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111 of 115 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Best scanner for the price, hands down
I'm a little stunned by the bad reviews. I couldn't disagree more. This is a great scanner. For the roughly 100 bucks, you really get a lot.

It's handheld, which means it travels nicely. It's great for road trips and can keep you in the loop on weather, accidents, and umm, "other" police activities. It scans CB, FRS/GMRS/MURS and HAM bands which covers...
Published on December 8, 2012 by Gary W.

versus
7 of 8 people found the following review helpful
2.0 out of 5 stars A decent scanner intentionally hobbled by Uniden
A potentially great airshow scanner which has one major shortcoming - It has frequency coverage clipped at 380 mhz, military air band goes up to 400. That is more than 1/10th of the entire military aviation band.
Why Uniden did this is beyond me, there are quite a few active freqs in this range including some used by the blue angels. For that reason alone I'd be hard...
Published 3 months ago by Jesse


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111 of 115 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Best scanner for the price, hands down, December 8, 2012
By 
Gary W. (Houston, TX) - See all my reviews
Verified Purchase(What's this?)
This review is from: Uniden Bearcat 500 Channel Alpha Numeric Hand Held Radio Scanner with CTCSS and DCS (BC125AT) (Office Product)
I'm a little stunned by the bad reviews. I couldn't disagree more. This is a great scanner. For the roughly 100 bucks, you really get a lot.

It's handheld, which means it travels nicely. It's great for road trips and can keep you in the loop on weather, accidents, and umm, "other" police activities. It scans CB, FRS/GMRS/MURS and HAM bands which covers pretty much all of the individual use bands. The first two (CB, FRS/GMRS/MURS) are pretty useful on trips too.

It's rechargeable, and uses standard AA Ni-MH batteries (included) and you can recharge the batteries right in the scanner from a USB port. You can charge while it's on. Also, just in case it matters, you can run it directly from the USB port without any batteries installed at all! Of course, in a pinch you can always use regular non-rechargeable AA batteries which are pretty much the most common batteries in America. There's a switch inside the battery compartment to tell the scanner what kind of batteries you have so that it won't try to recharge regular batteries. (I know, too much time on batteries but I can't help it. A scanner's no good if you can't turn it on!)

There are some nice storage features for storing "found" stations and you can program them in manually too, if you know the frequency. You can name all the stations as well. Additionally, there's are banks of per-programmed frequencies for different uses (fire, police, CB, etc.) to allow you to get started right away. (If you're looking for frequencies just google "scanner frequencies" and the city or area you live in. Pretty simple...)

But really, it's connecting to the PC that has me won over. *All* of the settings can be accessed through the PC software available from the website. (The website also includes the *manual* <ahem>, drivers, and firmware updates. The software isn't all that sexy to be sure, but it's plenty functional! It's a lot easier to use than typing into the scanner itself. It allows you to save different configurations in separate files so you can have, for instance, a file for Topeka, and another one for Miami. Again, a really nice feature if you're on the road and have a laptop.

Cons:
You can't actually control the scanning itself from the computer. Not a big deal but the function might be kinda cool. My biggest complaint is that there is not a standing battery indicator. You only get notification when the batteries get low, but you have no idea when that might be. It's just a minor annoyance... maybe it'll get fixed in a firmware update?

Overall, totally useful.
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83 of 88 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Great Analog Scanner, May 23, 2012
By 
Me. (90066, USA) - See all my reviews
Verified Purchase(What's this?)
This review is from: Uniden Bearcat 500 Channel Alpha Numeric Hand Held Radio Scanner with CTCSS and DCS (BC125AT) (Office Product)
I have a GRE PSR-310 scanner that I like, a lot. However this Bearcat came with a programming cable and free programming software is available from Uniden, Sure it's missing the 800MHZ band, trunking and stores fewer channels, but for the price this thing can't be beat, sensitivity is on par with the GRE and volume and sound quality is ALMOST as good, however this Uniden is less than half the size, and much, much lighter, yet feels a tad more solid than the GRE.

I know I'm comparing apples and oranges here, but again, for the price, you'll be hard pressed to find a better scanner. I slightly prefer GRE's "Object Oriented Scanning" due to the flexibility it affords frequency setups, but I'll find myself using this Uniden a lot more because of the form factor and the included programming software/cable.

Now I have to go spend another $60 on a cable and software on the GRE so I can program the thing via my PC.

Uniden, you have spoiled me.
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39 of 41 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars An astounding value, September 29, 2013
By 
Jack Sanders (Ridgefield, CT USA) - See all my reviews
Verified Purchase(What's this?)
This review is from: Uniden Bearcat 500 Channel Alpha Numeric Hand Held Radio Scanner with CTCSS and DCS (BC125AT) (Office Product)
I have been using scanner-type radios for more than 40 years -- I am a newspaper editor whose job requires them. I have also been a ham radio operator since 1958.
While I own even a Uniden Homepatrol -- arguably the top of the line, I consider the BC125AT to be the most remarkable value of any radio of this type I have ever seen. The quality of this unit, its performance, the ability to configure it many ways, the scores of features, and the FREE programming software make this an excellent value.
WHAT I ESPECIALLY LIKED:
* Low price: You get an awful lot for $119 (or whatever the current price is).
* Free programming software: It's no-frills, but it does everything I want, include setting tone codes and text tags, without all the fuss of using the keypad and "scroll control." Setting up the drivers confused me a bit, but Uniden's help service responded within two days with very detailed instructions -- that worked. Virtually every other scanner that's programmable requires one to purchase software to program it. This feature alone is a substantial value.
* The volume: Many lower-end scanners do not push out much sound. This one is as loud as I would ever need, even in noisy circumstances, such as a fire scene or parade.
* Ability to find channels: This unit has several ways of finding active frequencies in your community, including "Close Call" detection for finding nearby activity and scanning predetermined regions of the spectrum (Marine, Air, railroad, ham, etc.) to find more distance channels by checking thousands of channels that have been preprogrammed in.
* CTCSS and DCS squelch: Most people may not care about this, but if you have a distant police department using the same frequency as the local police department, and you're using an external antenna, programming in the squelch code will prevent you from hearing the interference from the distant department. You hear only station you have provided a code for on that frequency (codes can be gotten from Radioreference.com or you can scan for them using the radio).
* Adjustability: The unit is very configurable, right down to the contrast on the screen. You will need to study the manual, but you will be rewarded doing so.
* Manual: It's extensive, it's clear, and it's pocket size. Best of it, it exists! So many things today come without manuals -- you have to download information or read it on a screen. This has a REAL manual, and it is really useful. And it's not written in broken English!
* The build: It's sturdy, well-designed. It would be nice if it could be a bit smaller, like some newer transceivers, but it's certainly not chunky like Radio Shack and Uniden scanners of the recent past.
* USB rechargeable: The unit uses standard AA nicads (included) that can be charged in the radio with a USB cable (included). Not included is a five-volt USB power supply "brick." However, everyone has those already; they come with cell phones and other gear. Just plug the charger cable into one of these transformer blocks -- or into your computer. Smart move by Uniden because you don't have to pay the added cost of transformer you already have. The unit can also use standard alkaline AAs -- making it very flexible.
* Frequency range: It's got just about every frequency range you would want, including CB.
WHAT I DON'T LIKE:
* One rotary control: One knob, called a scroll control, is used to change channels and to program, adjust volume and adjust squelch. The priority use is channel changing (and other functions requiring scrolling). To me it should be volume first. In the many situations in which I use a scanner, I am always turning up or down the volume. I need quick access; with this unit, you have to push and hold down while turning to adjust volume. One learns to do that, but it's still cumbersome. I believe that volume adjustment is the most frequently used purpose of a rheostat-type control. Even better would be TWO rotary controls, one for volume/squelch and one for channel changing, etc. There is room on the top for a second control.
* No digital: Well, for $119, I guess you can't expect digital coverage. (Fortunately for me, most of my local services are still analog.) But it still irks me that when you can walk into a supermarket and buy a throw-away cell phone for $10, you have to pay nearly $500 for a digital portable scanner. That $10 phone is a digital two-way radio transceiver. It's not only a scanner receiver, it's a multichannel transmitter, too! It's time for technology and price to catch up with radio scanners.
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54 of 61 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars My first scanner, June 29, 2012
Verified Purchase(What's this?)
This review is from: Uniden Bearcat 500 Channel Alpha Numeric Hand Held Radio Scanner with CTCSS and DCS (BC125AT) (Office Product)
Well so far so good! this is my first scanner and i think it's going well. I read the instructions jumped on radio reference and loaded it up. It seems to work great and i'm having alot of fun being nosy. Very easy to program and the scanner is picking up towns that are about 17 miles away. thanks!
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29 of 35 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Great Radio, December 20, 2012
Verified Purchase(What's this?)
This review is from: Uniden Bearcat 500 Channel Alpha Numeric Hand Held Radio Scanner with CTCSS and DCS (BC125AT) (Office Product)
I got a BC72XLT a couple years ago, and never regretted that purchase. I saw the features of this radio and decided it was worth the upgrade. I think it's definitely worth it for someone looking for a few more features.

Alpha Tags - so you know what you're listening to, you don't have to memorize what frequencies are
USB programming - MUCH easier to program new frequencies. You can also back up everything to a file, so you can change the entire setup of the banks really quickly. Nice if you go on vacation, because you can enter all the new frequencies on the computer, back up the old setup and apply the new setup. When you get back, it takes less than a minute to put the old setup back on.
USB charging - you don't need a special AC charger for the radio, it can charge from a computer or USB charger. If you plan on using it at home or in one place a lot, I would definitely suggest getting a USB charger (maybe with a mini USB plug already on it). This helps to get it away from the computer, which can cause interference. It comes with 2 rechargeable AA batteries, which seem to last maybe 8 hours on a charge. Backlight and frequent transmissions could reduce this, but I have been very happy with battery life.
Military Frequencies - one of the main things that convinced me to get this radio. I have to admit I haven't heard anything except the UHF from airport towers, but I will be around more UHF traffic soon and I expect to get a lot more from this.
Better Programming - you can set delay specifically to each channel. You can also set a temporary lockout, which only locks a channel out until you turn off the radio. Useful for localized interference.
Backlight Options - you can set the backlight to come on only with squelch, so it is off until it picks up a signal.
DND Mode - this stands for "do not disturb." This means that the "close call" or priority modes will only do their checks when scanning. Once it picks up a channel, it will not interrupt the channel to do those checks. This is really nice, because even the short pauses to do those checks can make you miss key information in a transmission.
Close Call memory - you can store the frequencies found in close call mode to a small bank for later review or scanning.
Large banks - 50 channels in each bank. Sometimes I have to combine smaller categories into one bank, but overall it is good to have plenty of space in a bank. Also good to have more frequencies overall.
Dedicated Weather Function - Fn-3 accesses weather radio modes, nice to have when there is bad weather. There is also a weather function to scan weather radio in the background for alerts.
Easier service search - When in service search mode, each service is treated like a bank and can be turned on or off. This is much more intuitive and lets you only choose the ones you are interested in. These are: Police, Fire/Emergency, Ham, Marine, Railroad, Civil Air, Military Air, CB Radio, FRS/GMRS/MURS (handheld civil radios), and Racing. You can also set custom ranges.

There are other features, but these are the ones I found most useful.
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15 of 17 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars uniden bc125at, June 7, 2012
Verified Purchase(What's this?)
This review is from: Uniden Bearcat 500 Channel Alpha Numeric Hand Held Radio Scanner with CTCSS and DCS (BC125AT) (Office Product)
this is a very nice scanner good sound quality ctcss and dcs and alpha numeric display what's not to like
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21 of 26 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Update Your Firmware!, August 26, 2012
By 
T. Dowdle (San Diego, CA) - See all my reviews
(REAL NAME)   
Verified Purchase(What's this?)
This review is from: Uniden Bearcat 500 Channel Alpha Numeric Hand Held Radio Scanner with CTCSS and DCS (BC125AT) (Office Product)
Received the unit Saturday (08/25/12) and discovered it had the old firmware version. The new version (as of September 5, 2012) is 1.03.01. The stock on-hand can be fairly old. How to tell if your unit has the latest? When you turn on the unit, the current firmware version will appear on the first screen as the unit is going through its start-up routine. With the original firmware, no version info was shown anywhere! If link was removed, just search for it on the radio reference website.

Be sure to install the current USB drivers from the Uniden website before attempting to update the firmware or use the free Uniden programming software. It can be frustrating to find it via the main Uniden website, but Amazon deletes any reference to the direct link. The link is in the manual.
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7 of 7 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Awesome radio, August 15, 2013
Verified Purchase(What's this?)
This review is from: Uniden Bearcat 500 Channel Alpha Numeric Hand Held Radio Scanner with CTCSS and DCS (BC125AT) (Office Product)
This is a great low cost scanner for analog listening only. Works great on VHF-High and Airband. I highly recommend this scanner. You can't buy a better scanner (new) for this price that offers these features.
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7 of 8 people found the following review helpful
2.0 out of 5 stars A decent scanner intentionally hobbled by Uniden, September 8, 2014
Verified Purchase(What's this?)
This review is from: Uniden Bearcat 500 Channel Alpha Numeric Hand Held Radio Scanner with CTCSS and DCS (BC125AT) (Office Product)
A potentially great airshow scanner which has one major shortcoming - It has frequency coverage clipped at 380 mhz, military air band goes up to 400. That is more than 1/10th of the entire military aviation band.
Why Uniden did this is beyond me, there are quite a few active freqs in this range including some used by the blue angels. For that reason alone I'd be hard pressed to recommend it to anyone serious about mil air. In fact thats the only bad thing I have to say about it, this would be a 5 star were it not for that 1 major omission.
Has a good form factor, looks nice, attractive display and alpha tagging is nice. Easy to program, can't understand the reviews here stating its super hard. I programmed most of the freqs via software which was super simple, then in 2 minutes I learned how to do it manually, programming in the field comes in handy sometimes.
Reception is decent, audio is crisp but a little weak, which is expected from a handheld used at an airshow, which is why I use an external speaker with all my handhelds. I've heard rumors that a firmware update might restore the missing 380-400, in which case I'd certainly revise my opinion and rating.
Not holding my breath though, as it sits I consider this scanner hobbled.

edit: Just found out the Aussie version of this very same scanner is not hobbled and has the entire UHF military air band
http://uniden.com.au/AUSTRALIA/p_ubc126at_index.asp If I had known that I would have sought this export version, even paying a bit more.
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5 of 5 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Great purchase!, March 25, 2013
Verified Purchase(What's this?)
This review is from: Uniden Bearcat 500 Channel Alpha Numeric Hand Held Radio Scanner with CTCSS and DCS (BC125AT) (Office Product)
You need to read the directions a few times to figure it out, but once u program about one or two frequencies and its tag name, it is endless. Great scanner for the prices. It picks up all local agencies. Can't wait to use it at the next race! All my drivers have been programmed.
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