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Uniden UBC126AT Review

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Uniden UBC126AT Review

Postby tanger32au » Fri May 22, 2015 8:32 pm

I have just published my review of the Uniden UBC126AT hand held radio scanner:
http://launceston-radio-scanning.blogsp ... anner.html
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Re: Uniden UBC126AT Review

Postby response09 » Mon Sep 18, 2017 8:45 am

G'day Everyone, Great to join the forum. Thanks for having me. I am just going to post a bit of a review on the Uniden UBC126AT scanner and would like others views and experiences with this model. I have owned a UBC126AT for almost four years now. When I first got it, I noticed that a problem existed with scanning the 70 to 80 Mhz Band. Interference would break through the squelch, even when adjusted to the max. This interference or whatever it is called does not come through when the scanner is held on a channel. (Any channel). This leads me to assume the interference is generated within the scanner itself.
Another problem on this band is a background hiss which makes it difficult to hear transmissions. This hiss is also noticeable on other bands as well.
There is a distinct lack of volume from the radio but I know many scanners are made this way. Manufacturers keep the volume low to extend battery life, but what use is that if you can't hear the thing anyway?
Now, before you ask, YES, I have had the 126 checked out by a Uniden service agent who gave it the thumbs up, with all specs up to scratch. He suggested there may be interference at my place, but both these problems occur everywhere I go with it. And yes, I DO use made for the purpose commercial antennas, both mobile and base. I've heard of other 126's having the same interference breakthrough, but does anyone have the hiss problem on this lower band?
OK, having said all that, You may wonder what I am listening to on the 70-88 Mhz band. You see, the Police still use the 77-82Mhz part of this band in this area. They are analogue of course, and my main listening time is spent here.
Now, I'll tell you about two other scanners I own. Both are about ten years old and are basic model scanners The first is a UBC120XLT which gave very good service-until the keypad wore out! None of the keys do anything anymore, but luckily the scanner is stuck on scan and is scanning only a couple of channels, one the police channel, so I can still listen to it. The only problem here is that the channel spacing on the 120 means it is 5khz off the Police channel, but it still receives it better than the 126 with much less background hiss.
The other scanner is a UBC57XLT. What put me onto this model was a mate who wanted me to program a few channels into his 57. I was surprised at how well this basic radio picked up, especially on weaker signals. So I looked around on E-bay and found one. And yes, it is a far superior receiver on all it's bands than the 126! There is no Aircraft band on this one, but I can live without that.
Now I'm not going to bag the 126 too much, after all, I may just have a dud, but if it is up to specs as confirmed by the service agent testing, then perhaps this model just isn't one of Unidens finest. I have the spec figures for the 126, but I cannot find any specs on the other two models anywhere on the web to compare them. I know quite a few of this model have been sold, but if you have nothing else to compare it to, how do you know how good or bad it is? The on-air comparison with my other two scanners woke me up to the fact that the 126 is just not up to scratch.
Does anyone out there have any such problems with the 126? Has anyone compared theirs with another scanner on the same antenna? I paid over $250 for mine which is not a lot in the scheme of things, but I do expect something to do the job it is meant to do.
I will mention that I have experience with two way radio, HF, VHF, UHF going back over 40 years, both commercial and private. Thanks Everyone for your time.
PS:I just found another UBC57XLT on E-bay. So now I will have one in the ute and one in the house and they will both receive signals without that dreaded hiss!
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Re: Uniden UBC126AT Review

Postby tanger32au » Mon Sep 18, 2017 9:24 am

I agree, the UBC126AT is not great on the 70-80MHz band, the only way I found around the issue was to program CTCSS tones.
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Re: Uniden UBC126AT Review

Postby response09 » Mon Sep 18, 2017 9:43 am

Thanks for the reply tanger32au. The problem I have with the 126 is that the 70-80 MHz band is the one I mainly listen too. Yep, I have the CTCSS tones, but that doesn't improve the receive problem. If it was a bit deaf on another band somewhere, I wouldn't care so much. Anyway, I'm stuck with it, but I will be mostly using the other scanners I have from now on.
Before anyone thinks I have confused the CTCSS tones with the hiss, I haven't. I have the correct frequency programmed into the 126, but listening to it sounds like it's not quite dead on the frequency. You know how on a broadcast FM radio how you tune slightly off the station, well, like that. To get maximum volume out of it, I have to set it to NFM, there is just too much hiss and very low volume when switched to standard FM.
The Police repeater is about 7km from my place with a good sized hill in between, but this doesn't stop a good signal coming through on the two UBC57's. If the 126 didn't have that incessant hiss, it would be OK.
The problem with modern scanners with all the bells and whistles (which the 126 has a few of) is the large scale integrated circuitry used. Repairing these types of scanners is just not worth it in labour costs. So everyone, just hope your modern scanner doesn't have anything more wrong than a broken volume knob or antenna connector. If it does, throw it away!
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