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Reviews Categories | Receivers: Scanners | Uniden BC246T Help

Reviews Summary for Uniden BC246T
Uniden BC246T Reviews: 18 Average rating: 4.7/5 MSRP: $250
Description: New for 2004, compact-sized, TrunkTracker III, 2 AA operation, CloseCall RF Capture
Product is in production.
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N2DY Rating: 5/5 Jun 14, 2005 19:53 Send this review to a friend
Very Interesting Scanner  Time owned: 3 to 6 months
Over time you will fall in love with this scanner. When I first received the 246T, I was very frustrated with it. The dynamic memory system is not like the traditional Uniden setup. The instruction manual was less than perfect. After struggling at first, I finally got used to the programming.

The big breakthrough came when I purchased Butel's software for the radio. Trying to program this thing by hand is far too time consuming. Once I could do it with the computer it was clear sailing.

The radio has tons of memory capacity. Living in the NY Metro Region, it is easy to fill up the radio. The memory capacity is very welcome here.

Sensitivity is pretty good. I use after market duck antennas rather than the stock duck.

The Close Call feature is OUTSTANDING. This radio has now replaced my Optoelectronics Scout for searching out transmitter frequencies. Contrary to the manual, Close Call will work over a fairly extended range if the radio is hooked up to a good antenna. During a recent band opening, it was actually activated by East Hampton Village Police, who are about 60 miles away from me. The radio was on a very basic rubber duck at the time. In any case, Close Call is a great tool.

Another nice feature is the new smaller size of the radio. Uniden has finally realized that they can finally get away from their old standard-sized radios. The small size makes the radio great for travel. I have taken it on a number of trips so far and it has performed like a champ.

Uniden has also finally gone to AA batteries. Halleleujah! No more proprietary battery packs! Although the batteries that came with the radio work quite well, I went with higher capacity nickel metal hydrides that I happened to have here. The battery life is incredible. I have never had a scanner with such battery life.

Overall, this is a terrific radio for the price. If it had the military air band, it would be just about perfect.
KA3SEI Rating: 4/5 Jun 14, 2005 19:08 Send this review to a friend
GREAT receive!  Time owned: 0 to 3 months
I still have only scratched the surface of what this little gem will do, but I'll say this for it: THE RECEIVE ON THIS RADIO IS AWESOME! I bought this scanner to monitor the local services, but also the local HAM repeaters. The town I live in is kind of a low spot, and I was barely able to pull in any repeaters with several Yaesu handhelds. Then I fired up this Uniden and they came in loud and clear! This thing hears everything!

The only reason I didn't give it a 5 is because it's a bear to program. I could not get the software to run on my computer, so I had to do it by hand. If you don't have to do it that way - DON'T. It's no fun figuring it out, even with the manual.

Once you get it up and running, this is a wonderful scanner. And you can't beat the size! It's even smaller than I thought - Much smaller than the Radio Shack models. Fits great on your belt and even receives well while you're walking around with it on.

If you NEED digital, then you have to spend the bucks to get a digital scanner. But, if you DON'T need digital - I don't think you can beat this one!
SAFETYOBC Rating: 5/5 May 17, 2005 20:19 Send this review to a friend
What a perfect little scanner. I recommend to anyone!  Time owned: 3 to 6 months
I love the 246T. I have had the pleasure of using this scanner now for about 3 months. I haven't had a problem yet. The memory management on this thing is AWSOME!!! I sold my BC250D (without card) because it was simply useless after I got the 246T. 1600 channels with alpha tags is nice also. The close call feature works wonderfully but don't expect it to reach out and grab signals at a mile or so...Usually about 100' but I have picked up repeaters from about 1/4 mile. If I had to suggest one scanner for anyone to buy it would be the 246T. However, I highly recommend getting programming software to help with the memory management. Either ARC246 or USAD246 software is available. I have the ARC246 and it is as great as the scanner. I really wish the scanner had a backlit keypad but it isn't something that I can't live without. I like the Wx Alert Priority also, it scans for Wx ALerts every 10 seconds or so while you scan your programmed freqs. Also love the fact that I can have as many priority channels as I want. I like having the firmware that is upgradeable when the need arises as in the FCC rebanding issue. I also like being able to see how much memory I have left.

The few things I don't like is the fact that even though I programmed my scanner with the software, the numbers and words on my keypad are starting to wear off. The "hold" and "E" are starting to fade. I do use them a lot to hold on a channel and to confirm different commands but they shouldn't wear off after just 3 months.

All in all it is a great scanner. I love this scanner and will only trade it for the upcoming BCD396T which is the digital big brother of the 246.
KG2LI Rating: 5/5 Feb 20, 2005 22:15 Send this review to a friend
too cool for school  Time owned: 0 to 3 months
Learn it before you return it. After opening the box and playing with this radio during my lunch break, I actually had brief thoughts about returning it for a refund. After taking it home and playing with it "and the manual" for a day, this radio exceeded my expectations by far and I would never part with it.

That's not much of a detailed or technical review but it's the best I can come up with after only owning this scanner for a few days. The memory management of the BC246T is something new to get used to. Once you're accustomed to it you'll realize it is also the way that all scanners need to be made in the future.

The BC246T is well constructed, has a beautiful display, more searching features than you will know what to do with and decent battery life. It just demands that you read it's manual. That might not be such a bad thing; Scanner enthusits have been introduced to a lot of radios that didn't require learning anything new.

David KG2LI
KB0XR Rating: 4/5 Feb 16, 2005 05:09 Send this review to a friend
Too soon to tell  Time owned: 0 to 3 months
I received my 246t from that ham store in Milwaukee after a 3 week wait for back order. Out of the box, inserted 2 nimh AA's and fumbled through the instruction manual. The close capture feature works really well. One of the pre programmed frequencies is also a local frequency so I monitored a PD for awhile. This is gonna be a long road learning how to operate. I am way behind the times regarding scanners and not used to really thinking about what I am doing. Maybe the software will help me. Otherwise, I will be toting the instructions along with me.
DAN Rating: 5/5 Jan 25, 2005 14:52 Send this review to a friend
Wow!  Time owned: 0 to 3 months
So innovative and packed with features that you should take time off from work to learn how to use it fully!

Really. There are so many things to learn and understand -- and the manual ( is so bare-bones -- that mastering this scannerís features is a challenge. Give yourself at least a week of concentrated effort. And make yourself some clearly written cheat sheets to carry around.

This radio is so innovative that as of 1/25/05, Uniden has already released one firmware upgrade. Three different companies are about to release (or just recently released) software for this radio. They are:
-Unidenís BC246T UASD (

-Computer Aided Technologiesí Scancat-Lite Plus for Windows (

-Butel Softwareís ARC246 (

So beware--with firmware still evolving, and all the software just out of beta, you are part of the bleeding edge. Expect some bumps.

The small size is handy, though it can make pushing just one button at a time challenging. Build quality seems excellent. Sound output and quality are good, but at high speeds in the car, headphones or a powered external speaker are helpful.

Iím fairly new to scanning, but from what others are saying (see and, this is among the best handheld scanners available if you donít need digital capabilities.
K7WCE Rating: 5/5 Jan 15, 2005 20:56 Send this review to a friend
Awsome scanner!  Time owned: 0 to 3 months
I'm truly pleased with this scanner, especially the dynamic memory. Great receive, good volume, good battery life, briliant and readable display.. And best of all it's smaller than the standard scanner size.

The Close Call function is very fun and useful too.

Next up I'd like to see a scanner with the dynamic memory, full frequency coverage (x cellular) - you know like am/fm radio.... USB/LSB/CW options for appropriate bands, multiple trunking systems and APCO 25... and hackable for decryption. If the radio wave hits me I have a right to know what it is. Just kidding

K6LCS Rating: 5/5 Dec 8, 2004 11:27 Send this review to a friend
Very Exciting  Time owned: 0 to 3 months
I have owned many, many scanning devices the past 20+ years. I was excited with the first handheld programmable scanner...and the first desktop programmable scanner...and then trunking scanners...

But this BC246 is a new, different kind of excitement.

First is the physical size. We've been "subjected" to the same size of handheld scanner for years. The BC246T breaks that mold, with its approx. 3x5" size.

No - this model doesn't do APCO25. But it performs excellently on Motorola, EDACS, and LTR systems. And conventional systems, too.

CloseCall is an amazing feature. It's a frequency counter on steroids. It HEARS nearby transmissions, and with one keypress, SHOWS you the frequency. And it RECEIVES the audio, too! As well as the CTCSS/DCS tone in use, if any. This feature has worked, for the most part, perfectly for me. There have been a couple of mis-ID's freqs (usually with the 4th significant digit to the right of the decimal point - like 462.1375 being "off" .0005kHZ), but I am not complaining. This is an amazing, powerful feature.

BE CAREFUL with Uniden's software that's is freely downloadable on their Web site. IT IS DEMO SOFTWARE, and not fully-functional! You must purchase a license for $29.95 for a key - and it's well worth the money to invest in the software. But until you purchase a key, you are limited to what you can program to the scanner.

(BuTel has a Freeware "backup" utility [you can back up the memories, and restore - but no editing]. A nice backup to the Uniden software.)

Over 1600 memories...NO memory numbers! (a new philosophy - you'll get used to it!)...11 pre-programmed search services...uses 2 AA cells (either included 1800mAH NiMH, your own NimH, or alkalines)...a lot more.

Covers 25-54, 108-174, 216-225, 400-512, 806-956, and 1240-1300mHZ - cell blocked, of course.

Available at HRO and better dealers everywhere. It's going to be a very popular Christmas present! (By the way, THE POUCH's G71 model is a PERFECT FIT neoprene case for this unit!)

Clint Bradford, K6LCS / KAF3359
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