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  1. #1
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    Default Uniden HomePatrol

    Well from this thread over at RR it looks like Uniden is releasing a new scanner dubbed the "HomePatrol". Sounds like it is going to handle P25 digital, have a touch screen interface, use the RR database for native data, and run on AA batteries. No word on price or release date, but there should be a more detail announcement coming from Uniden early July.

    A very interesting move in the scanner world. Nice to see they are thinking outside the box and not just re-branding old models like last year.

    http://forums.radioreference.com/uni...me-patrol.html

  2. #2
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    It looks interesting and might bring more interest to the Hobby, however [not to sound like a jerk] the scanner looks more like the dumbing down of the hobby Sadly you will only listen to what is pre-programmed [reported / submitted / validated] and as we ALL know [those who actively seek out info / SEARCH] there is plenty out there that is NOT in any list[s]

    We already know this scanner won't know the difference between BAPERN 3 and AreaWide 3
    or to take from a thread this week, Marshfield Police Channel 3 [I can't Find it !!] which is the same as BAPERN 3 or AreaWide 3 [but what about the old PlymCounty Channel plan] Who is going to validate the info? Is the info from a Proprietary Source? [Uniden?] or maybe from a Hobby supported source [Radio Reference aka RR] Still lots to learn about the radio, but it looks like it will make a nice Quick-Set-up Travel radio or Highway Radio with the GPS attachment.



    Quote Originally Posted by Mjg0519 View Post
    Well from this thread over at RR it looks like Uniden is releasing a new scanner dubbed the "HomePatrol". Sounds like it is going to handle P25 digital, have a touch screen interface, use the RR database for native data, and run on AA batteries. No word on price or release date, but there should be a more detail announcement coming from Uniden early July.

    A very interesting move in the scanner world. Nice to see they are thinking outside the box and not just re-branding old models like last year.

    http://forums.radioreference.com/uni...me-patrol.html
    Bill Dunn N1KUG
    Cruise Ship Frequencies
    http://scanmaritime.com

    "The tougher it is to find a frequency, the more it makes me want to work to find it. - I've learned to use the SEARCH Button"

  3. #3
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    Besides generic things like I-Tacs (which are changing) and GMRS/FRS. I can not stand pre-programming of radios.

    On the fly as no choice it can work. Inaccuracy drives me nuts. The Wiki at this site helps a lot and so do message boards.

  4. #4
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    From the thread at Radio Reference the data on the device will be pulled from their database. It is not clear wether or not this will require a premium subscription to the site.

    Quote Originally Posted by ecps92
    Is the info from a Proprietary Source? [Uniden?] or maybe from a Hobby supported source [Radio Reference aka RR]
    I'm not sold either way on the device yet, but they do say that either at launch or shortly after there will be the option to program your own data in the device. Its not clear how/if the scanner is capable of search/Mil Air/close call or anything similar to that.

  5. #5
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    Yes, I believe they require a premium subscription for downloads. It appears it may have a version of the Radio Reference database and somehow sorts via your zip code. I couldn't find any reference to this product on the Uniden site, but there are YouTube videos: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=i3AFlGTh7G8
    Last edited by N1BHH; 06-27-2010 at 10:54.
    CLYDE - N1BHH - A KNOW-CODE AMATEUR RADIO OPERATOR / WQLF416 - GMRS
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  6. #6
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    The product has not been released, or even officially announced. It was previewed at the Uniden Open House, which was in Fort Worth. There is a lot of discussion about it at Radio Reference. The RR database is preloaded, how it is updated I don't know, although there is a mini USB port in the side. Will it require a Premium Subscription? That would be a dumb idea on Uniden's part, they'd be better to work a deal with Lindsay and build that into the price of the scanner.

    There is a lot to like about the concept, especially for people who want to listen but don't have the time or knowledge to program a Uniden DMA or GRE scanner. That could be a very nice mobile scanner IF there is a programming option that will allow advanced operators to put in their own programming. As I said over on RR, this is an evolution of the Beartracker and other preprogrammed Uniden scanners. I don't know if I'd buy one, but I can think of any number of people who would like to listen who are the target audience for this product.

    I think anything that adds to the number of scanner listeners is good for the hobby. The more listeners, the more people that will get mad when their local PD goes encrypted. If enough of them do, they can influence policy on this. That will be good for us all.

    I did a copy and paste from the RR thread for those of you, and I know there are a few, who don't visit RR. This is from UPMan who is the Uniden Project Manager for many of their scanner (and other) products. He answers a lot of the questions I asked in the first part of my post, so I thought it worth while to bring it over here.

    Ability to create your own stuff will roll out in the PC software once we get the initial release taken care of. Ability to enter stuff "on the fly" is further out. I want to make sure we get the feature set for the advanced user nailed...and reading these posts + the ones that come out after release will certainly feed into that process.

    This has been the culmination of about 4 years of effort...a couple of the patent-pending features were filed years ago. A couple of the patented features we licensed over a decade ago. We are working very hard to make sure that we've correctly identified the audience, the feature set, and the implementation...and we are ready to adjust to reality from Day 1 if we missed anything at all.

    I know and appreciate that this is not going to be a product for many of you. And don't take it that this scanner is for "stupid people" or that it is a dumbed down product. That absolutely isn't the point. A friend of mine's son is an astrophysicist. Definitely not stupid. But, he has tried and failed at programming today's scanners because he just doesn't have the time to become a radio engineer. He really likes listening (he uses 911scanner on his iPhone), though. He is ready to buy HomePatrol today (if only we were ready to sell it today).

    But, even you scanner guys are going to find things to like about it right off the bat. I was in Nashville last week and had the opportunity to have Greg Voros work on my guitar. He said that the most common request from beginner/intermediate guitarists is that they want their guitar to be easier to play. Actually, he said, everyone wants their guitar to be easier to play, even the guitar impressarios. It isn't cheating to be easier.

    On that trip, 5 minutes after I hit the hotel room I was listening to the Nashville area PD, FD, and EMS. What took about 3 minutes was finding something in the hotel room that had the local zip code . As a casual visitor, I would have been immediately blown away by what I was listening to with so little knowledge of the local systems. I had not researched Nashville at all before the trip, so didn't even realize that they had digital channels. It wasn't necessary for me to know anything about the technicalities of the systems...I was hearing a Motorola Type 2 system with some P25 channels, many conventional channels, and I think some Motorola (maybe EDACS) systems with no digital, too. It really wasn't necessary for me to know any of that...and your dad (or brother-in-law, or mom, or cousin, or next-door-neighbor) will not need to know that either. But, they'll still hear police, fire, ambulance (and more, if they turn on those other channel types), just by knowing their zip code.

    I'm way to "inside" this project to give an unbiased view. I'll let the guys who saw it today give their likes/dislikes. But, while this is really targeted at your brother-in-law, we aren't forgetting about you. If you don't want it today, I totally understand, and we aren't abandoning products like the BCD396XT and BCD996XT. But, I'm making a list (actually started it last year) of things I want to do for you to bring you up to this platform, too. Can't make any promises...so don't buy it until you see something you like. I'm just betting that even the way it will be on day 1 will be irresistable to a good chunk of die-hard radio technologists in addition to the guys who "just want to hear the cops."
    __________________
    Last edited by garys; 06-27-2010 at 12:31. Reason: Update from RR
    We're peace loving people, we're not hunting trouble, but if trouble should find us, we'll stand up and fight.

  7. #7
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    It does look interesting. I think by the time it is released in the Fall a lot of the questions that are being asked over on R.R. will be answered, an boy oh boy there are a whole lot of questions being asked. Will it bring more folks in to the fold, I don't know, I imagine this will be cost comparable to the current top of the line Uniden radios, witch will turn folks off. It does look like it will have some very interesting features. Do I need one, No I really don't, Will I get one , perhaps, we'll see how the final product turns out.

  8. #8
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    Pretty interesting product. For those that haven't gone thru the RR thread, here's a Youtube link to a video of its setup.

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=i3AFlGTh7G8
    Scott - Scan New England Webmaster

  9. #9
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    Quote Originally Posted by Scott SNE Webmaster View Post
    Pretty interesting product. For those that haven't gone thru the RR thread, here's a Youtube link to a video of its setup.

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=i3AFlGTh7G8
    Yeah, that's the link I posted a bit earlier. I caught it before I went through that thread and finally saw that link in that thread.
    CLYDE - N1BHH - A KNOW-CODE AMATEUR RADIO OPERATOR / WQLF416 - GMRS
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  10. #10
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    This product looks unique. It looks like it is more suited for desk top monitoring.

    Only about 10 years ago did PC Programmable Scanners Come a long. Remember those days of Excel and typing in "Channel Maps" and programming the scanner by hand only to realize you skipped a frequency.

    I recently brought a PRO-107. With the exception of certain counties in the RR database (mostly BAPERN) I had to program everything by hand using the software. Since the alpha tag formats make no sense and outdated information.

    Also the PRO-107 system/software is proprietary making it hard for Butel or other companies to design software for it.

    This maybe a similar issue with the Home Patrol.

    I actually like the PRO-107. More on that on another thread.

  11. #11
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    The fact that it doesn't look like a scanner (radio) be among the best features. Scanning in a public could be a lot easier as folks may view it as a personal entertainment device as opposed to a radio.

  12. #12
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    Quote Originally Posted by N1BHH View Post
    Yeah, that's the link I posted a bit earlier. I caught it before I went through that thread and finally saw that link in that thread.
    Jeez I read through your thread and missed that entirely, I think because the link is wrapped at the end of a line and I wasn't paying that close attention when I read. Sorry bout dat!

    What a unique approach to scanning though; I'll be keeping an eye on this one. I can see its use on my yearly road trips to FL, but not sure about just sitting around the shack. I like the idea and I think it opens the hobby up to a lot of people that might previously have thrown up their hands in frustration.
    Scott - Scan New England Webmaster

  13. #13
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    Concept is nice, but if people are looking for a simple solution to programming a scanner AND possibly paying upwards of $500, then I think it defeats the purpose. I think a lot of people either are afraid to use, or know nothing about, programming software that is readily available to them. Sharing of software files is a HUGE plus in this hobby, especially for travel purposes but it can also help a newer scannist learn by actually "seeing" the file on a screen then applying that to how they want to customize their programming.
    Mark,

    Scan New England Moderator



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  14. #14
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    Quote Originally Posted by Mark SNE Moderator View Post
    Concept is nice, but if people are looking for a simple solution to programming a scanner AND possibly paying upwards of $500, then I think it defeats the purpose. ....
    I am not so sure about that. Scanners became a huge consumer item in the early/mid 1970s because they were so simple, not because they were cheap. Walk in to a Radio Shack or Lafayette store (or your local CB radio store and yes there really were CB radio stores for awhile-lots of them!), buy an 8 or 10 channel crystal scanner and crystals for your local police, fire, state police, etc., take it home, turn it on, and instantly start hearing what you were actually interested in. No expert knowledge required, no tuning, just listen. Of course everything has changed, but most of all the scanners. They are decidedly not simple anymore, particularly if your local agencies are digital or trunked. The consumer market of casual listeners is most likely going to conclude that it is not worth the expense for something with that steep a learning curve. Too many buttons, too many terms, too much to do to get it to work, incomprehensible instruction manual, etc. However, I don't think the price itself is that much of a barrier or really the problem. In 1975, a 10-channel Regency scanner sold for about $169.00 plus crystals at about $5 each; total $219.00. According to this "Purchasing Power" Calculator, that is the equivalent of $873.00 today! So a no-brainer scanner might actually seem like a bargain at $500 to someone who wants to know what's going on in their town.

    Mush of its future success depends on an accurate database to start with (how accurate/complete is the RR database?) and how will it be updated for the huge number of changes that will likely be forthcoming.
    Dick
    Southern Maine

  15. #15

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    I think Dick's got it 100% correct:

    "Much of its future success depends on an accurate database to start with (how accurate/complete is the RR database?) and how will it be updated for the huge number of changes that will likely be forthcoming."

    Quality Control of the database is absolutely vital. If the database is solid, then this device will rock. But this clever new device will just frustrate people IF the database isn't accurate. In my experience, for my area, the RR database is just OK... and rarely definitive. I don't know how/if Lindsay is addressing this problem, but it's a lot different to have RR as a ONE source of information for a knowledgeable hobbyist than for Grandma and Grandpa to rely on it as THE one and only source of information for your scanning listening.

    That's just my two cents,

    Peter
    K1PGV

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