Review: Uniden Bearcat BCD396XT

Uniden Bearcat Police scanner

Ok, so I have had this scanner for a while now and it is time to point out some of the pro's & cons.


* Best frequency coverage of any digital, trunk tracking scanner anywhere! Covers pretty much everything, including FM broadcast, between 25Mhz and 1.3Ghz. No other trunk tracker comes close!

* More than adequate memory/channel/object capacity for the vast majority of users. Most users would struggle to fill up 25,000 channels/objects. 

* Good P25 decoding (latest firmware installed) with low BER on most non simulcast systems, even at very low signal strengths.

* Excellent tracking on P25 trunk networks.

* Despite what some have said, the programming is not that bad as long as you have access to some free online resources such as and you are prepared to learn some new tricks.

Freescan is a fantastic free programmer too.

* Pretty good battery life as long as you use good quality AA NiMh cells. I get a full day out of my Turnigy LSD cells.

* Full keypad offering immediate access to enable or disable scan groups/lists and direct frequency entry etc (I'm sorry, but I just can't like the minimalist PSR-800 style user interface).

* Excellent steel, button style belt clip and die-cast aluminum rear shell design. Really solid and works well holding the scanner in a good quality mic clip in the vehicle when the plastic belt clip is removed.

* Good quality case materials. Surprisingly, the case, display and rubber buttons look almost as good after twelve months of heavy use as it did when new and I don't even have a soft case for my 396xt..

Now the Cons, (well, after nearly 12 months of use, I really only have one major complaint about this scanner): 

I have no qualms about giving this scanner a 5 out of 5.

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