SDS100: Can't figure this one out . . .

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kc5igh

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Good morning.

My beloved SDS100 started acting up this morning, and I can't figure out what might be wrong. The issues I describe below seem to have started this morning when I turned off all my favorites lists, except for two digital trunked systems (one of which I reprogrammed last night).

Trunk-tracking issues:
-Audio is now intermittent on my most closely monitored TRS (strong, nearby P25 simulcast system - no problems at all until now)
-"DATA" and "LINK" flash intermittently as it searches for ID's, but no signal-strength bars are visible
-"P25" message lights up and stays on when it occasionally receives and transmits audio
-Talkgroup channels flicker on and off the rest of the time, indicating traffic, but no audio heard
-Unication G5 working perfectly at the same time (so it's not the TRS system)
-Can't seem to hear anything on the other P25 TRS I reprogrammed (New Mexico DTRS), even though it worked well last night

Conventional monitoring issues:
-Receiving static and hanging up on many, but not all, conventional channels, even with the antenna removed (seems to be hanging up on analog channels without squelch tones, but it's hard to confirm because it's so difficult to monitor any conventional channels at the moment)
-Adjusting the squelch level doesn't seem to help, causing me to suspect the static is internal

Contributing factors?:
-I reprogrammed one (New Mexico DTRS) of the two trunked radio systems (mentioned above) yesterday that I wanted to monitor again this morning, along with my P25 simulcast system (the reprogrammed system worked well last night)
-Updated Sentinel to get latest information on the New Mexico DTRS before reprogramming the SDS100 (It's a long shot, but I can't help but wonder if that didn't somehow have an impact on everything else in the SDS100)
-Recharged the radio overnight (It's probably my imagination, but it seemed to take a little longer than usual to fully charge)

Unsuccessful remedies/ideas so far:
-Reloaded last night's programming (Didn't solve the problem, although it seemed to be working fine last night on the updated DTRS I mentioned above)
-Considering "Restore Options" to either "Clear User Data" or "Reset User Settings" and reloading the Sentinel programming, but fearful of doing so without some advice
-Wondering if this might somehow be an SD Card issue, but I haven't tried messing with it yet

Miscellaneous:
-Latest version of the SDS100 firmware installed
-Latest version of Sentinel software installed (Version 2.02, revision 01)
-Latest version of Sentinel's RadioReference database installed
 

fxdscon

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-Considering "Restore Options" to either "Clear User Data" or "Reset User Settings" and reloading the Sentinel programming, but fearful of doing so without some advice
-Wondering if this might somehow be an SD Card issue, but I haven't tried messing with it yet
Considering the very wide assortment of issues that a flakey SD card can (and has) caused, the card should always be one of the very first things to investigate.... even just to rule it out right from the start.

Re-format the card, then use the "Clear User Data" function in Sentinel (check the "display all drives" box during the process to locate the newly formatted card), then write from Sentinel to the scanner to restore your data. It only takes a couple of minutes, and can remedy a whole host of problems. And as mentioned, at the very least you will have ruled out the SD card if the problem is not corrected.

.
 

kc5igh

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Considering the very wide assortment of issues that a flakey SD card can (and has) caused, the card should always be one of the very first things to investigate.... even just to rule it out right from the start.

Re-format the card, then use the "Clear User Data" function in Sentinel (check the "display all drives" box during the process to locate the newly formatted card), then write from Sentinel to the scanner to restore your data. It only takes a couple of minutes, and can remedy a whole host of problems. And as mentioned, at the very least you will have ruled out the SD card if the problem is not corrected.

.
Thanks for the advice, fxdscon!

How should I go about reformatting the SD card? I don't see that as an option in either the SDS100 or Sentinel. I have an SD card reader, which I'll try, but I think the SD card has to be formatted specifically to fit the SDS100, doesn't it?
 

kc5igh

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Thanks for the advice, fxdscon!

How should I go about reformatting the SD card? I don't see that as an option in either the SDS100 or Sentinel. I have an SD card reader, which I'll try, but I think the SD card has to be formatted specifically to fit the SDS100, doesn't it?
I just found a nice YouTube video from Scannermaster about reformatting SD cards for the Home Patrol, and I think that will work for the SDS100 . . . thanks!
 

fxdscon

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Thanks for the advice, fxdscon!

How should I go about reformatting the SD card? I don't see that as an option in either the SDS100 or Sentinel. I have an SD card reader, which I'll try, but I think the SD card has to be formatted specifically to fit the SDS100, doesn't it?
This program is the preferred way, even recommended by Uniden.


The card doesn't need to be formatted to the scanner, the clear user data function in Sentinel used after a format prepares the card for the scanner.

.
 

kc5igh

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Considering the very wide assortment of issues that a flakey SD card can (and has) caused, the card should always be one of the very first things to investigate.... even just to rule it out right from the start.

Re-format the card, then use the "Clear User Data" function in Sentinel (check the "display all drives" box during the process to locate the newly formatted card), then write from Sentinel to the scanner to restore your data. It only takes a couple of minutes, and can remedy a whole host of problems. And as mentioned, at the very least you will have ruled out the SD card if the problem is not corrected.

.
The SD card doesn't seem to be the problem, fxdscon. I removed and reformatted the card according the instructions I found on the internet, and the problems I described above are still there . . . groan.

Thanks for the suggestion, and let me know if you have any other ideas.

-Johnnie
 

K8EAA

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You might try removing the battery and let the 100 sit there for a while, then drop the battery back in and see if that clears things up.
 

kc5igh

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This program is the preferred way, even recommended by Uniden.


The card doesn't need to be formatted to the scanner, the clear user data function in Sentinel used after a format prepares the card for the scanner.

.
Everything seemed to work okay using the process built into my laptop. I did have to "write to the scanner" from Sentinel because that step was left out of the YouTube video I watched. This was the first time I'd removed the SD card from the SDS100 . . . a bit of a tricky experience.

All my previous programming is back in place, but as I said above, I'm experiencing the same problems as before.
 

kc5igh

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You might try removing the battery and let the 100 sit there for a while, then drop the battery back in and see if that clears things up.
Thanks, K8EAA. I had to remove the battery to reformat the SD card, and that didn't seem to help.
 

kc5igh

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Update: I tried using the full database to program the radio through a local zip code, thinking that perhaps I'd mis-programmed my user settings and data and might bypass them in that manner. That didn't work, either.

I'm still experiencing the same static noise and reception issues I described at the beginning of this thread.

It's looking more and more like something mechanical (cold solder joint?) may be wrong with my SDS100.

Unless someone out there comes up with a magic cure before next Monday, it looks like I'll be sending it to Uniden repair.

Wish me luck . . .

Thanks.
Johnnie (KC5IGH)
 

ofd8001

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Have you tried taking your scanner to another location? There could be something that happened around your home causing de-sense, static etc.
 

kc5igh

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Have you tried taking your scanner to another location? There could be something that happened around your home causing de-sense, static etc.
Hello, ofd8001.

I've been all over my house and a friend's home with this scanner, and I've tried it in various locations with and without an antenna to determine if some sort of interference/de-sense might be the problem. The static and poor reception remain constant, despite location and antenna adjustments.

It's looking more and more like it might be some kind of hardware issue, so I'm going to send it to Uniden repair next week.

Thanks for the response!

-Johnnie
 

Ubbe

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Power on the scanner while holding in the Avoid button. Release it when the display say "Now Loading...."
Enter the scanners menu and go to Settings and Set Debug Log Mode. Select the SD card.
Push the top left softbutton to go to normal scan. Let it scan a couple of minutes.
Go to the Set Debug Log Mode again and select Off.
Connect the scanner to your programming cable and select Mass Storage Mode and go to the debug folder on the SD card.
Get all files there and zip them and post to a message here.

It is easy to see in those debug files if you have a hardware problem that needs to be repaired.

/Ubbe
 

jonwienke

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You probably have the cold solder joint failure. Symptoms are typically:
  • sudden onset
  • abnormally slow scanning
  • abnormally poor reception
  • abnormal fluctuations in NOISE reading
  • abnormal crackling static on many analog channels, regardless of frequency
  • no signal bars or RSSI indication, even when receiving a transmission
 

kc5igh

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Power on the scanner while holding in the Avoid button. Release it when the display say "Now Loading...."
Enter the scanners menu and go to Settings and Set Debug Log Mode. Select the SD card.
Push the top left softbutton to go to normal scan. Let it scan a couple of minutes.
Go to the Set Debug Log Mode again and select Off.
Connect the scanner to your programming cable and select Mass Storage Mode and go to the debug folder on the SD card.
Get all files there and zip them and post to a message here.

It is easy to see in those debug files if you have a hardware problem that needs to be repaired.

/Ubbe
Thanks for the tip, Ubbe! You're very knowledgable, and I've enjoyed reading your posts over the years.

Unfortunately, I packed up my SDS100 and shipped it to Uniden repair this morning before I read your message.

I'm pretty sure there's a hardware problem somewhere inside the radio, and I'm less certain it's a cold solder joint issue, if that usually shows up in the form of sensitivity and antenna problems. In fact, I'm almost willing to bet that the heat generated by the two processors inside this radio may have finally taken its toll on some component, if not one or both of the processors themselves. I haven't had a chance to hook up my air conditioner, and it's been pretty warm inside my house for the last couple of days. I left the SDS100 plugged into an AC outlet and scanning for a long time Thursday evening after I'd reprogrammed a regional TRS (I always remove its nylon cover to help dissipate the heat it generates), and that may have caused the failure I encountered.

As I mentioned above, I decided to conduct a little test by launching a Zip code search and bypassing user data to determine whether or not I'd mis-programmed something. The results were the same . . . lots of static on analog channels and no discernible trunk-tracking success.

As I write this, I've raised my BCD436HP up from the dead, and I'm getting ready to check it for updates and transfer my SDS100 programming to it. If, by doing so, I encounter the same problems on the '436, I'll probably cry myself to sleep tonight : ))

Thanks for your response!

-Johnnie (KC5IGH)
 

kc5igh

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You probably have the cold solder joint failure. Symptoms are typically:
  • sudden onset
  • abnormally slow scanning
  • abnormally poor reception
  • abnormal fluctuations in NOISE reading
  • abnormal crackling static on many analog channels, regardless of frequency
  • no signal bars or RSSI indication, even when receiving a transmission
Hey, Jon . . . good to hear from you!!!

I'm truly hoping you're right, and it's an easy fix. Your bulleted list above describes EXACTLY what I started experiencing yesterday morning.

You know more about the SDS100's "innards" than I do, but I was under the impression (as I mentioned to Ubbe just a minute ago) that the usual cold solder joint problem showed up with the symptoms one would expect from a missing or disconnected antenna (lack of sensitivity). I didn't know it could cause the other problems on your list.

Thanks for information . . . and, by the way, I'm really happy with those SDS100 BNC-SMA adapters I bought from you!

-Johnnie (KC5IGH)
 

dazza0768

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You probably have the cold solder joint failure. Symptoms are typically:
  • sudden onset
  • abnormally slow scanning
  • abnormally poor reception
  • abnormal fluctuations in NOISE reading
  • abnormal crackling static on many analog channels, regardless of frequency
  • no signal bars or RSSI indication, even when receiving a transmission
I was thinking the same thing while I was reading the thread. Maybe a bit rough on the antenna.
 
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