Updating firmware on BCD396t without using the AC adapter

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eahuntley

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I would really like to update the firmware on my BCD396t, but the AC adapter was stolen when my car was broken into a few months ago. Is there any way to get around this? I typically just recharge my batteries in an external charger.

If there isn't a way around it, does anyone know the cheapest place to get an adapter?(I know scanner master has them, I'm just curious if there's somewhere else that might be cheaper)
 

trap5858

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You don't need the AC adapter to do any software modifications- just fresh batteries. You could try rat shack and get on that is generic but has the right output and the right plug (correct size and polarity) It should not be a big deal.
 

Dewey

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Firmware modifications to the 396T and XT must be made with the batteries out and plugging in external power while holding the correct keys. Eahuntly, I'm going from memory right now, but IIRC, the 396 uses the Rat Shack "B" adaptor.

Dewey
 

soncorn

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You can do it without the AC adapter.

Make sure the batteries are out, then follow the procedure with the key press, then while holding the keys down (I don't remember what they are off the top of my head) insert the batteries.

The scanner will power on in the mode for updating the firmware. Make sure the batteries are fresh.

I know it works because I have done it.

Edited to add:

Okay, I looked up the instructions. When the instructions say to hold down L/O + 6 and insert AC adapter, instead of inserting AC adapter put the batteries in. The easiest is to have 2 of the 3 batteries installed and have the third not quite installed. Then while holding down L/O + 6 you can pop the third battery in.
 
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UPMan

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A low-battery power state during firmware writing could cause a write failure. This is not catastrophic, as the "boot" portion of the ROM is never overwritten, so recovery is always possible by repeating the steps to update the firmware. If you opt to use batteries only and not AC, make sure they are in good shape and fully charged. (You do not have to remove the batteries if using batteries for the update. Turn off, press L/O+6 and then the power button.)
 

eahuntley

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You can do it without the AC adapter.

Make sure the batteries are out, then follow the procedure with the key press, then while holding the keys down (I don't remember what they are off the top of my head) insert the batteries.

The scanner will power on in the mode for updating the firmware. Make sure the batteries are fresh.

I know it works because I have done it.

Edited to add:

Okay, I looked up the instructions. When the instructions say to hold down L/O + 6 and insert AC adapter, instead of inserting AC adapter put the batteries in. The easiest is to have 2 of the 3 batteries installed and have the third not quite installed. Then while holding down L/O + 6 you can pop the third battery in.


A low-battery power state during firmware writing could cause a write failure. This is not catastrophic, as the "boot" portion of the ROM is never overwritten, so recovery is always possible by repeating the steps to update the firmware. If you opt to use batteries only and not AC, make sure they are in good shape and fully charged. (You do not have to remove the batteries if using batteries for the update. Turn off, press L/O+6 and then the power button.)

Thanks for the help guys. It's a relief to know I don't have to go buy an adapter just to update my firmware. I usually have a set of batteries charging in an external charger and typically swap them every morning, so low batteries shouldn't be an issue.
 

eahuntley

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So, I'm trying to update the firmware right now (from 2.00), and it's taking what seems like an extraordinarily long time. After an hour it only showed 3 bars on the status bar. I started over, and now I'm about 20 minutes into it, and have 2 bars. Is this normal? Should it be taking this long?
 

XTS3000

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So, I'm trying to update the firmware right now (from 2.00), and it's taking what seems like an extraordinarily long time. After an hour it only showed 3 bars on the status bar. I started over, and now I'm about 20 minutes into it, and have 2 bars. Is this normal? Should it be taking this long?
Not normal! It takes no more than 10-12 minutes to upgrade the firmware.

Try and find an XP machine with real serial port and try that.
 

eahuntley

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Not normal! It takes no more than 10-12 minutes to upgrade the firmware.

Try and find an XP machine with real serial port and try that.
I finally got it to work late last night. I rebooted my system again(I already had rebooted it atleast once since installing the installer) and it worked like a charm. I think the only machine I have access to with a real serial port is still running windows 2000, although that probably would have worked as well.
 

acurayyz

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I was updating the firmware and something catastrophic happened!!! My batteries fell out after I knocked the scanner over. Yeah, the cover was off....

Now the thing is not powering up AT ALL with any batteries I put in! Oh boy, I just got this thing today (used) and it's already a $200 paperweight. DAMNIT!!!!!!

Someone please help me out!
 

UPMan

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Which update were you doing?

In 99.93824% of cases, simply starting from step 1 (hold the specified buttons down while you apply power) will cause the unit to enter the firmware update mode and you just continue on.
 

acurayyz

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Which update were you doing?

In 99.93824% of cases, simply starting from step 1 (hold the specified buttons down while you apply power) will cause the unit to enter the firmware update mode and you just continue on.
oh thank god. I tried that a few times but it didn't work till I re-arranged the batteries. I heard you were the Uniden specialist and you came through! Do you like steak? lobster? cavier? It's on me! :D :D :D
 
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UPMan

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If you have no AC adapter, firmware update is very dangerous. Also, IIRC, you have to be holding the 3 buttons while you insert the last battery to go into update mode.

Be very sure that the batteries are fully charged and you should be OK. Low battery during EEPROM writing could cause non-trivial problems.
 

acurayyz

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I am now trying to update the firmware using the Uniden VUP. It starts the process.."erasing" then gives me an error to check that the scanner is connected and on external power...any ideas for this? THe scanner is on and in firmware upgrade mode.

I'm using a USB to serial cable. I cannot lower the baud rate below 38,400 on the Uniden software despite being able to lower it in the computer's device manager. Tomorrow I'll try to hook up an old machine that has a serial port to try the update.
 
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acurayyz

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Thanks to Uniden and their dinosaur cable technology, only a computer with a serial port would work to update the firmware. The scanner is back in action!
 

ProScan

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Thanks to Uniden and their dinosaur cable technology, only a computer with a serial port would work to update the firmware. The scanner is back in action!
I have updated firmware using USB to serial cables. You must not have been doing it correctly.
 
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