Uniden UHF review – how has Mark Allen’s Uniden radio handled the last 12,000km of abuse?

By Mark Allen 5 Min Read

Granted, a UHF radio is for short-distance communications, but not so short to be chatting up strangers at the pub – that’s just a bit weird, eh!

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Nope, the mighty UHF in-car radio has been a mainstay in most rural-based vehicles, as well as those that travel from the cities to the bush for communicating vehicle-to-vehicle, farmhouse-to-vehicle for both work and play-related ramblings.

Why Uniden?

While the length and placement of antennae make a difference in the distance and quality of transmitting and receiving, it’s essential to start with a quality unit in the first place. That’s why we chose a Uniden for fitting into our 4×4 converted HiAce, given we’d be hitting plenty of remote tracks and destinations.

I tend not to talk on the radio to many passers-by just for the sake of it. I also don’t call up other motorists to ask for fuel prices, if the bakery is open before nine or for any other useless information. Nope, but I do let people know if I see something untoward on the track, if something is amiss on their vehicle, and to thank those who allow me to pass or give way in any form while travelling. Our UHF tends to be set on scan most of the time, just waiting for any skerrick of a call that may be emergency or trouble-related. While we may be unable to help directly, we could pass a message on.

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Foul language: the biggest turn-off for most families and kids is the bad language scattered about the UHF, so be warned when delicate ears are around.

Our Uniden UHF

Our 80-channel Uniden UH9060 is a trade quality, professional series, full 5W radio, and we’ve combined it with a 6.6dBi Uniden antennae for best all-round performance in all terrains. 

The remote head incorporates all the functions that used to be mounted on the base unit, which is hidden out of the way under the dash and connected via a traditional coiled chord.

Given the plethora of inbuilt features, I’d suggest hopping over to www.uniden.com.au for a full rundown rather than me just sharing what’s on their site. 

Say it again?

I admit, my hearing is getting a little on the “wadjusay” side. Perhaps it’s selective hearing sometimes, but I find most UHF radio speakers hard to hear. While this Uniden radio has a speaker in the base, plus a second speaker mounted in the handpiece, which features a voice enhancer system, making it clearer in the first place, the replay function is a great feature to have. Yep, having the ability to instantly play back up to one minute of dialogue gets used a heap with me.

That voice enhancer system allows four different audio settings – normal, bass, mid-range and high – to give you the best chance of receiving a normal-sounding voice.

Verdict

While we’ve only clocked about 12,000 km on our van, with nearly 10,000 of those on one huge outback trip, that’s hardly a long-term test. In that time, the mic dangled on its hanger and chirped to life occasionally, giving us that little bit more confidence that if we had to call someone, we could either as a direct call out or via the repeater system.

No, a UHF radio shouldn’t be relied on for emergency use; it is still a good way of trying to contact others in remote areas, given the widely used system. If you are looking for a quality radio, I recommend checking out the Uniden range.


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