Client's BCD436HP went from clear to very staticy. Now has almost 0 reception

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Jul 18, 2017
Hi there! I am sort of an old hand with scanners - in that I owned everything from some heathkit tube units through some of the nicer 1980s and early 1990s Radio Shack units. Back when they had a paper catalog to drool over, and the cheapest scanners took crystals.

Anyway - A client came to me [I do IT mostly, but some electrical repairs] with a BCD436HP they said used to get wonderful reception, and now it was very static filled.

I took it in, opened it up, closed it up, no change. I took it in, opened it up, checked the shielding again, sheilded the battery compartment, closed it up.

Then - almost no reception except the strongest NOAA weather station.

I took it in. Backed up their favorites lists, updated the firmware, and reset the unit and the settings.
Re-set location, did a discovery - I now get weather and crappy reception of a few FM stations. I'm about to reset the settings again, as I've had my grubby little mitts all over the place, and I don't understand the full ins and outs of this scanner.

Basically they just want to receive fire, police, EMS for a few areas.

When those are programmed in, no reception at all.

I am in the city compared to their location, so I turned on all the services and set it to pick up my local city police. I live in St. Louis, MO. There is plenty of police radio traffic. I can receive none of it.

Any thoughts, suggestions, places I may be going wrong etc? Your help would be very much appreciated.


Jun 15, 2002
Do you have access to another scanner that you can compare the quality of broadcast on the NOAA weather channel? Any chance the antenna connection may have become loose?

To be sure I understood your statement correctly, you did have all of the Service Tags (Police, Fire, etc) enabled, I believe. I think it is located in Sentinel's Profile settings, but I do not have the program with me.


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Premium Subscriber
Jul 18, 2014
The only programming setting that could cause staticy reception is if attenuation got turned on. All other settings will disable channels completely if configured wrong.

There is a short jumper wire about 5mm long between the SMA antenna connector center pin and the rear circuit board. It is a solid wire, not stranded, and if the SMA connector retaining nut came loose and the connector was able to flex, the jumper would eventually break. But being solid wire, the break might not be visually obvious. Did you check that?
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