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Uniden BEARCAT 980 SSB CB Radio Review

Uniden Bearcat 980 SSB
  • Quality
  • Features
4.8

Summary

Full featured CB radio that includes SSB all wrapped up in a modern package.

The Uniden BEARCAT 980SSB CB Radio is designed for those who want to use radio communication on the road with a slightly better reach as opposed to that of a normal CB radio.

Uniden BEARCAT 980 SSB CB Radio

Features

  • Color changing LCD display (backlight included)
  • Noise canceling microphone
  • 4 Watts AM power output with 12 Watts PEP for USB / LSB
  • RF gain control
  • Mic gain
  • SWR Meter
  • 40 channel AM operation
  • Memory scan
  • 4 1/2″W x 7 1/2″L x 1 3/8″H
  • Squelch control
  • ANL / NB (Automatic Noise Limiter / Noise Blanker)
  • NOAA weather channels

Also in the box

Mounting bracket, power cord, 6-pin to 4-pin Mic Adapter and owner’s guide

Advantages

The 980 SSB is visually appealing and the color digital display offers a choice of seven different colors means it is more likely to match with other displays in your vehicle. While it is nice having these variations you can’t beat the white setting for daytime clarity. All-in-all this is a well designed and wonderfully clear illuminated control panel that beats most other modern CB radios.

Audio is good on this radio and, together with a receiver that has good sensitivity, produces a good clear sound. Its noise canceling mic contributes to good outgoing audio – certainly more than adequate for a stock microphone. Feedback from other CBers on the audio quality on transmit (modulation) was that is was good. This SSB radio is also wireless microphone compatible so you can attach mics such as Uniden’s BC906W.

As I have said in other reviews, it is nice to have an integrated SWR meter. Things can and will happen to your antenna so having an easy way to check things is extremely handy. High SWR can kill the output stage of your CB so it’s a valuable feature. Saying that I will always set up a new CB radio with a decent external SWR meter as I trust their accuracy more.

While the RF gain and mic gain aren’t controlled with their own knobs they do have individual buttons. When their respective buttons are pushed the channel selector is then used adjust the amount of gain. So, it keeps the front of the radio less cluttered without bury the controls deep within a menu system.

Disadvantages      

The BEARCAT 980SSB has this annoying bleep every time you do anything and I began to think this was going to be a deal breaker for me. It was a classic case of read the manual properly. To my relief you can press and hold the ANL/NB button for one second and it turns the beep on and off. Phew! So, a major disadvantage on an otherwise brilliant radio was now not an issue. Apparently earlier versions of the 980 didn’t have this ability so it was clearly driving many users mad resulting in them having to do a hardware mod. Nice to see that Uniden took the feedback and dealt with the issue.

Old school users might prefer classic looks and a knob to turn for each feature rather than the more modern menu / push-button system. However, that’s all down to personal preference.

My take on the Uniden Bearcat 980 SSB

I think the Uniden Bearcat 980 SSB is a great radio! It’s easy to use and has a lot of features that certainly place it among the top radios available today. Plus, the SSB mode lets you hear conversations that you wouldn’t be able to otherwise and offers communication across a greater distance together with DX opportunities for those interested in that aspect. We highly recommend this CB for anyone looking for a good all-around radio especially one equipped with sideband.

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