BCD436HP: Poor reception, programming concerns

neokrelic

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This is my first time posting so I will try and include as much information as possible.

Recently I purchased a Uniden BCD436HP, 100ft of LMR-400, and a tram 1410 disc cone antenna.

After receiving the Uniden I connected it to the antenna approximately 25 ft above ground. I updated the firmware and database through the Sentinel software. Then I entered my area code (14825) on the scanner to get my first list of stations. I’ve listened for two weeks through different weather and the leaves falling off the trees to hear my local PD with no luck. I do hear fire/ems dispatch and many other things. I’ve double and triple checked the frequencies to make sure they where entered properly for the EPD.


So a friend of mine has a Home Patrol 1 with a Magmount and came to my house and tried both the mag mount and my antenna with the Home Patrol 1 and received the station

From what I can tell, the PD broadcast a 45watt signal. As the crow flies it is 10.5 miles to my house .
Can anyone recommend some solutions to this seemingly easy problem for this newbie.

Thanks,
Kevin
 

neokrelic

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Thank you for the quick reply. I knew I would forget something in my initial post. Yes I have the service type selected. As I’m receiving Pd’s from further out.
 

neokrelic

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Checked both of them yesterday. The attenuators is off and the squelch is at two. I tried locking onto the PD’s channel and lowering the squelch with no luck.
Is it possible I’m trying to get a signal that just won’t reach my location? Like I said it’s only 10.5 miles away and I receive signals upwards of 20 miles away.
 

n1chu

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You said the HP2 was receiving it at your location so the x36HP should also... especially with an outside antenna. Check the weather channels if you remember ever receiving them to give you an idea if the coax is good, try the antenna that came with it, let us know how well that works... trying to rule out a bad antenna line.
 

neokrelic

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I thought the same thing. With the rubber ducky I get soso reception of the local sheriff and the weather stations. With the antenna I reach out to about 25 miles with no problem. Actually the HP1 was receiving things the 436hp was not picking up at all.

he had his hp1 hooked up to his mag mount sitting on a grill while the 436hp was hooked to the cone antenna 24ft tall. He received all types of chatter while mine sat there like the fly on Pence’s head last night. When I Hooked his up to the antenna it received even more.
 

n1chu

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Ok. That rules out a bad antenna feed line. The x36HP should hear. Probably an incorrect setting. Did you take advantage of the auto download feature on Sentinel?
 

neokrelic

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Yes I did. Do you think it will make a difference by using sentinel to set up my favorites? Alternatively using the zip code feature on the 436. Thank you for your help.
 

N9JIG

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Double check that you actually WROTE the database to the scanner, people often forget this part.

on the radio press Menu>Manage Full Database>Information. It should show the previous Sunday's date, if not try the update again and don't forget to select "Write to Scanner" from the Scanner menu in Sentinel.
 

neokrelic

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Thank you for that. It was out of date. By about 2 years. Sorry it took so long to get back to you but I had to let the battery charge on the 436.

Still not hearing any radio chatter from the PD and I’m sure they are broadcasting because I hear it on the 5.0 app. Would there be something specific about their transmission that I would have to change in the 436 that wouldn’t come preset?
 

n1chu

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Using the automatic download just helps eliminate any manual programming errors. If you know someone close who is well versed in programming with Sentinel it would help. Sometimes we can overlook the same error numerous times but another might pick up on it right away. It’s like they say, we can’t proof read our own stuff because we overlook the same mistakes time after time.
 

N9JIG

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Thank you for that. It was out of date. By about 2 years. Sorry it took so long to get back to you but I had to let the battery charge on the 436.

Still not hearing any radio chatter from the PD and I’m sure they are broadcasting because I hear it on the 5.0 app. Would there be something specific about their transmission that I would have to change in the 436 that wouldn’t come preset?
In looking at the database I don't see anything that would not allow you to hear the channels listed. If you are hearing them on one radio and not the 436, check that they are programmed the same.

Try putting one channel that is active in a Quick Search by pressing the Channel button, typing in the frequency then the Channel button again. It should allow you to monitor that channel directly.

Also double check that your location is set correctly and a decent range is set (try 5 miles to start) AND that the proper Service Types are turned on.
 

neokrelic

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Just a thought. I have the antenna mounted on two steel 10' masts clamped to the side of a wooden gazebo about 6' off the ground. This is only temporary to test different things out. I receive signals from the PD about 40 miles in the opposite direction. Would grounding this pole make the difference?

I know the permanent installation will be grounded but for the purpose of testing different wires and antennas I did not ground it.
 
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