Uniden HP1 VHF High Band Dead?

Status
Not open for further replies.

jm32935

Member
Premium Subscriber
Joined
Sep 26, 2011
Messages
21
For some reason I lost all sensitivity on my vhf high systems for my HP1. While the upper bands and p25 decoding are normal, could it be possible that 1 band could go defunct. By the way, VHF Hi Aircraft seems to be fine.

There are no new sources of desensitizing since even my weather band channels are static full but somewhat audible.

The kicker is I just got it back from Uniden Repair and they found nothing wrong but apparently only talked about testing with a p25 system.

Called Uniden back but cannot get anyone in repair.
Would there be a firmware fix?

I have 2.5 now.

Thanks listeners!!!!
 

n3617400

Member
Joined
Jun 28, 2013
Messages
217
For some reason I lost all sensitivity on my vhf high systems for my HP1. While the upper bands and p25 decoding are normal, could it be possible that 1 band could go defunct. By the way, VHF Hi Aircraft seems to be fine.
each band has own (analog) band-pass filter.
one of these could break.

Would there be a firmware fix?
I have 2.5 now.
try rollback to 2.04 or 2.03
 

kruser

Active Member
Premium Subscriber
Joined
Nov 25, 2007
Messages
4,268
Location
West St Louis Cnty, MO
As was mentioned, there is a bandpass filter section for each band the radio can tune. After the BP filters, there are the bands RF sections which contain the 1st and 2nd RF amp transistors in simple terms.
Some older radios had an RF stage before the bandpass filters but then all bands would be affected if your 1st RF amp went out.

My guess is the 1st RF amp failed in yours. It could also easily be the BP section but those contain more passive components along with a couple varactor or pin diodes. They usually also turn on/off the needed RF section and 2nd mixer stages needed for the band you are tuning.

Unfortunately, those sections of the RF board are also the part of the board that is covered by black (usually) epoxy. When they forced manufacturers to block the old AMPS cell band, people found they could alter the BP section and regain cell reception via images in other ranges of the scanner. So the rules regarding blocking cell phone reception were rewritten and now forced the manufacturers to also restrict access to the BP section so the radios could not tune cell band via images.
The easy (and usually only) way to achieve this new rule was to limit access to the BP section and its wiring or copper traces.
The downside is that it makes component level repairs almost impossible.
Sometimes you get lucky and can still get at the RF amp transistors.
But... about the same time as the cell band hit the manufacturers, Uniden also stopped supplying service manuals so it would be really hard to determine what is what in the radio.

As n3617400 also said, you could try reverting back to an older FW version in hopes it will reset something. I think there also may be a reset button in the battery compartment but not positive on that. It's been a while since I used my HP-1!
That is worth a try though.

I guess the other question that comes to mind is your saying that Uniden did not repair it during a recent trip to them for service. I assume that trip was for this problem?
If so, I'd send it back with a nice note saying you sent it in for this problem but it was returned unrepaired along with a copy of the original repair ticket showing they only checked the radio with P25 systems and likely only in the 800 MHz band to boot.

In the worst case, Uniden offers a flat rate repair service that is just under $50 dollars. So even if the problem is in an epoxied area, they would repair it for the flat rate fee. I'd imagine they just swap the RF board.
If you paid them for the 1st repair attempt, they should not charge you again as they did not fix anything.
I know Uniden just moved in the last couple weeks so many are complaining of unanswered calls into their service center. Try searching the threads here in the Uniden forums as I think someone posted a better or new service center phone number.
If they charged you but did not repair the problem, as far as I'm concerned, they should also cover the shipping costs to send it in again but good luck with that.

Have you made sure you have not turned on a global attenuator? Your mention of the air band still working makes me think it is not on but it's still worth checking.

I think UPMan once mentioned the majority of the units they receive back for repair are fine and the user had enabled the global attenuator.

UPMan may also see your thread here and offer assistance in getting your unit back in for a proper repair.
 

N0UDG

Member
Premium Subscriber
Joined
Aug 1, 2011
Messages
868
If you have another scanner you might try it on your antenna system to make for sure it has not got a new problem. Several people have had connector or adapter problems with their coaxial cables from their antenna. Although I would not really expect it to only affect the VHF band perhaps 800 MHz would be more likely or all the bands so this is a bit of a long shot.
 

jm32935

Member
Premium Subscriber
Joined
Sep 26, 2011
Messages
21
Thanks For The Info

I live here in Texas so I was thinking about dropping it off in person back to the service center in Roanoke.

I will try pressing the reset button, it is definitely only affecting VHF hi since my NOAA station is barely audible and full of static.
It works fine on my Pro-96.

How would I revert back to an older firmware version?

From Sentinel, it only checks for updates.

Thanks all.
 

kruser

Active Member
Premium Subscriber
Joined
Nov 25, 2007
Messages
4,268
Location
West St Louis Cnty, MO
I live here in Texas so I was thinking about dropping it off in person back to the service center in Roanoke.

I will try pressing the reset button, it is definitely only affecting VHF hi since my NOAA station is barely audible and full of static.
It works fine on my Pro-96.

How would I revert back to an older firmware version?

From Sentinel, it only checks for updates.

Thanks all.
Ask around here and see if someone will send you an older version or search this or one of the other Uniden forums and I think there is a link to openuniden or something like that. The site has copies of many older firmwares for several models including the HP-1.
In order to revert back, you just plug the HP1 in and wait a few seconds until it is assigned a drive letter.
Once that happens, copy the older firmware file into the "firmware" sub-folder under the root folder of the HP1's drive letter. Once the file is there, simply unplug the USB cable and the HP1 will see there is a FW file sitting there and it will apply it. It will show you on the scanners screen that it is updating the firmware.
I would not go back more than one version though.

You can do the same thing by placing the SD card in a card reader and copying the file onto the card that way. Then put the card back in the HP1 and when you power it up, it will see the FW file on the card and apply it.
You do not use Sentinel at all to do this.
 

jm32935

Member
Premium Subscriber
Joined
Sep 26, 2011
Messages
21
Firmware

I hit the reset button but my High Band is still weak.
Looks like it needs to go back for repair.

I am suprised they didnt catch the problem when it was there two weeks ago.
I should have been (Band) specific when I sent it the first time I guess.

Thanks all once again.
 

UPMan

In Memoriam
Uniden Representative
Joined
Apr 19, 2004
Messages
13,296
Location
Arlington, TX
Actually, the EEPROM that stores firmware has a limited write-cycle. Many more than would be expected during the product's life, but still enough to discourage me from ever recommending a gratuitous firmware re-write.
 

n3617400

Member
Joined
Jun 28, 2013
Messages
217
Actually, the EEPROM that stores firmware has a limited write-cycle. Many more than would be expected during the product's life, but still enough to discourage me from ever recommending a gratuitous firmware re-write.
Flash memory in HP1: MXIC MX29GL128E
Open datasheet and ...
Typical: 100000 erase/program cycle (link)
 

jm32935

Member
Premium Subscriber
Joined
Sep 26, 2011
Messages
21
Atten Off

Atten is off and I checked it in Sentinel as well as Arc Patrol to make sure it was off on all channels.
 

kruser

Active Member
Premium Subscriber
Joined
Nov 25, 2007
Messages
4,268
Location
West St Louis Cnty, MO
Actually, the EEPROM that stores firmware has a limited write-cycle. Many more than would be expected during the product's life, but still enough to discourage me from ever recommending a gratuitous firmware re-write.
Thanks for that heads up Paul.
I encountered the same with one of the ex competitions radios but it was a result of everyday programming of the working memory which was written to EEPROM. It even had a much greater write cycle limit but I still managed to exceed it. More users are starting to report the same failure with that model line as well.
I was able to swap the chip in the other radio but it is not a job I'd wish to do very often even with the correct tools. My eyes are no longer what they were several years ago.

That radio used a chip with only 8 pins so it could be swapped using conventional tools if needed. No way could the FW eeprom in the HP-1 be swapped like that.

I've rolled back the FW in my HP-1 before but only if the new version had a negative impact that many users also reported. I've also done it for my own comparison tests when I suspected the current running version may be causing an issue. I think only once did I find that an older version worked better for a particular system.
I figure I should have 99,900 writes left give or take a few if the chip is really good for 100,000 cycles.

That is only if the chip does not have a cell or block of cells fail prematurely. I've seen that happen more than once (not in a Uniden product!).
 

jm32935

Member
Premium Subscriber
Joined
Sep 26, 2011
Messages
21
HP1 High Band Dead

Well folks just received a replacement HP1 from Uniden Repair within 7 days!!!
There must have been a problem with the old one.

Thanks for the advice.

One remaining issue is my old Extreme Upgrade Key is not working in the new unit.

Do they issue replacement keys when you exchange a unit for service?

Thanks!!
 
Status
Not open for further replies.
Top