Friday, 2 September 2016

Review - Uniden ubc3300xlt

November 2004

This is my impression of the Uniden 3300 handheld after a few days of use.

First I have to say that this is a European model that I have imported and that you can not buy it in Australia yet. Basically it is a copy of the Uniden 250D except that it has the 800mhz mobile phone band unblocked and you have to buy the digital card from the USA (I have not got the digital card so I can’t comment on it)

Now the costs of this unit, you are looking around the $470 AUS mark to buy the unit and get it sent to Australian, once it is in Australia customs charged me $93.45 for GST and import duties, this brings the total cost to around the $570 mark which is good I think considering the features of the radio.

Let's look at what you get when you open the box for the first time:

The 3300 unit
This is a rather large for a handheld and weighs around 350g. It feels very solid and I would think it should handle a bit of rough treatment no problems.

Battery pack
This is a 1500 ma/h Hi-MH pack and takes around 14 hours to charge from empty to full.

This is the same as supplied with every Uniden handheld I have ever brought.

Belt Clip
The belt clip is something new to me it comes in the form of an alligator clip with a cradle which clips onto recesses in the sides of the scanner. In practice it has got to be one of the best clips I have ever used it clips on your belt or over the top of your trousers and easily slips off when you lift it.

This is simply like ever Uniden manual, great, to the point and full of options.

Note that an AC adaptor is not supplied with the unit, you need to give the radio 12V DC @ 500mA to keep the radio happy.

 Some of its features are:

  • Frequency coverage 25-512MHz, 806-960MHz and 1240-1300MHz
  • User programmable modes of AM, NFM & WFM
  • User programmable increment steps of 5, 6.25, 7.5, 10, 12.5, 20, 25, 50 & 100 kHz.
    8.33kHz steps are also available for the VHF air band
  • 1000 Channels (10 banks with 100 channels)
  • 10 Priority Channels
  • Duplicate Frequency Alert
  • Turbo Search and Turbo Scan
  • Auto Store automatically store any found active frequencies into an assigned bank.
  • Trunk Tracker III - (EDACS™, Motorola and E.F. Johnson) systems. Follow VHF, UHF 800/900MHz trunked systems
  • Multi-Track. Track more than one trunking system at a time.
  • Scan conventional and trunked systems at the same time.
  • Data Skip. This allows your scanner to skip unwanted data transmissions
  • RF Attenuator
  • Two Line Alphanumeric Display. You can program text tags for easy identification of banks, channels, trunking talk groups and more.
  • VFO Control. manually scroll up/down through the frequency spectrum
  • Wide and Varied Trunking programming options


As with all Uniden radios, programming is a piece of cake and unlike the Icom R20 I had before it is a simple matter of entering the channel number you wish to program then press manual, enter the frequency you want and pressing E, it really is that simple and other brands (ICOM) should take note of this.
You can also program Alpha tags for the channels names, banks names, search ranges, and talk groups.

Programming the EDACS trunking system was a piece of cake and works very well, except for the fact that in trunking mode you CAN NOT program any frequencies above 868.9875mhz in trunking mode, this seems to be a fault with the trunking side of the software.

Scanning / searching

I have entered around 200 channels in the 3300 so far and having used it a fair bit I can report a few things:
The scan speed is around 80 channels a second.
Even with the outdoor aerial I only have a few channels that have pager break thru and most of the VHF and UHF bands are clear of any of those problems.
I can report that from 70 MHz up to 500 MHz the 3300 works like a dream and is almost on par with the Uniden 780 which is one of the best scanners you can buy.

Final Thoughts

Basically I could type 30 pages telling you about every little detail and how much of a great radio this is, but I think I can basically sum it up by saying that the 3300 is basically a 780 in a handheld.
The only problem I have found is as I said above with the fact that you can’t enter above 868.9875 MHz in trunk mode and this might turn some people off, All I can say is that for my money you will not find a better handheld for the price, but it all comes down to horse for course.

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