Uniden Digital Mobile Scanner with 25,000 Channels and GPS Support (BCD996XT) Review
I recently bought myself a new scanner and yes, I am a first time scanner user with not much experience when using CB radios and if you have no experience like myself then do not expect this scanner to work immediately after un-boxing. It takes a lot of learning and took me 2 hours in finally start understanding only the basics.
The model I bought myself is the Uniden Digital Mobile Scanner with 25,000 Channels and GPS Support (BCD996XT), and to be honest with you when it comes to users not that pleased with the documentation received with the unit I understand why. However, once you get to know the scanner it provides you with loads of fun and enjoyment.
What I received with the scanner
As a boy with a new toy the day my package arrived, I could not wait to set it up and received the BCD996XT scanner, vehicle accessory power cord, AC adapter, mounting bracket & hardware, serial programming cable, antenna, mounting sleeve & keys, documentation, the operators manual, and three-wire harness.
As I was new to CB radios and had read the documentation provided and looking through the operators manual was still a bit confused, but found a software package that helped me to program in much less time.
First, I must say that the Uniden BCD996XT is well constructed and made of heavy aluminum casing and provides a solid feeling when using the controls. When finally I started using the scanner found that it provided me with quality sound and could easily hear even while in a noisy environment.
However, if this scanner is going to be used as a base station it is advised that the speaker is situated at the bottom of the unit and several options could be used by either making a stand, using headphones or get yourself some external speakers to connect to the back of the unit.
Even the stock antenna works well, but I am sure that you could receive better reception with an antenna tailored to your needs and environment. The display is easy to read and can easily change the backlights color and brightness and use the white backlight during the day and red at night. Another great ability is the fact that you can program the colors based on frequencies received for example, you could use blue for the police, red for the fire emergency, and green for HAM radio and so forth.
Controls and Programming
The Uniden BCD996XT digital mobile scanner controls are sensitive and the menus are easy to navigate. There are many operating methods and most of the buttons comes with multiple functions and cannot see me remembering all the combinations or key press sequences. However, the main functions are simple to use and easily available.
Programming the unit is straightforward and you do require a software package like Freescan to save you tons of time. It provides you with enough memory and great to use as a mobile device and more.
- The BCD996XT scanner can be updated to support rebanding and supports rebanding with firmware installed
- It comes with APCO25 Digital Audio decoding and NAC decoding
- It has support for P25 Conventional channels that includes NAC and TGID user isolation
- It comes with Adaptive Digital Threshold that automatically sets the digital decode threshold for APCO 25 systems
- It has TrunkTracker IV with Motorola control channel only trunking and I-Call monitoring
- It comes with Multi-Site support
- It has a Multi-color display backlight
- The System / Channel Number Tagging helps with rapid access to a particular channel or system
- The Control Channel Data Output allows the breakdown of the control channel data without the need to perform invasive modifications to the scanner
- It comes with Close Call, Close Call Do Not Disturb, Close Call Priority and Close Call Temporary Store
- The mobile scanner is supported by GPS for location-based scanning, crows flight navigation, and location alerts
- It comes with adjustable Band defaults and individual channel volume offset
- With the Intermediate Frequency Exchange, you can change the IF used for selected frequencies
- With the Key Safe Mode, it helps to prevent programming being modified when used by a novice user
- The Private Systems allows you to flag system so that it cannot be read, scanned, or modified
- With Band Scope, it provides you with a graphic representation of signal activity
- With the Uniden BCD996XT, it has the Ability to flag a channel as Digital, Analog, or All
- It comes with Quick Search, and 12 service searches plus custom search
- It also has features like Weather Alert Priority, Same weather alert, duplicate channel alert, priority scan with priority plus, adjustable priority check interval and Preemptive Priority
- It comes with Signal Strength display
For the best client feedback, Amazon presents you with more than 500 positive reviews regarding the Uniden Digital Mobile Scanner with 25,000 Channels and GPS Support (BCD996XT).
The majority of customers are pleased with all the great features offered and one customer gave some very important tips if you are in need of manually programming the scanner by advising the following:
He advised that the scanner can be manually programmed, but it is tedious and a very slow process. You need to keep the owner’s manual nearby and the only way to program, a frequency to the private bank is to wait happens to stop on a desired frequency while someone is broadcasting on it. However, there is a better way.
- Make notes of the frequencies you want to program
- Press the band continually until you select a band range that contains the frequency
- The scanner will search for the frequency
- Once the display gets near to the frequency that you want to program, push the hold function to stop the search
- Use the up and down buttons to manually select the frequency you want to program in
- Push the program button
- Then push the private button as this will automatically select the first unused channel in the private bank
- Push the program button again and save the required frequency to that channel
Pros and Cons of Uniden Digital Mobile Scanner with 25,000 Channels and GPS Support (BCD996XT)
- The sound quality is superb
- It comes with many great features
- The unit is durable and provides you with great entertainment and emergency services
- It comes with a great digital trunking system
Firstly, if you are new to scanners like I am it take lots of practice and found the user manual not to be that great and a systematic instruction from Uniden will make a great difference when programming the unit.
My Final thoughts
The Uniden Digital Mobile Scanner with 25,000 Channels and GPS Support (BCD996XT) is one of the top of the line CB radios for scanning enthusiasts. It is the best scanner made and includes digital capability, but do not expect instant results from the box as you will be going through a learning curve when using it. However, once you have mastered the programming it is a joy to operate and listen. With the Direct Memory Access and design, it will blow your limitations away.