Uniden Bearcat 980 SSB

980 Bearcat

980 Bearcat
980 Bearcat back of Box

980 Bearcat back of Box

Getting Lazy in my old age so just took photos of the box. Saves me explaining too much.

What we have here is quite a nice little 40ch SSB CB radio from Uniden. It goes all right and sounds all right but you are restricted to about 12w and 40ch. If you are used to an export radio this may not cut the mustard for you. It does have a few nice features though..the frequency reads out under the channel…not that this is a big deal on a 40ch rig! The display will change colour. A lot of the adjustments are via buttons and menu so the radio is not full of knobs. It is still quite a big size..I thought it would be smaller but it is bigger than the Optima all round but doesn’t weigh much. Sound is fine on both SSB TX and RX. No surprises. Certainly would suit an export platform with an extra final and a lot more coverage. Then it would be a nice radio.

A couple of gripes..the main one being the noise it makes every time you do something to it. It beeps. it pisses you off after a while because there does not seem to be any way to turn down the beep or to turn it off!!! The buttons are rather small, too close together for my fat fingers and not much feeling without the BEEP. The mode button is down the bottom and tucked in beside the dual clarifiers which makes it a bit difficult to access quickly. Why did Uniden feel they need a coarse and fine clarifier on a 40 ch FCC spec CB radio? Not that it is a bad thing..just why? What else?..well the memories are a good thing but the inability of the radio to recall the mode of the memory makes it useless in my book. We have had CB’s out for 15 years that could hold mode and frequency but this new 2012 radio can’t. That sux.

So what is it really?…I may be wrong but I think it is another derivative from the anytone stable. It has the same display colour options, and similar menu options albeit more refined. Probably suffers from the same AGC issues as the rest of them..works OK, but not worth the 150 USD price tag. A bargain at about US$80 bucks which is what it should cost. Grossly underpowered out of the box at 6w PEP on SSB and really needs the AGC turned up or you won’t be heard. Slap a little amp behind it if you want to get serious. A kl203 stuck on top would work a treat..I also noticed the back got quite warm. I don’t know whether to keep in in the cupboard with the cobra 200gtl and other radios marked ‘Not for use” or to sell it…I can’t see myself using it or needing it to prove I have a 40ch CB. Now if they can fix the beep, the memory mode issue, add a second final, heatsink and more channels and 1 and 5khz step options I would definitely be interested.

ADDED JAN 29 2013  Used the radio today for a while hooked up to a couple of RM HLA300V’s to test the amps. Those amps don’t like more than 10w PEP so it was a good match. I must admit I got a bit long winded…But I was surprised at just how hot the right rear section got! It’s only 10w so what was it doing getting all hot and bothered? No wonder somebody stuck a heatsink on theirs!

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One Response to Uniden Bearcat 980 SSB

  1. Justin Lee Berryman says:

    I actually love mine I’m used to running 2 mobile radio’s anyways I stuck my Palomar 900LD behind it with dual 102″ k40 steel whips its fire in the wire now radio totally stock I use bearcat wireless Mic main reason I selected this radio it has long range from the radio 1/4 Mile so it’s like having cordless phone cb I like having a quick easy to grab 11meter cb so I don’t have to switcmy quad band to that am mode and 27mhz frequency just click it quick and fire outta both sticks while in my pickup and semi truck so good buy in my book I would like the clarifier to be more precise at times it is great times not so but that’s mother nature mostly easy to turn up wattage wise as. Well so no worries it’s fine tuned outta the box very nice as well …

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