Not scanning?

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Larkin71

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Oddly enough, my BCD536 won't actually scan. It quit doing that yesterday afternoon. All the favorites and everything else is on the card still and it displays everything its supposed to scan, but it won't stop on anything, it just scans over and over. I have already tried marking all the services on, although without full data base scan, that seems moot. What might have happened and is there to like..reset it? I do turn it off and on quite a bit during the day, as it goes to and from work with me and plays in my car, to the office and then back home etc, but I'm always careful to make sure it has shut down first.
 

ofd8001

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I'm a little confused on what you are asking. You say the scanner "won't scan", but then you say "it scans over and over".

Just guessing, but it sounds like you are saying the scanner won't receive anything as in stopping on an active channel.

The first thing I do in this situation is a weather scan. Menu>WX Operation>Weather Scan. Most places are capable of receiving weather broadcasts and this is a good way to see if the scanner receives. If the scanner does not pick up a weather broadcast, then I check antenna connections. Hopefully it's just a case of a disconnected or possibly bad, antenna. It could be a bad antenna cable if you have an external antenna.

Should this not be an antenna issue and you are quite certain it is programmed correctly, in range of "stuff" if location control is used and all quick keys are turned on, there could be an internal issue with the scanner. You should still be in the warrantly period for a Uniden repair.
 

JamesO

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Make sure the Squelch is not turned up too high. I run my radios usually on the 2nd bar for Squelch.

Also make asure the antenna jack is not damaged and the Attenuator did not get turned on.

See if the radio can pick up any Weather channels.

Also have any portable radios been used around the scanner while in the car or at work?
 

Larkin71

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Sorry Ofd8001, that was poor wording on my part. You guessed correctly, that was indeed the issue. I didn't try the WX but I will remember that in the future. James, I haven't had any portable radios near it, other than my car radio and a plugged in small stereo, where I've always had it when its at home. Long story, but I keep it plugged in at home to an FM transmitter so I can hear it all over the house. At work, I turn it upside down and listen out of the speaker. I did fuss with range and serv and zip, and range. I even changed Micro SD cards too, but that really didn't do anything. The cards are the same anyway, just one has more memory. I am not sure how it got fixed because I am not sure what was wrong with it to be honest, but once I got to work, I plugged it in and fired it up and figured I'd have to mess with it later, but voila, I started hearing the state patrol, local sheriff, city crews, EMS, etc. Now, either I am hearing less stuff or it just wasn't a busy day because when I stuck the card in my computer there wasn't as much traffic as usual, but at least I had something. Last night I had zilch. Weird stuff isn't it? Is it a bad thing if you take the card out a few times a day? I don't want to hurt it of course, but the listen back to everything feature really serves me well for reporting.
 

ofd8001

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With it working elsewhere, which I should have suggested previously, then there is something else afoot. It's possible that there is some electronic equipment around your home that is creating an RF field, which de-senses your scanner.
 

Larkin71

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I can't think of anything that has been changed. It's a good thing I have an app and an old scanner because we have a fire and my BCD536 is being a paperweight right now.
Is there a way to reset it? I don't mind starting over if I have to, I can build favorite list.
 

Larkin71

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Well that's weird, one tactical channel is working. And I did lower the squelch way down too. Like I said, good thing I have other ways to monitor.
 

jonwienke

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Try getting a different SD card and saving your scanner settings to it from Sentinel, then exchange cards in the scanner.
 

Larkin71

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I have the original card that came with the scanner, I will take it with me this morning and see how it does, if I don't get everything back scanning when I get to work today. Last night was bad. It barely got anything. Usually, it takes a while to listen back through everything that happened when I slept, this morning, not much at all.
 

ofd8001

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I don't think the SD card is a consideration. All the SD card does is have the programming information. Replacing an SD card merely replaces the programming information. If the programming information was bad to start with, the problem will be carried forward to the new card. Plus it doesn't sound like a programming issue.

The thing that is standing out in this discussion is that you have trouble at home, but when you take it to work, there isn't the problem. So I'm going back to something around your home causing the scanner to lose sensitivity. Are you able to try the scanner in different places in your home, if so, you might do so.

Also that FM transmitter you are using may be the culprit. So just for trial purposes, I might disconnect that from both the scanner and power down the transmitter.
 

jonwienke

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Long story, but I keep it plugged in at home to an FM transmitter so I can hear it all over the house
That is a terrible idea. It's probably desensing your scanner receiver, especially since it is directly connected to your scanner..
 

Larkin71

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The only thing is, this is a recent problem. As for the transmitter, I have it plugged into the back, where an external speaker would be plugged in, however, I will try your suggestion. Nothing to lose. Today, I brought it to work and didn't hear much so I went to full data base and tweaked range and services and changed my zip code, and found some success. I heard my usual favorites and to be honest a few more, and liked it actually. Perhaps the issue is something with the favorites list.I do recall when I first wrote the favorite lists, at first the scanner just kept going through the frequencies and didn't stop on any. Weird.
 

Larkin71

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I moved it last night, and had more success with that it picked up, but that was on full data base. Still not much on my favorites list. It only picked up one police department. I looked in Sentinel and at least I think all the settings were right, so for whatever reason, the scanner is ignoring frequencies it should be scanning. Today's another day and we'll try again. I am using the original card that came with the scanner and see if maybe it helps. For some reason, it is ignoring some things that I know it can pick up. I've tried increasing range, changing zip code. All services are on in the favorites list on sentinel too. I wish it were like a computer, I need a way to restore things as they were.
 

jonwienke

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You may have a corrupted favorites list, or possibly messed with P25 settings you didn't intend to. If you're getting different results scanning from the favorites list than the main database, that is a possible factor. Try making a new favorite list and see if you can scan from that.

On another note, given your pattern of usage, a 436 would probably make more sense. You can transfer it from house to car to office without constantly shutting it down and restarting, I put the BNC adapter on mine, and bought a whip antenna with a BNC connector. With RAM mounts on my coffee table and in my truck, I can transfer it easily without shutting it down, and I can clip it to my belt and go walkabout with it if I so choose.

Your scanner is a computer--everything that controls its behavior is on the SD card. I would have more than one to insure that a card failure doesn't put me out of the scanning business, and a backup card with a "known good" configuration is a handy diagnostic tool.
 

Larkin71

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Thank you Jon, I agree with you completely. I put in my original 4gb card that came with the scanner and now I am basically back in business. Its working just as I need it to, we had an accident this morning, and I'm getting all that I need to get. So yes, it was the favorites list/card/whatever and I have quite a few unused 4gb cards and so I will be backing up everything.

I certainly can't argue that the way I use the scanner is more conducive to having a 436. However, I expect that to stop once the siren app comes to fruitition (I know, I know, lol), but really, once it does, my scanner can stay home and I can stream it that way and best of all, there is the recording feature. That has been huge for me, for times when I can't listen, either because I'm on the air, asleep or just out or something, I can go back and do a quick review and get a major event if one happened.

Again, I would like to thank everyone for your help. Now that this is out of the way (for now right?) I want to try some new things and will. Like really using priority scan, and telling the scanner to flash certain lights, etc. Other than the occasional bump in the road, I find this scanner to be magnficient, and certainly thank the hobbyists on the board for their help along the way.
 

Larkin71

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436 has recording also...
Well maybe next year or something then. If I buy another scanner, my wife will surely kill me.

I am going to have to move it to a new location or something. Once I got it home tonight, it was only picking up one agency, and it was analog only. Maybe, right by my laptop is not a good place, but I don't have a lot of options.
 

ofd8001

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Let me ask a few more questions:

1. How far from home is your work?

2. Are you attempting to listen to the very same "stuff" at home and at work?

3. Are you using Location Control and when you go from home to work, and if so, do you change zip codes?

4. Is it possible for you to use some type of outside antenna while at home? It doesn't necessarily have to be a roof or attic installed antenna - something by an outside window would work if you have a ground plane (magnetic mount on a cookie sheet hooked into a window).

5. It might be helpful to know which county and state you are in at both home and work. We can see what system(s) you are attempting to monitor for additional information.
 

Larkin71

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Let me ask a few more questions:

1. How far from home is your work? About 10 Miles

2. Are you attempting to listen to the very same "stuff" at home and at work? Yes

3. Are you using Location Control and when you go from home to work, and if so, do you change zip codes? I do not. Just use the favorites.

4. Is it possible for you to use some type of outside antenna while at home? It doesn't necessarily have to be a roof or attic installed antenna - something by an outside window would work if you have a ground plane (magnetic mount on a cookie sheet hooked into a window). I can try...I am a homeowner, so I can put out what I need without asking permission.

5. It might be helpful to know which county and state you are in at both home and work. We can see what system(s) you are attempting to monitor for additional information.
I work in Mercer County, Ohio, Live in Auglaize County, Ohio and monitor both counties, plus some surrounding ones. Right now, I am using an App to listen to a jail break from Lima, the Chardon high school shooter has broken out of prison. I kid you not.

One thing....until this week, I have had not had this issue. Everything was fine. I just don't understand what's going on at home. At home, I just get the local police for the most part, and tonight, I got one short burst from Marcs and that's it. I am contemplating the 436 idea though.
 

ofd8001

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It's possible that your work is closer to transmitters from these counties than home.

Since you are not using Location Control and are attempting to receive the same things in both places, it rules our things being turned off due to location change.

So I keep going back to the thought that something around your home is creating a radio frequency field. That field is desensitizing your scanner. Since this is an "all of a sudden" thing, I wouldn't be surprised if some electronic component has suddenly decided to start going bad, creating the RF. That's showing up on your scanner.

I'm thinking a remote antenna may end up being out of that field and you'll begin hearing transmissions again. I suppose you could also get a long extension cord and try using your scanner outside your house to see what happens. (Leave that FM transmitter back in the house.)

If this is indeed an RF field inside your home, getting a 436 won't be an answer. It too would likely be in the RF field.

Errant RF fields can be crazy. A long time ago we installed a repeater at a fire station. Its sensitivity was very poor. I did some researching and found that the frequency the repeater listened to, was the same frequency used for one of the cable television channels (back when it was all analog).

Since cable TV is a "closed system" where all the signal is contained in the cable itself, that should not be a problem. But if there is a leak in the cable system, such as a bad connection somewhere, that does become a problem.

I contacted the engineering folks at the cable company. After having my sanity questioned, I got them to briefly disable the channel I thought was the problem. Lo and behold, our repeater started receiving very well. When they turned the channel back on, the repeater went back to being deaf. After the cable folks saw this for themselves, and saying "I ain't never saw this before", they decided to offset the frequency of the offending channel. It was easier for them to do that than to try to find the source(s) of the leak.
 
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