The Uniden Bearcat 980 SSB is a powerful CB radio with advanced features that can enhance your communication on the road or at home. There are several mods you can make to improve the performance of your Bearcat 980 even further.
So, what are some common Uniden Bearcat 980 mods?
One of the popular Bearcat 980 SSB mods is installing the “Channel King” board, which allows the radio to access the full channel coverage and improves power output. Unlocking the clarifier is another mod that’s popular which makes the sound clearer. Removing the annoying beep sound and increasing the mic sound are also some little tweaks users make.
In this article, we’ll explore some of the most popular Uniden Bearcat 980 SSB mods that you can make to take your CB radio experience to the next level.
Uniden Bearcat 980 SSB Mods
Uniden Bearcat is quite good in terms of service, but you can try the mods below to improve its performance just how you want it! Or, if you are facing a Uniden Bearcat 980 SSB problem that you need to solve, we can help with that too!
Channel King Board Mod:
Uniden Bearcats are not power monsters, they are usually around 4 watts and some of them may be even lower due to electrical faults. So, a common mod for these is to replace the stock board with the “Channel King” board to improve power output and get full channel coverage.
- Channel King board
Disassemble the Device:
To access the circuit board, you’ll need to open the device’s casing. The method for doing this will vary depending on the device but typically involves removing screws or clips that hold the casing together. Consult the device’s manual or look for online resources if you’re unsure how to do this.
Remove the Old Display Board:
Once you have access to the circuit board, you’ll need to remove it from the device. This may involve unscrewing it or disconnecting any cables that are attached to it. Be sure to keep track of any screws or cables you remove, as you’ll need to reattach them later.
Also, you will need the connector cables from the old board to install the new one.
Install the New Circuit Board:
Now it’s time to install the “Channel King” board. When you get this board makes sure to get one designed specifically for your device. Then, carefully slide it into place and secure it with screws or by reconnecting any cables that were disconnected.
Test the Device:
With the new circuit board installed, it’s important to test the device to make sure that it’s functioning properly. Plug the device back into the power supply and turn it on. Test the device with your oscilloscope and wattmeter to check all of its functions.
Close the Casing:
Assuming everything is working properly, it’s time to close up the device’s casing. Carefully reattach any screws or clips that were removed, making sure that the device is fully closed and secure.
Here is a video to help you understand the process better-
By unlocking the clarifier you will enable your device for clearer audio.
Desoldering tool or a soldering iron
- Step 1: Remove the cover of the radio to access the internal components.
- Step 2: Locate the two resistors near the clarifier circuit. Remove them.
- Step 3: Locate the diode that controls the transmit-only voltage source. It should be marked with a logo, besides the D306 transistor.
- Step 4: Remove the diode using a desoldering tool or a soldering iron.
- Step 5: Look for a resistor in close proximity to the diode. It should have a “0” marking on top of it, indicating that it is a zero-ohm jumper. You should find it in the middle of the D310 and D311 transistors.
- Step 6: Remove the resistor using a desoldering tool or a soldering iron.
- Step 7: This will remove all voltage to the clarifier through the wiring harness, so you will need to supply 8 volts to the clarifier.
- Step 8: Attach a wire to the center pin of the voltage regulator, which is a three-terminal device located near the clarifier control.
- Step 9: Run the wire to the wiring harness that goes to the clarifier control. The pin you need to connect to is the fourth one counting from the right or the third one counting from the left.
- Step 10: Apply 8 volts to this pin.
- Step 11: Test the clarifier by turning on the radio and using a spectrum analyzer to verify that the clarifier is unlocked and working properly.
Here is a video that will help you understand the process-
Beep Removal Mod:
Stock Uniden Bearcats make an annoying beep sound which everyone hates. The good thing is you can get around this.
Desoldering tool or a soldering iron
Simply take off the bottom cover of your Bearcat and find the transistor Q217. Right beneath the “1” of the Q217, there is a resistor that you need to remove using a desoldering tool. This will stop the beep sound forever.
Some users think that the microphone of the Bearcat 980 does not produce enough sound. So, they found a way to increase the sound.
Screwdriver, leather hole punch,
- Step 1: First, detach the microphone from your CB radio.
- Step 2: Use the screwdriver to remove the three screws on the back of the microphone.
- Step 3: Separate the microphone into two pieces.
- Step 4: Remove the plastic disc on the front of the microphone using a small flathead screwdriver.
- Step 5: Remove the sound filters on both the front and back of the plastic disc.
- Step 6: Use a leather hole punch to make the hole in the plastic disc a bit bigger.
- Step 7: Put the black sound filter back in place over the top of the plastic disc.
- Step 8: Reinsert the plastic disc back in front of the microphone.
- Step 9: Discard or keep the small white sound filter, as it’s not needed anymore.
- Step 10: Put the microphone back together and screw in all the screws.
- Step 11: Finally, test the microphone to see if the mod has improved its volume.
These mods may also be applied to other Uniden model radios like Grant XL mods with a slight variation in the process.
Some Common Variable Resistors & Their Uses
Other than making elaborate changes, you can make some small changes to make some big differences using these VRs.
RT203 SSB ALC:
This VR adjusts the Automatic Level Control (ALC) for the Single Side Band (SSB) mode. It controls the power output of the radio when transmitting in SSB mode, which is important to prevent distortion of the signal. Turning it clockwise will increase the power output while turning it counterclockwise will decrease it.
RT205 AM AMC:
This VR adjusts the Automatic Modulation Control (AMC) for the Amplitude Modulation (AM) mode. It controls the modulation level of the radio when transmitting in AM mode, which is important to prevent distortion of the signal. Turning it clockwise will increase the modulation while turning it counterclockwise will decrease it.
RT206 AM POWER:
This VR adjusts the power output of the radio when transmitting in AM mode. Turning it clockwise will increase the power output while turning it counterclockwise will decrease it.
To use these VRs, you will need a small screwdriver (such as a jeweler’s screwdriver) to turn them. However, it is essential to be very careful when adjusting them as they are fragile and can break easily. If you break them you may face some issues like the radio not transmitting properly.
Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs):
How many watts is a Bearcat 980?
The Bearcat 980 has a transmit power of 4 watts. The Bearcat 980 also has an SWR calibration feature to ensure proper antenna tuning and a built-in noise-canceling microphone for clear communication.
What is SSB on CB radio?
SSB stands for single sideband, which is a type of transmission that removes the carrier signal and one of the sidebands, resulting in more efficient use of the available frequency spectrum and allowing for longer-range transmissions with less power.
How to tune SWR on Bearcat 880?
The Bearcat 880 CB radio’s SWR can be tuned by connecting the antenna, selecting channel 1, and pressing the S/RF/CAL/SWR button. Turn the CAL knob until the meter needle is on the CAL mark. Key the microphone again and note the reading on the SWR meter. If the reading is below 2, you are done.
Uniden Bearcat 980 SSB Mods can be a great way to enhance the functionality and performance of your CB radio. These modifications can include adjustments to the clarifier, microphone, as well as upgrades to the power output and SSB capabilities.
With the right knowledge and tools, you can customize your Bearcat 980 to meet your specific communication needs. That was all, best of luck with the mods, see you later!