BCD436HP Died on me

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Amtrak6904

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So earlier this morning, I was running my BCD436HP on my car's battery using the "Serial Port" function so as to run down the AA batteries so if I needed to use it outside of the car, it would have some battery life. It was plugged in using the Uniden provided USB cable that was plugged into an adapter that allows for 2 USB cables and 2 cigarette lighter plugs. I had it running off the car battery probably for a good 6 hours (I was out all night), and there was numerous times where I would park and turn off the car, and then turn on the car and go drive with no issues. However, the last time I turned my car on to go get food, everything seemed normal except I started driving and noticed that the radio seemed quiet. I look down and see that the 436 turned off. I tried turning it on, nothing. Unplugged it and tried using the AAs, nothing. I smelled the scanner and it smelled like burnt components. So now I am stuck with a nice paperweight in the form of a $500 scanner.

What exactly went wrong?

Why didn't any of my other devices (GPS, Camera, phone) that were plugged into the adapter get fried either?

Will Uniden cover this under warranty???

I appreciate any help.
 

JamesO

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Suggest you remove the current batteries for 5 minutes and try powering the scanner up using just regular Alkaline AA batteries and see what happens.

The unit is supposed to be under Warranty and it sound like things were being used as designed so I would expect the scanner to be covered, except when Uniden Repair opens the scanner and say you did something wrong.

Hopefully UPMan will see this and someone will want to inspect the scanner to understand what in fact did happen. Also I hope you have not discovered some new problem with component placement like the 536 headphone problems!!

When newer products have issues, I would certainly hope Uniden will be open minded about this.

Keep us up to date, this does not sound very good.
 

kruser

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Sounds like the voltage regulating adapter that converts 12 VDC down to 5 VDC may have shorted passing the full 13.8 volts from the running vehicle to hit the 436's power (usb) jack. Possibly from too much current running through it trying to power all your devices.
You hope they fail open but I've seen them fail closed and pass the full input voltage onto the output.

I don't know if the 436 has any type of internal protection from overvoltage or not. The other devices may have better protection or maybe they were on the other USB port and it did not short.

Good luck.
 
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jonwienke

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It sounds like the 12V adapter you were using to power the scanner failed, and fried your scanner. If you were using a Uniden adapter, you're probably covered under warranty.

But if the adapter is not a Uniden, then Uniden's warranty probably won't cover the damage. You might have some luck with the adapter manufacturer, but I doubt it.

Regardless, my condolences.
 

phask

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436 uses USB for power and Uniden does not supply the adapter.


It sounds like the 12V adapter you were using to power the scanner failed, and fried your scanner. If you were using a Uniden adapter, you're probably covered under warranty.

But if the adapter is not a Uniden, then Uniden's warranty probably won't cover the damage. You might have some luck with the adapter manufacturer, but I doubt it.

Regardless, my condolences.
 

jonwienke

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It would seem to be difficult for Uniden to disclaim liability from the use of third-party adapters if they do not offer one of their own for sale. Operating a scanner in a vehicle is hardly a novel or unusual use of the product.
 

dkf435

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I could think of many better charging schemes then using a USB for the sole source of power, something like the HP1 with a dedicated coaxial jack and a USB source for when connected to the computer. As time goes on adopting the 436 and integrating into the arsenal here may not happen......long live my GRE radios hopefully.

David Kb7uns
 

jonwienke

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I could think of many better charging schemes then using a USB for the sole source of power
It works just fine for hundreds of millions of cell phones.

The whole no-charging-while-on and ask-to-charge-before-charging bits are pretty retarded, though. There are many other AA-powered devices that somehow manage to charge their batteries when plugged in without requiring you to turn off the device and respond to menu prompts.

That said, I still find my 436HP to be a capable and useful tool. It's sort of like having a co-worker who is extremely capable at doing their job without being obnoxious about it, but occasionally forgets to shower in a timely manner.
 

jonwienke

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USB also works well powering tablets that draw more power than the scanner.
 

JamesO

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USB also works well powering tablets that draw more power than the scanner.
USB tablet chargers are not limited to the 500mA max current spec that is a USB spec.

Most tablets have a special USB AC adapter that puts out around 800-1000 mA.
 

SCPD

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Any chance you have a volt meter ? If so check to see the output of the USB adapter, you may have to sacrifice the cable by peeling back some insulation and getting to the wires. Better to check it this way than trying another device and frying it also.
 

Amtrak6904

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UPDATE: I called Uniden this morning and they told me to send it in, as it should be covered by the warranty. I shipped it off this afternoon, so we'll see how long it takes.

Thanks to everyone who responded!
 

Amtrak6904

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Any chance you have a volt meter ? If so check to see the output of the USB adapter, you may have to sacrifice the cable by peeling back some insulation and getting to the wires. Better to check it this way than trying another device and frying it also.
I'll see if I can borrow a relative's volt meter to try and check that out. Thanks for the idea.
 

pinballwiz86

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I used to run a Uniden BC125AT from USB/cigarette adapter. Not one problem.

OP, from reading your post, I get the impression you turn the scanner off by shutting your car off? Don't do that. Turn the scanner off manually before shutting your car down.
 

Amtrak6904

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I used to run a Uniden BC125AT from USB/cigarette adapter. Not one problem.

OP, from reading your post, I get the impression you turn the scanner off by shutting your car off? Don't do that. Turn the scanner off manually before shutting your car down.
Pinball,

Actually my car has what's called a "Hot" 12V port, as in it is always providing power constantly regardless if the car is on or off. But I think in the future I will be unplugging my devices prior to turning the car on and then plug them back in..
 
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