BCD325P2/BCD996P2: BCD996P2 Traffic/chatter declines over time

WhiskerKat1

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Jul 4, 2024
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So, I noticed a change in the amount of traffic/chatter the scanner picks up over time (since last power-up). For example, when first powered up the scanner functions (picks up chatter/traffic) as it always did since I've owned it; but now it seems that over time (from initial power up) the space (time) between traffic seems to increase to the point where there is no traffic received, until I power off/on. I have attempted to systematically verify the behavior (observe it's repeatable) and it appears to be. I have confirmed that the scanner has the latest firmware. I have downloaded the scanner "database" using ProScan and verified that the only system I have loaded (Preston Co. WV) matches with the latest data on the Radio Reference site. I have searched forums for similar issues. I am concerned I have inadvertently enabled/disabled one (or more) of the myriad of options/configuration-settings and this has caused the issue. Any helpful advice/suggestions would be appreciated. PS: I did attempt some honest due diligence before posting to this forum; but have come up empty so far regarding this issue. Thanks.
 

n1chu

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I would verify your findings, either with another scanner or Broadcastify. If known busy agencies are transmitting and heard on Broadcastify or another scanner but not yours then it’s time to look at those settings that you suspect might cause the problem. But from what you write it seems you’ve got that part figured out and the scanner is missing a lot of traffic. Check antenuator settings, squelch, priority settings. Other settings may be suggested here but it seems to me if the scanner performs as advertised and then not… and you haven’t touched it between when you turned it on and later, it’s time to consider the Uniden repair shop.

I wonder how it performs if you park it on a weather frequency that’s continually transmitting when you first turn it on and then later? If you can hear more than one weather frequency, pick the weaker or weakest signal and see how long it holds it. That would be a good indicator if the signal drops out after a while and something to note if and when you decide to send it in for repair.
 

gmclam

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A device inside the unit might be "heating up". These are always a challenge to find. Is the radio in a location with good air circulation? If a power cycle "immediately" solves the problem, that makes it more interesting. Or do you have to wait some time before it is back to "normal"?
 

TerraAltaWV01

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I would verify your findings, either with another scanner or Broadcastify. If known busy agencies are transmitting and heard on Broadcastify or another scanner but not yours then it’s time to look at those settings that you suspect might cause the problem. But from what you write it seems you’ve got that part figured out and the scanner is missing a lot of traffic. Check antenuator settings, squelch, priority settings. Other settings may be suggested here but it seems to me if the scanner performs as advertised and then not… and you haven’t touched it between when you turned it on and later, it’s time to consider the Uniden repair shop.

I wonder how it performs if you park it on a weather frequency that’s continually transmitting when you first turn it on and then later? If you can hear more than one weather frequency, pick the weaker or weakest signal and see how long it holds it. That would be a good indicator if the signal drops out after a while and something to note if and when you decide to send it in for repair.
Thank you for the reply. Using Broadcastify to verify, seems the unit is definitely not picking up the same traffic. I noticed that on the scanner display, as it scans through the 4 sites in this system, it now only displays "NFM" under the "ID SCAN" text that scrolls horizontally across the display; where before, I could swear it would display the control-frequency of the current site it was locked onto. Checking the other parameters, I don't see anything which is a red-flag.
 

TerraAltaWV01

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A device inside the unit might be "heating up". These are always a challenge to find. Is the radio in a location with good air circulation? If a power cycle "immediately" solves the problem, that makes it more interesting. Or do you have to wait some time before it is back to "normal"?
A device inside the unit might be "heating up". These are always a challenge to find. Is the radio in a location with good air circulation? If a power cycle "immediately" solves the problem, that makes it more interesting. Or do you have to wait some time before it is back to "normal"?
The unit is in a "good" location, but you have made an excellent point! Cycling the power does not immediately solve the problem. I wait an indeterminant amount of time, before I come back to it and try again. Sometimes it works as it did before I noticed the issue; sometimes it does not. Thank you.
 

gmclam

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Yeah if cycling power doesn't immediately resolve the issue, it sounds like a component is heating up. What we've done in the past is wait until the failure, and carefully spray "freeze mist" or equiv. near/at each suspect component slowly until you figure out which one is the culprit.
 

tvengr

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If you are seeing NFM instead of the control channel frequency, the scanner is having problems detecting a control channel. Since this is occurring on all 4 sites, it is a receive problem. What is your squelch setting? It should be 2. By any chance did the P25 Threshold in the Settings menu get changed? That could affect decoding of the control channel. I would suggest removing the covers and cleaning and reseating cables and plugs inside the scanner. Temperature change causes expansion and contraction of connectors and could cause intermittent operation. If it is a heat related component failure, the chill spray will help to identify it. Heating the circuit board with a hair dryer will speed up the failure. Our shop tool cabinet had several hair dryers for that reason. Also check the solder connections on the circuit board. Temperature change can affect a bad solder connection.
 
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TerraAltaWV01

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If you are seeing NFM instead of the control channel frequency, the scanner is having problems detecting a control channel. Since this is occurring on all 4 sites, it is a receive problem. What is your squelch setting? It should be 2. By any chance did the P25 Threshold in the Settings menu get changed? That could affect decoding of the control channel. I would suggest removing the covers and cleaning and reseating cables and plugs inside the scanner. Temperature change causes expansion and contraction of connectors and could cause intermittent operation. If it is a heat related component failure, the chill spray will help to identify it. Heating the circuit board with a hair dryer will speed up the failure. Our shop tool cabinet had several hair dryers for that reason. Also check the solder connections on the circuit board. Temperature change can affect a bad solder connection.
So, I took it apart (Interesting metal box inside of a metal box construction. I wonder if this is for shielding, like a Faraday cage?) Pushed on all the ribbon-cable connectors and didn't see any obvious signs of overheating on the main board. Partially reassembled and I set the SQ = 2 (it was 0). Powered back on, after about 30 seconds, I started to see the control-freq. for the closest site being displayed instead of NFM during the site-scan. Another minute and I started to see the control-freq. of the second closest site being displayed instead of NFM. Started receiving traffic from the closest site. The P25 threshold is set to "AUTO". NFM is still displayed for the 3rd closest site, but carefully looking at the Radio Reference database there may have been a freq. change for this site; so, I will attempt to update the system configuration. Looks like I at least made some progress; I'm going to let it run to see if anything changes over time. Thanks for the input.
 

TerraAltaWV01

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So, I took it apart (Interesting metal box inside of a metal box construction. I wonder if this is for shielding, like a Faraday cage?) Pushed on all the ribbon-cable connectors and didn't see any obvious signs of overheating on the main board. Partially reassembled and I set the SQ = 2 (it was 0). Powered back on, after about 30 seconds, I started to see the control-freq. for the closest site being displayed instead of NFM during the site-scan. Another minute and I started to see the control-freq. of the second closest site being displayed instead of NFM. Started receiving traffic from the closest site. The P25 threshold is set to "AUTO". NFM is still displayed for the 3rd closest site, but carefully looking at the Radio Reference database there may have been a freq. change for this site; so, I will attempt to update the system configuration. Looks like I at least made some progress; I'm going to let it run to see if anything changes over time. Thanks for the input.
Update: After some controlled experimenting, it appears it may be an antenna connector issue. There is a glob of epoxy/glue on the connector from the antenna BNC jack on the back of the unit to the main board. Jiggling the connector to nudge it in an ever so slightly position effects the displayed NFM vs. control freq. behavior detailed in the previous posts (which make sense if it's a signal receive issue). Weird...
 

tvengr

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Is there a plug to the circuit board or is it a solder connection. If a plug, clean the plug and connect again. If solder connections, resolder the connections. As stated earlier. temperature change causes expansion and contraction which can affect a bad solder connection.
 
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TerraAltaWV01

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Is there a plug to the circuit board or is it a solder connection. If a plug, clean the plug and connect again. If solder connections, resolder the connections. As stated earlier. temperature change causes expansion and contraction which can affect a bad solder connection.
Appears to be a plug of some type, but it has a good amount of epoxy/glue (I suppose to secure it & prevent loosening) down the side and then onto the main board. I suppose I could try to melt the adhesive with a low temp soldering iron? Or, maybe try to cut away the stuff with an exact-o-knife?
 

tvengr

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If you move the wire or the plug, does the signal cut in and out? If the plug goes into a jack soldered directly to the circuit board, check the solder connection on the jack.
 
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