Radioddity GD-77 Blank Screen

GD-77 Blank Screen

I recently bought a Radioddity GD-77 DMR handheld radio. Initially, I was very happy with the performance, if a little quirky. Its quirkiness inspired me to write a post about how to set it up and write a basic configuration to it.

However, six weeks into ownership, I turned it on and was greeted by a blank screen (see right). The radio switched on, did its turn-on beep sequence, the LCD backlight came on, but nothing appeared on the LCD screen. I had been on an analog repeater when I used it last, so I keyed up the radio to see if it worked – the repeater ID’d back to me. The radio still actually worked.

I got onto the Facebook Radioddity Two Way Radio group and posted about my issue, and the overwhelming response was along the lines of “You may want to check the ribbon cable inside. Sometimes they come loose.”

Since opening up the radio would void any warranty, I didn’t want to go down that route. I contacted Radioddity to see what could be done about this.

Radioddity responded to me immediately, asking for a picture of the radio showing the problem, and my Amazon purchase ID. I supplied these, and to my surprise (and delight) they offered to send me a replacement GD-77 (not including the accessories, etc) immediately from their China facility. I am happy to see they stand by their product.

I don’t know whether they will want me to return the defective unit, so I’m waiting to pull it apart and have a look.

I’ll keep this post updated with the latest happenings.

Update 10th April 2018

I shared this post on Twitter. One response to the Tweet seems to have hit the nail on the head as far as the issue goes:

I’ve had the same. It’s not so much a dirty flatcable (the brown one) but alignment of it. There seems to be some misalignment of contacts. If you insert it more to the left or right, you’ll get a working display.

— j_vdb85 (@j_vdb85) April 10, 2018

I would like to thank ON3AD very much for this information!

I flipped the lock up on the FFC connector, moved the ribbon cable to one side, kept some pressure on it, and locked the FFC connector. Voila. A working display again.

It’s curious how I didn’t accidentally come across this solution when I was disconnecting and reconnecting the ribbon cables during my disassembly. However, it’s working now. We’ll see how long it lasts.

Update 18th April 2018

My new Radioddity GD-77 arrived from China, with full accessories and even an extra antenna that looks similar to a Nagoya NA-771!).  All working fine.

Thank you for standing by your product, Radioddity.

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AD5GG works in the real world as an RF design engineer. Occasionally, he posts articles on this very site. Sometimes they're even worth reading. Please feel free to comment on posts using the comment system at the end of each post, and use the discussion forum.

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