PSR-500 antenna connection issue

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darrylcn

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Hi

I'm having an issue with the antenna connector on my scanner. I've never put any strain on it but it's dropping signal sometimes lately. I tightened the little screw that causes the issue and it seems to still intermittently suffer from bad signal. If I put a little (very very little) push on the antenna (or with the antenna off, the connector itself) it fixes it. I could tighten the small screw more, but I think it's about the correct factory tightness now. Any thoughts on what I could do? I can't see the connector move but it's covered by that metal box thing when you open the case.

Thanks for any suggestions.
 

darrylcn

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Figured out that it's gotta be (after reading this forum and talking to a Gre rep via their website) it's the connection from the antenna in to the circuit board. It's out of warranty so before I send it in I'm gonna have my dad look at it. He revived my Harmony remote with his soldering skills so we're gonna take a crack at this.
 

darrylcn

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Looks so far like we fixed it. No more holding the antenna to one side to get a better signal! I'll give it a week but so far so good, seems things are back to their impressively sensitive selves!
 

NE1C4NSC4N

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Looks so far like we fixed it. No more holding the antenna to one side to get a better signal! I'll give it a week but so far so good, seems things are back to their impressively sensitive selves!

Hey Darryl, glad to hear youve got it working again. What did you have to do to fix it? Sounds like some soldering?
 

joetnymedic

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i had the same problem with my pro-106 which is basically the same radio. sure enough my buddy resoldered the antenna connection and good as new. I might say though the first time he did it, the connection let go in another area a week later. This time he did it, he loaded it up and it's been a couple of months now without any issues. Other than the antenna problem, I had no other issues and I absolutely love this radio
 

darrylcn

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Hey Ian,

We fixed it by bending a little approx 1/4 x 1/4 inch tab out of the way so we could see where the antenna connection comes into the radio. When I first looked at it it looked like the issue should have been on this little pin that basically continues on the path of the antenna centre pin into the radio. It has a small loop of wire on it that wraps around it and is soldered pretty good from the factory.

My dad noticed a bit of solder at the (if you're looking at the button side of the scanner) extreme top right on the printed circuit board. There's kind of a tab there that connects to the PCB and goes... somewhere... Anyway he soldered that joint and everything's back up to 5 bars when it should be. I tweaked the bar levels shortly after getting the scanner too so they're less likely to display 5/5 unless you really do have a good signal. I'm back to hearing the Geizer's site at full strength, I was on it (with 4/5 bars) last night while still in Sackville.

So where before, when I needed elastics wrapped around the antenna to keep it pulled to the right so I could get full signal:

(I was progressively adding more through the week to allow it to sit in my pocket without getting messed up again)

It's now been 12 hours without having to touch the antenna at all. I'm not sure WHAT we reconnected, but it seems to be fixed. Maybe the signal from the antenna enters the radio in one spot and then travels in to be decoded or whatever through the connection we corrected last night. As I said it seemed like it would have been on the antenna where it enter the radio but you can't deny that it's looking 100% back to normal. I've had my scanner for about a year and a half, so I know how it should act as I move around town, and it's definitely behaving as it should again.

I'll echo Joe's comments about these radios; the antenna issue was stressful - a 500.00+ radio disabled by a 2 cent solder was crappy, and having to send my radio away for 3 weeks for repair had me in cold sweats :) - but the amount of enjoyment I've had and feature list of the 500/106s is _awesome_.


Here's what I mean, since I didn't take pics last night.

In the top of the image is that small square of the shield that we bent. There's the usual culprit screw on one side of the shield and 3 huge blobs of solder on the other. Rather than removing the screw and factory solder we bent the tab as people before have mentioned. That weird orange looking thing at the the left (really the bottom) of the shield is what I thought was broken last week when Gre told me there was probably a wire broken.. That thing looks like a coil spring and impossible to fix.

In the lower part of my pic you'll see the wire (red X) that I thought would be the issue, but the tab (green check) is where my dad saw disconnected solder and did his work. It seems to have fixed things as I said, at least for me. I thought I'd draw this awful pic in paint since the only image on the net I've seen was of the back side of the shield so people could see the screw to tighten. Hope someone gets some use of this!

 
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N8IAA

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Your problem is one of the most common for the radio. Lose of connection at the pcb board. You have resoldered the connection that through age and use comes partially undone at the board. Glad it works for you again:) If you have to go in again, use copper braid to allow some flex between the connectors.
Larry
 

darrylcn

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Thanks for confirming things Larry. I trust my dad's eye for this stuff, and it's working 100% now, but I couldn't get that wire on the antenna thing out of the back of my mind. Appreciate someone with some experience confirming things!
 

WA6IJD

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Nov 10, 2003
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Phoenix, AZ
BNC Connector

I had the same problem. I replaced it with a good amphenol brand connector and has been good ever since.
The original BNC is poor quality.

Robert
 

W2NJS

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Anyone considering replacing a BNC connector on a portable might want to remember that there are definite quality differences in connectors from different sources. Some years ago I expressed the idea to one of our factory engineers that all BNCs were the same, but he quickly proved me wrong. He took a "good" male BNC and sat it on a "good" female" BNC. Then he took what he said was a cheap male BNC and sait it on a cheap BNC. The "good" setup was solid and did not rock back and forth, but the cheap set had like an eighth of an inch of play in it which would translate to much earlier failure of the soldered connection to the female connector. To me the lesson was that it pays to shop for the brand-name (Amphenol, etc.) stuff if you're replacing an antenna connector.
 

redandblue

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I had the same exact problem except when I put pressure on the antenna connection I did not start receiving like it should. After reading your post a few days ago I decided to open mine up and found that the wire with the red x was completely disconnected from the BNC. I just held the "x" wire down with the soldering iron and reattached it. Assembled the radio back together and voila "IT'S ALIVE AGAIN' Thank you for the write up and post, if not my radio would be on it's way back to GRE.
 

darrylcn

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Awesome! Glad someone got some help from my experiece! Mine turned out to be broken at both the tab (which we fixed last week) and the wire. It worked ok for awhile last week but then I started needing the rubber bands again on Thursday. All good now though, we (dad) repaired the wire today.
 
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