If you are spending your life on the road, then you will know just how important it is to keep an eye on emergency transmissions. It can help you to avoid areas, and maybe even save you a bit of cash avoiding the speed traps. In the past, most people would pick up a separate CB radio and a scanner to do this. Now, you can do it all in the same unit.
Let us introduce you to the BearTracker 885 from Uniden. An all-in-one police scanner and CB radio.
Bear Tracker 885 vs Standard CB Radio
Obviously, the major difference between this and another CB radio is the fact that it has a scanner built into it. In the United States and Canada, the BearTracker will be able to scan for transmissions from Police, Ambulance, Fire and DOT radio traffic. It will do this by constantly searching for low-powered signals from the emergency services in the local area.
It is worth noting that this is not a ‘true’ scanner. If you want to get your kicks from listening in on emergency service frequencies, then you will want to pick up a different scanner. This does not allow you to search for frequencies. You just have to listen to whatever pops up, and it is only going to highlight things in the immediate area.
Why is it not a true scanner? Well, it isn’t designed to be one. It is more to provide people with information on emergencies in the local area so that they can take action. For example; you will be able to get warnings as to whether there are accidents or fires in the local area so you can avoid them. in some areas, you may also receive a little bit of information about speed cameras and the like.
We do love the fact that everything is automatic here. Sure, you can’t choose the frequencies that you tune into but the BearTracker 885 is going to pick up on almost everything on its own. You do not need to tinker with anything. It just…works.
Switch Between Features Automatically
The scanner and the CB radio work alongside each other in the BearTracker 885. This is a stark contrast to similar products on the market. Some wonder if a normal CB radio can pick up the police without the CB and police scanner combo, but unfortunately, that’s not the case. With most others, you can either have the CB radio working or the scanner. You can’t have both. This is just going to get annoying. Here, the scanner will just alert you if any important transmissions come in. Other than that, it is just going to work as a standard CB radio.
It Is Easy to Use
Most of the people who are picking up CB radios and police scanners do not want anything that is too complicated to use. They want something that they can hit a couple of buttons on and have it just work. Thankfully, the Uniden BearTracker 885 offers that.
As we mentioned before; it will automatically scan emergency frequencies in your local area so you don’t have to. It also makes it really simple to change between the 40 different CB stations.
One of the reasons why we love this CB radio is because it has clearly been designed for use ‘on the road’. Some of the other CB radios we have seen are complicated. You don’t want that. Not if you are focusing on your driving. This radio has big numbers and a bright display. In most cases, it is going to take mere seconds to do whatever it is you want to do.
The radio even comes complete with its own SWR meter, so you do not even need to purchase a separate one. This will ensure that you can always tune your antennas perfectly.
Legal to Use
The way in which the Uniden BearTracker 885 works means that it is going to be legal to use in most parts of the United States and Canada. However, you do need to remember that there are some parts of the US that restrict the use of scanners in vehicles. If you are traveling to somewhere that you haven’t been before, then you are going to need to look into the rules and regulations for that particular area.
This is one of the features that we are positive most people will love about the Uniden BearTracker 885. There are free weekly updates. This ensures that your radio is always kept ‘up to date’ with the latest channels being used by the agencies in the United States and Canada.
There is a problem, though. This is the fact that it can be tough to update. It needs to be done manually, and it can be a little bit complicated to do it when you have the CB radio hooked up to your vehicle. You will need to unwire it, or bring a laptop into your computer. Irritating, but still better than a CB radio and scanner combo in the past that you would never have been able to update.
You Will Need to Purchase Two Antennas
As a final note, we do want to point out that you will need to purchase an extra antenna to use this system. You will need one antenna for the scanner, and a second one for the CB radio. They do not search for the same frequencies. This can be a bit annoying. We do wish that you had both included in the same box.
We suggest that you look at our antenna reviews to find out which ones are going to be perfect for use with the BearTracker 885.
If you want a the best CB radio and police scanner combo, then you are going to struggle to get anything better than the BearTracker 885 from Uniden. There is a reason why Uniden is one of the best, if not the best, manufacturers in the CB radio business. They are able to produce something to a high standard, while also coming in at an affordable price. Despite a couple of shortcomings, mostly on the updates, its a great unit overall.