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Railfan Technology > BC125AT Scanner PC Programming Error Message

Date: 02/02/23 05:13
BC125AT Scanner PC Programming Error Message
Author: dwatry

I'm having trouble programming my Uniden BC125AT scanner using the PC software from Uniden.  I have done this before many times, and it's always worked well.  But yesterday, I was trying to program in a new bank of frequencies, and when I got to the step to write the programming spreadsheet to the scanner, I got an error message that says: "Failed to write to scanner.  Semaphore timeout period has expired." Anyone ever gotten this?  If so - what do you do? I've tried rebooting both devices, changing the cord I'm using to connect the scanner to the PC, using a different port on the PC, updating Windows and other systems.  Still get the message.    The manufacturer's manual doesn't adress this.
 Thanks in advance if you know what's going on!


Date: 02/06/23 21:34
Re: BC125AT Scanner PC Programming Error Message
Author: mojaveflyer

I have a BC125AT and a couple of GRE PSR-500s. I use Butel software for all of them. I get that reaction when the COMM Port isn't the one that connects to the radio. You might try opening the list of COMM Ports to see which one connects with the radio. Good luck!

James Nelson
Thornton, CO

Date: 02/09/23 07:38
Re: BC125AT Scanner PC Programming Error Message
Author: dwatry

Just to close this loop for anyone else who has this same issue.  I eventually got the scanner to accept the programming upload again.  I had to go into both my Windows settings and the settings on the Uniden programming application and reset the Comm Port setting.  After that it worked.  I have no idea how the Comm Ports settings had gotten mismatched - perhaps a Windows upgrade that occurred somewhere along the line.  Thanks to mojaveflyer for steering me to the Comm Port solution!

Date: 02/09/23 09:16
Re: BC125AT Scanner PC Programming Error Message
Author: WW

I'm glad that you got the com ports to communicate.  This is a common problem and a couple of different things can cause it.

First, it seems that every new iteration of Windows after XP has gotten more finicky in handling USB to Serial adapters, particularly older radios with older programming cables.  I, and many other radio techs, keep an old XP laptop around for the only purpose of having it to program stubborn older radios/software/cables that just won't play nice with Windows 8, 10, and 11.

Second, another problem is programming cables with "bootlegged" non-FTDI chips.  After a couple of bad experiences, I now only buy programming cables from sources that I know are using FTDI chips.  Using cables with non-FTDI chips can "confuse" Windows such that a com port make not work correctly for that cable, or possibly even another cable that would use the same port.  A few years ago, I had an issue with programming commercial radios that I just could not solve.  It turned out that the radio vendor had received a bunch of factory programming cables from a radio manufacturer that had actually been switched out somewhere in the distribution chain with bootlegged counterfeit cables.  Hundreds of customers of that manufacturer had problems all across the country with that faux pas.

As many of regular readers of my posts know, I believe that the BC-125AT remains one of the best portable scanners out there for railfanning.  That said, it must be remembered that it it now over decade-old technology, with aging hardware, firmware, and software.That is also true of most of my "most recommended" commercial radios for railfanning.  Sadly, they may eventually become obsolete radios simply because they may no longer be programmable because the software, cables, etc. will be obsolete.

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