HP-1 High Strangeness: EMP, Desensing?

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cognetic

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Making a multi-day quandary story short....

Can anyone offer a plausible reason that explains why 3 separate HP-1s would suddenly no longer be able to receive / stop on APCO-25 Phase I Public Safety frequencies (Indianapolis Dept of Public Safety) during routine scanning?

In immediate comparison to an on-hand BCD436 and BCD536 which are still functioning as expected at the same location, this has perplexed me since the weekend when all were working just fine. I will have another new HP-1 later today to compare against, as well.

All units have been functioning flawlessly for several months in the same location, though with separate power and antenna configurations. I've swapped antennas out among them and even did a total restore on one unit to no avail.

My thoughts (stretch) are:
1) desensing from a local RF source suddenly introduced nearby - but not affecting 436/536
2) EMP from solar flare over the weekend??
3) inherent design flaw actuated by time/date ??

All have same db and firmware...

Any insights and/or solutions are most welcome!!

- cognetic
 

JamesO

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What firmware are you currently running in the radios?

This behavior has been seen on and off in the HP-1 by a number of people. I have been running the latest Beta Version firmware 2.06.08 for a while and I still am seeing some funny things like you have mentioned. I only have a single HP-1 and I thought things were functioning well with the latest Beta firmware, but I now am seeing some strange things kind of like you are mentioned.

I have run into 2 separate but specific issues. It appears that others may have similar issues but with different Versions of Firmware which is interesting.

The first obvious issue I ran into appeared to be a problem with no audio from the radio. The radio would stop on a TG, the display would brighten up and the P25 decoding data would show an error rate but nothing from the speaker. After some experimentation I figured out that it what seemed to be occurring was the audio Amp mute circuit was not unmuting. This was reported and it appeared that Uniden somewhat agreed or had seen the same behavior and quickly released an updated Beta Firmware that at least in my case has appeared to corrected the lack of the audio circuit muting problem.

There is another issue where the radio appears to miss traffic, not lock on the TG and decode. I have had the radio stop many times, the display will brighten up, however, the P25 and error rate info will not appear. There is no audio and as I recall the display seems to toggle between NON and DAT but it is stopped on a TG but never appears to decode any traffic.

I cannot say for 100% if this problem "clears itself", but often I may power the radio off and on and it seems to correct the issue for a period of time.

My issue does no appear to be time of day related, but I am suspecting maybe a temperature or thermal issue of some sort? This is speculation as I did not appear to have much of an issue until the temperatures recently dropped.

It seems that approximately 15 minutes after power up can be a troubling window for some of these issues to appear.

Suggest you consider updating one of your HP-1 to a different Firmware for a test and comparison purposes.
 

cognetic

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#4 HP-1 NEW and has the problem

JamesO: I think you are onto something.
I have the very latest firmware... and I have experienced exactly what you describe; however, only since the start of it all on Monday. This is after several months with the #1-#3 units functioning flawlessly at least the same or better than the 436 & 536.

The new HP-1 (#4) just arrived in my office (totally different location) via vendor shipment. Fresh out of box... Set-up check confirmed latest software and db already installed. Unfortunately, the very same issue as HP-1 #1-#3. Check next to 436 and local RR Broadcastify indicate there should be activity and yet no reception at all... The DEPT and CHANNEL just have the spinning icon (held on Indy Dept Public Safety), no scan stop ever, and the RF signal meter jumps from none to full bars throughout.

Its just so odd it is happening suddenly to all devices after months of great performance. Makes me think a local P25 Phase I system change or an airborne virus just infecting the HP-1s - except this new one has been no where near devices #1-#3.

My formerly very enjoyable HP-1 experience has been stopped cold.

Looks like a return of the new device and removal from service of the other 3 until a fix from Uniden presents.
 

JamesO

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Are you running regular release Firmware or Beta Firmware?

Maybe there was a change on the system you are monitoring and it somehow only impacts the HP-1?
 

cognetic

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Sorry for not being clearer. It is the regular release firmware, latest version.
When I get back to the QTH radiolab, I will be trying the BETA, though.
 

JamesO

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There are about 4-5 Beta release versions, not sure all of them are currently available for download?

I would jump to the newest Beta release version on one of your units to compare. It may or may not change things.

One thing to beware of it you will need to add a "debug" file folder on the SD card before you jump to the newest Beta version. This is discussed and outlined in this thread near the end - http://forums.radioreference.com/un...rt/294284-homepatrol-1-2-06-xx-open-beta.html

Also keep an eye out to see if the display brightens up like it is going to receive something, but the scanner never locks onto any voice traffic to decode. Not sure if this is a timing issue, a typically trunking issue, but I do not see this behavior as a rule on my 996XT and x36HP radios when monitoring the same systems.

Hopefully one day I can capture a video and post it.
 

cognetic

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Indianapolis
Downloaded BETA FW 2.06 09142014....
The AUTO setting doesn't work for my targeted DEPT & CHANNEL but it does allow more hits than before (zero). I have to use Manual 8 setting to get any signal on the targeted CHNNL. For now I have more parity between the HP-1 and 436 with the M8 setting. Not 100% but maybe 80%. Odd even when setting the HP-1 manually to the same channels there are times no signal is received or only one side of the conversation is heard even when locked on the channel.

Bottom line: it appears there is a regular firmware issue that doesn't like some P25 change made late Sunday or early Monday and the BETA firmware partially resolves.
 

cognetic

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After some extensive experimenting with the BETA firmware & system configs, I can only report very slight improvement with fixed M8 setting on our Indy Metro P25 Phase I receive. All surrounding systems use SafeT system (State Police, DNR, EM, surrounding county public safety) P25 phase I and rcv is no problem. Using side-by-side comparison with 436 and 536 with the mode displays, I can check decoding configs and they technically match what these BCD x36HPs are displaying... but when the BCDx36HPs find hits, the HP-1s do not... weirder still is the HP-1s will sporadically hit on some more distant districts on same SYSTEM & DEPT but not the channel for immediate vicinity district even when scan is stopped and locked on target channel & TG.

This is a real bummer. Everyone here loves the HP-1 touch display human interface... Especially as the HP-1s worked so well for months... Now, I will need to rethink our portable ops configs and hope something like this does not start happening on the BCD x36HP units we have.
 
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