Broken 996xt PLEASE HELP!!!!

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brusso99

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Nov 18, 2009
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Parkland, Florida
Well, i have to say that i am extremly unhappy with this unit. first off its user interface is very poorly designed. it has been nothing but a hassel. Now i believe its broken.

Signs and Issues..

1. I had an antenna up and was recieving clear signals for about 40 miles, decoding and all.. clear as day.. Tonight i cant get those at all.

2. i started seeing garbage characters on the control screen in butel arc-xt

3. i now cant use virtual control in free scan, i get the following error.

CANNOT ESTABLISH, BAD DATA or INCOMPATIBLE

BCD996XT MOT, 30B,0,2BFB,SID-3619

if it does work the volume control and sql and online light on the freescan program go nuts.

I did a new firmware update, i did a hard reset..

after the reset i tried to load one system back into the scanner,. the scanner shows two systems in on read.. name is this character []

i try to load a system in and i get error scaner resourses.

I finaly got one system back in and still the garbage characters, in free scan the sql and col control go nuts.

I have tried both usb and serial cables as well.

its like the scanner has a virus..

Happy thanksgiving to me.. Just Great.. PLEASE HELP!! !!! ! !!
 
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sjlamb

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Lakewood Ranch, Florida 34202
First... it is highly unlikely that there is anything actually wrong with the 996XT; so take a deep breath. The 996XT is arguably the finest, most sophisticated and most suberbly designed base/mobile EVER produced. Do not confuse your lack of experience with state-of-the art DMA scanners with poor design. There is a BIG learning curve with the new scanner technology that you, as have the rest of us before you, will have to endure until you reach that moment of enlightenment where it all suddenly makes sense to you. Trust me; it will come.

1. I had an antenna up and was recieving clear signals for about 40 miles, decoding and all.. clear as day.. Tonight i cant get those at all.
If you are referring to UHF or, more likely, a trunked radio system; your experience is very common. Reliable trunked radio system range is typically 20-30 miles max. under ideal conditions. Greater reception range during periods of atmospheric temperature inversions is common but, unpredictable and sporadic. Reliable reception with an good external antenna from 20-30 miles out is the norm. Generally speaking; anything beyond that may come and go depending upon current conditions. If you were only getting one or two bars of signal strength under ideal conditions, the signal may be simply too weak from a fringe distance under less than ideal conditions for the scanner to lock onto and decode the control channels. 800 mHz radio systems are relatively short range systems and that is why most have multiple tower sites to provide coverage across a large geographic area. If you're 40 miles from the closest tower site for that particular system; reception will come and go (mostly go) as previously stated. You can prove this to yourself by simply putting the scanner in the car with just the "back of set" antenna and driving 20 miles closer to that tower site. Those "disappearing" signals will magically re-appear with crystal clarity.

You don't state what radio system, frequency or agency you are referring to here so it is impossible to offer further explanation or suggestions for what you are experiencing. For example, if it is a trunked radio system, have you programmed ALL of the systems control channels and alternate control channels into your radio? If not, and the control channel changed (as they routinely do in some systems) you may not be scanning the control channel being used at the moment thus, no comms received.

When you post a problem relating to reception, try to give us detail as to the type of system, location (county), agency(s) you are trying to listen to, etc. It will go a long way towards helping others help you troubleshoot the problem.

2. i started seeing garbage characters on the control screen in butel arc-xt
In defense of the XT, this is a software problem; NOT a problem with the scanner. When does this "garbage" appear? What display lines are being affected? Does the issue come and go and if, so, what activity seems to bring it on? If you close and then re-open the software, does the issue disappear. Again; not enough detail from you to help diagnose the problem.

3. i now cant use virtual control in free scan, i get the following error.
Are you trying to run virtual control in both ARC-XT and FreeScan at the same time? If so, close one of the virtual programs before trying to use the other. Both programs can't communicate with the scanner and PC at the same time. Choose one or the other.

CANNOT ESTABLISH, BAD DATA or INCOMPATIBLE

BCD996XT MOT, 30B,0,2BFB,SID-3619

if it does work the volume control and sql and online light on the freescan program go nuts.

I did a new firmware update, i did a hard reset..

after the reset i tried to load one system back into the scanner,. the scanner shows two systems in on read.. name is this character []

i try to load a system in and i get error scaner resourses.

I finaly got one system back in and still the garbage characters, in free scan the sql and col control go nuts.

I have tried both usb and serial cables as well.
What does "goes nuts" mean??? This type of description of a problem for purposes of troubleshooting is useless.

What type of computer and operating system are you using?

Why don't you try attaching your FreeScan file into this thread so we can all take a look at how you have things set up?

While you may not agree; I am absolutely convinced that there is nothing wrong with your 996XT. The answers lie elsewhere in your programming, software or PC or.... all of the above.

Again.... for the best advice possible: Attach your FreeScan file into this thread so we can all take a look at how you have things set up. You've already made a few statments that strongly suggest user programming errors.

Another tip: Don't keep starting new threads relating to your 996XT issues. Keep everything in this thread for simplicity's sake since everything you are seeking help with is inter-related. It will provide you a single reference point for troubleshooting as you move forward rather than having to jump back and forth thru your various threads to find answers.
 
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W6KRU

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Nov 20, 2008
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Location
Oceanside, CA
The virtual control issues sound like the same symptoms I get when I forget to turn off "Control channel output".
 

UPMan

Uniden Representative
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Location
Arlington, TX
One of the lines of his email also indicates Control Channel output is turned on. You cannot do other PC control stuff when that is turned on...
 

brusso99

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Nov 18, 2009
Messages
119
Location
Parkland, Florida
My computer is windows XP PRO. Quad Core q6700 2.66ghz with 3GB RAM

on the signal reception i was trying to recieve miami beach turnk system in dade county florida, from my location in parkland. That is 36 miles away.

when this started in ARC-XT the screen would say System Name and all the normal stuff and alternate to thinks like USTS and So On.. the singnal meter read {][[][2 like that.. These are the garbage characters i am talking about. the activity that brough it on was just scanning. It apears that Control Channel LOG was set to on causing this issue.

I know that two programs cant speak to the scanner at once..

Going nuts was the volume slider going back and forth and the sql slider doing the same, while the online light on the screen when on and off and the data from the scanner alternated to just numbers.. Again this seems to be the result of Control Channel Log set to ON

The radio does do odd things, like there was no sound of static with the sql open and i turned it off and back on and the sound came back in,

I have attached my file for review.. Thanks for the assistance.

Brett
 
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UPMan

Uniden Representative
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Messages
13,288
Location
Arlington, TX
On trunked systems and conventional channels programmed with CTCSS/DCS or NAC turning down squelch will not open the audio path. On these kinds of channels, the audio path is controlled by signaling (like trunked signals, or the appropriate subtone), not by signal strength.

36 miles is pretty far for reliably receiving any public safety system. If you are on the edge of receivability, then factors such as humidity or tree cover can affect your ability to receive the system and would account for intermittent reception.
 

sjlamb

Member
Joined
May 27, 2007
Messages
865
Location
Lakewood Ranch, Florida 34202
its like the scanner has a virus
Have you considered the possibility that your COMPUTER is what has a virus and that in turn is causing software problems?

It sounds like the issue is between the PC and the software. Have you tried different com port and speed settings in the software setup options to see if a different setting works better?

If no change after trying other suggestions, you could also try completely uninstalling ARC-XT and then re-downloading the program just in case you somehow have a corrupted file.

I took a quick look at your FreeScan file and while the organization and use of Quick Keys is kinda "all over the map", nothing jumped right out at me as a major performance issue. I did notice a few programming errors and will take a closer look when I have time. For example... did you know that the file contains duplicates of the EDACS system named *20 Dade 2 PS*? I saw another system entered as an EDACS system with a single site and just one frequency programmed.... and with no groups or talkgroups listed.

I would also suggest that you try creating an entirely new profile that contains ONLY those Systems and Agencies of interest in your immediate area. I say this because you have such a HUGE current profile that makes it very difficult for a newcomer to DMA scanners to "see the forest for the trees" when you are trying to figure out and organize so many different systems, site and group at once. It would be much easier to solve other issues if you do not have such a large and oddly organized database to begin with. You can always reload this big file later if you so choose, after these other problems are resolved. Better to keep things simple to begin with.

Tell me what agencies in your immediate area are of most interest to you and I will make up and carefully organize another basic file that you can load into the scanner and check out for proper performance. I think it may help you to intitially just focus on a basic file for your immediate area that you can examine and expand on once the other issues have been figured out.
 
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Dewey

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Dec 19, 2002
Messages
977
Also, as mentioned a few posts ago... you want to make sure that you have the control channel output set to off. [Menu] -> [Settings] -> [Set C-CH Output] = "Off".

Dewey
 
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