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Uniden BCD996P2 Police Scanner

› Software & frequencies not included

› For advanced users with custom programming needs

› Lifetime tech support does NOT apply to this scanner due to complexity of use

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As low as: $499.99

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Not for virgin scanner users. The BCD996P2 is the only digital phase 2 base and mobile police scanner that comes without software and frequencies. While it’s a great scanner that has awesome features like GPS, we only recommend for scanner pros. Think of yourself as David and this scanner Goliath, except in this version David doesn’t win. I mean, you could figure it out, but wouldn’t you rather spring the extra $50ish and get an easy-to-use scanner? Are you a scanner pro who finds software and frequency lists unsophisticated? Then this is a very good scanner. You will be satisfied. With over 25,000 channels and dynamic memory, you’ll find a place in your amateur arsenal, and your heart, for the BCD996P2.

The reason this scanner costs less than similar models is because it does NOT include software or frequencies. We recommend the Whistler TRX-2 if you're looking for an easy to use, base/mobile scanner. We do not provide tech support on this scanner as it is difficult to operate and we do not recommend buying unless you are very familiar with scanners, scanner programming, and technology in general.

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Specifics & Compare

Base & Mobile Digital Phase 2 Police Scanner Comparison

Model Number




Scanner Type

Base & MobileBase & MobileBase & MobileBase & MobileBase & MobileBase & MobileBase & Mobile

Monitor Digital Phase 2


Monitor Digital Phase 1


Monitor Trunking


Monitor Analog


Monitor Weather & NOAA


Monitor P25, TDMA, APCO-25, EDACS, LTR, Analog Motorola, Digital Motorola


ProVoice EDACS

NoNoYesNoWith Paid UpgradeTBDYes


NoNoNoNoWith Paid UpgradeTBDYes


NoNoWith Paid UpgradeWith Paid UpgradeWith Paid UpgradeTBDYes

Frequency Range

25 MHz - 1.3 GHz25 MHz - 1.3 GHz25 MHz - 1.3 GHz25 MHz - 1.3 GHz25 MHz - 1.3 GHz25 MHz - 1.3 GHz25 MHz - 1.3 GHz

AM/FM Reception


Number of Channels

Virtually UnlimitedVirtually UnlimitedVirtually Unlimited25,000Virtually UnlimitedTBDVirtually Unlimited

GPS Capable


Alpha Tag


NAC Decoding


Fire Tone-Out


Location Based Scanning


Close Call/Stalker


Record & Playback


Lit Keypad

YesNot ApplicableYesYesYesTBDYes

Color Touchscreen

Not ApplicableYesNot ApplicableNot ApplicableNot ApplicableTBDNot Applicable

Headset & External Speaker Compatible


PC Programmable


Mac Programmable


Easy Programming


Software Included

NoSentinelSentinelNoSentinelTBDEZ Scan

USA & Canada Database


Storage (GB)

4 GB4 GB4 GBDynamic8 GBTBD4 GB

SD Card


Range (mi.)*


Battery Type

Not ApplicableAANot ApplicableNot ApplicableNot ApplicableTBDNot Applicable

Battery Life**

Not Applicable8 hoursNot ApplicableNot ApplicableNot ApplicableTBDNot Applicable
Size (inches)TBD6 x 3.25 x 1.257.25 x 2.25 x 6.55.75 x 10.75 x 3.757 x 5 x 3TBD1.75 x 7 x 5.5
Weight (oz.)TBD32969696TBD33.5


1 year1 year1 year1 year1 yearTBD1 year
LaunchedSummer 2017Fall 2014Fall 2013Spring 2015Winter 2019TBDSummer 2016
Key FeatureScanner & CB ComboColor TouchscreenWiFi & Siren AppNo Software IncludedEthernet connectivity for remote streaming & controlTBDNXDN & Removable Face


AC Adapter
DC Adapter
Three-wire Harness
Quick Start Guide
Mounting Bracket (fits most vehicles)

› Antenna

› Serial Programming Cable

› Owners Manual


How is the BCD996P2 different than the BCD536HP?
The BCD996P2 is the lower cost alternative to the BCD536HP. The 2 large differences are the BCD996P2 does not come pre-loaded with US & Canada frequencies for quick programming and the BCD996P2 does not have the Siren App.

I need a base digital phase 2 police scanner, why should I buy the BCD996P2?
This scanner is great for lifelong scanner users who are VERY familiar with amateur radios. Unless you consider yourself an expert we do not recommend buying this scanner as it is not user friendly.

Will the BCD996P2 go on sale anytime soon?
We don't know. Uniden does not disclose when they will be dropping prices and even when prices do drop, it is usually only $5 to $10. You can sign up for our emails & we'll keep you posted. Also, we have a best price guarantee.

Buyers Say

› Looks great installed in the dash of vehicles and comes with mounting gear.
› No built in GPS (must buy GPS device).

› FreeScan software only takes a few minutes to install.
› You can add frequencies manually.


› Mark's Scanners is an excellent website which has a very detailed digital owner's guides for all police scanner radios including the BCD996P2. We highly recommend this page to all BCD996P2 owners (and potential owners) as it loaded with how-to's, screenshots and more.

Download free BCD996P2 Software. While software is not included with this scanner, this is free software that you can use. Download this software for free, set up favorite lists, configure for your area & see if you're comfortable operating before you buy. If you buy, you'll have everything set up & ready to go.

BCD996P2 Owner's Manual. This is the official BCD996P2 owner's manual but we highly recommend Mark's Scanners BCD996P2 guide over this.

› Radio Reference is the largest police scanner radio forum with over 850k users. There are several threads about the BCD996P2 where just about every question imaginable has been asked and answered by BCD996P2 owners. As this scanner is new, this may be the best place for answers.

› There are Yahoo Groups for every police scanner radio including the BCD996P2.

› Uniden created a one page sell sheet for the BCD996P2 with specs & features.

BCD996P2 review on eHam.

› Know of any reviews? Let us know & we'll add them.


Programming Includes

› Check & install any firmware updates (OS may have updates since production).

› Sync & update frequencies to ensure accuracy.

› Create favorites lists for as many States & Counties as ordered.

› Set clock & date.

› Program with 3rd party software.

› Use national frequency database for frequencies.


Programming Details

With 'One Touch Programming' our technician will program your scanner for your area; all you need to do is simply power your scanner on. Choose as many Counties as you'd like and our scanner technician will create favorites lists for police, fire and EMS in that County using frequencies from a national frequency database. When you choose a County we also program the State that County is in. For example, if you choose Cook County Illinois, we will program Illinois State police, fire & EMS in addition to Cook County police, fire & EMS. If your County is large and you want to listen to a specific City within that County, add this to the notes section. Note programming adds 2 to 3 days to shipping. 



Programming Overview

Programming is the #1 concern of potential police scanner radio buyers. Each scanners' programming is unique & we added how-to's on each scanner product page showing how to program that particular scanner (see above for this model). We recommend following the decision tree graphic below & watching programming videos to determine whether you should have your scanner professionally programmed. 95% of all scanner sales include programming either at purchase or after, when users get frustrated.

Can I Program On My Own?

We created a programming decision tree as well as programming videos (above) to help you decided on whether you should include professional programming with your scanner but we HIGHLY recommend adding programming.



Programming Questions?


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Customer Reviews (14)

Yeah, noReview by Ryan
Review Rating
Just exchanged for the whistler. I couldn't figure out and I'm a developer. Hard to use, should have listened to Jessey who called me when I originally bought and warned me about this. Thought i could figure out but after 6 hours I give up. Hope the new one is easier. (Posted on 6/6/2017)
BCD996P2Review by Randall
Review Rating
Love it (Posted on 8/8/2016)
GoodReview by Quick
Review Rating
Easy to program (Posted on 11/7/2015)
Hubby's new toyReview by Erica
Review Rating
Hubby's new toy. He really likes it. He;s still learning how to use it. (Posted on 9/1/2015)
In a word GREATReview by Alex
Review Rating
Great audio easy to program excellent piece to add to the collection (Posted on 9/1/2015)
Very easy to program!Review by Greg
Review Rating
I love this scanner! I programmed mine manually and it didn't take me long at all, I really didn't see the fuss about programming. If you are on the cusp about getting this shell out the dollars it's totally worth it.
(Posted on 9/1/2015)
Very nice radio which meets the needs of my listening spectrumReview by Randy
Review Rating
Very nice radio which meets the needs of my listening spectrum. The programming needed
is very difficult tho. I was fortunate enough to
have a friend help me. The reception is not that great with 700 mhz. systems unless you find an
optimal space where you live or use an outside antenna. Most of the poor reception is not the radio's fault, its the crappy systems with their very narrow band width. 700 mhz. systems are totally over-rated. (Posted on 9/1/2015)
Better late than never...Review by Victor
Review Rating
If you're located in a region where Phase 2 P25 or X2-TDMA is being used then it's a worthy upgrade -- even from the older XT series of scanners. It's virtually identical to the BCD996XT. The only noticeable change besides the product label is the USB mini port. The older, proprietary port was fine but the connectors did damage quite easily. The change to USB is welcome.
(Posted on 9/1/2015)
A feature I really like about this P2 unit is that a written owner manualReview by Ian
Review Rating
This unit is an upgrade to Uniden's BCD996XT. A feature I really like about this P2 unit is that a written owner's manual was provided in the shipping box. Both of these units, which I own, are top-notch scanners. The P2 model will pick up some of the newer systems/channels that many agencies are now using. I strongly recommend that users consider purchasing subscriptions to Radio Reference and Pro Scan so that programming their scanners can be made so much easier by using a computer, although they can be programmed manually if one desires. External outside antennas also add to user's ability to pick up distant broadcasts.
(Posted on 9/1/2015)
The sound quality is outstanding and it's a very nice looking unit to bootReview by Jeremy
Review Rating
This is the first scanner I've purchase in 10 years. So...the technology has changed quite a bit since then. I was reading how hard this scanner is to program.... I didn't have any trouble getting this unit to perform as it should. The sound quality is outstanding and it's a very nice looking unit to boot. If you are interested in getting a new scanner, you should look to these 'Bearcat' scanners. Use 'FreeScan' and 'RadioReference' to get the programming job done. I like RadioReference so much I signed up for the premium service. To be honest, without these two websites, programming this scanner would would have been really challenging. My scanner was up and monitoring the area within a few minutes. Would I recommend this unit (with the online help)...YES. Without a doubt. It's no doubt the best scanner I've owned yet...and I've owned scanners since the days of 'crystal' sets. After you bought the scanner, you had a few channels and you had to plugin crystals with the frequency you needed into the unit. After that came a programmable unit which used a card that you slipped into the system. So...I've been around the block with these things.
(Posted on 9/1/2015)
Excellent scanner. Update of the 996XTReview by Sam
Review Rating
Excellent scanner. Update of the 996XT, with a couple of tweaks, and Phase II decoding. Compact, bright display that is easy to read. Simple and easy to program with the various free and commercial software offerings. Using FreeScan and ProScan, which have been updated to facilitate easy programming and remote control. I now have 2 in the rack, and will replace the last 996XT in the next week or so.

Users having issues with connecting to the scanner, there is nothing wrong with these devices, you are likely having (Windows) driver issues. I have programmed five different units in addition to my two, and never had a connection issue. (Posted on 9/1/2015)
Phase 2 in a familiar packageReview by Peter
Review Rating
If you have the 996xt and like it you will like this radio. It is essentially the same radio with the addition of Phase 2 digital and a USB port instead of the proprietary connector on the 996xt. The digital decoding seems to be good. Freescan and other software has been updated to work with the 996P2. The 996xt has been a solid performer. Hope for the same from this unit.
(Posted on 9/1/2015)
Great ScannerReview by Kirk
Review Rating
Purchased this scanner as an update to a BC125AT, if you are new to scanning, much like I am, the change to DMA memory and in my case the addition of trunking ability can be a bit overwhelming. Never one to shy away from a challenge I dove right in. I wouldn't recommend attempting to manually program this unit unless you have a lot of free time on your hands. Software is the way to go for this unit, I chose Freescan as their Beta version works very well with the BCD996P2. USB drivers to talk with the software can be a bit of a challenge but not bad if you are moderately adept with a PC. With the software installed and a significant amount of research I was struggling, I needed and example to go by and I couldn't find one readily available anywhere. So I broke down and bought a year subscription to Radioreference for $30, Freescan has a great import feature to pull in the programming directly from Radioreference. In 30 minutes I had the scanner up and running. Being able to review the programming made all the difference and significantly advanced my knowledge. Overall this is a great unit that is well built with a great display. Reception in my area with the stock antenna is great, but this hobby sucks you in fast, pretty sure I need to educate myself about antennas next.
(Posted on 9/1/2015)
Much more flexible than a traditional, bank-and-channel trunking scannerReview by Eric
Review Rating
I've owned several conventional trunking scanners over the years, but this is my first scanner using Dynamic Memory Architecture. When I started reading the BCD996P2 manual, I became frustrated because Uniden adopted terminology for their newer scanners that's too easily confused with existing, radio-related terminology. Uniden dropped "banks", "scanlists", and "channels". Now we're programming systems into "systems", frequencies into "sites", talkgroups into "groups", quick keys... Arrrgh! But as I started working with the scanner and figuring it out, I came to a realization that put it all into perspective for me: "Systems" are like banks, "Groups" are like scanlists, and "Quick Keys" are like bank and scanlist numbers. And a "Site" is just an organized collection of frequencies in a System.

Once I got past the confusion of Uniden's deviously-chosen terminology, I discovered the incredible programming flexibility of this scanner, and I love it. I really like being able to create Systems and Groups as needed and not be restricted by a preset number of banks and scanlists. Not only does the dynamic memory architecture of the BCD996P2 offer extensive programming, but very customizable programming. In fact, I've chosen to program my scanner in a rather unconventional way: instead programming multiple Groups and Sites under a handful of Systems, I've chosen to program the same trunked radio service into several Systems, with some systems having only one or two police agencies. This method does not make the most efficient use of the scanner, but it allows me to quickly and safely turn individual departments on and off, while driving in my car, just by touching single digits on the keypad. DMA memory makes this all possible, because if I tried to do this with a conventional trunking scanner like the Uniden BTC8, my entire scanner would be used up on just one trunked system!

This is also my first GPS scanner, and I used the GPS feature for the first time yesterday. It works great. You still control which systems you want enabled/disabled, but then the scanner automatically locks and unlocks the sites or groups in your enabled systems as you travel.

I have yet to hear how well the scanner decodes Phase II digital, because I only drive through a P2 system a couple times a year, but so far, I give the scanner a full five stars for performance with analog and Phase 1 digital trunking systems. (Phase 1 can sound a little too "digital" at times, but not enough to complain about.) The reason I am giving the scanner less than five stars is because Uniden seems to assume that everyone who buys a scanner these days is an advanced radio programmer, so they don't even bother trying to write their manuals in a way the average person can follow. Fortunately, once you successfully interpret Uniden's terminology madness (or figure out how to use the radio on your own) you'll realize that organizing the agencies, departments, and businesses you want to monitor is really not too different from a conventional trunking scanner that uses banks and scanlists.

I want to mention that I use software to program my scanners. You don't have to use software, but I personally could not imagine trying to program a scanner like this without it. I would not be surprised if, in five years, all scanners manufactured will require software for programming. (Posted on 9/1/2015)

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