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Reviews Categories | Receivers: Scanners | Uniden Bearcat BCD996T Help

Reviews Summary for Uniden Bearcat BCD996T
Uniden Bearcat BCD996T Reviews: 10 Average rating: 4.3/5 MSRP: $530.00
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N1LEU Rating: 4/5 Aug 3, 2013 16:13 Send this review to a friend
nice scanner, but hard to program manually, trunk audio quality  Time owned: more than 12 months
I bought the BCD996T because of the fast changing scanner world ... the BCD996T offers 6000 dynamically allocated channels so there is no wasted channels from banking. It receives and hears a lot But, programming by hand is difficult and I hear less with it than my old Radio shack Scanner due to the scanning involved (multiple trunk frequencies and talk groups) plus the scanning could be faster and I noticed on the trunking systems that the audio quality is not as good as I expected (They sound almost like they are underwater or barely intelligible). yet overall a good scanner that picks up digital and analog, trunk and conventional systems, I used a free program called Freescan to program it and like this scanner. the features are nice, the unit is in a removable black shell with an additional case underneath for a quick mount system for your car Etc., programmable thru the cable provided makes setup easier if your machine has a com port. Overall I give this scanner a good rating.
K6HOM Rating: 5/5 Aug 4, 2010 13:24 Send this review to a friend
Appreciated Even More Now  Time owned: more than 12 months
An update to my earlier note on this scanner.

For the past six months I have been listening to my BCD996T side-by-side with my Icom R-7100 through the same antenna (Diamond D-130J) via a "Y" connector. On strictly a performance basis with analog FM signals, it has been a dead heat. Neither rig hears something that the other does not. Sometimes the R-7100 had the better audio readability, but just as often, the 996T did. This was true for signals between 35 - 1296 MHz, on both strong and weak signals. My QTH is suburban, near Sacramento, CA.

I had expected, based upon the R-7100's reputation, that this would not be a close contest. But it really was a dead heat. Thinking that something might be wrong, I sent my R-7100 to Michigan Icom for alignment and checkout. Same results afterwards. Maybe I just have an exceptional 996T?

The 996T's pros are: scanning speed, memory capacity, very sensitive RX as mentioned above, excellent audio, alpha tagging, triple trunking and the ability to RX AP-25 and other digital modes. The R-7100 pros are: SSB RX, very easy to tune and program, a real S-meter, robust build, (obviously) great reliability. In contrast, the 996T's cons include: complex programming (suggest getting the interface cable, using FreeScan and subscribing to, hard to do much without reading the manual. The R-7100 obviously is limited to analog RX, slow scanning, no alpha tags, poor internal power supply (run w/13.8v DC power supply for cooler operation).

The R-7100 is a highly regarded analog VHF-UHF receiver. That the 996T can match it on FM performance and add digital RX as well speaks well for this scanner.
ND5Z Rating: 0/5 Jan 11, 2010 07:12 Send this review to a friend
LEMMON  Time owned: 3 to 6 months
I bought a BCD996T to receive the new P25 broadcasts. It has never worked correctly. I want to warn everyone about the clever trick Uniden is using to get out of its warranty responsibilities. I sent the radio in for warranty repair and it came back the same - not working. Uniden stated that they are NOT RESPONSIBLE for a malfunctioning product if their technician says it looks PHYSICALLY OK because they do not sell and are therefore not responsible for programming software. Consequently, they claim "programming error" (in this case, the radio was programmed by the company that sold it to me) and therefore they are not responsible and YOU ARE STUCK WITH A WORTHLESS HIGH PRICED "BRICK" and there is nothing you can do short of suing Uniden. I would recommend avoiding buying any big ticket product from Uniden because you could also find yourself the proud owner of a usless brick. My radio is still under warranty but that is not going to do me any good and I have lost $500 because of Uniden's trickery. SO, BE WARNED!
DXTUNER Rating: 5/5 Apr 29, 2008 19:23 Send this review to a friend
High quality as expected  Time owned: 0 to 3 months
This is my first digital trunking scanner, and the first Bearcat/Uniden radio I've had in quite a few years.

I knew the scanner was quality when first pulling it from the box. Very small radio, but quite heavy & solid-feeling (unlike the featherweight, thin plastic feel of Realistics). Not surprisingly then, the audio on this scanner is very rich & full-bodied -- totally unlike any other scanner I'd ever owned. As far as reception goes, I easily receive 800 MHz transmissions from several counties away! And the trunking works like a charm on our local APCO-25 system. I couldn't be more pleased with that.

Programming by hand is frustrating, at first. The manual does not give sensible directions for doing this. Then, once I finally figured-out how to program APCO 25's, it became 2nd nature. But I do believe that the manual could've provided clearer directions for doing so.

Regardless of that, the BCDD996T is worth the $500-some dollars spent. No regrets whatsoever. Very enjoyable, high-quality scanner.

N8DV Rating: 5/5 Feb 8, 2008 11:56 Send this review to a friend
Outstanding!  Time owned: 0 to 3 months
Excellent scanner. A bit daunting to program by hand. I recommend the software from Uniden and the programming cable--USB 1. The scanner comes with a programming cable with a RS-232 plug. If your computer does not have a port, get the USB cable. I also have the Radio Shack Pro 2096 that I purchased first. I wish I hadn't done so. For the same money,the 996T is a much better featured and better constructed scanner than the Pro 2096. I would definitely purchased another. It scans P25 (APCO)digitally trunked frequencies very well with no annoying control channel noise like the Pro 2096.
WS8RM Rating: 5/5 Jan 24, 2008 06:39 Send this review to a friend
keyboard problem  Time owned: more than 12 months
I like the unit and use it all the time, every day, all day.

BUT - the keyboard quit and would not respond to the reset procedure (L/0 and 6 key w/Pwr on).

I opened the unit and found that if I remove, clean, then replace the ribbon connection from the main board to the display unit the problem would clear up.

I had to do it twice... to get all the keys to respond and everything is working ok again.

(the reset procedure in the manual does not work)

KD8FJI Rating: 5/5 Dec 28, 2007 20:57 Send this review to a friend
It Does It All!  Time owned: more than 12 months
The Uniden Bearcat BCD996T is basically at your service. This receiver is packed full with all of the latest technology that Uniden has to offer, ranging from the location-based scanning feature to the Dynamically Allocated Memory of the whopping 6000 channels. Now that Uniden has released the BC-RH96 Remote Head for controlling this scanner and several other models, you can place the BCD996T anywhere in your vehicle or small room and access the features remotely so you can save space on your dash or desk. The dot-matrix screen supports alpha tagging, which makes it easy to program and identify what you are listening to.

I purchased the BCD996T as an upgrade to my old and outdated BC80XLT, mainly because I needed more channels, and to get involved in monitoring trunked system. Before you buy this unit, you should find out if there is clear channel P25 communication in your area, or if any agencies in your area are considering moving to clear channel P25 communication. You should also find out if it is legal to monitor such communication (if you are not otherwise authorized to do so). I must say that this model is great for monitoring statewide systems such as the Michigan Public Safety Communications System, Indiana Project Hoosier SAFE-T system, and the conventional P25 Kentucky State Police system, along with other conventional systems. If you are looking for a new scanner and also have vehicle travel in mind, this is the perfect unit. Combine this scanner with a suitable GPS device and the systems in the scanner will automatically enable and disable based on your current location. Some may think that the scan speed is slow based on what they see on the display, but it is a great improvement over my BC80XLT. What the scanner does is it looks the system over rapidly for a few moments, and then it moves on to the next system. Since this receiver uses Dynamic Memory Allocation and not banks for memory storage, all you need to do is put your frequencies for your area into a system. There are different ways you can arrange this system based on the type of system you are programming.

The first problem I had with this unit is the backlight suddenly jumping from low/medium brightness to high brightness. A firmware update was able to fix this problem and also add the compatibility with the remote head, which was released after the BCD996T. The second problem I had was one day the scanner dot-matrix display suddenly became scrambled. It was like this for several days, and nothing else was affected. For some reason this problem fixed itself, and I haven't had another issue with the display. The last problem that I have had with the BCD996T is that the fuses in the DC power supply have been blowing out every now and then since July of 2007. I'm still not sure of the cause of that, but I'll figure it out someday.

The main downside of this receiver is that if you do not have access to a computer with a 9-pin serial port and an Internet connection (needed to obtain frequencies, firmware updates, and other information), programming of the scanner is difficult and tedious. Everything else about this scanner is above and beyond expectations, and it is very customizable and easy to program all your systems through a PC. The best part of all is that the programming software for the scanner is provided for free, all you need to do is download it off of the Uniden website. With the dynamic channel allocation, there is absolutely no wasted space and scanning efficiency is better than it ever has been.
K9RQY Rating: 5/5 Nov 21, 2007 12:17 Send this review to a friend
Good solid piece of gear!  Time owned: 3 to 6 months
Got a new one from the Amazon site. Best price I could find under 5 hundred bucks. It had some paint imperfections on the silver face plate so I sent it in for replacement. Uniden replaced the silver face plate. I found the radio fairly easy to program with more features that I could ever use. Manual is Okay. Uniden's programing software works okay for me. Some people complain about the scanning speed but I think it's thier perception of what they see on the display as it scans, but the speed seems fine. Overall, the rado works great as far as I can tell. Works as well as my other radios. It's built well and looks good. I hope it lasts.
W0NXN Rating: 4/5 Feb 4, 2007 12:46 Send this review to a friend
All the bells and whistles but inferior r.f. section.  Time owned: 3 to 6 months
This radio has all the voice communications bands including 700 MHz. covered. It does trunking and P-25 digital well. Performance on 400 and 800 MHz. is very good. Performance on 138-174 MHz. (high band) has some problems. I might have rated the radio a "5" if I hadn't had two BC780's to compare it with. The 780 has both better sensitivity and (much) better intermod and image rejection than the 996 on high band. It's too bad they didn't just combine the new controls with the older r.f. portion to produce the new radio. TV transmissions between 174 and 216 MHz. mix with pagers in the 152 and 158 MHz. segment to produce intermod products at various points on high band. No wide-frequency coverage radio is immune from this sort of thing, but I have issues when an older model has the better rejection factor.

Images in the conventional sense are not a big problem, but I do receive 160 MHz. BNSF railroad transmissions in the 173 and 143 MHz. range.

When I reported the intermod on the 996 users' list, the shills jumped in with lots of "Great Scanner!!" postings, but it soon developed that many others were experiencing the high band intermod problems. I'm sure this is something the Uniden people can improve upon, and I hope they will do so. Even with its problems, this is a very advanced piece of gear that will take some reading and practice to get the most out of.
AF4KK Rating: 5/5 Jan 12, 2007 10:29 Send this review to a friend
Wow, whatta' scanner!!  Time owned: 3 to 6 months
Talk about your scanner that does it all! It tracks nearly all of the trunking systems, searches a wode range of frequencies, has many options for personalization and it does it all at a fast rate of speed! It's quite quiet (no phase noise to speak of), has few birdies and a nice display as well. If this scanner did any more, it would do my dishes for me. I was so impressed with my first 996T that I bought another. While a bit pricey, I would reccommend this scanner to anybody! (There -IS- a bit of a learning curve!)

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