Cold Weather & Scanners In My Vehicle

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Mojaveflyer

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I wasn't sure where to post this but how cold will scanners tolerate when they are mounted in a vehicle before I need to worry about the LCD display freezing> I have a GRE PSR-600 and a Yaesu FTR-400 in my truck and recently winter has arrived with some temperatures in single digits or below zero...

I usually leave the radio on to help keep the display warm but when I should I start to be concerned? I live in the Denver Metro Area... Thanks!
 

pinballwiz86

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Flip to the back of the manual. It will tell you the tolerable temperature range.

Having said that, mobile radios are built to work in cold temperatures. The screen may get "slow" to refresh though. I would worry more about the heat. Keep your radios out of the sun.
 

Jay911

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It has been in the minus twenties to thirties C here overnight for several weeks now. I've left my 436 in my truck overnight a few times and it has not had any long-lasting ill effects. As mentioned the display is sluggish for the first while after powering up, but otherwise it's OK.

Leaving the scanner running with the backlight on might keep it a little warmer but what I run into personally is that it consumes enough of my truck's battery (factory original battery - 3+ years old now) that it gets too low to start the truck and I need a boost, especially with the temps this cold.
 

jim202

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Your probably on the last legs of your battery. When I was living in New England, more specifically in central MA. and southern NH., the batteries in my trucks would only make it to about the three year mark. At that point, they had a problem turning the engine over on the sub zero mornings.

I always looked at the radio clock and when it lost it's time due to low voltage, I knew it was time. The other sign was the engine would turn over slow. So you have a couple of indicators showing up before you get stranded some place.

The other thing that is important is to make sure your battery terminals are clean and free of any corrosion. A poor connection at the battery connection will cause all sorts of problems.

A simple check with a volt meter can show you how things are doing. Like before you even start the truck up, check the idle battery voltage. After you start the engine, check the battery post voltage, not the cable connection. Then leave one wire from the meter on the negative side of the battery post and go to the battery connection on the plus side of the cable connection. Then go to the plus battery post and make sure the reading is the same. Then swap out the meter connection on the negative post to the negative cable connector. Then move the plus connection from the battery post after looking at the reading to the plus cable connector and take the reading.

Just some tricks I have learned over the years. You never can tel if there is a poor connection at the battery unless you go through the steps I spelled out above. But the battery needs to be pulled down like right after starting the vehicle so there is a high current flowing in trying to charge the battery back up. What your looking for is a difference in voltage between the battery post and the battery cable connection.

There is another series of tests that I do to make sure the alternator is functioning correctly. But that is for another time. Let the group know if you find a problem prior to the battery dying on you.
 

sfd119

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Before I got a heated garage, I was parking outside with it being -30F out. No issues with any scanners or radios.
 

N9JIG

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Like Tommy said above I would worry more about lasting effects of heat than cold.

I lived in the Chicago area until 2 years ago. I parked outside since my wife got the garage for her car. I had Uniden scanners (996 and 15 series) as well as Alinco, Icom and Motorola 2-ways over the years and aside from sluggish LCD's no lasting issues.

When I moved to Arizona I washed my truck in the driveway one warm afternoon then opened the sunroof and windows. I boiled the display of one of my RH96's and it went all black. After I covered it it still stayed black. Eventually I stuck it in the fridge overnight and it then worked fine (still does...). I keep a towel in the car now to cover the radio heads in the summer here nowadays.
 

robertmac

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As Jay911 stated it has been cold in our area. I left a 396 in a vehicle at YYC when the most recent cold spell hit and it sat at -20'C or colder for 3 days and did not show any problems when I started it at -22'C. It had fresh rechargeable batteries that had about 30 mins of use. As happens when things are cold, the transmissions came in right away but the display was a little sluggish.
 
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