Uniden released the BC125AT scanner, an upgrade of the previously produced BC75XLT. Many are concerned whether this is not just some fluke or a possible strategy of the producers to milk consumers of more money by rebranding an exact old product as an improved or upgraded version. The similarities between both products make this a likely scenario.
If you want to know if the BC125AT is just another BC75XLT with better aesthetics and publicity or if it is truly an upgrade of the older version in features and functionality, this is the review for you. Read as we give you a comprehensive comparison of both handheld scanners.
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The BC125AT Vs. BC75XLT: Comparison of Manufacturer’s Specification
Let’s take a quick survey of the specification of both Uniden scanners. We will be briefly looking at the specifications and features of both products independently.
Uniden BC75XLT Handheld Scanner
This Uniden product is a portable scanner designed for personal use, covering major bands for ham radio operators. This radio has features like a weather alert that makes it a suitable choice for amateur users in emergencies.
The radio has up to 300 programmable channels that can be stored in memory banks. The close call RF capture technology with do not disturb feature allows you to scan and select relative radio frequencies even if they are not already programmed or stored on your memory channel.
The Uniden BC75XLT uses alkaline batteries, two of them, and rechargeable batteries. You can use the USB port charging option to connect your device to a computer to recharge the batteries.
With your BC75XLT, you can monitor the police department, get first-hand information from emergency stations, fire departments, first responders, air-band transmission, utilities, and many other public stations.
Product Specifications and Information
Dimension: 1 X 5 X 3 inches
Weight: 14.4 ounces
Batteries: AA Batteries
Programmable channel search ranges: 10
Frequencies: VHF and UHF
Range: 25-54 MHz, 108 – 174 MHz, 406 – 512 MHz
Programming: Free software for programming
Band compatibility: Narrow bands
Operating system: Linux
Asides from the abundance of channels available with the scanner, many users also love it for its ease of programming and use. It could also be your first scanner, and you will not have a headache programming and operating it. This product is very pocket friendly at the cost of purchase. It can deliver all the basic needs of an amateur radio user.
The BC75XLT lacks extensive features, and this may make it unsuitable for some advanced use. It is not also the most durable radio you will get out there, so you may have to handle it with care.
Uniden BC125AT Handheld Scanner
The Uniden BC125AT scanner is the device to stay updated about happenings in your locality. With full VHF and UHF coverage, the device can reach various stations, including the military and civilian airband. The abundance of channels on the tool allows you to program an enormous number of channels that make scanning easier. The frequency channels are alpha-tagged for ease of identification.
This bearcat scanner is loaded with extensive features like close call RF technology that allows you to scan and join nearby frequencies, alpha tagging of channels, weather alert, lock-out feature, priority channels, and so on.
You can use this device as amateur radio for events, games and competitions, military, railroad, marine, and other stations.
Product Specification and Information
Size: 4.33 x 2.17 x 7.28 inches
Weight: 1.01 pounds
Battery: AA Batteries
Frequency type: VHF and UHF
Frequency Range: 25-54 MHz, 108-174 MHz, 225-380 MHz, 400-512 MHz
BC75XLT Vs. BC125T: Similarities Between the Uniden Scanners
Both Uniden scanners have specific features and characteristics in common. We will be discussing the similarities between both the BC75XLT and BC125AT.
Ease of Programming
Both scanners use the computer programming software for programming through a USB port. Programming these scanners is very easy to comprehend with little direction from the manufacturer’s guide. You can also program both manuals manually, though a more demanding process.
When comparing both scanners, you will realize they both use AA batteries. Similarly, you can recharge their batteries through a USB charging port by connecting the device to a computer system.
Several essential features are common to both devices. It is vital to take note of these features as it could determine if you will need the more expensive BC125AT or not. Suppose the standard features are just sufficient for your need. In that case, you may save the extra $30 or thereabout by merely going for the smaller device.
Major features common to both devices are:
1. Close call RF Technology:
The close call RF technology allows a user to set the radio scanner to detect and provide information about other radio transmissions nearby.
The close call RF technology feature has two other related parameters: the close call DND and the close call temporary store.
The close call DND is a “do not disturb” feature that reduces the interference from other radio transmissions while the user is on a close call transmission. When you finish monitoring a particular communication, the DND feature automatically turns off, and the scanner resumes its search for other transmissions.
The close call temporary store helps the user save the last ten transmissions to visit them. It allows you to revisit the transmission whenever you need it. Still, it doesn’t last long because the feature only stores them temporarily.
2. Lock-out feature:
There are specific channels you do not want to search for. The radios’ lock-out feature allows the user to set the scanner to skip specified frequencies or channels during a search. You can only unlock these channels manually if you need a search on them.
Every user will love this feature because it helps save time as it would neglect unnecessary searches. It allows the temporary lock-out of a particular channel that wears off when you switch off the units. The radio resumes its routine scanning when you switch it on unless you set it back to the temporary lock-out again.
The radio’s alpha tagging feature helps you associate names with the numbers entered in the system’s telephone directory. Whenever there is a call from or to an alpha tagged number, the device displays the name you used in classifying the number. The feature also allows you to tag department names against speed calls.
The alpha tagging allows the user to set the name using up to 16 characters. It enables the user to recognize the numbers of incoming and outgoing calls easily.
4. Weather Alert:
The weather alert feature is one of the characteristics common to both radios. It gives information and alerts on weather changes and conditions using NOAA channels using dedicated channels. It makes both scanners suitable for outdoor use.
5. Power options:
Both scanners have high-quality power output. This impressive power output contributes to the level of functionality of the radios. They both feature 2 AA batteries that enable the radios to work multiple shifts. The battery delivers high-quality power for the efficiency and performance of the handheld transceivers.
The radios have a dual power feature that allows the user to either use 2 AA batteries or use a rechargeable battery. You can use its USB cable and port that will enable you to charge the rechargeable batteries when needed. The radios have a quick-change feature that allows the user to switch easily from the AA batteries to the rechargeable ones.
Another power feature of the radios is the battery saving ability. The radios can save battery power by turning off the RF power when there isn’t any transmission for 60 seconds. It comes on automatically for 300ms to scan for active communications, but this feature only works in “search hold” or “scan hold.”
The walkie talkies also have a battery alert that alerts the user whenever the battery runs low. The alert feature beeps every 15 seconds until you change, charge the battery. The beeping also stops when the battery discharges if you do not modify the battery.
6. Key lock feature:
The feature is a useful feature of the radio, especially if you are the kind of user that keeps the radio in your pocket. The feature allows the user to lock the key to prevent accidental changes in the frequency or channel settings. It helps keep your settings intact without any unwanted change.
7. Memory back-up:
The radio has a back-up memory feature that allows it to store frequencies in memory for a long time. This feature is most beneficial when the scanner suddenly or abruptly loses power; it keeps the frequency stored in its memory, allowing you to retrieve it when you turn on the scanner back.
8. Quick search and direct access:
The radios give users the ease and time-saving feature of searching frequencies and channels using a quick search feature. It bypasses the radio’s conventional manual search and helps the user search for it as quickly as possible. The feature allows you to do a quick search by inputting the frequency for the search.
Although the radios have a quick search feature, they also have a conventional search feature that does not require frequency input. The walkie talkies also provide direct access to any of the channels allowing their easy use and operation.
9. Storage tanks
You can program and store channels on these Uniden scanners. With the ten storage tanks in both scanners, equal numbers of frequencies can be stored in each channel.
Significant Differences Between Both Uniden Scanners
The Uniden scanner comparison is not complete without discussing the significant difference between the two products. There are several physical and functional differences between the BC125AT and the BC75XLT.
The physical difference allows users to differentiate the two radios easily by merely looking and observing them. The functional difference will require a user to use the two radios and check out their available features.
Here are some significant differences between the BC125AT and BC75XLT;
The handheld transceivers’ size gives a physical difference between the two radios; BC75XLT and BC125AT. The two-way radios’ sizes are visibly different in both size and weight, which you can easily detect by weighing them with your hands.
The BC125AT is more significant than the BC75XLT having a more extensive design and structure. The former radio weighs about 2 oz more than the latter. The BC125AT weighs about 16oz, while the BC75XLT weighs about 14oz.
Although the two radios have similar structure and design and are handy, the 75XLT is handier. It can fit into your hand unless you have a small grip.
The color of these radios can also be an important factor in differentiating them. The BC125AT has multiple colors to choose from to suit your taste, while the BC75XLT only comes in the default granite black color.
The BC125AT also comes in a granite black color. It gives the radio some uniqueness as you can choose from varieties of colors, unlike the BC75XLT walkie talkie.
The number of channels on both scanners is one of the significant functional differences between both Uniden scanners. The channels of a two-way radio are a highly significant feature that constitutes the functionality of the radio. Users transmit and receive messages through the use of the channels of a walkie talkie.
Comparing the BC125AT and the BC75XLT two-way radios, you will find out that the former radio has 200 channels more than the latter. The BC125AT has 500 channels that allow the user to listen to over 40,000 frequencies that include military and civilian bands. The radio enables the channels’ distribution into ten storage banks allowing high organization for departments, location, etc.
The BC75Xlt has 300 channels to distribute into ten storage banks, with each storage bank having 30 channels. It also has ten programmable search ranges that allow the user to search for transmission on stored channels.
Factors That May Influence a Consumer’s Choice of Scanner
Different factors can influence which of the scanners to choose when deciding to purchase a Uniden scanner. While determining what scanner to pick out of the BC75XLT or the BC125AT, you should consider the below-listed factors.
Location is one of the most prominent factors that affect which of the scanners you should go for. Where you live or where you want to use the scanner can significantly affect your scanner’s choice. If you live in a location with low signal strength, you will have to get a radio with a high signal reception property.
Getting a scanner with about 500 channels in the type of location or small city where you do not need to connect to multiple channels can be useless, so you would probably go for the BC75XLT scanner with lesser channel options and price.
However, if you live in a relatively large city with various possible stations or channels to connect to, the BC125AT scanner with more memory would be your best choice to avoid frequency and channel storage problems.
Your occupation should also determine the type of scanner you would be buying. The handheld transceiver you choose should be suitable for your work or daily activities.
If you own a retail store, you would want to go for the Uniden scanner with more channels because of the number of departments and groups you may wish to communicate with. If you work in the police department or military unit, you would require a radio with a high range because you would be sharing with users over a considerable distance.
Your occupation is an essential factor that should affect your choice of the two scanners, as you would not want to get a radio that will not be functional for your type of occupation.
· Individual Preference
Individual preference is also one of the factors that affect the choice of scanner for several users. The radio you like is what you will buy; it is a normal phenomenon of nature. You might be interested in the structure, design, color, and other radio properties.
Surprisingly, most people like the device might not be the most efficient or suitable radio for their use, but their individual preference influences their decision when making their choice.
However, it would be best if you considered each of the scanners’ outlined features before choosing to ensure you make a rational decision.
Budget is a very vital factor that does not only influence your choice of a scanner, but you also have to consider it before choosing a scanner for your use. The budget refers to the amount of money you plan for the cost of the product.
While you might desire a scanner with extensive features, if your budget limits you, you may go for the BC75XLT, provided it can cater to your basic radio needs.
There are ways to improve the functionality of the BC75XLT, say replacing the antenna with an improved one for better range. It will help you get a better experience with the scanner at almost the same cost.
However, if you have a flexible budget, the BC125AT is the right choice considering its advanced features and upgrade.
The functionality of the radio also determines if you go for it or not. It is one of the fundamental factors that should decide which of the Uniden scanners to choose.
Most users want a highly functional radio with several features. Users who prefer scanners with many available features will choose radios with sophisticated features over radios with basic features, irrespective of its cost.
The functionality of the radio depends on its composition and features. Expensive radios tend to be more functional than cheap radios. If you prioritize improved functionality in a scanner, you should go for the BC125AT, not to say that its counterpart doesn’t deliver on functionality.
· Structure and design
Some users pick their choice of scanner through its structure and design. Most users cherish handiness in walkie talkies; some prefer small-sized handy, portable radios, while others delight in large-sized radios. The radio design can also be a selling point for the radio, making it a deciding factor for a choice.
If portability is what you are looking for, the BC75XLT is the radio for you.
· Accessories for the Radios
The radios make use of several accessories to enhance its functionality and performance. These accessories either make the radio more comfortable to use or make it more efficient. Here are some of the accessories;
Earphones: Earphones are essential accessories of the walkie talkies. They help users listen to audio messages without stressing themselves. When connected, you only have to put the earphone in your ear and listen, not needing to hold the radio close to your ears.
Some earphones have a mouthpiece feature that allows talking and sending messages without bringing the walkie talkie close to your mouth.
Charger: The charger is also a vital accessory of the two-way radios. The charger includes a USB cord that you connect from a power source to the radio, allowing you to charge the rechargeable batteries. Without the charger, you might not be able to make use of the radio when the batteries run low, mainly when you use a rechargeable battery.
Holsters: The holster is also a handy accessory for two-way radio. The holster helps the user keep the radio in a case, as the holster serves as a holder case for the radio.
Shoulder microphone: The shoulder microphone is also an accessory that allows you to talk on the radio without bringing it close to your mouth. The shoulder microphone is handy for walkie talkie usage.
It would help if you considered accessories compatibility and the ease of purchasing accessories for each of the scanners before finally deciding which of the scanners to choose.
While the two Uniden scanners share several standard features, there is a noticeable difference between the BC125AT and the BC75XLT scanners. These differences are both in function and structure.
Deciding whether the difference in the products is worth the increase in price in the BC125AT will be a function of the consumer’s decision and needs.
The Uniden scanner review gives you the details of the two products showing you their peculiarities and strengths. It should guide you in making an informed decision on which of the two scanners will fit your needs and budget perfectly.