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Railfan Technology > Uniden BC72XLT

Date: 01/11/22 08:35
Uniden BC72XLT
Author: dcorreia

I received two scanners from my father's estate. The first is a Uniden BC 100 XL, which I do not think is working. The second is a BC 72 XLT which was marketed to NASCAR fans to use at the track. Does anybody know how this works for railfanning? I do not what to spend money for a slim duck antenna is the scanner itself is not any good. I might still throw it in the car for any spontaneous railfanning.

Edited 1 time(s). Last edit at 01/11/22 08:39 by dcorreia.

Date: 01/11/22 22:15
Re: Uniden BC72XLT
Author: wa4umr

It should work OK for railroad communications.  Give it a try, it doesn't cost anything to try it out.  As a NASCAR radio, it might not have much of an antenna since race fans are going to be within about a mile of any transmitters they are listening to and it's line of sight.  If it works, you might want to spend a few bucks for a better antenna.  


Date: 01/12/22 12:51
Re: Uniden BC72XLT
Author: TCnR

More for conversation, I have both of these radios, both have good published specs for their day. The BC72 just doesn't perform very well, the sensitivity is not good compared to other radios in the same conditions even with an antenna upgrade. The Intermodulation performance ( those screaming paging tones and unwanted signals ) is not very good.

On the other hand I wore out a previous BC 100 XL, actually the volume knob stem broke off under the panel and I didn't want to pursue a fix, so I went to Ebay and found a replacement BC 200 XL for about 50 bucks. The radio had been in somebodies desk drawer and was in immaculate condition but very dated. Since the previous radio had worked out in my situation I went to Amazon, searched with the radio model as in the title, and found a replacement battery pack for a few bucks, not OEM but looked good by description. Plugged it in and it works great. The difference in models is mostly build date and number of channels stored and scanned.

Since it's an older radio the IF bandwidth is wider than a current radio, which means it is susceptible to adjacent channels interference, but most of my locations simply don't have adjacent channels present. It's also a tri-band hobby radio so within reason I can use it for California Highway patrol frequencies, the RR band, the Public Service Band and also the EOT / DPU band. It's not ' optimized ' for those bands by works pretty darn good especially for the money. It also stays on while charging, which some other common radios don't do. The battery pack replacement is available as just the batteries to be soldered into the buyers plastic case or installed in a new case. Good deal for my situation.

Should also say that I have two other Yeasu radios, the older BC 200 XL sensitivity is not as good as would be expected, but is a breeze for adding or bypassing channels. Works great during fire season when the channel assignments change through the day.

Happy monitoring.

Date: 01/13/22 21:57
Re: Uniden BC72XLT
Author: jbwest

I have one of the "Nascar" radios (always wondered what the Nascar was doing on it), added a better antenna, and I works for me.


Date: 01/26/22 10:42
Re: Uniden BC72XLT
Author: cchan006

jbwest Wrote:
> I have one of the "Nascar" radios (always wondered
> what the Nascar was doing on it), added a better
> antenna, and I works for me.

BC72XLT can be used to monitor crew-to-driver communications at race events as implied by the OP. Possibly a marketing deal between Uniden and NASCAR to make it the "official" scanner? Works for me, too, and few TO members know that it works very well for me.

To dcorreia (OP), go ahead and use the BC72XLT for railfanning. It has worked for me for 13+ years and counting. I second what TCnR said above regarding its performance inferiority compared to pricier scanners, as I've done side-by-side comparisons before.

However, if you know how to hunt for trains and get within range (5-10 miles away), then BC72XLT will be an effective tool. You do have to get used to "noise" it picks up in urban areas. As mentioned in other threads, I exploit BC72XLT's inferiority, for example, guesstimate how far my target is based on the severity of static/noise. Having "too good" of a scanner can be a problem, especially in open areas, where you might be chasing a 70 mph train in vain, but you don't know that it's more than 20 miles away because the reception is too clear to tell the difference.

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