Uniden GPS puck

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wbswetnam

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Since I'm planning to take a long road trip this summer, I broke down and got the ProVoice upgrade for my 536HP and installed the unit in my car. I already had the GPS puck, so I mounted it on the lower part of the central console of the car.

Question 1: Is it OK to leave the GPS plugged in to the cigarette lighter indefinitely, without fear of draining down the battery? I imagine that its current draw is very small.

Question 2: Is there a more inventive way to power the GPS puck than using the cigarette lighter that it comes with? I wish that Uniden had found a way to power the GPS puck via the scanner itself, instead of requiring an external 12V power supply.
 

marksmith

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The gps puck will eventually draw down your battery if always on and you don't charge for a couple days. Also, mounted on the lower part of the console might not be the best mount location for continuous satellite connection.

As far as power, be careful. Many have fried their puck powering direct from fuse box or other. I think it has a voltage stepdown in the cable or plug.

536/436/ws1095/996p2/996xt/325p2/396xt/psr800/396t/HP-1/HP-2 & others
 

phask

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I have a similar Garmin. Left it on one winter for several days and dead battery.

If it runs every day and a good battert I'd say probably Ok.
 

ofd8001

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Yeah I found out the hard way to not cut the plug off and direct wire to 12 V.

After making that mistake, I got a 12 male to female extension cable and cut off the male end and stripped the wires. After carefully ensuring correct polarity, I direct wired the cable to a switched 12 V circuit. Then the power plug for the puck was inserted into the female end of the the extension cable and secured with electrical tape.

That way the GPS device is powered when the ignition is on and off otherwise. So far its worked well.

As marksmith noted, the best place is where the puck itself can see the sky to receive data from the satellites. I have mine on the dashboard.
 

Trucker700

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I think the GPS puck needs only 5 volts. The lighter plug probably has a circuit in it to reduce the voltage.
trucker700
 

wbswetnam

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Even with the puck's location at the lower part of the central console, it still seems to make good contact with satellites. Within seconds of being turned on, it begins slowly blinking, indicating that it has satellite lock.
 

DJ11DLN

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The puck runs on 5V. The 12V plug has a voltage converter in it.

If you want to be one of the really cool kids, install a GPS module in the scanner itself. There are a number of GPS modules available that can be installed inside the scanner, eliminating the need for external wiring.

https://forums.radioreference.com/u...ed-bcd-436hp-make-yourself-3.html#post2779822
I doubt that would work with his 536, both due to the metal case and where he probably has it mounted in the car.
 

jonwienke

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Actually, there are 2 ways it can work. You can make a cutout in the top of the case for the GPS antenna, and some GPS modules have a jack for an external antenna. You run a pigtail from the module with a SMA connector on the other end, and then connect an external antenna to the SMA connector.

https://www.amazon.com/Amplified-SMA-M-External-GlobalSat-Receivers/dp/B000CNIEGC

The external antenna is powered by the GPS module, rather than additional wiring like the Uniden puck. But in most cases, the patch antenna on the top of the scanner case would have adequate reception. The 436 mods I've done will get satellite lock under a seat.
 

mikewazowski

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I installed a ttl to rs232 converter in the scanner and ran the three pigtail wires needed for the GPS through the empty screw hole in the back.

I used a GP-735 module and affixed it to the rear top of the case with a small dab of hot melt glue.

Hardly noticeable and got rid of the mess of wires that come with using the Uniden GPS puck.
 
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wbswetnam

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I doubt that would work with his 536, both due to the metal case and where he probably has it mounted in the car.
Because Siren doesn't work worth a $&!!@!, I have had to mount the radio on the right side of the console (of a 2013 Ford Fiesta), facing up, such that I have to read the display like a book resting length end. So, this is why I have the GPS puck mounted away from the unit, in the center of the console.
 

DJ11DLN

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Because Siren doesn't work worth a $&!!@!, I have had to mount the radio on the right side of the console (of a 2013 Ford Fiesta), facing up, such that I have to read the display like a book resting length end. So, this is why I have the GPS puck mounted away from the unit, in the center of the console.
I've had my 436 for about a week and am not a fan of the display either. Also my Whistler/GRE/RS scanners are kicking its butt on the Hoosier Safe-T TSYS. Super price or no, I'm really starting to question whether I made the right decision or not in getting it. I definitely shouldn't have ordered the second one. It's in at Walmart now, I'll be going to get it later...but it might end up just shoved in the closet for the time being. Maybe I can put it on the classifieds in a few months and get my money back.:mad:

Hopefully, the GPS function, whether with a puck or the internal chip mod, will justify my purchase. I'll know in a couple of weeks.
 

wbswetnam

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Really, I would prefer to use the wi-fi dongle / Siren to control the radio via a conveniently mounted old Samsung Galaxy 2 that I have, but the Siren app crashes so frequently that it is not practical to use. When you are driving the car, you don't want to have to stop by the side of the road to cycle power on the scanner, reset the AP connection, and restart the app, every ten to fifty miles.

The Siren app typically runs 10 to 45 minutes, then it crashes and you must go through the above procedure to reset it.
 

jonwienke

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Also my Whistler/GRE/RS scanners are kicking its butt on the Hoosier Safe-T TSYS.
What antenna are you using on the 436? The factory rubber duck isn't very good; the Diamond RH77CA is much better.
 

DJ11DLN

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What antenna are you using on the 436? The factory rubber duck isn't very good; the Diamond RH77CA is much better.
I have tried the Diamond and also the RS800 duck. It's just not catching as much traffic as the others do given antenna & location parity. I don't think I even powered it on with the stock duck attached...I've never heard of one that was better than mediocre.

Also am only scanning those sites that I can receive here. I haven't given up yet. I had only programmed a couple of X36s for people before, they took things from there. The learning curve is steep and I'm sure if I'd gotten into modern computer-programmed scanners with a Uniden I'd be happier with it.

I'm borrowing a puck from an acquaintance for a minor road trip this weekend. GPS performance will be the determining factor for me; if it does well for me I'll pop for the DMR upgrade and just use it for long trips. I already can't really see it replacing my other scanners for day-to-day use. Audio quality is more "mush-mouthed" than any of my other scanners, though I imagine that I could train my ears to deal with that.
 

jonwienke

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The 436 speaker is tiny--it has to be given its size. For base use, an external speaker like this is a good idea:

https://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B01LZV6TYQ

The only caveat is that you need to run the speaker off its own AC-to-USB adapter to eliminate ground loop issues.

What threshold settings are you using on the SAFE-T system sites?

Have you updated to the latest beta firmware? It improves p25 decoding vs the current release.
 

Ensnared

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Vehicle-Specific

Since I'm planning to take a long road trip this summer, I broke down and got the ProVoice upgrade for my 536HP and installed the unit in my car. I already had the GPS puck, so I mounted it on the lower part of the central console of the car.

Question 1: Is it OK to leave the GPS plugged in to the cigarette lighter indefinitely, without fear of draining down the battery? I imagine that its current draw is very small.

Question 2: Is there a more inventive way to power the GPS puck than using the cigarette lighter that it comes with? I wish that Uniden had found a way to power the GPS puck via the scanner itself, instead of requiring an external 12V power supply.
I owned a Nissan versa that allowed me to keep the GPS plugged up; however, the power was activated by the ignition. On the other hand, my Canyon pickup has an outlet that is always live. If I were to keep the GPS plugged up, I would surely have a dead battery in time.
 

UPMan

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I kept a GPS on a previous vehicle (2003 Prius) 24/7 for over 5 years. Never had a battery issue (including when I left the car at airport parking for a month on several separate occasions). Current draw is very low.
 
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