HPII Losing Receive Funcionality?

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darkness975

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Hi all,

I've had a HPII for a few years now. It's always been reliable, except for newer simulcast and what not transmissions just because of the advancements in that technology. As an analog and basic P25 scanner it's been great.

I have noticed recently, however, that a couple of systems that it used to pick up better are coming in significantly weaker with a lot of annoying static. I have other units that also monitor these same two systems and I have not heard any change with their receive. There has always been some static with those two systems on all the scanners but this HPII issue is a recent development. Other systems seem to still be coming in okay (as far as I can tell, anyway).
I don't know if there is a connection but I did copy the programming onto HomePatrol sentinal recently in case I needed to restore it.

This weekend I will do some experimenting (check antenna connection, move it around a bit to see if reception improves, all the usual courses of action).

Since the unit has not been moved from it's physical location in 2+ years, is it at all a possible symptom of a failing unit, even though other systems are coming in the same as they always have? I worry about that because my other units appear unchanged and I use the recording feature daily on the HPII to monitor my town's Fire & EMS dispatches so it's recording constantly from 7:00 - 18:00 every day.

Thanks in advance.
 

iMONITOR

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Have you checked the database on RR to see if there were any frequency changes for that system? Any new cellular towers in the area, possibly G5?
 

darkness975

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Have you checked the database on RR to see if there were any frequency changes for that system? Any new cellular towers in the area, possibly G5?
Haven't been on recently, no. I'll check when I can.
But the systems in question have been unchanged for years and the other scanners have no change in sound on those systems.
 

hiegtx

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Haven't been on recently, no. I'll check when I can.
But the systems in question have been unchanged for years and the other scanners have no change in sound on those systems.
I have not had issues with my HP-2. But since you are recording, my first thought would be to format & reload the memory card (after saving what audio files you want to keep). Might not be a card issue, but so often, we've seen seemingly unconnected problems, on more than one model, trace bak to some sort of memory card problem.
 

dispatch235

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Just a couple of thoughts... try disconnecting the antenna and reconnecting it, or try an antenna from one of your other scanners. Sometimes I've had problem with bnc connectors getting a film or whatever and just taking it off and on the radio reseats the connection. (I run a diamond with a bnc adapter on my HP2)
Also if I have the cord hooked to the computer the reception isn't as good as when it's on its ac adapter or battery power...I think it gets some interference through the cable from the computer
 

darkness975

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I will move it around and play with the antenna this weekend @dispatch235 .

Hopefully it will remedy.

Thanks everyone in this thread who've offered ideas.
 

tvengr

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Make sure the attenuator is not on. The antenna itself may be defective. Try removing the antenna and stick about a 15 inch length of wire into the center of the antenna connector. That will be good for VHF. It is also possible that the solder connection on the antenna connector is broken.
 

mmckenna

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I will move it around and play with the antenna this weekend @dispatch235 .
Outdoor antenna?

moisture intrusion into the outdoor connections can cause all kinds of issues. Take the coaxial cable off the antenna outside and check for any discoloration, moisture, "green fuzzy" stuff, etc. Check the coaxial cable for damage, cracked insulation, pinching, rodent damage, etc.
 

darkness975

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Outdoor antenna?

moisture intrusion into the outdoor connections can cause all kinds of issues. Take the coaxial cable off the antenna outside and check for any discoloration, moisture, "green fuzzy" stuff, etc. Check the coaxial cable for damage, cracked insulation, pinching, rodent damage, etc.
It's an indoor antenna. Diamond SRH 789
 

darkness975

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Make sure the attenuator is not on. The antenna itself may be defective. Try removing the antenna and stick about a 15 inch length of wire into the center of the antenna connector. That will be good for VHF. It is also possible that the solder connection on the antenna connector is broken.
It hasn't moved since I placed it there but for good measure I will take off the antenna, wipe it up a bit and then reconnect, in case the antenna itself may have somehow come slightly dislodged.
Do antenna connections ever degrade over time even if the unit itself is never moved around or placed under any stress?
 

tvengr

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Do antenna connections ever degrade over time even if the unit itself is never moved around or placed under any stress?
Yes! The connector can oxidize or corrode if it is not moved. Removing and replacing the antenna a number of times can help clean the connector. Try some contact cleaner spray if you have it. Also, check that the center pin on the antenna has not broken off.
 

darkness975

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Yes! The connector can oxidize or corrode if it is not moved. Removing and replacing the antenna a number of times can help clean the connector. Try some contact cleaner spray if you have it. Also, check that the center pin on the antenna has not broken off.
Alright I'll add that to this weekend's task(s).

I have not touched the unit in the 2+ years it has been sitting in its current location, except a couple of times to move it slightly or to plug it into Sentinal for an update. But the antenna has been untouched.
 
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KB0HNN

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Added or changed any LED lights bulbs in the house?
I've had LED bulbs that were RF quite when installed, later get noisy and wipe out receive on VHF ham bands.
I've also had new bulbs that are RF noisy.
Easy test, turn off the lights and see you're receive is better :)
 

iMONITOR

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Added or changed any LED lights bulbs in the house?
I've had LED bulbs that were RF quite when installed, later get noisy and wipe out receive on VHF ham bands.
I've also had new bulbs that are RF noisy.
Easy test, turn off the lights and see you're receive is better :)
Good advice! There are UL Approved LED bulbs available! IE:

 

KB0HNN

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I should have actually said that any electrical device in your house or your neighbors house can generate enough noise to cause problems with receive. I'm usually working weak signal stuff on the VHF ham bands to include EME, so I'm always trying to track down the noise makers. LED's, network routers, network switches, wall warts, computers, computer monitors, weather stations, etc etc.
 

darkness975

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I haven't added any new power strips or anything of the sort. It's been plugged into the same power strip since I moved here.

The other scanner near it is my SDS200. They sit about 6 inches or so apart. But up until recently there has been no issue with them.

There is also a laptop on that table that I use to update the scanners and what not. I rarely use it for anything else and it is almost never powered on. It's an older Windows 7 laptop so it's not too advisable to go scouring the internet with it anyway.

A little earlier I removed the Diamond SRH789 antenna for the first time since installing it whenever ago. I used a toothpick to remove a couple of particles that appear to somehow have gotten inside there. Whether or not they were there the whole time or some recent development I have no idea. I don't see how they could have gotten in there with the antenna attached but hey, dust is funny like that.

Of course none of the systems that I use the HPII unit for are active right now so I can't test to see if my messing around with the antenna did anything. Time will tell I will have to monitor tomorrow and see what happens.

I haven't obtained any new charging stations or anything of the sort recently. And my apartment is an extension on the back of a house. The room the HPII is in is the farthest room from the main house where the other apartments are. Thin walls, several windows, and a sliding door to a deck create the best location for scanners in this apartment (though the area itself is wooded and has a mountain so sadly it's a poor reception area ...) Plus it does get cold in that room in winter.

Anyway, I will monitor and update. Thanks to all who have responded in this thread so far.
 

darkness975

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Well its still not working. Guess next step will have to be to reload it and see what happens.
It's only those two systems though, every other system is still working.
 

tumegpc

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Any chance that you may have interference coming from outside your home? A new cell or FM tower? If you have the extreme upgrade, use Power Plot with and without the attenuator.
 

darkness975

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I just had a thought, is it possible that a lot of recording stored in the memory card would have any effect on the other functionality over time? I do need to clean out the memory card but I have not had time yet.

It's also been humid recently and humid inside as well maybe the hpII is more sensitive than others idk.
 
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