bent 2-way radio at the repair center

this is not good at all

Bent CP200d boardbent CP200d radio board

In the radio repair industry we have seen many ways end-users damage their radios. One of the more common types of portable radio damage is compression or crush damage. When this happens the component board, which is very rigid, can become bent. There are a multitude of problems that can be caused when your component board gets bent in this way, and none of them are good.

shield damage on CP200dUsually the exterior house of the radio miraculously can bounce back into shape follow a squeeze (unless it is of the extreme nature). What you can’t see is the effect it has had on the board inside. Many times the radio user will not realize the component board has been damaged.

The Motorola radio pictured arrived from Mississippi with only exterior scuffs, and no additional notes. The real damage wasn’t seen until the technician had opened the CP200d radio. As you can see in the pictures, the metal shields were dented in, and the green component board was warped. Not seen in these photos, underneath the shields there are likely components which have popped off the board. The layers of the board and traces are likely cracked. Unfortunately in a case such as this the damage is fatal. The radio had to be deemed non-repairable.

At the radio repair center we’ve seen radios that have been driven over by a truck be repairable. We rely on our highly skilled technicians to assess each radio and determine if it can be repaired or needs to be replaced. If you have a radio you believe to have compression damage, go ahead and send it in the the radio repair center. As radios have became smaller we see more compression damage. Some damage is as simple as the user placing the radio in their back pocket and sitting on it. Other damage is more serious and caused by machinery or vehicles.

crush damaged 2-way radio batteries

Another area of concern would be the battery that was on the radio at the time the crush damage happened. The cells in the battery could be come unstable and be a hazard. Much like the radio housing the battery’s exterior may not show the damage within. If the compression was enough to deem the radio non-repairable, the battery should also be retired to recycling. (Side note: Most Lowe’s, Home Depot, and Best Buy stores have battery recycling centers near the front of the store.)

If you find yourself with a compression/crush damaged radio, we’ll be happy to take a look at it and determine if it is repairable.

~cl

rusty 2-way radio

There is a point of no return when it comes to wet electronics.

Unfortunately, this Motorola MagOne BPR40 from an automotive recycler in Illinois set a bit too long before coming to the radio repair center. As you can see in the photo the rust and corrosion overtook the component board. It fell out of the radio like confetti, and the tech could immediately see the radio was non-repairable. As you probably guessed, the ladies here at Delmmar hate making those calls, letting customers know their radio has been deemed non-repairable.

Motorola BPR40 radio repair
MagOne BPR40 – liquid damage

Here are a few wet radio TIPS :

If you know your radio has gotten wet, remove the battery, and dry the radio with a soft cloth. Then get the unit to the radio repair center as soon as possible. If the techs can get to the radio right away, they can clean any visible rust or corrosion, working to prevent further damage. Your battery may be damaged as well. Include it with your radio (unattached), and Delmmar’s technical staff can check it also.

If the radio and battery have been submerged, it is likely the battery will need to be replaced.
Just like other electronics, you can put your device in a bag of rice, or use an Evap-Bag to aid in the drying process while it is in route to the repair facility.

We don’t know the story behind this 2-way radio, but from appearances it may have been left outside and recently found after several weeks or months of weather. The customer chose to dispose of this radio here at the repair center, so there was no charge for return shipping.

You can always find a copy of Delmmar’s current repair form on our website delmmar.com and eradiostore.com.

 

 

oh, what a bite…

Motorola XPR3300e radio repair

Motorola Mototrbo XPR3300e
2-way radio repair

Some days on the job are tougher than others. It’s always a bad day when your radio isn’t secure and you drop it into an industrial machine that takes a big bite out of the radio. That is what happened with this XPR3300e radio. Your next big hurdle is telling the manager what happened, followed by getting the radio sent in to the repair center to see if it can even be saved.

This Mototrbo XPR3300e radio arrived at the Delmmar radio repair facility mid-summer. Once the radio is checked in to the facility, it goes back to wait in line for repair. Good news, Delmmar’s senior technician was able to repair and replace missing components from the exposed component board. During the repair process he replaced common failure parts, along with replacing the exterior house. All covered by the flat rate repair fee. The radio was retuned and align back to factory specs. Within 5 days it was headed back home to the client via UPS.

Motorola XPR3300e bottom view
before and after radio repair

Can all radios like this be repaired?

Not always, but know our highly skilled technicians make every effort to repair each radio that arrives here at the Delmmar radio repair center. We do component level repair. We offer affordable flat rate radio repair with a fast turnaround. If your radio is deemed non-repairable, you only pay for the return shipping costs.

tips: remote mics

Push and hold the PTT button while transmittingRemote Mic
One common mistake many radio users make is starting to speak before they’ve completely pressing the PTT (push-to-talk button), or releasing the PTT before their transmission is complete. You might only miss a few words, but those words could be critical. It very well could be a matter of safety. Push the PTT and give yourself a moment before speaking. Hold the button until you are finished.

Speak clearly in your normal voice
Shouting CB-style can cause distortion of your voice, just as speaking to softly can make your communication non-discernible. Speak clearly, enunciate, and at a normal volume for best communication when using a remote speaker mic.

Hold the remote mic 1-3″ from your mouth
It is a common mistake for users to have their mouth too far away from the microphone. This can make it harder to pick up your voice, and also leave you open to environmental noise.  Having the mic too close to your mouth can also be a problem. This unwelcome mouth noise and breath sounds could be a distraction to those receiving your transmission. Practice keeping the microphone a nice 1-3″ from your mouth, and speak clearly.

Don’t wrestle the microphone around in your hand
While most modern remote microphones have some noise suppression, you should still avoid unnecessary movement while transmitting.

Connect the microphone securely to the radio
If your microphone has a two-prong plug, make sure it is completely seated before turning on the radio and beginning to communicate. You should feel a small snap when it seats into place correctly. Avoid unnecessary plugging and unplugging, over the course of time this will lead to a bad jack connection. Plug straight in and pull straight out, refraining from side-to-side wobbling, which can wobble out the jack. If possible leave your audio device plugged in all the time. If your radio has a multi-pin connector, be certain you security to the radio. Clean your contacts with a pencil eraser for best connection.

Always have your radio turned off when attaching any audio device
Most modern radios will sense the audio device and react accordingly. In the event you plug the device in with the radio turned on, many times you will experience problems such as temporary or intermittent voice activation (VOX), or an unresponsive audio device.

Keep your microphone clean
Read our blog post about Hygiene for more info.

Most radio models have remote speaker microphones available. Call us if you need help determining which mic would work best with your model.

 

 

2-way radio hygiene

Motorola Radio Hygiene Guidelines

Disinfecting your radios and audio devices:

Radios may be disinfected by wiping them down with over-the-counter isopropyl alcohol (rubbing alcohol) with at least 70% alcohol concentration. When cleaning with isopropyl alcohol, the alcohol should never be applied directly to the device. It should be applied to a cloth, which is then used to wipe down the device.

The effects of certain chemicals and their vapors can have detrimental effects on plastics and the metal platings.

DO NOT use bleach, solvents or cleaning sprays to cleanse or disinfect your device.

General Cleaning: Apply 0.5% detergent-water solution with a cloth, then use a stiff, non-metallic, short-bristled brush to work all loose dirt away from the device. Use a soft, absorbent, lintless cloth or tissue to remove the solution and dry the device. Make sure that no solution remains entrapped near any connectors, cracks or crevices.

Motorola disclaimer which accompanies the above information:
Important: Motorola Solutions, Inc. is unable to, and did not, determine whether any particular cleaning product is effective in removing specific foreign substances (including viruses) from the device, nor whether any disinfectant will remove all germs or viruses. However, the above cleaners, disinfectants and processes have been approved for use by Motorola Solutions, Inc. related to their less degrading effect on the physical device. Please consult the chemical manufacturers’ documentation for specifics on cleaning product efficacy with regards to foreign substances (such as viruses).