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DMA Scanner Functions and Batteries


Display Questions

What are the little numbers that sometimes appear in the top/right corner of the display?

  • This is the battery voltage (handheld/portables like the BCD396t or BCD325P2) or the voltage and squelch settings (desktop/mobiles).
  • Those little volt numbers can be used to detect bad rechargeable AA batteries, simply put batteries into handheld without power, check voltage then turn on backlight on, if the voltage drops more than 2 or 3 one hundredth of a volt, you now know one of the batteries is nearing end of life, if it drops by 1 or 2 tenths you have seriously degraded batteries that could cause a fire hazard in any device used to recharge them, discontinue use immediately.
  • With power added on handheld/portables like the BCD396t, BCD325P2, BCD436HP typically the voltage should increase 1 tenths of a volt i.e. 3.75-3.85 or 2.65-2.75


What do the three numbers that appear sometimes at the bottom of the display mean?

  • These are the digital P25 threshold setting values. They are the voltage levels used by the internal analog-to-digital converter and unto the DSP, determining how the P25 signals are decoded. Please see the appropriate Easier to Read manual for your scanner for a good explanation of what these figures mean or See our P25_audio_decode_level_adjustment article for more details.

What is DSKP?

  • DSKP stands for Data Skip and appears on the display when it is turned on. It controls behavior when Searching and for Close Call when the scanner stops on a channel with a data signal. If On, it stops briefly, then immediately resumes scanning. If Off, it remains on the channel until the transmission stops. This is ignored for AM channels. The default is Off.

Function Issues

What key combinations exist for testing various modes?
or How do I initialize the memory in my scanner, or Clear the memory?

Can I go to a frequency directly without programming it into a system? Is there a VFO function?

  • Press HOLD, key in the frequency, then HOLD (not Enter). Then you can SCROLL to step frequency up or down the band, pressing HOLD again starts a Search from this point.

Display shows "ID SEARCH". How do I get back to "ID SCAN"?

  • While on that system, press the FUNC key and then press the SCAN button. You can also do it by just pressing the SCAN button while there are no active TGs on the system. In models with HP in the naming turn ID Search OFF in the System.

How do I go directly to a channel?

  1. While in HOLD mode, hit FUNC-7 (RCL), then select the system, group, and channel.
  2. Hit the HOLD button, then press the FUNC button and SCROLL to the system you want (using the scroll knob). When you get there, release the FUNC button and scroll to the channel you want. [Hint: If it's near the end of the list, scroll to the NEXT system then scroll backwards through the channels. The first scroll backwards will return to the previous system]

My scanner locks up while powering up on the opening screen. How can I fix this?

  • This is due to the dynamic database structure being corrupt. The only way Uniden been able to duplicate the issue is by disconnecting power while writing to the scanner from a PC. If this occurs while the database indexing is being updated (creating a system, site, channel, etc) the index will be broken. The only fix is a full reset/memory clear. In future f/w updates, the boot code will be modified to automatically do a memory clear if a broken index is encountered during startup. Meanwhile, if this happens to you, use the key sequence for memory clear and reboot (thanx UPMan).

The frequency I enter is changed by the scanner

  • Use the correct Frequency Step Size.

I get an 'over limit' message when trying to use Search and Store, but less than the max number of talkgroups in a group file are being used.

  • To fix this issue, use the following;
    • Menu-->Srch/CloCall Opt ---> Max Auto Store -----> change 256 to 255

Battery Issues

Problems/Questions about charging the 396t's batteries

  • First: To charge the batteries, the switch in the battery compartment must be in the "NI-MH" position to enable charging. If you plug-in your scanner, and it says "charge off" on the screen, the switch is in the "alkaline" position (and will not charge the batteries). Next, with the switch in the "NI-MH" position, once you start charging the batteries the screen with read "Normal charging." The 396t's internal charger uses a 14 hour timer to determine when the charging cycle is complete. After 14 continuous (that is, uninterrupted) hours of charging, the display will change to "Charge complete." Interrupting the 14 hour charging cycle (for example, by unpluging the scanner after only a couple of hours of charging), will cause the scanner to start the 14 hour cycle from the beginning again when you next attempt to charge your scanner.
  • It is highly recommended to use an external charger. Numerous users have noticed the batteries tend to get very hot after an extended charge. This has been widely documented as a cause of shorter battery life, and may cause damage in extreme cases.


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