Just to make sure we’re all on the same wavelength and properly tuned in, let me declare that I am not the owner of the featured image on this page. Here I give all credit whereupon credit is due.
I have known the existence of scanner radios since the Summer of 2001. I purchased my first scanner radio in September of 2002 and since have owned many, including duplicates.
Very few of my scanners are capable of tuning in the Military Aircraft band, mostly because such scanners are cost-prohibitive, especially for someone receiving disability benefits.
However, I had an increasing interest in tuning in said band, especially when I found out that I will be taking a road trip this Fall.
The usual scanners in my possession that are capable of tuning in the Military Aircraft band are either not portable (Realistic/Radio Shack Pro-2004) or too expensive to be taken out and about (Radio Shack Pro-106.)
By the way, when traveling out and about, I usually use an entry-level second-hand scanner, so if it gets lost or stolen, it won’t be severe of a financial blow.
Still, since the road trip entails traveling through the D. C. area, I would like to hear some military air traffic, but I couldn’t justify taking my Radio Shack Pro-106.
Meet the Uniden BC125AT, a mid-grade handheld scanner that is capable of tuning in the Military Aircraft band in addition to many other neat features. And that scanner is what this blog piece will be a review thereof.
I had wanted one of these since at least the mid-2010s, but I had other expenses during most of that time. I had owned two Uniden BC75XLTs and several second-hand Uniden BC72XLTs and one Uniden SR30C. These are what I would normally EDC and I use them primarily for listening to Railroad and Marine traffic but when that gets slow or isn’t available, Fire Dispatch Calls and Civil Air traffic. None of these are capable of picking up Military Air Traffic, though, much to my disappointment.
So, I had a little extra money in late March of 2022 and ordered a Uniden BC125AT brand new and at a significant discount. However, communications with the seller and the entire logistics aspect was a living nightmare.
When it finally came in mid-April 2022, I was thoroughly impressed, not just by the capability of receiving Military Air Traffic, but also by many other neat and useful features which I will discuss shortly. I had almost forgotten about the nightmare it was to get it delivered.
After unboxing, taking it home, and programming it, I set it to scan and was thoroughly impressed by the speed, audio quality, and sensitivity.
I also appreciate the fact that it will automatically discover whether a signal is AM or FM, something usually reserved for higher-end scanners, not mid-grade and entry level.
Close Call runs in the background by default, and I didn’t turn it off, because it is indeed an interesting feature. For those who don’t know Close Call, Spectrum Sweeper and Signal Stalker are all similar features on scanners that are designed to detect nearby transmissions, especially on frequencies that aren’t listed.
As per my current setup, I plan to use this scanner, especially when traveling, but also keep a Uniden BC72XLT in a special slot of my car, especially for railroad and marine listening. I also have a Uniden BC92XLT in my living room cabinet to take out while walking. I have other scanners as well, some as old as me (35 at the time of this piece) but still working!
I do plan on at least a few road trips this year and these trips will be near military bases so I cannot wait to hear all that is to be heard.
The friend with whom I go on these trips usually goes out to eat or do other things on the town, but, my ritual is to wash my face and shave as soon as I enter the motel room and listen to the radio (AM/FM) while shaving. Then, once I am settled in, I use the scanner in Search mode to hear all that I can hear.
I plan to use this to monitor Military Air Traffic while on the road, as well. Uniden makes decent scanning equipment so I don’t think I will be disappointed.
Uniden had this to say, about this scanner:
“Listen in and stay informed with the Uniden BC125AT Compact Bearcat® Handheld Scanner. This sophisticated scanner with 500 alpha-tagged channels boasts a convenient compact design and loads of features. Close Call RF capture technology instantly tunes to signals from nearby transmitters and the Do Not Disturb Mode prevents Close Call checks during a transmission. With this Bearcat scanner, you can listen to military and civilian air bands. You can also get important weather and safety alerts.”
Below are some features and technical specifications of the Uniden BC125AT (taken from Uniden’s Website) and my commentary following:
Listen to Over 40,000 Frequencies The Bearcat BC125AT handheld scanner gives you direct access to over 40,000 frequencies. You can listen to both civilian and military bands, including police, ambulance, fire, weather, marine, aircraft, railroad, civil air, amateur radio services, and racing.-While not digital nor capable of 700/800 MHz, this covers everything I wish to here and more.
Search More Efficiently with 500 Alpha-Tagged Channels Finding the channel you want to listen to is easy, with 500 channels divided into 10 storage banks. Organize your channels by department, location, area of interest, or any other way you prefer. Alpha Tagging lets you assign names to your channels, so you can keep track of who you are listening to.-The Alpha Tagging is convenient for those who cannot remember what frequencies are used by whom. Storage banks allow frequencies pertaining to a certain interest to be grouped together.
Lightweight, Portable Design Take this Bearcat handheld radio scanner with you on the road, or on outings. It packs plenty of features in a lightweight, portable design. The orange backlight display is easy to read, even in low light conditions.-Perfect for travel and EDC use. I’m glad scanners are now portable, compact and dare I say even concealable.
Stay Safe and Informed with Weather Scan Stay safe and informed with easy scans of NOAA weather channels. The weather scanning feature makes it easy to track storms and changing weather conditions. You can also activate Weather Alert mode to receive severe weather warnings.-This could be useful if severe weather was to pop up and one isn’t carrying a Weather Radio.
Pre-Sets for Popular Channels Get started listening right away with convenient pre-sets for the most popular searches. Frequencies are preset in ten separate Police, Fire/Emergency, Ham, Marine, Railroad, Civil Air, Military Air, CB Radio, FRS/GMRS/MURS, and Racing search bands. This makes it easy to find channels that interest you.-This feature is truly a God-send, especially when wanting to tune in frequencies of a certain interest and not knowing what is active in a given area.
Here is the frequency range and typical users:
25.0000 to 27.9950 MHz-Class D Citizen’s Band and Free Band.
28.0000 to 54.0000 MHz-10 Meter Amateur Radio, VHF Low Band and 6 Meter Amateur Radio.
108.0000 to 136.9916 MHz-Civillian Aviation Band.
137.0000 to 174.0000 MHz-Military Land Mobile, 2 Meter Amateur Radio, VHF High Band and Federal Government.
225.0000 to 380.0000 MHz-Military Aviation Band.
400.0000 to 512.0000 MHz-Federal Government, 70 Cm Amateur Radio, UHF Standard Band, UHF T-Band.
This is indeed a great scanner and I can’t wait to use it to its full potential. My one complaint is that I wish scanners were built to military standards for ruggedness and water resistance, but likely wicked people in high places don’t want such products to be made. And I will gladly retract that statement if I can be unequivocally proven otherwise.
I know it is made in Vietnam and their scanners can be hit or miss, but so far it has performed very well.
Since I have only had it a few weeks and it has served me well thus forth, I will give it a five out of five stars.
I guess this, therefore, concludes my review of the Uniden BC125AT. I hope that you, the reader, have been informed, enlightened, and maybe even entertained. May God richly bless you!