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  • Scanner Reception Issues

    I currently have 2 Uniden Bearcat BC350A's. They are both in the same room on my computer desk, and more recently, I have noticed that both have had the same issue of reception. Even on frequencies where there was previously no problem, transmissions come in fuzzy, and fade out, then fade back in. This gets very annoying especially when trying to listen to a call-out or the like. Does anyone have any suggestions of how to fix this? The main issue seems to be in the 400 MHZ range. I do have a cordless phone on the desk too, but I don't think that would be causing an issue. can anyone help?

  • #2
    Have you put any new electronics or appliances in your house? Have your neighbors? Is it only during a certain time of day? Did you change the location of the scanners or antennas?

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    • #3
      I have noticed similar problems in the 400Mhz range that have been attributed to various issues such as:

      New company nearby causing bleed-over with their new "state-of-the-art" system. (Completely screwed up EVERYTHING in 400 for me)

      Due to what I have been told is "leakage", power supplies (such as what you find in your computer) as well as motors which you will find turning your dvd/cd drives will cause SEVERE interference in this bandwidth.

      Bad antenna connections.

      Try locating your scanner or antenna away from (turn the antenna so that the antenna will be on a different plane than) the source of the noise/interference.



      These are just a couple of hints/tips. I may be completely out to lunch on all this and may know absolutely NOTHING about which I am rambling....... Who knows?
      Stupid People.......Providing Job Security to Public Safety Professionals for ........forever

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      • #4
        I'm sure our resident radio guy, nmfire will be along to comment on this for you soon. He really knows his stuff and even though I'm active in the scanner hobby he has a way of explaining things that I admire so I usually sit back and read his stuff.
        In the mean time, try the forums at Radio Reference- http://www.radioreference.com/ . It's a website for scanner people with lots of info from people in the know. You should be albe to find all the help you need there.
        Good Luck,
        Steve
        EMT/Security Officer

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        • #5
          This one is a no brainer. move the scanners away from your computer monitor!

          That's it!

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          • #6
            I had terrible reception because we live in a valley, with mountains all around. Of course it isn't any better for the pagers or portable radios either. So I put up one of those ham radio antennas that look like a porqupine that radio shack sells. Spliced it into three coaxl cables w/ BNC connectors and right into the scanners. Worked great... Didn't expect lightning to bypass the roof and hit above the bedroom window. Obliterated the antenna, lightning arrestors on the line saved the scanners... I should have grounded the antenna.

            Computer doesn't bother it, but I do have a machine that makes business cards and every time I push a key, the scanners go nuts.

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            • #7
              Here's another one I thought of... has it been just mainly this summer? And maybe somebody else could answer this, but what's the possiblility of solar flares causeing interference? I know they do with TV antennas.

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              • #8
                Ensure when using solar flares that they are far enough away from the scene so that they do not ignite flamable material.
                Psychiatrists state 1 in 4 people has a mental illness.
                Look at three of your friends, if they are ok, your it.

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                • #9
                  There is a million things that can cause the interference. Check all of the cables and wires around the scanner. If any are ripped open they maybe be transmitting or in the case of antenna cable, recieving interference. If the shielding is shot replace the cable. Computers, although they are not supposed to, can put out a ton of interference is stuff is not properly shielded. Also check to see if any of your neighbors have put up any ham shacks or antennas. If they are the ones interfering then they must fix the problem, whether its buying you filters for your stuff or doing a better job of protecting against rf leakage on their stuff.

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                  • #10
                    Originally posted by 38ffems
                    Also check to see if any of your neighbors have put up any ham shacks or antennas. If they are the ones interfering then they must fix the problem, whether its buying you filters for your stuff or doing a better job of protecting against rf leakage on their stuff.
                    Not true. If the ham station is set up properly and is being operated as it is supposed to be under it's license the owner is not obligated to fix or buy filters for your stuff. It's up to you to properly shield your stuff. Don't blame the ham if your scanners were built by a company looking to save a couple of dollars by not shielding them correctly at the factory.

                    Steve
                    Ham Operator- KC5SAS
                    Steve
                    EMT/Security Officer

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                    • #11
                      Sorry, I am an operator as well, I meant if the interference is caused intentionally or because the shack is essentially a craphole with wires and shoddy equipment leaking rf all over the place then it needs to be fixed. I haven't really done jack with my license, i got it 6 months ago and have only used it like 5-6 times. Anyways, it can be a lot of things and it may be hard to find. Try hooking the scanners up in different locations in your house and around the area and see if that clears up the problem.

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                      • #12
                        There is an easy way to check equipment vs something broader here. I'm guessing you have the little rear mounted antennas on these scanners since you didn't mention any outside antenna installation. Unplug the power supplies from the wall and bring the scanners into another room. Plug them in and see if its any better. You might even try just moving them to a different area in the same room. Just get them somewhere away from where they are now. This will tell you if it is a localized problem at your desk or if the signal isn't even making it to your house anymore. If it works in another room, the problem is at your desk and most likely the a component of the computers.

                        If it still isn't working, then either both scanners broke or something new is preventing that signal from reaching your home. I doubt they both broke so I'd put my money on something funky out there between your house and the radio tower.

                        This could be a problem with your radio system itself. If it's a repeater system, you might have a duplexor, combiner, or circulator that took a dump or is out of tune. The PA on the transmitter could be toast. The antenna/coax/connectors could be damaged from water or lightning.

                        A new system would have to be very close to your house and very close in frequency to desense your receiver. I'd really lean more towards a problem in your house or with the equipment.
                        Even the burger-flippers at McDonald's probably have some McWackers.

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                        • #13
                          There he is.
                          Steve
                          EMT/Security Officer

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                          • #14
                            It's those damn martians......
                            "Loyalty Above all Else. Except Honor."

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                            • #15
                              Originally posted by cellblock
                              There he is.
                              Yes, I made my grand re-entrance. I would have answered sooner but I've been in EMD class for the last three days so I've had a slight disconnect with the rest of the world. Now I'm stuck at work doing doubles all weekend so I'll be here just itching for something to type while I'm bored.
                              Even the burger-flippers at McDonald's probably have some McWackers.

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