Problem with BC VUP

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WA3ATV

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Forgive me if this is an old question. I thought I saw this issue on the forum awhile back, but when I searched the messages I wasn't able to find an answer.

I just installed BC VUP Version 3.00.01. I'm rying to install the Version 1.07.03 firmware in a BCD996XT and I keep getting a "The scanner doesn't respond . . ." error message.

* Note that FreeSCAN communicates with the scanner just fine using the same com port and same cable plugged into the front jack of the 996. (Yes, I checked, the com port numbers are the same in both programs.) Do I need to set the scanner to a particular port speed for BC VUP to work? Some other issue?

Thanks in advance.
Dan
 

WA3ATV

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Additional information:

- BC VUP is the only software running when I attempt the update. (FreeSCAN is NOT running.)

- I just stepped through all the serial ports speeds from 9600 to 115200. All work fine with FreeSCAN. None will communicate with BC VUP.

Dan
 

N0GTG

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The Uniden firmware upgrade process is highly convoluted, and you must follow the instructions precisely. If you don't, you will either get no response, or end up stuck partway through the process. For instance, this is the procedure for the BCD-996XT:http://info.uniden.com/twiki/bin/view/UnidenMan4/BCD996XTFirmwareUpdate You can link to the current download and procedure on your All My Scanners registration page. You have to follow the step-by-step directions on the screen when you use the VUP. Hope this helps.
 
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WA3ATV

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Yep. Did all that. That's where I got the link to download the BC VUP program.
 

kirk23

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You need to be connected to the internet after you've downloaded the BC VUP. unzip it.. then go to your downloaded programs and find BC VUP open it from there.. then pick the update you want. In plain english the BC VUP is not your update..its your PATHWAY to get to UNIDEN in order to download the required update.
Took me a few times to get it right..you new to read the instructions and follow it to the letter.
 

oracavon

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I remember the old thread on this issue when I encountered it on my 996XT. BC VUP would recognize the scanner and connect to it, but then the FW update would fail.

One of the causes was using certain USB to serial converters. For FW updates, some converters worked, and some didn't, even though all of them worked with software programs like ProScan, FreeScan, etc. Baud rate didn't seem to make any difference. It was never determined why the update process failed with some converters and not others.

I finally solved my problem by using a PC with an RS-232 serial port instead of using an USB to serial converter.

So, the checklist is to make sure you're connected to the front port of the radio, use the radio menus to enable the front port (any baud rate should work, but faster should save time), then, if you can't find a USB to serial converter that will work with BC VUP, use a PC with an actual RS-232 serial port.

Since I have other electronic devices with RS-232 interfaces, I eventually added an RS-232 card to my newer PC in order to avoid having connectivity issues with USB converters in the future. It was fairly cheap and worth it to avoid issues like this.
 

WA3ATV

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Okay. Got it to work. Here's the deal:

It appears that BC VUP requires RS-232's handshaking signals in order to communicate (while FreeSCAN apparently does not.) Presumably this is an added safety measure to keep you from bricking the radio.

Since computers no longer have RS-232 COM ports, I was using a USB to RS-232 dongle. Not all dongles support RTS/CTS handshaking. I borrowed a dongle with handshaking from a friend and viola! The BC VUP software updated the scanner just fine.

There is no mention of this requirement in the Uniden instructions. Bottom line: make sure your serial port supports RTS/CTS handshaking when attempting to use BC VUP.

Dan
WA3ATV
 

WA3ATV

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P.S.: Thanks to all for your thoughts and suggestions!

Dan
 
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