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Working with Scanners with Secure Digital (SD) Cards

From The RadioReference Wiki

Welcome to scanners with microSD cards article. This page on Secure Digital cards from Wikipedia has a great deal of useful information and explanations on the various terms. If a particular tip is specific to a particular model, please be sure to mention that in the description. Details Matter - the more details you supply, the better this article will become. This article should be a repository for hints, tips, known issues and fixes regarding: use, formatting, loading and other issues that involve scanners utilizing Secure Digitals - microSD cards:

GRE Radio Shack Uniden Whistler
PSR-700 Pro-18 HP-1 WS1080
PSR-800 Pro-107 HP-2 WS1088
Pro-668 BCD436HP WS1095
BCD536HP WS1098
SDS100 TRX-1
SDS200 TRX-2


In addition the following receivers use SD Cards;


If you wish to replace your SD card, see the Replacement SD Cards Thread


General Tips and Information

ALWAYS unmount/eject!
  • The computer sees your scanner as a USB memory drive/device. After reading from/writing to the scanner make sure to unmount or "eject" the drive before unplugging it from the computer. Failing to do so can corrupt the card, requiring a reformat and reinstall of the scanner system.


Many of you have questions about Boot/Load times of the GRE/RS/Whistler microSD card scanners
  • At boot, the code looks through the entire File Allocation Table, counting “free” clusters. This is necessary so that we know how much free space is available on the card at startup. The number of clusters that must be counted is directly related to the size of the card. As a result, a change in card capacity at a minimum will impact the “Init SD FileSys” time. In addition to card size, the “Verifying Data” time is dependent on the usage of the card and is heavily dependent on file system fragmentation, used space, etc. Thanks WhistlerWendy


My microSD Card has failed or I want to replace it with a larger capacity secondary card, or make a back-up card. What microSD cards are compatible? Generally, How do I format the microSD card for use?
  • Some types and/or brands of microSD cards, up to 32GB, are supported. For GRE/RS/Whistler as long as it is formatted correctly:
    • 2GB or smaller: FAT16, 32kB clusters
    • larger than 2GB: FAT32, 32kB clusters
    • SanDisk and Transcend cards from Class 2 to 6 and up to 32 GB are known to work correctly. Some 4 GB PNY cards have worked while others have not. Other brands have been known to cause issues and could not be recognized by the GRE/RS/Whistler PC based OOS.
    • Larger capacity memory cards (16-32 GB) have been reported to take longer for the GRE/RS/Whistler PC based OOS to read, boot up and become operational.
    • The SD association recommends using their SD memory card format tool. They say Windows does not properly format SD cards. Their tool can be found here


My scanner's keypad is slow to respond to a keypress or key-presses, what should I do.
  • Invest in a faster class of microSD card, though a bigger card may not be utilized to it's full potential, the speed of boot may indeed be faster, without the boot speed hit GRE/RS/Whistlers take for bigger cards.


What may be a cause of the scanner rebooting itself, acting weird or strange?
  • MicroSD Cards have a so-called "FAT File Limit"; they're issues related to the amount of files (not size) to be saved, before a larger card is filled: i.e 5Gb of a 16Gb card w/ between 55k and 65k files written. This may cause these scanners to begin to show signs that the data may be corrupt and the scanner reboots itself. See the question above for information on replacing SD cards.


Can I turn off the constant writing to the microSD card? (436 /536)
  • Yes, you can. The "Replay" option is what is always writing to the SD card. It is writing continuously so the last received audio (how much depends on your setting) can be replayed. In order to do this, it is constantly recording to the SD card. As of firmware 1.09.02, Uniden added an "Off" option to the list, which disables this feature entirely. The downside - you can't replay missed audio. The upside, is it's not writing to your SD card ALL THE TIME. To turn this off, do the following:
  1. Click "Menu"
  2. Scroll to "Settings" and select it.
  3. Scroll to "Replay Options" and select it.
  4. Select "Set replay Duration".
  5. Scroll to "Off" and select it.
  6. Press "Avoid" to quickly back out of all the Menus. thanks Dsaloman