Born in 1966 Uniden spent many of its early years producing CB radio models that were fueling the ever increasing interest this side of communications was gaining with the general public. Sticking with the same ferocious production as the countless CB’s they had all ready released they started making hobby radio scanners under the brand Bearcat during the 1980’s.
Bought to life by a collaboration between Uniden and the Masco’s brand of electronics the BC 300 was continually produced from 1981 to 1986.
Considering not so many years before its release scanner enthusiasts were still using fixed crystals controlled scanners without any true flexible memory storage, the 50 user programmable channels that came with owning a BC 300 sealed its popularity among scanner hobbyists.
BC 300 Quick Specs
Some of the figures for the BC 300 may look low by today’s standards but these were cutting edge at the time, at least where consumer electronics was concerned. The move toward more memory slots in scanners began to also produce scanners with better coverage, doing away with separate airband scanners and incorporating those frequencies into more wideband models.
Receive Range 32 – 50, 118 – 136, 148 – 174 ,421 – 512 MHz
Receive Modes AM and FM
Memories A total of 50 split into 5 banks of 10
Scan Speed 5/15 Channels per Second
Search Speed 5/15 Steps per Second
Able to be powered from mains supply or 13.8 VDC for portable/mobile operation
Inputs and Outputs
50 ohm Aerial Input
Mains and 13.8 Power Inputs
Dimensions Width 12¼, Height 4, x Depth 7¼ (Inches)
Weight 6 lb
One of the most striking things about the figures above is the weight of the scanner, even though its a full foot long can you imagine a modern scanner with these basic specs coming in at 6 pounds in weight!.
Current Availability of BC 300 Scanners
There’s something to be said for the modern mass producing techniques that can saturate the market with a product to a degree that they are still relatively easy to get hold of almost 30 years after production was stopped (if only in the secondhand market).
Not only does a high quantity of used models within reach help to keep the price down this also gives a source for any spares you’ll need if your prized BC 300 takes a nosedive.
Getting hold of an OK looking model may be easy enough or if you need one for those crucial spares but as we have stated before the better preserved units are normally in the hands of passionate collectors who are not likely to let them go anytime soon.
A quick eBay search on both sides of the pond shows working BC 300’s priced at £40 and $70.
Bearcat BC 300 Photo Courtesy of the always amazing Radiopics.com