Hand Held v Base Station

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Hand Held v Base Station

Postby Shambles » Tue Aug 08, 2017 5:15 pm

Hi everyone, I have been missing for sometime now,I went over to Ham Radio,so I want to get back into Scanners,no doubt there is a lot that's took place while I have been away, I am indecive in picking either the above,don't want a cheapo or very expensive one,I have been recommend to the Uniden BCT 15x by Radioworld but some say it can be tricky to programm it due it having USA settings,any help would be very much appreciated

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Re: Hand Held v Base Station

Postby m0lsx » Tue Aug 08, 2017 6:00 pm

For reasonably priced base scanner the 15X is great, it also makes a great mobile radio.
In the value for money stakes the Uniden UBC-125???? is as good as it gets. A handheld scanner works really well with a £20 micro mag & great with a £10 -£15 larger handheld whip & like a dream with a discone or amateur radio white stick.
Do no discount a Alinco Handheld if you are going to look at £200 plus handhelds. For me the Alinco with it's equivalent of close Call is a really good scanner, but close to twice the price of the Uniden.
And if you want a good base radio, rather than a scanner & do not mind several hundred pounds upwards then a secondhand Icom base radio is worth looking at, even if it is years old, or VERY expensive & new.
Take care if buying off Radioworld. They can be fine, but they also have a reputation for VERY expensive secondhand kit & for not always being as reliable as they should be.
I have brought several bits off Radioworld & never had an issue, but I know people who have not been as lucky. But then I have had issues with dealers who others swear by, rather than about. So just be aware.
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Re: Hand Held v Base Station

Postby Shambles » Tue Aug 08, 2017 7:35 pm

That's a terrific reply m0lsx,when you say a base radio do you mean a ham radio
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Re: Hand Held v Base Station

Postby m0lsx » Wed Aug 09, 2017 9:36 am

I mean a radio used at someones home, place of work etc etc. Which may have a permanent or semi permanent antenna available.
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Re: Hand Held v Base Station

Postby Shambles » Wed Aug 09, 2017 4:21 pm

Does the Uniden ubc 125 xlt come with USA settings like the 15x :thumbup:
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Re: Hand Held v Base Station

Postby m0lsx » Wed Aug 09, 2017 5:03 pm

Every Uniden is aimed primarily at the American market. Simply because it is the biggest market.
There are two or three different settings for band steps with most Unidens & it's simply a matter of selecting the one that suits us the best.
The 15X is a perfectly good scanner & as good as most base / mobile scanners when it comes to the UK. However some scanner add on's like the GPS, truck tracking etc are of less, or no use here. But don't let that put you off a good scanner.
The band coverage & the step size for both the 15X & the 125 are fine in the UK & that is all that really matters.
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Re: Hand Held v Base Station

Postby Shambles » Wed Aug 09, 2017 8:37 pm

I had a Alinco many years ago,it was brilliant at the time,but it was well made just cant remember what model it was,i know it was very hard to programme

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Re: Hand Held v Base Station

Postby Shambles » Wed Aug 09, 2017 9:37 pm

m0lsx Would a base/ ham radio pick up the same frequencies as a scanner,or could you recommend a quality base scanner


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Re: Hand Held v Base Station

Postby m0lsx » Wed Aug 09, 2017 10:44 pm

Ham radio equipment will certainly pick up plenty of frequencies & many of us use a mixture of real scanners & amateur radio equipment with multiple non amateur frequencies programmed in for listening on.
However.....Radio amateur equipment & things like Baofeng's are NOT scanners. They will scan a few channels, but they are slow & clunky by comparison to a scanner.
When you ask for a "quality base scanner" do you mean a "Quality" scanner or a reasonable base scanner at a reasonable price?
To put quality into perspective. I have a late 1980's Icom IC-R7000, it is a brilliant receiver, but only has 99 channels, however expect to pay anything between 200 & 400 for one today, if it's in reasonable condition. For a 15 to 20 year old IC-R8500 look to spend around £800 plus & Martyn Lynch did have a new one for just under £1400 a few weeks ago, although Icom no longer make them.
For a new Icom IC-R9500 budget around £11,000.
Quality is not cheap. Even old quality gets good money.

Around £200 will buy you a Uniden 15X. It's not perfect, but it is a good scanner & many of us here have one.
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Re: Hand Held v Base Station

Postby Minus1 » Thu Aug 10, 2017 2:36 pm

1. Firstly the BCT15X is a mobile scanner, not a base scanner. It is designed to be used in a car. That's why it is mountable in a DIN space and has a 12V input. Yes it can be used on a desk using the enclosed bracket, but is specifically not designed as such. If it was it would not be so small and would have proper feet.

2. The person who claims GPS is useless in the UK is taking complete rubbish, and obviously doesn't have a GPS puck themselves. GPS is worldwide. You can set the latitude and longitude of any Group. Therefore acquiring a Uniden GPS puck (by import from the US) is very useful in the UK when you are driving around as it will lock and unlock groups as you move around. You just have to enter the location of appropriate groups yourself rather than being able to download it from a US database (the database has few UK freqs anyway). It is not worth buying if you only ever intend to use it at home.

3.The US features in the BCT15X can be largely ignored. Most of them are useless here because Uniden do not have the gumption to make them user-programmable so you can use them in other countries. These include "States", repeater "REV"erse, "POL" (police), "HP" (highway patrol). This does not compromise the usefulness of the scanner in the UK, it just means some buttons are of no use.

4. It is not "tricky to program". It has a menu system like many mobile phones. It is not rocket science. You just have to read the manual, not expect it to program itself.

5. An important thing to note is that it scans memory in the order you input systems, groups, and frequencies; not in the order of Quick Keys or Number Tag.
Therefore you should plan how you want to organise things BEFORE you start inputting anything.
So call your first System "1" then give it a name.
And your next system "2" then give it a name.
etc.
And give each system the same Quick Key as the Number Tag as far as is possible.
But you can have 3 digit numtags but only 2 digit Quick Keys.
So arrange things logically (e.g. keep Systems with NumTags 120,121,122,123,124,125,126,127,128,129 all under QK 12).
Otherwise you soon end up confused about what follows what.

6. Oh and being American, they anally put '0' between '9' and "11, and '10' between '19' and '21') :rolleyes:


The UBC125XLT has no "US settings" as such, but the band plan is pretty rubbish and seems to have been based upon some half-soaked input from somebody in Europe, I use Band Plan 1.
Some of the service search banks are also half-soaked and largely useless.
I reserve the right to ignore people who have made no attempt to the read the manual, and expect others to do it for them.
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