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Uniden 980SSB S-Meter Problem

chief21

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Recently hooked up a Uniden 980SSB that I've had for years, but hasn't been connected to power for quite a while. For the first few hours, everything seemed normal. But then I noticed that the S-meter display shows full deflection at all times, on all channels, antenna connected or disconnected makes no difference. The actual radio functions do not appear to be affected - receive seems normal and other display functions seem OK, except for the wonky S-meter.

Has anyone encountered this before? Thanks in advance for any suggestions.
 

GrayJeep

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In some radios the S meter moves up when the RF gain is turned down (to less RF gain). I don't know about this one but this is something to investigate if you have no other ideas.
 

chief21

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...the S-meter display shows full deflection at all times, on all channels, antenna connected or disconnected, makes no difference.
Problem Solved! For those that might refer to this thread in the future, I was seriously considering sending the radio back to Uniden for repair, but I thought I'd just open up the radio to look for any obvious problems. Once opened up, I decided to re-seat all of the connections between the mainboard and the display board. I can't say which of the connectors was the likely source of the problem, but my main suspect is the single ribbon cable. I have read many reports of poor ribbon cable connections in other brands of radios built in China. After I re-seated both ends of the ribbon cable, everything now appears to be working normally.
 

GrayJeep

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Connectors are the most evil of electronic components. Reseating things is always a good idea. Congrats on an easy fix!
 

kb7gjy

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Slightly off topic, 980SSB. I have had 2 within 2 months after the warranty expired, displays failing. Separate vehicles, Brand new when installed. I checked voltage to radio (in spec, under all conditions), SWR in spec (on a Bird watt meter). I sent a 3rd one back while it was still in warranty and they replaced the display. I just find it odd I had 3 that have had the same issue, in different vehicles.

Just wonder if anyone else had this problem.

Thank you
 

WB9YBM

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I have had 2 within 2 months after the warranty expired, displays failing.
Just wonder if anyone else had this problem.
I've heard the same problem reported in Kenwood, several years ago. According to the Kenwood technician that I talked to, the display's current limiting resistors are a bit low in value (i.e. not dropping enough voltage/limiting enough current) so that the customer has a nice, bright display that can more easily be seen in a bright environment (like in a car). Because of this the displays liked to burn out.

I wonder if the same situation exists in the 980SSB that you mentioned?
 

kb7gjy

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I've heard the same problem reported in Kenwood, several years ago. According to the Kenwood technician that I talked to, the display's current limiting resistors are a bit low in value (i.e. not dropping enough voltage/limiting enough current) so that the customer has a nice, bright display that can more easily be seen in a bright environment (like in a car). Because of this the displays liked to burn out.

I wonder if the same situation exists in the 980SSB that you mentioned?
Possible. But I know one of the radios was always set to a very low level on brightness.
 

iMONITOR

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Problem Solved! For those that might refer to this thread in the future, I was seriously considering sending the radio back to Uniden for repair, but I thought I'd just open up the radio to look for any obvious problems. Once opened up, I decided to re-seat all of the connections between the mainboard and the display board. I can't say which of the connectors was the likely source of the problem, but my main suspect is the single ribbon cable. I have read many reports of poor ribbon cable connections in other brands of radios built in China. After I re-seated both ends of the ribbon cable, everything now appears to be working normally.
Currently the 980SSB is manufactured in Vietnam. Only the packaging is made in China.

Ribbon cables and edge connectors used to be flash plated with gold, not any more. Therein lies the problem.
 
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