Report in - x36HP SD Card Problems/Corruption

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JamesO

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Is there a way to turn the record feature OFF?

Paul
I do not think any of use know for sure. Paul would likely need to answer that question and I expect that a Firmware change would be needed to disable the Replay feature.

Uniden should have used volatile memory for the Replay feature and even the actual record feature then batch recorded to the SD card. The only issue with this is during a unexpected shut down due to power loss of AC power or battery avalanching.

Not sure if the HP-1 plays differently then the x46HP?? Not sure if the HP-1 units have had issues like the x46HP's?

I have not had an issue with my HP1 so far, but I have not been using the Record feature often, meaning the actual record feature but Replay is enabled by default.
 

AE7Q

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... If there is only one sector of available storage, then that one sector is going to take all of the writes and wear. ....
No it isn't; that isn't how it works. For one thing, there are quite a number of spare sectors. For another thing, even if there was only one spare sector, wear-leveling would still work.

I'd describe more, but it might reveal proprietary algorithms used by Datalight (a principal flash memory firmware provider to SanDisk), where I worked on their flash filesystem firmware from October, 2005 to December, 2006. See http://www.datalight.com/products/flash-memory-managers/flashfx-tera

A question I have is, where did Uniden get their supply of microSD cards? Not only is there a huge business in counterfeit cards, there is also a business altering genuine cards to electrically appear to have more memory than they actually do, so that failures appear down the road.

I would hope that Uniden got their microSD card straight from SanDisk.
 

JamesO

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The problem is these days our Asian friends can cast plastic, make labels and clone anything to "look" like the real deal.

Everything from fashion, clothing, technology items, consumer electronics, toys, auto parts and medicine is being cloned and counterfeited so you have to understand the full supply chain and know who you are dealing with and even then you can still end up with junk.

I think the problem will become more obvious if the majority of the people that had SD card failures no longer have issues with the replacement cards. Then it will probably be obvious that the original SD cards had issues.
 

Anderegg

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Our Chinese "friends" should clone some Motorola XTS5000 cases with fake 436HP receivers inside! Now that is something I could get excited about.

Paul
 

AA6IO

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As JamesO posted in #83 about our Asian friends cloning everthing, including medicines, it can get scary. My wife and I are both physicians. I am retired for the most part, but my wife is still quite active. What we have noticed in the last few years is that some patients with hypertension or diabetes, for example, who were well controlled on some medications, all of a sudden are not so well controlled. The culprit, it turns out often, is that they may have received a generic drug manufactured in India or China that is inferior to a generic produced elsewhere. This is more common that most people might think and is getting to be a problem
I myself have hypertension (high blood pressure), refilled a prescription at Target a year ago, received a generic drug from manufacturer somewhere in Asia, took the medication, and blood pressure went back up. After 1 week, said the hell with this, went back to a generic from another outlet that I knew, and wham blood pressure controlled.
With SD cards, it will mess up our scanners, with medications, it may mess us up. I have also replaced my SD cards with new ones on my 436HP and two 536HPs and have not had any real problems. But time will tell.

Steve AA6IO
 

cjvail13

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Not sure if this is related or if anyone else has had the same problem. But lately my 536 has gone deaf. The only way to fix it is to turn it off, remove the sd card, reinsert the sd card, then turn it back on. After doing that the scanner comes back to life. I have used a sandisk and a kingston sd card and have had the same results. Any one else experience the same issue?
 

FeedForward

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This thread describing serious problems related to the SD card has continued for some time now without any response from Uniden. In my opinion the wi-fi and speaker hissing problems are minor compared with this SD card lockup symptom. It is certainly a deal breaker for me.

FF
 

Markscan

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Just got the dreaded "SD Card Error" message. Tried to recover the card, but no luck. Replaced it with an 8 gb Sandisk, and now back in business. This 536 has been in service at our local PD, and has been running 24/7 since June. I hope this will not become a recurring problem. Lots of Phase 2 coming our way.
 

JamesO

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Thanks for everyone's continued updates and documenting what they are seeing.

I think we will need some more time to tell if replacement SD cards are curing most of the problems or if there is something else at play here.

I am starting to think that we may need to have people comment on how often the units are power cycled and if they are regularly recording audio traffic to the SD card and if so, are they accessing the audio recordings/removing them from the SD card.
 

Bill1957

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SD card access error

Swapped out the batteries and also got the dreaded sd card access error.Took the batteries out and replaced them like 20 times,removed the sd card,reseated it ,and finaly the damned thing started working again.All of a sudden this started to happen.Ready to slam the 436 against the wall.After the display failure and now the sd card error it's getting really hard to like this thing anymore. We all paid a lot of bucks for these things and what a BIG DISSAPOINTMENT this radio is becomming.
Bill WA2WJC
 

jonwienke

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Changing the batteries will not help SD card issues.

Try a different card. And make sure the contacts in the card slot and on the card are clean.
 

FeedForward

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"Changing the batteries" can mean 2 things. The first suggests that you have weak or dead batteries. In this case, the other definition applies. The second meaning is to remove all power from the unit and re-initialize. As yet, nobody knows exactly what causes the dreaded SD card lockup, so re-initializing (rebooting) the system rates as a valid troubleshooting technique. As a personal guess, I don't believe the problem is corroded card contacts, but anything is possible.

FF
 

jonwienke

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Doesn't have to be corrosion, it could be dust, or flux residue left over from the manufacturing, etc.--anything that might disrupt the continuity of the card connection. A Q-tip dipped in isopropyl alcohol would remove anything of that sort.

And if removing and reinstalling the batteries to ensure a cold reboot doesn't resolve the problem the first time, doing it 19 more times is pretty much guaranteed to be a waste of time.

Cards are cheap; 16GB cards are about $11 on Amazon: Amazon.com: SanDisk Ultra 16GB MicroSDHC Class 10 UHS Memory Card Speed Up To 30MB/s With Adapter, Frustration-Free Packaging - SDSDQU-016G-AFFP-A [Old Version]: Electronics

That's about the same as a set of decent Eneloop NiMH batteries.
 

JamesO

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My 436HP had the issue of the SD card error, with the original SD card, when changing batteries once. I tried reseating the card a number of times with no luck.

I finally installed the SD card from my 536HP into the 436HP and it fired up without issue.

Put the original 436HP SD card in my 536HP and it started up without issues. Have had the card in my 536HP for about 2 months and so far no issues.

Not sure what the deal is with the 436HP and SD card issues when changing batteries, but I have had it happen only once so far.
 

N2MWE

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I switched both cards out for San Disk 32GB cards. I corrupted one card when I accidentally shut down VM ware without ejecting the 436, but believe it or not, I was able to re format the card and reload everything.
 

kruser

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All else being equal, a faster card means the device it's in spends less time sending data to or reading data from the card.
That of course is based on the assumption said device can even take advantage of a faster card.
I'm not certain with SD based cards if this is still true but I know cards like Compact Flash could only be written too and from as fast as the device could operate so purchasing a faster card did not always mean your data transfer rates would also increase. I know this was true with early day digital cameras. If they supported a faster card, that was usually a selling point printed on the box or the devices sales leaflet.

Changing the batteries will not help SD card issues.

Try a different card. And make sure the contacts in the card slot and on the card are clean.
Speaking of this, does anyone actually make an SD or microSD card slot cleaning card?
I could see something like this coming in handy if dirty contacts inside a card slot do develop resistance from who knows what, nicotine film from smoking, liquids entering the slot from a card dropped in soda etc.
I think it would be virtually impossible for someone to actually clean a card slots contacts today without using something like a DeoxIT type spray cleaner which many know, can ruin certain plastics and other finishes and sometimes even cause much more permanent damage.

Something more along the lines of a really super fine abrasive for those slots contacts that may have some type of buildup on them. Something similar to the "dry" type floppy disk head cleaner disks you used to be able to purchase. And maybe a wet "alcohol" (or similar) based cleaner for slots that have had known liquids enter into them somehow.

Of course cleaning an actual cards contacts can be done with little effort with a pencil eraser and caution but not out of the question.

I know for a fact that the connection between card and slot can cause noise to appear in an external amplified or unamplified speaker attached to a 536HP. Simply removing and reinserting a microSD card in the 536's slot is often enough to clean up the contacts and allow a better connection which produces less or no noise in the speaker.
This is not related to the headphone noise issue.
This noise I'm speaking of can sometimes be heard easier by using certain Class 10 or faster cards in at least the 536HP model. It is more pronounced when using amplified speakers' setup for BTL outputs also.
Simply reinserting the microSD card can sometimes eliminate the digital artifacts that one can hear while the scanner is doing its thing even with the volume all the way down.
Observing this with my own ears has always led me to believe there is some form of electrical resistance between the SD card and the slots contacts. By reinserting the card, it seems to cleanup the contacts enough to make a difference but not always.
 

AA6IO

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Have never actually removed the batteries from my 436HP. Always charge them in scanner, which I know many folks say never do, but this thing with the SD card has me concerned. Also, the holder for the SD card is so friggin flimsy, it is really a joke. No doubt the 436HP has many features, but a lot of things Uniden could have done better for the price. Having to rely on an SD card in a flimsy holder for your scanner to operate, and then go out on you when you remove batteries really isn't cool.
I like the scanner, but I shouldn't be afraid to take the batteries out of the thing.
Steve AA6IO
 

AA6IO

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Well just after reading my own post above, I said, what the heck, I'll remove the batteries, replace them, and see what happens. Started right back up with no problems. In retrospect, I did remove the batteries a couple of months ago and replaced original SD card with a SanDisk 8 Gb card, plus another backup care taped to inside cover.
OK, I'll start recharging the batteries in my external charger like I should.
Steve AA6IO
 

FeedForward

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I'm sure there are better card slots and worse card slots, but I'm still not finding the 1-to-1 correlation between re-inserting or cleaning a card and having the unit work normally. My phone has one of those cards too. It gets banged around and dropped and there has never been a hint of failure in 3 years. How many cell phone users have you seen removing their cards and using an eraser on the contacts? Zero. Seems more likely to me there's a weak link in the operating system that cannot deal with "pluggable" devices and cannot use a device that has not been dismounted cleanly....etc. etc.

FF
 
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jonwienke

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That of course is based on the assumption said device can even take advantage of a faster card.
Hence the "all else being equal" caveat.

Having a card capable of speed faster than the host device will not hurt anything; it will simply transfer data at the host device's maximum speed instead of the card's maximum speed.
 
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