Uniden BearTracker BCT15X Review
The Uniden BCT15X Radio Scanner is an upgraded version of its predecessor, the BCT15, offering double the memory space and a whole lot of new features. It is a full-featured analog scanner, and it can be used as a base scanner or as a mobile unit. In addition, the BCT15X was the first scanner back in 2009 to incorporate some of its features.
The general layout of the scanner is what you’d expect from a mobile base scanner, with a multi-function knob on the far right, and a keypad with a screen on the left. The screen is of course backlit and it can be set to various different levels, or even better, you can connect it to your vehicle’s interior light system and control them together.
And the best part? It comes pre-programmed with many channels commonly used by local police, DOT, and Highway Patrol, so you can listen when you travel without needing to program all these channels.
Now that we’ve got a quick overview of the BCT15X, let’s take an in-depth look at the features that make it one of the best analog scanners on the market.
Dynamic Memory Architecture
Instead of fixed banks and channels, the Uniden BCT15X uses a dynamic memory architecture (DMA). This allows you to program up to 9,000 channels into as many Channels, Systems, and Groups you want.
Even though you’re unlikely to use all those channels, it’s nice to have room to program all your favorite channels and still have enough space for exploring new channels. What’s more, you’ll always know how much space you have left in the menu system so that you’ll never be caught off guard when wanting to program new channels.
Trunk Tracker III Technology
This technology ensures you don’t miss out on any of the action and that you can listen in to the most popular trunking systems, including:
- Motorola Type I 800
- Motorola Type II 800, 900, UHF, VHF (including rebanded 800 MHz systems)
- EDACS Wide (standard), Narrow, SCAT (including systems that use an EDACS System Key)
Close Call RF Capture Technology
Close Call is a feature exclusive to Uniden scanners, and allows you to detect, display, and listen to stronger nearby transmissions. In a matter of milliseconds, the scanner searches through different signals and stops on active channels. This is extremely useful when driving around, as the signals you pick up will be relatively close to you, so there’s a high chance that you’ll have some interest.
In addition, you can set a “Do Not Disturb” option so that the scanner will only check for Close Calls when you’re not listening to other transmissions.
No review of a Uniden scanner can be complete without acknowledging the amazing GPS support. You can connect the Uniden BCT15X to a compatible GPS unit, which unfortunately doesn’t come with the device, and use it to listen to transmissions while you’re on the go. The GPS unit automatically scans for channels based on your location.
This is a great feature as you can keep yourself focused on the road when driving, and the scanner will do all the work for you.
Other notable features:
- System / Channel Number Tagging – provides rapid access to a specific system or channel.
- Custom Search – lets you program up to 10 search ranges
- Fire Tone Out Alert
- SAME Weather Alert
- Computer Programming
- Channels: 9,000 maximum
- Supported step sizes: 5, 6.25, 7.5, 8.33, 10, 12.5,15, 20, 25, 50 or 100 kHz
- Scan Rate: 100 channels per second (conventional mode)
- Frequency Coverage: 25 – 512 MHz; 758 – 823.9875 MHz; 849.0125 – 868.9875 MHz; 894.0125 – 960 MHz; 1240 – 1300 MHz
To see the full list of technical specifications of the Uniden BCT15X, click here.
What’s in the Box
The Uniden BCT15X comes with the following items in the box:
- AD-1009 AC Adapter
- Cigarette Lighter Adapter Power Cord
- Three-Wire Harness
- Mounting Bracket and Hardware
- Telescopic Antenna with BNC
- PC Serial Cable 4′
- CD ROM with Owner’s Manual
- Misc Printed Literature
What Users Love the Most about It
The majority of people who’ve bought and used the BCT15X seem to have a positive experience. All of the features add up to make a worthy purchase, and even though it took a while for some people to learn how this scanner works, it was all worth it in the end.
“I’m new to the world of radio scanners, and I just wanted to have something to hear what’s going on in my town. At first, it was difficult for me to set up the scanner as I wanted, but after a while, it’s much easier to use. The sound quality is great, and the radio is sturdy for its size and fits perfectly in my vehicle. My advice is you find YouTube videos explaining how to set up the scanner – I found those much more helpful than written instructions.” Mikey G.
Frequently Asked Questions
What is the rear external antenna connector?
The Antenna Connection is a BNC Male connection, accepting almost any BNC Female antenna Coax+Connector. Almost any ‘Scanner’ Antenna you find will have the proper Connection.
Is this set up for mobile use or does it have to be mounted in vehicle?
It can be used in both mobile and base station applications as long as you can provide power from either environment.
Does the radio come pre-programmed? Is it easy to put in your local frequencies by hand?
Yes it comes pre-programmed and you can put in your zip code and it will scan radio systems in your zip code or you can program it by hand easy or use the software it comes with to put in what you want.
The Uniden BCT15X has an exceptional set of features for an analog scanner, and if your town still uses analog communications, it’s hard to see past the BCT15X. The only drawbacks are the steep learning curve and the initial programming, both of which can be easily overcome with a few online searchers. Overall, a great scanner that’s worth the time to figure out.
Final rating: 4.1/5