Replacement frequency display bulb for Uniden Bearcat BC950XLT (aka BC760XLT)

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trp2525

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I was wondering if anyone could be of assistance in obtaining the proper frequency display backlight bulb for the Uniden Bearcat BC950XLT scanner (same as the BC760XLT scanner). Both scanners are circa 1988-1989. I have replaced the frequency display lamp bulb in my BC950XLT scanner more than once over the years but was never able to locate the proper voltage bulb for this application. From what I understand the factory bulb was an 8-volt bulb.

I have tried 2 different Radio Shack miniature bulbs over the years but neither has been an exact replacement. I have tried the Radio Shack #272-1140 6-volt 25 mA bulb (see attached picture) which has worked fine with good brightness but doesn't last long because it is only a 6-volt bulb. I typically only get a year or two before the lamp burns out again. The last one that I recently replaced (which may have just been a bad/defective bulb) only lasted 2 weeks. I have also tried the Radio Shack #272-1141 12-volt 25 mA miniature bulb which works but is dim compared to the factory original bulb because it is a 12-volt bulb.

Does anyone have a source and/or part number for the 8-volt miniature bulb for this application? If you have have done this repair yourself and have used a bulb other than the 2 Radio Shack bulbs mentioned above, what have you used and what have your long-term results been?
 

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jonwienke

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An LED will need a driver circuit to step down the LED voltage and limit current properly, rather than being a drop-in replacement. OTOH, incandescent bulbs are getting scarcer every day as in most cases they are no longer being made.
 

byndhlptom

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BC950 bulb

Actually, just an appropriate series dropping resistor.

Assuming 8 volts source, Yellow LED (typ1.4v drop) at 10mA, resistor would be 660 ohms. closest 5% value is 680 ohm. 1/4w should be OK.

For more even light, put two/three LEDs in series, recalculate the new (lower) resistor value......

I've done this to a lot of older radios up to and including ICOM7100 & 8500. Hardest part is finding the true dc voltage to the backlights.....

good luck

$.02
 

trp2525

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Thanks for the replies/suggestions. I checked in with Gerry at G & G Communications in New York (Home Page) and he told me that they have the proper 8-volt bulbs in stock (for $2.50 each) but you need to use your original amber-colored rubber cover for the bulb because those covers are no longer available. He also suggested as an alternate solution using a standard 12-volt miniature bulb (like a Radio Shack #272-1141) but powering it from a 12-volt source in the radio (i.e. directly behind the on-off control) instead of from the 8-volt wires that normally power the display bulb.

As a side note I can't say enough good things about Gerry and G & G Communications in New York. He is certainly a major asset to the scanner/radio monitoring community. In my personal dealings with him in the past I have found him to be very helpful/knowledgeable, to perform top-notch quality repairs for reasonable pricing and to have fair and ethical business practices.
 

dispatch235

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I've used a 12 volt bulb connected to the power switch and "glass paint" from craft store to color the bulb after the rubber bulb covers became obsolete. I actually did all the small bulbs behind the buttons also and changed the display to green in one scanner and a light blue on another one.
 
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