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Reviews For: Uniden BC-780XLT

Category: Receivers: Scanners

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Review Summary For : Uniden BC-780XLT
Reviews: 26MSRP: 529.99
Base/Mobile Trunk Tracking Scanner with backlit keypad and 25 - 1300MHz coverage (less cellular). Tracks Motorola Type I, II and hybrid, GE and EF Johnson LTR systems.
Product is in production
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# last 180 days Avg. Rating last 180 days Total reviews Avg. overall rating
N0VKG Rating: 2008-02-24
Still gets daily use, but... Time Owned: more than 12 months.
I will admit, this radio was awesome when it was released back around 2000. But it is starting to show age. I still use it on a daily basis. But compared to the BCT15, BCD-396t & BCD-996t, gotta admit its quickly showing its dated, non-upgradable age. I think that this radio is better programmed from the Computer ; then from the MENU-based system it operates under. I was never a big fan of its MENU system. This radio will still gets lots of use once REBANDING is done. It will easily handle: conventional, EDACS & LTR trunking once rebanding is over. As more radio systems upgrade to P-25 conventional/trunking, this radio will quickly start showing how old is. But in the meantime, enjoy it... Its not a bad radio...
KG5I Rating: 2007-05-08
This is the ONE Time Owned: more than 12 months.
This was my favorite scanner of all the ones I've owned over the years. A little difficult to set the tracking, unless you use the software application. Other than that, it does everything a high end scanner should do. You will enjoy this unit. It might be a little outdated by todays standard, but a fine peice of equipment that should provide years of service for the serious scanner enthusiest.
ADAMWEST Rating: 2007-03-03
Best Trunking Scanner Time Owned: 6 to 12 months.
I have two BC-780XLT scanners. One I use at my office and the other I am trying out as a mobile. Kind of large for a scanner but I really like the display on the 780. So for so good.
LISTENER007 Rating: 2005-08-09
It's not too bad Time Owned: more than 12 months.
I was the very first guy to purchase the 780XLT scanner in my country when they first appeared here a few years ago now. We were a little slow in releasing them here but once I got it, I was reasonably convinced that it was worth the wait.

Uniden have been around for a long time now and have easily taken a big bite out of the "Scanner Pie". They have stuck to typically Uniden theme over the years and have been basically entry level scanners with a 'simple' design compared to more lavish/up-market brands, but this can be to your advantage as many other brands are in the space age and you almost need an astronauts license to fly them, whereas the 780XLT is a little bit more sophisticated than the average Uniden model yet not too mind boggling. It is still essentially a basic scanner with a few extra bells and whistles thrown in. It is menu controlled which is a departure from past models and you can configure it quite a bit and even tag channels with a name etc. BUT, it is still a Uniden scanner and even though it receives very well and has super fast scanning, it still has gaps in its receive bandwidth, which belongs in the stone age. There are some things that Uniden just wont fix and the gaps between bands is something they need to look at. This is something that the user should have at his fingertips, NOT, what Uniden sees as 'its' answer. It does, however, have a good clear display, lightning fast scan/search, good PC interfacing, a good VFO/memory feature, is quite good at receiving most signals and the menu is quite easy to navigate, unlike other scanners.

One thing I hate in this and most other Uniden scanners, is that when it is powered up (turned on), it starts scanning immediately. Geez this annoys me. I like to take charge and this feature really annoys me as it kicks in each time. All the other Unidens I currently own do the same thing...

At the time I bought it, the price was not that cheap and I thought that the value per dollar was not quite right for such a mediocre scanner but it does a nice job and I am glad I bought it. The Trunk Tracking is a novelty that I never used and really is a feature that I found nice to talk about but totally superfluous to my needs.

This model is now discontinued but if you get the chance to buy one secondhand, grab it if the price is reasonable because its good points do outweigh its bad points. I personally think it deserves a "Uniden" 10 out of 10 as it is the best I have owned from Uniden but on a comparison to "all" other scanners, I would rate it about 6 out of 10, simply because it is still way behind even middle-of-the-road scanners from other companies. Maybe Uniden should go all out just the once, to produce a really up market scanner/receiver. If they did, I would most likely be first in line to buy one...
W2MB Rating: 2005-01-25
Works Well Time Owned: 0 to 3 months.
Does what it should. Very few birdies. Solidly built. I'd recommend programming software, as it can get tedious doing it from the front panel. Only area I'd say could be improved is CTCSS scan; it starts from the begining of the CTCSS range everytime a signal is detected on the frequency in question, if the transmissions are brief, it cannot search the entire range and may not come up with tone. I like Kenwood's implenation of this feature; at the end of a transmission, their units pause at the last scanned tone, then resume at that point at the next transmission.
CRAIGALLS Rating: 2004-02-06
Grrrrreat!!! Time Owned: 0 to 3 months.
My area recently switched to a trunked system so I purchased a BC780XLT to monitor police and fire. And I have not been dissapointed by this purchase, Contrary to what some have said I found the instruction manual to be well written and easily understandable. The 780's menu system makes this a scanner very user friendly. The CTCSS/DCS squelch search mode is a great feature as well as the CC channel only method of aquiring talkgroup ID's. It trunks flawlessly and switching from trunked search mode to scanlists is as easy as pressing the scan button. The dot-matrix dispay is loaded with information although some characters are hard to see. The Alpha-numeric text is a great feature which not only allows you to designate individual agencies but Bank names or Scan list names. I cant find a single fault with this unit. Add to this I only paid $269.00 for it new in box.
KY6O Rating: 2003-11-06
Great, does more than you'd ever use! Time Owned: 3 to 6 months.
A perfect scanner. The only thing that kept it from rating a "5/5" was that the manual is sparse in a few places. You really ought to brush up on trunk tracking (see the web for this) before going home and trying to figure it all out. Trunk tracking isn't complicated, but it can appear complex at first blush. However, this scanner does it all, and more. I've got a bias against Radio Shack, so I can recommend this scanner to everyone. And buy a DB9 male to female serial cable at the time you buy the scanner, you'll want to computer interface it within hours after turning it on, so just save yourself another trip back to the store and get everything up front. There are also tons of both free and commercial scanner control programs on the web, but I'll let you choose those for yourself.
AF1952 Rating: 2003-10-25
A little Gem Time Owned: 0 to 3 months.
There is not a lot I can add to the rave reviews for this scanner. As a UK user I have not been deprived of the US cellular frequencies, although there is not much going on in this band at the moment and in the UK the mobile phone network is totally digital so not that much of an advantage there !.

The 780XLT is easy to use ( almost as easy as the Realistic PRO- 2004 ). The metal casing means I can have the scanner next to my computer with no interference problems. That back to front squelch can be confusing particularly as my other scanners all have the normal configuration.
The instruction manual is traditionally confusing but as an experienced scanner user I expect nothing less.
The only complaint I have is the Data skip function which can initiate scanning even when listening to speech. This can be a problem on weaker transmissions and this fuction is active by default which could mislead new owners into thinking the scanner is faulty, however this function can be turned off. Unfortunately this problem is not covered by the fault finding table in the manual. My advice is to disable Data skip - it is more trouble than it is worth.

Overall this scanner is excellent where it counts - well done to Uniden !
WA6AWZ Rating: 2003-09-28
Best ever Time Owned: more than 12 months.
Everything I've ever wanted in a scanner. The alphanumeric display is awesome (why Icom/Yaesu/Kenwood don't provide more alpha characters in their rigs is beyond me), and the PC programmability makes setup effortless. Excellent trunking, spiffier than others in how the banks, etc are set up.

Could be better in the 30-50 mHz range, it seems less than average to me in that band. Even that doesn't merit making it less than a 5 rating.
KJ6QB Rating: 2003-06-26
Trunk Tracker Heaven Time Owned: more than 12 months.
This truely is the best of the TrunkTrackers. Uniden pretty much thought of everything on this baby. The alphanumeric tagging is great and all the bells and whistles are great. I love the S-Meter and the menu system is nicely laid out. With the exception of no Digital capability, it is the best analog TrunkTracker I have had the pleasure of using.