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Uniden BC278CLT Manual

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User reviews and opinions

Comments to date: 3. Page 1 of 1. Average Rating:
bluegroper 12:22pm on Tuesday, September 14th, 2010 
I am having trouble with my scanner, Uniden BC340CRS, I had a police office put in the codes or whatever they are called.
twelfth312 5:41am on Sunday, April 18th, 2010 
I bought this scaner for my husband several years ago .My son also bought one . We have not had any trouble with it except it is getting old .
XRumer755 10:07am on Thursday, March 11th, 2010 
I have had two frustrating years trying to get this csanner programed. [...] Poor Quality, Poor Reception hard to program. manual is written great til it comes to the scanner side of the machine.

Comments posted on are solely the views and opinions of the people posting them and do not necessarily reflect the views or opinions of us.






7:34 PM

Page 101


Reference Guide

Page 102


Before you read anything else, please observe the following:
Uniden DOES NOT represent this unit to be waterproof. To reduce the risk of fire or electrical shock, DO NOT expose this unit to rain or moisture.
Changes or modifications to this product not expressly approved by Uniden, or operation of this product in any way other than as detailed by this Reference Guide, could void your authority to operate this product.
The installation, possession, or use of this scanning radio in a motor vehicle may be prohibited, regulated, or require a permit in certain states, cities, and/or local jurisdiction. Your local law enforcement officials should be able to provide this information regarding the laws in your community.
Uniden and Bearcat are registered trademarks of Uniden America Corporation.

Page 103

Introduction. 1 About Scanning.1 Taking Proper Care of Your Scanner.2 Unpacking.2 Getting Started. 3 Installing the BC278CLT.3 Operation. 4 Controls and Functions.4 Scanning Overview.7 Clock Set-Up. 8 Initial Clock Set-up.8 Using the Scanner. 9 Set the Squelch.9 Programming Tips for Scanner.11 Programming Scanner Frequencies.12 Deleting a Scanner Frequency.13 About Memory Back-up.14 Scanning Mode.14 Bank Scanning.14 Manual Mode.15 Direct Channel Access.16 Priority Scanning.16 Channel Lockout.18 Restore All Locked Out Channel.19 Delay.19 Searching.21 Service Scan.23 Weather Channel.23 Weather Alert with S.A.M.E.25 About S.A.M.E.26 Programming FIPS Code.26 Additional Features.27 LCD Backlight. 27 Programming Radio AM/FM Frequencies. 27 Deleting a Stored Radio Frequency. 29 Direct Channel Access for Radio Stations. 29 Resest the Clock Time. 30 Set the Alarm Time. 31 Set Alarm to Tone Mode. 32 Turn the Alarm Off. 33 Set Alarm to Radio Mode. 34 Turn the Alarm Off. 34 About the Unit. 35 Helpful Hints.35 Troubleshooting. 36 Technical Specifications. 38 Two-Year Extended Warranty. 40


Getting Started


Clock Set-Up

Using the Scanner

Additional Features

About the Unit



Page 1


About Scanning
Scanning Options Scanning is easy and fun with the BC278CLT 100-Channel Base Scanner with AM/FM Radio.
Scan channels you have programmed Scan pre-programmed service and weather channels.
What is Scanning? Unlike standard AM or FM radio stations, most 2-way communications do not transmit continuously (see Types of Communication below).
The BC278CLT scans programmed channels at rate of up to 25 channels per second until it locates an active frequency. When the scanning stops on an active frequency, it remains on that channel as long as the transmission continues. When the transmission ends, the scanner stays on the channel for 2 more seconds, waiting for a responding transmission. If no responding transmission is detected, the scanning cycle resumes until another transmission is received (DELAY function). Types of Communication You can monitor communications such as:

s s s s s s s s

Police and fire departments (including rescue and paramedics) NOAA weather broadcasts (7 pre-programmed channels) Business/industrial radio Motion picture and press relay Aircraft Auto racing frequencies Utilities Land transportation frequencies such as trucking firms, buses, taxis, tow trucks, and railroads Marine and amateur (ham radio) bands

Page 2

Many more in the 29-54MHz, 108-137MHz, 137-174MHz, 406-512, 108-137MHz, and 806-956MHz ranges AM/FM radio
You must program a frequency into each channel you want to use. If you do not have any known local frequencies to program, a Uniden representative should be able to provide you with a few sample frequencies. Where to Obtain More Information The Bearcat Radio Club and other similar hobby clubs have publications, information on computer bulletin boards, and contests for the radio enthusiast. See the enclosed printed material for more information. Additional information is also available through your local library.
Taking Proper Care of Your Scanner
Do not use the scanner in high-moisture environments such as the kitchen or bathroom. Avoid placing the unit in direct sunlight or near heating elements or vents. Do not plug the scanner into an outlet controlled by a wall switch as prolonged periods without power causes the clock to reset.


Carefully check the contents against this list:
BC278CLT Base Scanner Telescopic Antenna AM Radio Antenna AC Adapter (Model AC-144U) This Reference Guide Registration Form Frequency Directories Order Form and other printed information Frequency Guide Book
If any items are missing or damaged, contact the Uniden Parts Department at (800) 554-3988. Hours are from 8:30a.m. to 5:00p.m. Monday through Friday, Central Time. We may also be reached at Complete and mail your Registration Form immediately. Read this Reference Guide thoroughly before operating the scanner.

Page 3


Installing the BC278CLT

1. Insert the small plug at the end of the AC Adapter cord into the AC 10V jack on the scanner. 2. Plug the AC Adapter into any standard 120V AC wall outlet. Do not plug into an outlet controlled by a wall switch; it could cause clock reset. 3. Plug the Telescoping Antenna into the ANT. jack. Extend the antenna to its full height. For UHF frequencies, shortening the antenna may improve the reception. 4. Plug the AM Antenna into the AM Radio Antenna Jack a. Press down to unlatch the 2 tabs at the bottom of the AM Radio Antenna Jack. b. Insert the 2 leads into the holes. Make sure the leads are stripped to expose the wire. c. Press up to latch the 2 tabs. 5. Plug an optional external speaker (8-ohm) into the EXT. SP. jack.

*Carefully remove the tube inserted before using the AM Antenna Jack. When the Jack is not in use, keep the tube mounted.
If your scanner receives strong interference or electrical noise, relocate the scanner or its antenna away from the source. If you are operating the scanner in a fringe area or need to improve reception, use an optional antenna designed for multi-band coverage. (You can purchase this type of antenna at a local electronics store.) If the optional antenna has no cable, use a 50-70 ohm coaxial cable for leadin. You may need a mating plug for the optional antennas.

Page 4


Controls and Functions



1. LCD Display 2. Numeric Keys Displays time, channel, frequency, and functions. (Page 6) Press to program a frequency into each channel for scanning. Also, press for time entries and direct channel access with MANUAL key. And press for channel presets in Radio mode. Press to enter the decimal point in the frequency. Also, use for clearing mistakes during entries by pressing twice. Enters the frequency or time setting into memory. Turn clockwise to increase the volume. Turn counterclockwise to decrease the volume. Adjusts the squelch threshold, or use AUTO for the factory setting. Turns scanner and radio off and Clock mode on.
3. Decimal Key 4. E Key 5. VOLUME 6. SQUELCH 7. OFF Key
8. SCANNER Key Selects the Scanner mode. 9. RADIO AM/FM Key Selects the Radio mode. Also selects AM/FM in Radio mode.

Page 5

10. WX/ALERT Key Selects Weather Mode. Also Selects Weather Alert ON/OFF in WX Scan mode and WX Hold Mode and S.A.M.E.mode. 11. ALARM Key Turns on the Tone Alarm. Turns the Radio Alarm ON/OFF by pressing the key more than 2 seconds.
12. ALARM SET/DATA Key Press and hold for 2 seconds to enter the Alarm Time Set mode. Press less than 2 seconds to change Data Skip ON/OFF. 13. TIME SET/SERVICE Key Press and hold for 2 seconds to enter the Present Time Set mode. Press to go to Service Scan mode. Press in Service Scan mode to toggle between the channels. 14. AM/PM/TIME Key Select a.m. or p.m. when setting the clock time or alarm time. Press to review the clock time and cancel the Alarm time set and Present Time Set mode. 15. LOCKOUT Key Prevents scanning of the displayed channel. The L/O indicator appears when the current channel is locked out. Press LOCKOUT again to unlock the channel. Lockout is active only when the scanner stops on an active channel or a channel selected in Manual mode. 16. PRIORITY Key Turns Priority mode ON/OFF. In Priority mode the scanner samples the designated Priority Channel every 2 seconds while in Scan or Manual mode. If a transmission on the designated Priority Channel is detected, the scanner monitors that channel until no signal is present. 17. DELAY Key Turns Delay function on and off. When Scan stops on a channel it causes scanner to remain on that channel for 2 seconds before the scanning resumes to wait for a possible reply. Press to start search. Press to go to the Scan Hold mode while scanning. Steps up through the minutes in the clock mode, channel in the Manual mode, frequency in the Limit Search Hold mode. Press to program the range of frequency for searching. Press to go to the Frequency Step mode in the Normal Radio mode. Change to Search Hold mode while scanning. Steps down through the minutes in the clock mode,channel in the Manual mode, frequency in the Limit Search mode. Press to start scanning. Press to stop scanning. Press MANUAL again to step to the next channel. Also use for direct channel access by first entering the channel number and then pressing MANUAL to go directly to that channel.

18. SEARCH Key 19. HOLDvKey

20. wLIMIT Key

21 SCAN Key 22. MANUAL Key

Page 6

23. ALARM 24. BANK 25. 1-5 26. SCAN 27. PRI 28. DLY 29. SEARCH 30. HOLD 31. L/O 32. RADIO 33. POLICE 34. FIRE/EMG 35. AIR 36. MARINE 37. WX 38 ALERT 39 DATA
Appears when Alarm function is active. Flashes in the snooze function mode. Appears when in Scan mode, Manual mode and Weather mode. In Scan Mode, displays the bank being scanned. In Manual Mode, displays the bank number associated with the channel. Appears when in Scan mode. Displays when priority function is active. Displays when delay function is active. Displays while searching. Displays when in Manual mode and WX Hold mode. Appears when the current channel is locked out in manual mode, and when the frequency is skipped in search mode. Appears when in Radio mode. Displays when in Police Station Service Scan mode. Displays when in Fire/Emergency Service Scan mode. Displays when in Air Channel Service Scan mode. Displays when in Marine Channel mode. Display when in weather mode and S.A.M.E.mode. Appears when Weather Alert Mode is active. It flashes when Weather Alert and S.A.M.E signals is detected. Appears when in Data Skip operation.

Page 7

40. AM,FM 41. P 42. Channel
Appears when receiving band is AM or FM in Radio mode. Appears next to the channel that has been assigned as the current priority channel. Represents the current channel 1 through 100.
43. Frequency/Time 7-digit display that shows the current frequency and time. Last digit shows A for a.m. P for p.m.

Scanning Overview

The BC278CLT has 100 memory channels. Each can be programmed to store one frequency within the band of frequency coverage. (For a listing of frequency ranges and bands, see Technical Specifications on page 38.) When you press SCAN, the BC278CLT scans each programmed frequency for activity (skipping channels that are locked out) at the rate of up to 25 channels per second. As the unit scans, the word SCAN moves across the display and the bank number flashes. When the scanning stops on an active frequency, it remains on that channel as long as the transmission continues. When the transmission ends, the scanning cycle resumes. If you are in the delay mode, the scanner stays on the channel for 2 more seconds, waiting for a responding transmission. If no responding transmission is detected, the scanning cycle resumes.

Page 8


Initial Clock Set-up

You may bypass the steps to set the clock. The scanner will function as normal, but the clock and alarm features will not function. 1. When power is initially applied, the display flashes I2:00 P press and hold the TIME SET key until you hear 2 short beeps. 2. Then enter the time directly by pressing the numeric keys. OR Enter the time by pressing the w/v keys. To scroll through more quickly, press and hold w/v. 3. Press AM/PM to select the desired setting, either a.m. or p.m.

4. Press E to complete the entry. The display stops flashing.

Page 9


Set the Squelch

1. Turn SQUELCH fully clockwise to the highest setting.
2. Press SCANNER to turn on the scanner.
3. Adjust the VOLUME control until you can hear a steady noise.

Page 10

4. To set the SQUELCH control to AUTO turn fully counterclockwise until control clicks into place. Or, manually set squelch as follows:
Think of squelch as a gate. Turn SQUELCH fully counter clockwise. This raises the Squelch Gate so high that only very strong signals can get through.
Turn SQUELCH fully clockwise until you hear a hiss. This lowers the Squelch Gate so that everything gets through noise, weak signals, and strong signals.
Turn SQUELCH back counter clockwise until the hiss stops. Now the Squelch Gate allows only strong signals through.

Page 11

5. The scanner automatically starts scanning. But if you have not programmed any channels yet, press WX to hear your local weather broadcast. 6. Adjust VOLUME to a comfortable listening level.
Programming Tips for scanner
Program one frequency per channel. Channel 1 is the location of the default priority channel. Program the most important frequency, or the one of major interest, into Channel 1. You may also select any other channel to be the priority channel. To quickly program a series of channels, start with the lowest number channel. For example, when you are programming five new frequencies into Channels 4 through 8, start with Channel 4. After you complete the programming in one channel (by pressing E), press MANUAL to step up to the next channel. Channels are grouped by banks for easy scanning control. The channels associated with the banks are as follows: Bank Number Channel Number through 21 through 41 through 61 through 81 through 100 If you make an error during programming, or the frequency is out of range, appears on the display. If you program the same frequency in two channels, the display will indicate the channel with the duplicate frequency. If you want to have two of the same frequencies on different channels, accept the entry by pressing E again. During numeric entry, if you know that you pressed the wrong number, press. (decimal point) until the entry is cancelled out. When the previous frequency is displayed, you may re-enter the frequency. Above 406MHz, the frequency steps are in 12.5kHz increments. To enter a frequency such as 450.4875, press each of the seven digits in sequence.

Page 12

Programming Scanner Frequencies
Before you can use your BC278CLT scanner, you must program the channels (except weather and service frequencies). Follow these steps: Example: Program 420.150 MHz into Channel 12. 1. Press MANUAL to stop scanning.
2. To select the channel (12), press 1, then 2 on the numeric keypad. Then press MANUAL again. OR Press w/v until channel 12 appears in the display.

3. Type in the frequency numbers, including the decimal point, using the numeric keypad: 420.0150. Channel digits flash as you make entry. If you enter the number which cannot receive the signals, the scanner automatically set the nearest effective frequency number.

Page 13

4. Press E to complete the entry. The channel. digits stop flashing.
Deleting a Scanner Frequency
If you want to delete a stored frequency, follow these steps: Example: Delete the frequency in Channel 12. 1. Press MANUAL to stop scanning.
2. To select the channel (12), press 1, then 2 on the numeric keypad. Then press MANUAL again. OR Press w/v until channel 12 appears in the display. 3. Press 0, then E to complete the entry. The channel digits stop flashing.

Page 14

The following screen appears.

About Memory Back-up

Your BC278CLT has a convenient memory back-up system. In the event of a power failure, the scanner will retain channel information for an indefinite amount of time. Channel information is stored in non-volatile memory.

Scanning Mode

Press SCAN. (When the scanner is first turned on, it is automatically in Scan mode.) Scanning automatically stops on any active channel, except those channels locked out.

Bank Scanning

While scanning, you can select specific banks to monitor. The bank numbers 1-5 appear in the display when active. To deactivate a bank, press the bank number on the keypad. The bank number on the screen goes out.

Page 15

To restore the bank number, press the number on the keypad. The bank number appears in the display.
The bank number associated with channel currently being monitored flashes.

Manual Mode

Press MANUAL any time to stop scanning. The scanner remains on the displayed channel. Press MANUAL to step up to the next channel. If desired, you can press MANUAL repeatedly to manually scan all 100 channels. To scroll through the channels more quickly, press and hold MANUAL. Press SCAN to start scanning again.

Page 16

Direct Channel Access
This feature allows you to instantly access a specific channel you want to monitor. Example: Select Channel 4. 1. Press MANUAL to exit scan mode.

2. Press 4.

When you press 4, the display changes to 4, but the scanner still monitors the previous channel. 3. Press MANUAL again to successfully complete the direct access to Channel 4.

Priority Scanning

Priority Scan works like a dual watch function. When you activate Priority Scan mode, the scanner keeps track of the activity on the priority channel while listening to other channels. A constant PRI appears on the display Priority Scan mode does not operate when the scanner is in Weather mode. Every two seconds, the scanner checks the priority channel for activity. If a signal is found, the scanner remains on the priority channel until the transmission ends. If the signal stops for more than two seconds, normal scan operation resumes.

Page 17

To Set the Priority Channel Your BC278CLT has one default Priority Channel per bank. Each priority channel is set at the first channel in the bank. To change the priority channel, determine the frequency most important to you and program it into the desired channel location. Example: To set Channel 5 as the priority channel. 1. Press MANUAL to exit the Scan Mode.
2. Press 5 then MANUAL for direct channel access. Or select channel 5 using the w / v keys.
3. Press and hold PRIORITY.
The PRI indicator appears in the display and P appears to the left of the selected channel. To enter the Priority Scan Mode When in Scan or Manual mode, press PRIORITY. The PRI indicator appears in the display. To exit the Priority Scan Mode Momentarily press PRIORITY again. The PRI indicator goes out.

Page 18

Channel Lockout
You can lock out a channel so it is not scanned. Channel Lockout does not erase the frequency from the channel. You can lock out up to 100 channels, including the Priority channel. Lockout information is retained in the memory when the scanner is turned off. To Lock out a Channel Example: Suppose you want to lock out Channel 2 because it stops on transmissions you don't want to hear. Press LOCKOUT when the scanner stops on Channel 2. The scanner locks out Channel 2. Then it immediately advances to the next channel that is not locked out, and resumes scanning. In the Manual mode, press LOCKOUT to lock out the displayed channel. Pressing LOCKOUT does not advance to the next channel in Manual mode. L/O appears in the display to indicate the displayed channel is locked out. Whenever you want to search for channels that are locked out, press MANUAL repeatedly to go through all 100 channels. If a channel is locked out, L/O appears in the display. Restore a Locked Out Channel To unlock a channel so that it can be monitored during scanning: 1. Press MANUAL repeatedly to find the locked out channel.

Page 19

2. Press LOCKOUT again to unlock the displayed channel. L/O no longer appears in the display.
Restore All Locked Out Channels
To unlock all channels, you must be in the Manual Mode. 1. Press MANUAL.
2. Press and hold LOCKOUT to unlock all channels. The L/O indicator goes out on any channel previously locked out.
In the Scan mode, the delay feature causes the scanner to remain on the frequency 2 seconds after the end of a transmission to wait for a possible reply. A Delay function can be set for each programmed channel so that when searching stops on a channel there is a brief pause before the scanning resumes. The delay can be set when your scanner stops on a channel while scanning or when a channel is selected by Manual mode.

Page 20

To Set Delay in Scan Mode 1. Press SCAN.
2. When your scanner stops on a channel, press DELAY. DLY appears in the display and scanning resume 2 seconds after the transmission ends.
To Set Delay in Manual Mode 1. Press MANUAL.

2. 3. 4.

Select the channel you want using your keypad. Press MANUAL again. Press DELAY. DLY appears in the display.

Page 21

The BC278CLT can search a specific frequency range to find frequencies. To use the search function, set a search range first. To set the frequency range You can set the frequency range in Manual mode, Service Scan mode, WX mode, and Search Mode. When you wish to set the frequency range for the first time, you cannot enter Search mode. 1. Enter the lowest frequency by using the number keypad 0-9 then press wLIMIT. 2. Enter the highest frequency range by using the number keypad 0-9 then press wLIMIT. To search If you enter Search mode before setting the frequency range, Error appears on the display. To avoid this, you have to set the frequency range before entering Search mode for the first time. 1. Press SEARCH to start searching.
2. Searching stop when a transmission is found. 3. Press SEARCH again to continue searching. 4. To exit search mode, press MANUAL.

Page 22

Search Hold mode 1. Press HOLDv or wLIMIT at any time to stop the search.
2. Press HOLDv to move to the next higher frequency, or press wLIMIT to move down to the previous frequency. 3. Press SEARCH to resume searching.
Storing Search Frequencies You can quickly store any frequencies you find during search. In Search Hold mode, or, when transmission is received during the search, press E. The frequency will be stored in the channel which is flashing on the display. After storing is completed, the scanner returns to Manual mode.

Page 23

Search Skip A scanner normally stops on any transmission it receives. You can set unwanted data signals or transmissions to skip during search (up to 10 frequencies). Press LOCKOUT when the search stops on an unwanted frequency.

Page 26

About S.A.M.E.
Specific Area Message Encoding (S.A.M.E.) are NOAA's coded emergency weather signals that identify a specific geographic area affected by an emergency. The BC278CLT receives the emergency weather alert broadcasts that notify you of weather warnings, watches and statements. When you receive S.A.M.E. for your area, your scanner beeps and the display shows as follows. Signal Display Warning ALErt 1 Watch ALErt 2 Statement ALErt 3 Test tEst To obtain further information about S.A.M.E. and FIPS code, visit nwr.html

Programming FIPS Code

The 6-digit Federal Information Processing System (FIPS) code established by the National Weather Service (NWS) identifies geographic areas in the United States. This code can be repeated up to 30 times during an alert broadcast. Programming FIPS code is necessary to receive S.A.M.E. alerts about weather occurring in a particular area. 1. Press WX/ALERT to enter WX Scan mode. 2. Press WX/ALERT again to enter Alert mode. 3. Then press and hold WX/ALERT to enter FIPS Code Programming mode. 4. Select the memory location number by using HOLDv and wLIMIT. You can store up to 15 FIPS codes. If you are programming the FIPS code for the first time, select 1. 5. Enter FIPS code by using the number key pad. To cancel all FIPS data in the location, press the decimal key. 6. When you finish entering the 6-digit code, press E to store. 7. To finish the programming, pressdecimal key. To obtain a FIPS code for your area, call the NWS toll free at; 1-888-697-7263 or visit

Page 27


LCD Backlight

The LCD backlight comes on when the power is applied. In Scan mode, Manual mode, and Weather mode, the backlight stays on bright continuously. In the other modes, the backlight stays bright for ten seconds and then switches to dim. Press any key and the display switches back to bright for ten seconds.
Programming Radio AM/FM Frequencies
Before you can use the Radio mode, you must program the channels with your favorite radio stations. You can program up to 20 stations (10 AM/10 FM). Follow these steps: Example: Program FM Channel 9 with 92.5000 MHz. 1. Press RADIO AM/FM to enter into the Radio mode. (The initial default setting is FM Channel 1 with 000.0000 MHz for the frequency). The RADIO and FM icons appear in the display.
2. To select the channel (9), press 9 on the numeric keypad.
Press 0 to select channel 10.

Page 28

3. Press w or v to set the desired frequency. The channel number flashes. Continue to press w or v to step through the frequencies in 100kHz steps. Or, press and hold w or v to step through the frequencies more quickly until 92.5000MHz appears in the display. 4. Press E to complete the entry. The channel digits stop flashing.

5. Adjust the VOLUME control to a comfortable comfortable listening level.
Continue to program your favorite radio stations in the other nine FM channels using the above example. To program the ten AM channels, press RADIO AM/FM to select the AM Mode. The AM icon appears in the display. Then repeat Steps 2. through5. You will step through the frequencies in 10kHz steps. To change a programmed Radio Frequency, repeat the steps above using new frequencies.

Page 29

Deleting a Stored Radio Frequency
If you want to delete a stored frequency, follow these steps: Example: Delete the frequency in Channel 9. 1. Press RADIO AM/FM to enter into the Radio mode.
3. Press the w or v keys until 000.0000 appears in the display. (In FM 000.0000 is between i08.0000 and 88.0000. In AM 0000 is between i720 and 520.) 4. Press E to complete the entry. The channel digits stop flashing. 5. The following screen appears.
Direct Channel Access for Radio Stations
Once the channels are programmed, to directly access the channel, follow these steps: 1. Press RADIO AM/FM until the AM or FM icon that you want appears in the display. 2. Press the desired channel number on the keypad. The frequency appears in the display. 3. Adjust the VOLUME control for a comfortable listening level.

Page 30

Reset the Clock Time
1. To reset the clock time, simply press and hold the TIME SET key. The display digits flash.
2. Enter the time directly by pressing the numeric keys. OR Enter the time by pressing the w / v keys.
3. Press AM/PM to select the desired setting either a.m. or p.m.

Page 31

Set the Alarm Time
There are two types of alarm sounds with this scanner, Tone Alarm and Radio Alarm. Alarm time is set in the same manner for both types of alarm. 1. After the clock time has been entered, press and hold ALARM SET until the time indicated and ALARM indicator flashes in the display.
2. Enter the alarm time directly by pressing the numeric keys. OR Enter the time by pressing the w/vkeys.
3. Press AM/PM to select the desired setting, either a.m. or p.m.

Page 32

4. Press E to complete the entry.
5. ALARM indicator and time stop flashing, but remain on. 6. The alarm time remains in the display for five seconds, then returns to current time.

Set Alarm to Tone Mode

Press ALARM to turn on the alarm function. The ALARM indicator and current alarm time are displayed.
When the alarm goes off, it will sound as a series of beeps gradually growing louder. The alarm will continue for approximately 15 minutes if no action is taken. Snooze function To silence the alarm, simply press any key. This silences the alarm for about nine minutes. You can repeat this cycle for over an hour. The display is backlit for about ten seconds to view the current time.

Page 33

Turn the Alarm Off
Press ALARM to deactivate the alarm function. When the alarm is off, the ALARM indicator and current alarm time are no longer displayed. Only the current time displays.
If you would like to listen to the scanner while waking up, turn the scanner on. The snooze function continues to operate while the scanner is turned on and in any mode.
If you find the Tone Alarm too loud, select the Radio Mode instead. The volume is adjustable.

Page 34

Set Alarm to Radio Mode
Before you set the Radio Alarm, make sure an AM or FM channel has been selected and the VOLUME control is set to the desired level. You must be in Clock mode(scanner off) to be woken up by the radio alarm. 1. Press OFF. 2. Press and hold ALARM for more than 2 seconds. When the alarm is on, the ALARM and RADIO icons flash for 5 seconds. 3. The ALARM remains on. When the alarm goes off, it will play the radio station that was previously selected. The alarm will continue for approximately 15 minutes, if no action is taken. Snooze function To silence the alarm, simply press any key. This silences the alarm for about nine minutes. You can repeat this cycle for over an hour.
Press ALARM to turn the alarm off. When the alarm is off, the ALARM icon and current alarm time are no longer displayed, only the current time is displayed.

Page 35


Helpful Hints

General Use s Turn the scanner off before disconnecting the power. s Always write down the programmed frequencies in the event of scanner memory loss. s If scanner memory is lost, simply reprogram each channel. The display shows when there has been a memory loss. s Always press each keypad button firmly until you hear the entry tone for that key. Location
If your scanner receives strong interference or electrical noise, relocate the scanner or its antenna away from the source of the noise. A higher elevation may provide better reception. Also, try changing the height or angle of the antenna. Avoid placing the unit in direct sunlight or near heating elements or vents. Do not plug the scanner into an outlet controlled by a wall switch as prolonged periods without power will cause the clock to reset. Disconnect the power to the unit before cleaning. To prevent scratches, do not use abrasive cleaners or solvents. Be careful not to rub the display window. Do not use excessive amounts of water. Do not attempt any repair. The scanner contains no serviceable parts. Contact the Uniden Customer Service Center or take it to a qualified repair technician. (Page 37) All radios are subject to receiving undesired signals or birdies. If your scanner stops during Scan mode and no sound is heard, it may be receiving a birdie. Birdies are internally-generated signals inherent in the electronics of the receiver. Press SCAN to resume scanning.

Page 100

1999 Uniden America Corporation UBZZ01304ZZ All rights reserved Printed in Philippines
4,219,821 4,841,302 5,448,256 5,598,430 4,270,217 4,888,815 5,465,402 5,600,223 4,398,304 4,932,074 5,471,660 5,642,424 Covered under one or more of the following U.S. patents: 4,409,688 4,455,679 4,461,036 4,521,915 4,947,456 5,014,348 5,199,109 5,408,692 5,483,684 5,530,296 5,548,832 5,551,071 5,710,992 4,597,104 5,428,826 5,574,995 4,627,100 5,438,688 5,577,076




Uniden BC278CLT Scanner

ight tables are too small. Thats the conclusion I came to long ago, after trying to fit an FM monitor receiver, AM/FM broadcast radio, and an alarm clock on the night table next to my bed. Its now 30 years later, and Uniden has a new combination scanner radio and alarm clock that will fit on the smallest of night tables. The BC278CLT (Fig. 1) is the first Bearcat scanner to provide an alarm clock function and cover both the AM and FM commercial broadcast bands. Regency flirted with the scanner clock radio paradigm in the past. The old Regency K500 contained an alarm clock but no AM or FM broadcast band. The later Regency Z60 (Fig. 2), which was housed in a sloping, clock radio type cabinet, covered FM and had an alarm clock function, but didnt tune the AM broadcast band. The Uniden Bearcat BC278CLT is a 100channel, double conversion scanner manufactured in the Philippines. It is designed for base use only and is powered by the supplied 10 VAC wall transformer. The frequency coverage is 520 - 1720 kHz, 88 - 108 MHz, and the conventional scanner bands including the 800 MHz and civilian air bands. Cell phone coverage is, of course, excluded in the US version. A 7-inch loop antenna (Fig. 3) is provided for AM BCB reception and its feedline attaches to a 2-pin connector on the rear panel.

Knobs, Nice Display

FIGURE 1. Uniden BC278CLT
combination scanner and clock radio
ing 99.5 E, for instance, but you cannot.

I Scanning

and Searching

I Memory

There are 100 programmable memory channels, organized in five banks. Each channel can be locked out from the scan list, and a 2second rescan delay is selectable on a perchannel basis. Empty channels are skipped automatically, and channels containing duplicate frequencies are detected. Uniden claims the memory information is backed up indefinitely, but the clock must be reset after a substantial power failure. The time remained intact when I unplugged the scanner for 2 minutes or so. AM and FM broadcast band frequencies are allocated in separate 10 channel banks. Too bad they cannot be programmed using the numeric keypad. They must be programmed like a car radio instead. You are constrained to tuning up or down the band and pressing E to save the displayed frequency into memory. It would be much simpler if you could program your favorite country music station by press96


The BC278CLT may be used as a scanner or AM/FM radio, but not both at the same time. You can scan any combination of the five VHF/UHF memory banks. The scan rate is slower than Turbo Scan models and my radio scanned at about 19 channels/sec. One channel per bank may be designated as a priority channel, which is sampled every 2 seconds when priority scanning is enabled. You can program one pair of search limits and the BC278CLT will search frequencies between them. My scanner searched at about 23 steps/second. You can pause a search operation and step up or down in frequency manually by pressing the appropriate keys. Up to 10 frequencies may be locked out from a limit search. The BC278CLT does not support a direct search facility, which would permit searching up or down from the currently displayed frequency. A Service Search menu is provided for scanning preprogrammed frequencies in categories named Police, Fire/Emergency, Air, and Marine. Pressing the WX key can search seven preprogrammed NOAA weather frequencies. If the weather alert feature is active, the BC278CLT sits silently until the NWS (National Weather Service) transmits the proper signal, which causes the scanner to beep and open the squelch. The NWS can broadcast messages to specific geographic regions by transmitting the appropriate SAME (Specific Area Message Encoding) codes, and you can program up to 15 SAME codes in the BC278XLT. The scanner displays different indicators for warnings, watches, weather statements, and tests.
The BC278CLT is housed in a dark gray plastic cabinet. The speaker and all controls are mounted on the top, at a slight angle. The large knobs are very easy to use, much better than dust magnet slider controls or the tiny bar-like knobs on the BC9000XLT which elude my grasp. The LCD display is different from previous models. Most impressive is the huge size of the frequency digits. You can actually read them without squinting! The display is backlit is brightly lit in soft green in scan, manual, and weather modes. In other modes, the backlight remains bright for 10 seconds, then reverts to dim illumination. Pressing any key will temporarily force the backlight back to bright a thoughtful arrangement. Large, soft rubber feet prevent the BC278CLT from sliding around.

I Improved

The telephone industry, through the FCC, is pressuring manufacturers to rid scanners of cellular telephone images, and hobbyists are the beneficiaries. The newer double conversion Uniden scanners, including the BC278CLT and BC245XLT (see September 1999 MT), exhibit outstanding image rejection compared with their ancestors of 5 years ago. The loaner BC278CLT (s/n 96001865) worked well. I measured several performance parameters and the quantitative results appear elsewhere in this review. The sensitivity, modulation acceptance and audio output of this BC278CLT are quite reasonable. Audio from the top mounted speaker is pleasant, though with accentuated treble. A rear mounted 1/8" jack permits connection of an external speaker.
FIGURE 2. Regency Z60, an early combination scanner and clock radio, lacked AM broadcast coverage (RELM photo).

November 1999

List price $179.95 Uniden America Corp. 4700 Amon Carter Blvd. Fort Worth, TX 76155 Frequency coverage (MHz): 0.520 - 1.720 (10 kHz steps) 88 - 108 (100 kHz steps) 29 - 54 (5 kHz steps) 108 - 137 (AM, 12.5 kHz steps) 137 - 174 (5 kHz steps) 406 - 512 (12.5 kHz steps) 806 -823.9875, 849.0125 868.9875, 894.0125 - 956 (12.5 kHz steps) Sensitivity: see graphs FM modulation acceptance: 12 kHz Intermediate Frequencies: 10.85, 0.45 MHz Image rejection: 50 dB at 155 MHz, 50 dB at 860 MHz Audio output power at speaker jack: 550 mW @ 10% distortion into 8 ohms Practical memory scan speed: 19 ch/sec. Search speed: 23 steps/sec.
Birdies can be heard on 41.6, 52.0, 165.3, 407.7625, 407.8125, 413.175, 413.225, 813.4, 814.95, 815.8, 815.85, 823.8, 849.35, 899.2375, 906.4125, 906.5875, and 926.7 MHz. That may seem like a long list, but its a lot better than the older BC890XLT I tested, and most of the BC278CLT birdies fall on frequencies I dont monitor. The weather alert feature worked as advertised during the weekly NWS test transmission.

I Overall

I was impressed with the BC278CLT. Its certainly not in the Lincoln Town Car category, but it performs much better than some of radios sold us 10 years ago. Its weather capabilities, large knobs and display are appealing. I wouldnt hesitate to keep it on my nightstand or recommend it unless you require a trunk tracking capability.
FIGURE 3. Supplied 7 inch AM loop
antenna (base stand not shown).
and selectivity also suffers at this frequency take any strong trunking control channel at 930 MHz and it is audible 25 kHz either side of the true center frequency. Performance at 800 MHz is better, but not by much. I guess your sensitivity plot tells the story there.

I Note

on the BC245XLT
Reader Mike Chace commented on the portable Uniden BC245XLT Trunktracker II we reviewed in the September 1999 issue: Just read through your review of the BC245XLT and had a comment. It may be just due to my downtown Philadelphia location, but my 245 is way too sensitive and intermod prone around 930 MHz. I have to listen with just the helical antenna (and attenuator switched in) to anything on the 935-940 MHz trunked portion, since connecting the outside antenna totally shuts down the front-end. Mike continues, The radio generates plenty of intermod even with no antenna connected,


Transmitter sites in your area are researched and marked on a beautiful 8-1/2 x 11 full color plot. See FCC licensed sites from VLF through microwave including police, fire, cellular phone sites, business, industrial, broadcasters and selected FAA transmitter sites. Callsigns, frequency assignments, and names provided. Ham radio stations not included. You choose the map center locationyour neighborhood, near your office, around sports stadiumsanywhere within the United States. We adjust map coverage for best readability, depending on transmitter site density. Invaluable to radio professionals and hobbyists for identifying towers, sources of radio interference etc. Send nearest street intersection and check for $29.95 payable to Robert Parnass. Robert Parnass, M.S. Radio Electronics Consulting 2350 Douglas Road, Oswego, IL 60543



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