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Reviews Categories | Receivers: Scanners | Uniden Bearcat BCD996XT Help

Reviews Summary for Uniden Bearcat BCD996XT
Uniden Bearcat BCD996XT Reviews: 19 Average rating: 4.5/5 MSRP: $699.00
Description: Digital Mobile Scanner with 25,000 Channels and GPS Support
The BCD996XT comes equipped with Uniden exclusive features like Advanced Dynamic Memory System, Close Call™ RF Capture Technology, GPS compatibility and much - much more!
Product is in production.
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AA0AL Rating: 5/5 Feb 23, 2015 20:08 Send this review to a friend
Programming the 996XT  Time owned: 0 to 3 months
Manual programming is so time intensive that an acceptable programming software is imperative. I used Butel ARC XT Pro. Along with a premium subscription to RadioReference, you can have this scanner up and running in no time at all. I like the "Close Call" feature also. I have yet to add the GPS but will be doing that soon. So far, I love this scanner. I will wait a bit on the 536HP till they get all the bugs worked out of it!
N1AUP Rating: 4/5 Aug 26, 2014 13:38 Send this review to a friend
Just Getting Started  Time owned: 0 to 3 months
Will update this as I go along, but this is very difficult to program. I have a degree from a snooty liberal arts college, a high IQ, and do computer / network consulting for a living. It's completely different, even from the 785 that I last played with. Expect a serious learning curve when learning to program this baby.
N2MWE Rating: 5/5 Aug 16, 2014 11:01 Send this review to a friend
Good backup  Time owned: 0 to 3 months
Bought it when I decided I was tired of my Pro 197 squelch developing a mind of its own, and the front end overloading. I don't need Phase II at home, so it fits nicely in my shack. Does quite well with the Westchester trunking system, excellent on low band.
AK4PU Rating: 5/5 Jun 11, 2014 06:30 Send this review to a friend
Fantastic Scanner  Time owned: 0 to 3 months
It's hard to add to the reviews that have already been written. I have to agree that it's definitely a challenge for anyone, like me, new to digital trunking scanners. After 3 weeks of reading and a lot of help from Radio Reference and a fellow ham, I'm finally able to grasp the basics. If you choose this scanner and are new to digital trunking scanners, expect to spend some time in "learning mode". That said, I'm very happy with the BCD996XT. I have mine connected to a discone antenna about 30' in the air and it's easily pulling in UHF/VHF signals better than 50 miles out. I definitely recommend FreeScan and USB cable. A subscription to Radio Reference is also a great time saver. Unitrunker is also another free program that helps ID unknown signals on control channels you run across. The manual provided on CD leaves a lot to be desired but there is plenty of info online. On great resource is It's much better than the manual provided with the radio. Overall, I have no regrets. It's a quality radio with more features than I will ever need.
KE4AH Rating: 5/5 May 26, 2014 22:07 Send this review to a friend
Excellent Scanner  Time owned: 0 to 3 months
I purchased mine on 1 April, 2014. While scanner was in transit, I started learning about it. I figured out I needed software and since I don't have a serial port on my computer, I ordered the Uniden USB-1 cable from I could not use FREESCAN as others have suggested. I live in the country and have satellite internet. Freescan haa issues with satellite internet due to the ping delay and so, I went with PROSCAN 7.0. You get a 30 day trial of the full program. I also paid for a 6 month subscription to ($15). As far as I am concerned the subscription to RR is a must. Reading their forums, I was able to find the drivers I would need to install to use the USB-1 cable. Even before the scanner arrived, I had everything programmed into Proscan and was ready when it arrived. After I unpacked the scanner and accessories, I sat it next to my computer, installed the USB-1 drivers and plugged the cable into the computer and to the mini usb connection on the front of the scanner. I turned it on and immediately the computer recognized the cable and I downloaded the frequencies I had set up in Proscan. Literally, 10 minutes from installing the drivers to listening to the scanner. Being legally blind I had set the color of the scanner display to blue. But I still had a hard time seeing as I wanted to see what agency I was hearing. Proscan 7.0 has a virtual mode. I say an exact display of my scanner on my 24 inch computer monitor and wow, what a difference! It took a little work to set up Proscan to record any scanner traffic but after a little trial and error, I got it working. Originally, I ran a cable from the record on the back of my scanner to my soundcard. Nothing. Then I figured out I had to make sure each agency had the record on in the software. Instead of going through all the agencies here in NW Alabama that were programmed into the scanner, I just ran a cable from the soundcard to the headphone jack on the front of the scanner and it recorded fine. It was great being able to record APCO P25 digital and play it back for friends and family! I tried using both my dual band 2m/70cm beam, I could only get signals pretty much in the direction it was pointed (duh lol). So, I put my Antennacraft scanner antenna I had purchased from (a little over $50 and it comes with RG-6). Wow, what a difference. After putting that antenna 20 ft. up in my backyard, I started hearing agencies 50 miles away in all directions. Even the Haleyville low powered ASOS wx reporting from their airport came in loud and clear. During the next two weeks, there was a band opening all the way up to the 800mhz police trunking systems from 60 miles away in Birmingham. Even being retired Law Enforcement, I had never used a trunking system. It was interesting listening to Birmingham's trunking, I did not make it to bed until after 7am the next morning. Oh, on the second band opening I also listened to Memphis and Atlanta Center's controllers along with the controllers at Birmingham's airport. Hearing the controllers here is normally unheard of.
Forget the manual that comes with the scanner on CD ROM. It is useless. You can search and find an easier (at least for me) to understand manual. Plus you can purchase one if you are so inclined. K4DPS has graciously posted some tutorial videos on YouTube that are an excellent help.
Other than the lack of a real manual, the only negative thing I can say is the 996XT does not pick up P25 phase II transmissions. So, I sold my 996XT to a ham friend of mine and purchased the new BCD536HP scanner. My friend is happy with my 996XT and it's great audio with an external speaker and I am now hearing everything I heard on the 996XT plus P25 Phase II. If I had not needed the Phase II digital, I would not have sold the 996XT. I know this was a long review but I hope it will help any prospective 996XT buyer's.
N3DT Rating: 5/5 May 14, 2014 13:26 Send this review to a friend
Great Scanner  Time owned: 3 to 6 months
Very complicated, but that is what you get for something that is decodes complicated systems. Forget trying to program it, get FreeScan and a sub to RadioReference and download what you need for the few $$. As other have said instructions are non existent, even Mark's are not that good, but you need to understand trunking and P25 plus all the other systems out there to figure out what you are doing. Big key is to make a lot of Quick Keys and make a list, too much to remember. I've had it a couple of months now and still can't figure out how to get to a single freq easily, but it does everything and then some. Good purchase if you're in a P25 area, and it scans the 6M/2M FM ham bands in about 2 seconds each. Orders of magnitude better than the old scanners. I'm glad I bought it, but you should be able to find it for around $400 as of early 2014.
KE4NPR Rating: 5/5 Dec 14, 2013 07:44 Send this review to a friend
Great Product   Time owned: 3 to 6 months
This is my first scanner so I don't have any real experience. If you have no experience like myself, don't expect to have this scanner working immediately after un-boxing. There is a fair learning curve. It took me a good 2 hours to start understanding the basics.

There is a lot of criticism about the Uniden documentation and I understand why. There is no printed document. Also, It does seem to assume the user has a certain level of knowledge. In the end, I used two sites to help me get started:; After I understood the basics, I personally thought the Uniden documentation was very "crisp" and easy to understand.

Also, a software package, while not mandatory, is going to make programming MUCH less time consuming. lists several packages.

As for the radio itself. My first impressions are:

* Very well constructed/rugged radio. It has a heavy aluminum case and "solid" feeling controls.

* Good quality sound that is easily heard in a noisy environment. However, if you are going to use this as a base station, the speaker is on the bottom of the unit. There are several options, make a stand, use headphones, or external speaker connection on the back

*The stock antenna works well but, like any other radio, you can get better reception with antenna(s) tailored to your specific needs or environment. One review mentioned receiver overload. I have not experienced this. However, the strong attenuation function might help in such a situation.

*Display is easily read even with my poor vision. You can easily change the back light color and brightness. (I use red at night and white in the day) Another neat thing is the ability to program the colors based on what you are receiving, i.e. use blue for police, green for ham radio, etc.

*Controls are fairly intuitive, and the menus are easily navigated. The one thing I find a bit difficult is the non-menu driven functions. There are so many operating modes and most of the buttons have multiple functions. I don't think there is anyway a person could remember all the combinations or key press sequences. This is where a printed manual would be nice. I will say that the "main" functions are easily available

*Programming is strait forward however, a software package like Freescan along with will save tons of time. Also, there is lots of memory on this unit; great for someone who uses this as a mobile and more than I will ever use as a base scanner.

In the end it does everything I expected and has functionality I have yet to try. I would easily recommend this product to someone or buy another.

K7BIT Rating: 5/5 Sep 21, 2013 08:37 Send this review to a friend
Nice Rig  Time owned: 0 to 3 months
Top gun of scanners, only down side is 25000 memories. Takes long time to locate and organize frequencies. Used ARC XT Pro and RR, still took 8 hrs+. Really solid rig, they included everything except programming SW. Small enough for mobile, easy to read display with 8 colors for background for those of us who have color vision issues. Very clean sql and sound. Use its supplied antenna, a discone and mobile antennas.
N9ZAJ Rating: 5/5 Feb 26, 2013 15:41 Send this review to a friend
Great scanner! Terrible manual.  Time owned: 0 to 3 months
The BCD996XT is a great scanner. So I give the scanner a 5/5. Documentation on the other hand is a joke. Don't even bother inserting the disk. There are much better resources for programming on the web.

The scanner itself is awesome and has a ton of useful features. I was impressed with the included accessories. Programming cable. 12vac power cord for car. Din sleeve and power cord for dash mounting and a standard mounting bracket.

I see a lot of people opting for a RR subscription and programming software and while software programming may be easier, It's not necessary. Programming is time consuming and there are a lot of steps but once you familiarize yourself with the menu and DMA memory system it's pretty easy.

N1SQB Rating: 5/5 Jan 16, 2013 05:41 Send this review to a friend
Excellent Scanner  Time owned: 3 to 6 months
First of all, let me say this, if this is your first scanner, or your first time dealing with dynamic scanning,do yourself a favor and do some research BEFORE you buy one. This is NOT a beginners scanner by any means. Having said that, this is an awesome scanner for those who take the time to study it and master all the features that it has. The manual is a poor excuse by any means of explanation. There are plenty of resources out there to help you out. I do NOT suggest programming this scanner manually. Software is a must! I have not had a single issue with this scanner since I purchased it and I bought it used from a friend! If digital trunking is a must, this is DEFINITELY the way to go. As I hinted to before, this should be a step up or upgrade scanner, not your first. Just my opinion!
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