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Replace a Blown Speaker in the 396


Before you order and replace the speaker, check to see if the speaker is actually blown or if not, means something is wrong, I.e. driver transistor(s) need to be replaced and you'll need to get the radio repaired.

The speaker on my BCD 396 went dead, and I decided to replace it myself. I obtained a replacement speaker from Techcomm International in Oakville, Ontario and proceeded to install it. Also available at 123radios.com and directly from Uniden.

If you have a 325P2, its a different speaker.

The steps I followed are outlined below.

Note: Opening the 396 to replace the speaker on your own may invalidate your warranty. Proceed at your own risk.

Tools Required: #0 Phillips Screwdriver, Soldering Iron, Small Utility Knife

  1. Remove the battery cover and 3 batteries from the rear of the unit.

  2. Remove the 4 screws located on the back cover, and the 2 screws located within the battery compartment

  3. Separate the rear cover by pulling it straight back from the main unit. You may have to wiggle it a bit to free it up, since the rubber “Menu/Function” and “A/C Adapter” covers are partly form-fitted into this half of the rear plastic cover.

  4. Laying the unit down on its’ front, remove the 6 screws holding the two interior circuit boards to the front of the unit.

  5. After removing the 6 circuit board screws, carefully separate the boards from the front of the unit and lay them on a flat surface, sandwich-style, to allow you to work on the speaker, which is attached to the front cover.

  6. Be aware the two circuit boards are wired together… Be careful not to separate any wires as you are handling the disassembled unit.

    At this point, note the white wire is connected to the positive speaker terminal and the grey wire is connected to the negative speaker terminal.

  7. Use the soldering iron to free the speaker leads from the speaker. Don’t apply the hot iron for very long; about a half-to-one second contact should free the speaker leads. Detach the leads from the speaker.

  8. My old speaker was a press fit into the speaker slot, but was secured by 2 fold-over plastic tabs and a small amount of a silicone-type glue. I used the soldering iron to “melt” back the securing plastic tabs, and the utility knife to cut a ring around the silicone-type glue (around the speaker circumference) to free the speaker from the enclosure. It did require a bit of careful prying from the case to finally pop free.

  9. Install the new speaker in the speaker slot, and using the soldering iron, melt a bit of the plastic tabs back over the rear of the speaker. There was a bit of the silicone-type glue still left on the speaker enclosure, and this insured a tight press-fit into the speaker slot.

  10. Re-solder the connections to the new speaker; white wire to positive, grey wire to negative. Again, no more than a half-second to a second contact with the soldering iron should secure the speaker connections.

  11. Re-assemble the unit with these caveats (“Gotcha’s”) in mind:

    1. Make sure the speaker wires are properly nestled between the “tabs” in the enclosure. This prevents any catching of the leads when re-assembling the unit. See the pic.

    2. Make sure the rubber “Function/Menu” and “A/C Adapter” rubber covers are properly inserted into the rear and front covers before attaching the rear cover to the rest of the unit.

  • Total time for the installation was about 20 minutes, not counting camera set-up time. Here is a gallery of photos - click on the desired image to enlarge it.

Hope this helps anyone who decides to replace their own 396 speaker.

thanks to olex126 for this procedure


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