only scanner that have varicap tuned filters in the VHF band like most commercial 2-way radios. There have been no other scanners manufactured that has that feature.

/Ubbe
Why do you suppose that is?
 

Ubbe

Member
Joined
Sep 8, 2006
Messages
4,908
Location
Stockholm, Sweden
Why do you suppose that is?
It's too expensive to manufacture and more labour intesive to calibrate and adjust the filter. It's much easier with the standard type of scanner filter that has 5-7 different passive components that pass the whole frequency band plus a little extra. Just solder the components in place and forget about it. The more narrower filter you can use the better the receiver will be.

It's also connected to the CloseCall function in Uniden scanners and Whistlers Spectrum Sweep that those features needs to use a filter that are open to the whole band and cannot use a narrow filter that only pass a few MHz.

/Ubbe
 
Top