A continuation of Woody's 'Nuff Said column from the CBGAZETTE website, covering CB past and present along with Amateur (ham) radio interests.
Tuesday, February 05, 2013
UNIDEN BEARCAT 980 SSB REVIEW
We're on PART II of this review, and I expect it to have many parts [ed. - "many" = more than 3]. In my haste to get Part 1 off, I should have proof read it AND used my reading glasses because I never saw the tiny frequency readout under the large channel number, so I sit corrected.
I've yet to dive into any reading material, so I may have to correct myself another time - we'll have to see about that, or what time I will have to read. The radio has a channel 9/19 push button switch, which has been around forever (or maybe it just seems that way), and except for traffic from Mexico or further South, I've never heard anything useful on channel 9 for decades.
Some radios I've run across let you set another channel for channel 9, like the local hangout channel, and I do like being able to jump to 19 for a quick update on traffic from time-to-time. With this rig, being computer controlled, it would have been nice if you were (for example) on ch.38 LSB and switched to channel 19 that it would be smart enough/or programmed to change the mode from sideband to AM for you automatically and then back again when you return to 38 LSB.
Much like a Blogger, or anyone who writes regularly, they should have proof-read the box the radio comes in. For instance it has three modes: AM, USB, and LNB. I know I've been away from buying new rigs for awhile so maybe there is an "LNB" mode, but I doubt it. As far as the color schemes go, to be specific, you have 7 options, and I like the fact that it has a 9' cord on the hand microphone. While we're on things I like, I may as well mention the adjustable Backlit control. As for the physical outlay it is just "okay". Depending on how and where you mount it depends on whether or not it is more-or-less "okay" with you.
The ON/OFF, squelch/volume control is located on the top left side of the front panel with the microphone jack being just below which is convenient but I would have arranged the placement of the push buttons differently. Along the bottom of the panel you have push buttons for:
Above the AM/USB/LSB button you'll find buttons for:
RF Gain, and
These are farthest away from your reach, in a typical under the dash mount so I would have preferred the bottom row to be (in this order):
RF Gain, and
With the remaining buttons along the right side, farthest from your reach, but not necessarily often used, and I'm torn between leaving the on-off/squelch/volume to being on-off/clarifier/volume, and yeah, I'm being a bit picky now. On the box it mentions that the radio is "wireless microphone compatible" and directs you to learn more about it on their website. I learned that there's no picture of it, that it's not available yet, and costs $99.99.
A very nice surprise is the warranty - 2 years. It's not very often you'll see that, so I suspect they don't expect to get many sent back within that period, and I was also surprised to see that they furnished you with a 6-pin to 4-pin microphone adapter as well. There is some slight confusion regarding the clarifier. On the box it states that it's 1.0khz clarifier (+/-), but in the manual it says it's 1.5khz (+/-).
As far as the scan feature goes (usually not any farther than I could throw it), you do get the option to select certain channels for it to scan, thus making the feature worthwhile. Adjacent channel rejection as stated in the manual is 60dB which is better than many CB's made in the last 20 years or so.
And that my friends, ends Part 2 of the review. I'll have to make some room in the truck and figure out where to mount this before proceeding.