lot of CB'ers these days have gotten used to
radios that can easily be tuned up for 20 watts
output with just a couple of adjustments inside
(Galaxy DX 959 as an example). The Uniden Bearcat
980 SSB is not going to yield the same results.
In fact, the output on this radio is a bit mediocre.
Out of the box you'll see maybe 5-8 watts AM
peak and 10-12 watts SSB peak. With a little
bit of tuning you'll see peak output of around
10 watts on AM and 15 watts SSB, but that is
some modifications the radio might achieve some
higher numbers but I think people will need
to accept that this is not some big swinging
radio. If you put a swing kit in every radio
and expect 1 watt swinging to 20 watts on AM
this radio is not for you. However the basic
CB output of this radio will match up well with
most two pill amplifiers, so if you need more
power an amplifier matched with this radio will
be the way to go.
receiver on the Uniden 980 is sensitive and
does border on the oversensitive side with some
hiss, but overall it has much better out-of-the-box
properties for receive than some of the newer
export radios. Much like those other radios,
though, it still has issues with noise when
driving through areas with electrical interference
and bleedover from nearby drivers talking on
I was fairly happy with the background noise
level for this radio and incoming stations sounded
clear and easy to understand. I did talk quite
a bit of DX during testing and I picked up many
far off stations who were at the static level
and I had no trouble hearing them.
mentioned before the stock microphone has got
to go. Even after making adjustments to the
modulation pot inside the radio (which didn't
yield much change in modulation) the stock microphone
just wasn't up to the task. Reports came back
that I was quiet and hard to hear on both AM
a strong power microphone was a game changer
on SSB and resulted in positive comments from
everyone I talked to on the air. In fact when
talking SSB DX I had multiple stations comment
out of the blue on the quality of the audio
and what a great sounding radio I was using.
also was impressed with the quality of the audio
audio isn't great. It's passable but by no means
is it loud or punchy even with the addition
of the power microphone. If you play king of
hill with the locals on AM this radio is not
going to be walking on anyone.
this radio does anything extrodinarily well
it's maintaining frequency stability on SSB.
For more than 20 years the CB community has
fought and fiddled with radios that drifted
up or down and required continual adjustment
of the clarifier. The Uniden 980 requires no
such adjustments. Out of the box the radio was
spot on frequency (no cb shop alignment needed)
and from turn on to turn off and in all operating
environments I tested I never experienced any
those of you who loved the stability of the
old Uniden Grant radios you'll find the same,
if not better, stability in this new SSB radio.
MODIFICATION/ EXTRA CHANNELS
is the section where I would normally tell you
how to convert this radio for freeband or additional
frequencies but the sad truth is that there
will be no extra frequencies for this radio.
radio uses software and that software operation
is defined by the factory when it is flashed
into the memory of the radio. Unless (and this
is a big if) someone at the factory deliberately
included the additional frequencies in the programming
of the radio AND left a backdoor programming
method to unlock those frequencies this radio
will never do more than your standard 40 CB
channels. The only other possibility would be
if the programming software is somehow "leaked"
and people figure out how to program the radios
for the other frequencies.
either scenario the ability for additional frequencies
has to start at the factory and Uniden seems
to be walking a very legal line with the FCC
on these radios.
radio makes a beep noise whever you do anything.
Press a button or change the channel and very
loud and annoying beep will occur. At this time
I'm not aware of any way to disable the beep.
Uniden Bearcat 980 SSB is a huge deal for the
CB world. It represents one of the giants in
the industry taking the plunge back into the
SSB world. The FCC approved SSB CB radio market
in the U.S. has been small for quite a long
time (Galaxy DX 949, Galaxy DX 959, Galaxy DX
979, Galaxy DX 2547, Cobra 148 GTL) so the introduction
of a new option for consumers is good news for
the CB radio community.
Uniden Bearcat 980 SSB is going to appeal to
a wide range of users due to its small size,
modern styling, and multiple features. The SSB
frequency stability is a big plus and something
the SSB CB market has been lusting after for
years. Its SSB audio with a power microphone
is excellent and overall operation of the radio
is easy and fun.
misses the mark on AM audio and also on output
numbers but those might be considered minor
problems for most users. However the inability
to perform a frequency modification may prove
a big turnoff for the more serious SSB operators
who consistently use the upper frequencies above
the standard 40 channels to make DX contacts
both in the U.S. and around the world.
I could give some advice to Uniden for the future
of this radio it would be -
Make a menu option to turn off the beep
Create an export version of the radio for Europe
that has full frequency coverage so you can
make some money on the export market. 100's
if not 1000's of the export version would find
their way to U.S. customers and you could make
a good chunk of change on the sales.