Rangecast FAQ
[FAQ-1010] Error Message: RADIO MISSING (Code 33)


Page Type: SYMPTOM


SUBJECT

The RADIO MISSING message indicates the Sender searched for its assigned Rangecast scanner ID at all responding COM ports but could not find it. The Sender will be appear on the Configuration screen as Unlinked Sender, without a scanner.

NOTE -- If there are NO COM PORTS then obviously radios cannot be detected even if physically present.


OVERVIEW

"Radio Missing" means that a scanner expected at a certain PC could not be found by Rangecast Sender software, when searching attached hardware. This may be because:

(1) Scanner is powered off.

(2) Scanner is not connected from PC.

(3) Interface hardware (cable or interface box) is defective.

(4) CONFIGURATION PROBLEM - The Scanner may have been moved from a different PC without updating the current PC's Rangecast's software, so the software is not seeing the expected scanner.

(5) DRIVER PROBLEM - A COM port driver may be wrong or corrupted.




BACKGROUND

ABOUT CONFIGURATION - When a scanner is used with Rangecast, the Rangecast software on the PC automatically learns the Rangecast ID (e.g. example-10-A) of that scanner, and adds the ID to the list of scanners that are expected to be found when doing a search for attached hardware. The purpose of maintaining such a list, instead of only detecting attached hardware, is so in the event of a hardware problem (such as a disconnected cable) the software can raise an error alarm about the missing radio.

This list of scanners that the PC expects to find can be seen when launching Rangecast, in the panel titled "Group Operation" (listing the senders that will be launched as a group when pressing "Start".)




If a scanner is physically removed without updating this list of expected scanners, the situation looks identical (from a software perspective) to a hardware problem -- an expected radio is missing. The PC will still attempt to find the scanner, and start a Rangecast sender to support the scanner on this PC every time the Rangecast software is relaunched. Therefore, when a scanner is removed or renamed, it is essential to update this list of expected scanners. For more information see

[FAQ-1074] How to remove a scanner from Rangecast service

When a Rangecast scanner is removed from Rangecast service (while the PC remains operational), then either the scanner's Rangecast ID must be changed to a special value (if the scanner remains connected) indicating that the scanner should not be used, or (if the scanner is disconnected) the Rangecast Configuration on the PC must be informed that the removed scanner is no longer expected on the PC.



[FAQ-1075] How to move a Rangecast scanner from one PC to another

When a scanner is moved from one PC to another, in addition to moving the scanner itself (and possibly associated hardware), changes in Rangecast Configuration are needed on the PC where the scanner was removed to notify that PC that the scanner is no longer expected there. In addition, if the scanner is a model 536, Rangecast Configuration changes are needed on the PC receiving the scanner, to set the scanner's Rangecast ID.




ABOUT VOX SENDERS: The Rangecast ID of VOX senders included in the PC's Rangecast configuration are included in this list, along with physical scanners that are expected to be found there. VOX senders are configured to record a specific audio input, instead of engaging in two-way communication with a scanner, and CANNOT GENERATE A RADIO MISSING ERROR.


SYMPTOMS

Sender: Radio Missing error message




Status Page: Sender error code 33 - Radio Missing


METHOD

(1) If you know that the PC is reporting a "BAD DRIVER" or "BAD PROLIFIC DRIVER" error for any scanner, then go to the FAQ for that error, as an incompatible device driver is probably the cause of any "RADIO MISSING" messages from the same PC


[FAQ-1089] Refresh the Prolific drivers for COM ports (uninstall and automatic reinstall)

A problem with a device driver can result in the PC losing data connectivity with a scanner. This can be resolved by uninstalling all COM ports in Windows Device Manager, reinstalling the correct device driver, and then rebooting the PC (which will trigger an automatic reinstallation of these ports.) On occasion, a working system may fail in a way that needs this repair, due to Windows automatically replacing a working device driver with a newer version that is incompatible with our hardware. (The older compatible version is included in the Rangecast installation package, and can be restored when necessary.)





(2) RADIO MISSING means there is a mismatch between:

* what hardware the PC expects to find connected (a radio is expected to be there), and

* what hardware the PC actually finds when scanning for connected hardware (that is, the expected radio is not found there)

The first step is to determine which side of this mismatch is correct, and which side is in error. In short -- is the scanner identified in the error message *supposed* to be connected to this PC (yes or no)?

If YES: continue to step 3, the problem is that communications with the scanner needs to be restored.

If NO: continue with step 2, the problem is that the PC needs to know that the scanner has been removed from service.

Note: when working remotely without detailed knowledge of the customer site, it may be impossible to find out whether the customer has intentionally removed the hardware. Without this knowledge, it is impossible to distinguish whether hardware has failed or has been intentionally removed -- to Rangecast these look the same. If you don't know what hardware should be there, proceed to step (2) under the hypothesis that there is a technical problem. But if the problem is not easily fixed, consider that the scanner may have been intentionally removed or powered off without updating the software configuration to reflect this change.

(a) If the scanner described in the error message has been physically removed from this PC (or renamed to a new Rangecast ID), and a Radio Missing error is being generated, follow the steps described for removing a scanner. This will remove the Rangecast ID from the list of expected scanners on this PC.

[FAQ-1070] How to remove a scanner from Rangecast service, when it is removed or turned off

A scanner can be removed from Rangecast service by disconnecting the scanner from the PC, or powering it off -- and then updating Rangecast Configuration on the PC to indicate that the scanner has been removed. (Without this second step, the PC will report the missing radio as an error condition.)




(b) If the scanner described in the error message is powered off (but connected to the PC), or the wires between scanner/PC may be loose, then make sure the radio is physically connected and turn the power on

[FAQ-1081] Ensuring scanner power and hardware connectivity

For use with Rangecast, a scanner must be attached to the PC in a way that supports both data and audio connectivity, and the scanner must be powered on.




Note: If the customer has turned the power off temporarily, please notify Rangecast Operations so this error is known to be acknowledged and waived as an issue

[FAQ-1073] Notifying Rangecast when a scanner is removed from service, or moved between PCs

Rangecast Operations tracks the health of the Rangecast system, including detection of scanners that are absent or not operating normally. If a scanner is removed from service, or moved between PCs, or temporarily taken out of service while being relocated, Rangecast Operations should always be notified of this change, otherwise the change may appear to be an incident resulting in a trouble ticket.





CONTINUE HERE IF TRYING TO RESTORE COMMUNICATIONS TO THE SCANNER


(3) Stop all Rangecast software

[FAQ-1088] How to stop Rangecast software on a feed site PC (temporary stop, not decommission)

Rangecast software on a feed site PC includes a "watchdog" process that monitors for software faults, and may automatically relaunch the software if it is not closed correctly. The correct way to stop Rangecast is to click the Rangecast icon, and then press the Stop button.





(4) See if any other applications (such as Uniden Sentinel, BuTel, or certain Rangecast site-testing applications) are running on the PC that might be connected to the scanner. (If you are unsure whether this applies, it is safe to skip this step.)

If so, the other software may be locking Rangecast out of the communications channel (COM port). Close the other software, relaunch Rangecast, and see if the problem is resolved.


(5) Reboot the PC. The reboot may clear issues related to the device drivers or USB system.


(6) Launch Rangecast and press Configuration for a list of attached hardware. The software will search for attached devices (a process that takes about 35 seconds). When complete, the text "Port tests complete" will appear in the upper-right.

a) If the Speed column says 4800 in the row with the scanner ID, and the scanner is a model 536 radio, then reset the scanner to the correct data rate

[FAQ-1085] How to reset the data speed of a model 536 radio

For unknown reasons, the model 536 scanners can switch from the correct baud rate (data speed) 115200 to the factory default value of 4800. If this happens, the data rate can be reset to 115200 using the RC-CONTROL utility software.




b) If you see the Rangecast ID of the sender generating the error, on a row that has the text "COM" in the left column, the issue may have been cleared. Close the configuration screen, and restart the Rangecast software to see if it is working.

Note: If the row with the Rangecast ID does not say "COM" in the left column, this indicates that the problem is still present.

c) If one of the detected scanners ("COM" in left column) has three blank yellow text-entry boxes (where the scanner's Rangecast ID is reported), then the Rangecast ID of the scanner may have been accidentally erased. Enter the scanner ID to associate this physical radio with the Rangecast service.

[FAQ-1069] How to set the Rangecast ID of scanners

Each radio scanner sending content into Rangecast is identified by a unique Rangecast ID, which is set through Rangecast software (configuration interface) on the PC connected to the scanner.




Note: if this step applies, after entering the Rangecast ID and pressing save, verify that the Rangecast ID is still displayed after the page refreshes and performs a search for attached hardware (a process that takes about 35 seconds.) If the yellow text entry boxes clear themselves at this step, after you've entered the correct information, the problem may be due to a failure of the COM port

[FAQ-1087] How to permanently disable a failed COM port

On rare occasions, a COM port may experience a failure that cannot be restored to a functional condition. If this happens, the port may be disabled. Afterwards the port will not be available for service, meaning that the PC may not be able to support as many scanners.




d) If you are familiar with what scanners are supposed to be running on this PC, and you see a scanner that is not supposed to be there (for example, a scanner may have been temporarily renamed to another Rangecast ID for test purposes, but never restored to the original correct ID), then set that scanner to the correct ID

[FAQ-1069] How to set the Rangecast ID of scanners

Each radio scanner sending content into Rangecast is identified by a unique Rangecast ID, which is set through Rangecast software (configuration interface) on the PC connected to the scanner.




At this point you may close the Rangecast configuration screen. Continue if the cause has not been identified.


(7) Open Windows Device Manager. On PCs configured by Rangecast, this is usually available as a desktop shortcut icon. If this icon is not visible, open Device Manager through Windows Start - Control Panel.

Then in Device Manager, expand the Ports section (if present).

a) If there are any ports with the word "Prolific" in the name (this is hardware included in new Rangecast installations until 2015), then follow the steps to reinstall the Prolific device driver. Note that from this screen, you are already a few steps into the process, skip ahead to where you are.

[FAQ-1089] Refresh the Prolific drivers for COM ports (uninstall and automatic reinstall)

A problem with a device driver can result in the PC losing data connectivity with a scanner. This can be resolved by uninstalling all COM ports in Windows Device Manager, reinstalling the correct device driver, and then rebooting the PC (which will trigger an automatic reinstallation of these ports.) On occasion, a working system may fail in a way that needs this repair, due to Windows automatically replacing a working device driver with a newer version that is incompatible with our hardware. (The older compatible version is included in the Rangecast installation package, and can be restored when necessary.)




Note: if you can verify that the currently installed Prolific driver is valid (a version from before 2015), then you can skip the step of reinstalling the driver.

b) If there are no ports with either "Prolific" or "FTDI" in their names (or there is no "Ports" section at all in Device Manager), then the device driver for the COM ports may not have been installed on this PC, or the device driver may have been removed or damaged. Try installing the device driver

[FAQ-1160] Installing the device driver for the COM ports (data connection to scanners)

The USB data connection between the PC and scanner requires a device driver. The specific device driver to install depends on the type of hardware interface connecting the PC and scanner. The device driver installation software is included in the Rangecast installation software package.





THE FOLLOWING STEPS REQUIRE PHYSICAL ACCESS TO THE PC AND SCANNERS

(8) Locate the scanner with the same Rangecast ID as the sender reporting the error (e.g. example-10-A).

[FAQ-1064] How to find the Rangecast ID of a scanner

Each physical scanner used for Rangecast has a unique ID. For most scanners (except the model 536), the Rangecast ID of the scanner is briefly shown on the scanner front panel display when the scanner is first turned on. Alternatively, for most scanners (except the model 15), the color of the scanner front panel display is set by Rangecast software to help with identification.




Note: in the prior reference, only use Method 1 to identify the scanner. Since the PC is unable to communicate with the scanner (the meaning of a Radio Missing error message), Method 2 cannot be used (it depends on the PC communicating with the scanner to set the front panel display color.)

(9) Check that the scanner is powered on, and is properly connected to the PC

[FAQ-1081] Ensuring scanner power and hardware connectivity

For use with Rangecast, a scanner must be attached to the PC in a way that supports both data and audio connectivity, and the scanner must be powered on.




(10) If the scanner is a model 536, it may have become unresponsive to computer commands due to what appears to be a bug in the scanner's firmware (the cause is not known, and that description of the cause is speculative.) So if the scanner is of this model, try power cycling the scanner to restart the scanner's software

[FAQ-1083] Power cycling of 536 model scanners

BCD536HP model scanners can become unresponsive to computer commands, and cease to communicate with the PC via the data cable / COM port. To restore normal operations, it may be necessary to unplug the power cord from the scanner for about 15 seconds, then try again after the scanner has rebooted.




(11) Power cycle the USB system

[FAQ-1084] Power cycle the USB system

On occasion, some element of the USB system (in either the PC or external hardware) may freeze (probably in firmware), and become unresponsive until it is power cycled. Simply turning a PC off/on may not clear the issue, since many PCs keep minimal power applied to some circuits. To ensure a clean power cycle of the USB hardware, physically disconnect the PC power cable for at least 30 seconds (with Windows safely shut down.)





If the problem has still not been resolved, it may be due to a hardware problem.

(12) If the problem is still present, and the scanner is connected through an old-style black interface box (the type supporting up to four scanners through a single interface unit), it may be possible to run a limited number of scanners through partially failed hardware

[FAQ-1065] Connecting a limited number of scanners to a partially failed interface box

For PCs using the old 'black box' hardware interface to scanners, when (1) there is a partial hardware failure resulting in the loss of data and/or audio connections, and (2) it is not necessary to utilize the interface's maximum capacity of 4 scanners (e.g. the PC can be limited to 3 or fewer scanners) -- then this process may be used to establish full connectivity to as many scanners as possible, given the partially failed hardware.




(13) If the PC/scanner interface box is an RCX box

[FAQ-1059] Hardware: About the RCX USB interface

The RCX interface is a small black box, without any controls, that mounts directly on the back of a Uniden scanner. It provides the USB interface for data and audio communications between the scanner and a PC.




a) See if there is a blue light on the RCX box. If no blue light is visible, this means the RCX unit is not in communication with the PC. Verify that the USB cable is securely connected to the PC. If the cable is securely connected and the blue light is not visible, the RCX box may be defective.

b) Start the Rangecast software, and select Configuration while watching the lights on the RCX box. The red and yellow lights should both flash at some point while the software is searching for external hardware (this is complete when the text "Port tests complete" is present in the upper-left of the screen.) If you did not see activity from both the red and yellow lights during this process, then the RCX box may be defective.

(14) If the problem remains, it is probable that there is a hardware defect (such as a bad USB interface box, or a bad data cable.)


CITATIONS

SYMPTOM

SOLUTION
REFERENCE
INDEX


Rangecast FAQ - ID 1010 - last updated 16 January 2018     Images shown - [block]