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Home Patrol GPS, bad or set up wrong?

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N2JDS

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I have the full set up, Home Patrol, extreme package, and Unidens GPS. I always get a GPS signal, have adjusted the range to low to max miles, but never get local channels when using the full database. When I run autolocate, it will say that I'm in towns 20-30 miles away. Monitor two counties away, but not any depts around a few miles from me. Using the "Auto Locate". I've adjusted the range up and down many times. I have also noticed that quite a few channels on RadioReference are inaccurate to their lat long listing on some systems, sometimes out of county from where they are used. But not the real issue here.

I'm set at the Default speed 4800 baud and Default – DD.dddd
Selected my types of agencies I want to scan already. (Law, Law TAC, EMS, EMS Tac, Fire, Fire TAC etc.)

Not sure if I have bad GPS, not programmed scanner right, or dumb operator.

My impression of how this was supposed to work was, I have a favorites list made for my local area. When I leave local area. I select full database, have GPS cranked up and set range, and listen to departments as I drive through their area.

Thanks if you can help, PLEASE, no uneducated guessers or people asking if I have the cable plugged in, these are demeaning and solve nothing).
 

phask

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1st thing, does the HP show that it is using the GPS?

What do you get when you use Zipcode?

I never get auto locate to work (but I'm in a rural area).
Far as I can tell - My gps is right on as to what it locates, when I run it local it's fine, using on trips seems fine, but difficult to know for sure.

Range is irrelevant with GPS - it will set to Zero

I have a feeling that your HP is NOT seeing the GPS - when plugged in it asks if you want to use it, you must say yes. When scanning the GPS indicator at the top is green.
 

DaveIN

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Jeff, what GPS are you attempting to use? There are only a few of them that work with the GPS feature.
 

N2JDS

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Bought from ScannerMaster, the one they had bundled with their unit, $85 hockey puck, labeled Uniden, light sup OK. It's connected, just not impressed with accuracy when it is saying where I'm at when it does it's search. ran it with it on the roof, in middle of parking lot. Zero blocks.
 

jackj

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Jeff,
There are three different formats used to list coordinates. They are:

1. Degrees, Minutes, Seconds
2. Degrees, Minutes, Decimal minutes
3. Degrees, Decimal degrees

Make sure that your GPS and scanner are both using the same format. It shouldn't make any difference which format you use as long as both formats are the same.
 

Jay911

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- When you power on the scanner, does it come up with "GPS Detected" and ask you whether or not to use the GPS?

- What color is the little dot beside the word "GPS" in the top of the HP1's screen?
- Tap on the word "GPS". Is the subsequent menu set to "Ignore GPS"?

The first thing to do is confirm the first point above. With a properly connected and powered-up GPS, when you power up the HP1, it will always ask you if you want to use GPS data or not. It may take a few minutes to say this (no more than 5), especially if you powered up the GPS for the first time in a day or so (or have moved locations greatly since you last powered it up).
 

N2JDS

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GPS is fully functional, it is hooked up, unit acknowledges it is present. I'm just not seeing the "traveling with you and adding departments like it was advertised to do. That was the biggest reason I bought it.
Dot is green, have powered down and back up, Not set to ignore, it sees GPS each time, ask if I want to use it, I say sure, why not, so forth and so on.
 

Jay911

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Are you expecting to see the scanner add and remove systems as you move about? If I recall correctly, the x96T/XT scanners did that, but the HP1 doesn't - it just does it all silently without alerting you to the fact. You just see systems start showing up.

Other than that, make sure that each system (or is it Favorites list? I forget) has "Use Location Control" set to Yes. I don't know of anything else that could hamper it.
 

KD8HE

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True, I run mobile 100% of the time and travel the east coast... there are no prompts except when you cross a range boundry and a new state database loads to activate a system that comes into range. I do notice new county or city systems in the system scan as I travel but they just come and go. Operation is seamless and as accurate as the RR database. (as you mentioned, another issue).
 

Jay911

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One other thing for the OP, which I was reminded of by KD8HE: If you are getting stuff from around you but not stuff in your immediate local area, one more thing to check would be: Is the RRDB set up properly for your area and does it have GPS coordinates? From the looks of it, if you are in St Charles County in Missouri, it should have location info, so I'm just throwing out ideas as they come to me.
 

N2JDS

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Yeah, I do get stuff all around me, but I have checked the coordinates of some stuff on RR and can not imagine where they come up with those locations, some 30 miles from a small muni system, and it's not some remote tower or anything, one even showed up in a subdivision,that i know has no towers, just bad numbers. It's in the FCC part, not really RRDB fault.
 

OCO

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The OP indicated that the GPS's displayed location is off. I haven't ordered mine yet - does the HP1 provide a screen that gives lat/long info? I've never seen anything with less documentation.. a few lines in the HP1 manual - apparently no owners manual for the puck itself. I've looked for anything users have posted as far a what if any screen info or any screen shots (there is one kind of blurry video on Youtube).

Keeping in mind the fairly intensive math that the GPS performs and the precision required to measure the timing differences of the satellite signals, I'd suspect a bad unit (if bad location data is what is really going on)
 

Jay911

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The RRDB lat/long coords aren't necessarily supposed to be at tower sites, it's supposed to be at the center of where the coverage is. That may seem a little backwards, but they have their reasons for doing that.

If you hold on a system (tap the top bar until it turns yellow) and step through the available systems (using the Next/Prev buttons available after you tap the right edge of the bar), do the systems you are trying to hear show up in the list?
If yes, do the same for the department line, and see if the department/talkgroups you want show up.
If yes, carry on to the channel/frequency line and do the same.
If no to any of the above, check the details of the system ("Info"), department, or frequency and see if there is any location info.
Are the things you are not hearing and the things you do hear in the same service tag categories? I.e. I presume that you are trying to hear, say, EMS-Dispatch - can you hear some EMS-Dispatch but not all, or is the stuff you're not hearing in service tags that may not be activated?
 

Jay911

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The OP indicated that the GPS's displayed location is off. I haven't ordered mine yet - does the HP1 provide a screen that gives lat/long info? I've never seen anything with less documentation.. a few lines in the HP1 manual - apparently no owners manual for the puck itself. I've looked for anything users have posted as far a what if any screen info or any screen shots (there is one kind of blurry video on Youtube).

Keeping in mind the fairly intensive math that the GPS performs and the precision required to measure the timing differences of the satellite signals, I'd suspect a bad unit (if bad location data is what is really going on)
I've never been able to find a GPS screen on my HP1. The claim that it is showing data that is off may be related to the fact that the RRDB doesn't put coordinates for systems on the actual tower sites in all cases.

I don't know how AutoLocate (finding your position without a GPS) works. I suspect it has something to do with finding the signal strengths of various systems with known position information and "triangulating" your position from there.
 

OCO

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If there's no display of the GPS info on the HP1 and if there were a question of it's accuracy, there are a couple of different simple PC programs here that'll decode and display the NEMA 0183 output. I think I'll be getting an order out to ScannerMaster.....:wink:
 

jackj

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Have you double checked the coordinate format yet Jeff? If the format used by the scanner and the GPS don't match then the location can be off by 10 or 15 miles. I don't have a Home Patrol scanner so I don't know which format it needs but I do know that the format used by most GPSs can be changed.

It sounds like you have checked everything else so if the format isn't the problem then call Garmin's help line and ask them.
 

OCO

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Have you double checked the coordinate format yet Jeff? If the format used by the scanner and the GPS don't match then the location can be off by 10 or 15 miles. I don't have a Home Patrol scanner so I don't know which format it needs but I do know that the format used by most GPSs can be changed.

It sounds like you have checked everything else so if the format isn't the problem then call Garmin's help line and ask them.
OP is using the Uniden BC-GPSK. Anyone who's using that GPS - does it come with any setup instructions at all? - Uniden has nothing posted. I guess if not, you just go with the default HP1 coordinate format and serial port settings?

Autolocate feature referenced by the OP seems to be driven by available radio traffic and also by whether you're using the entire DB or a Favorites list. In quick testing, it came up with five different locations, three of them within 30 miles, one about 90 miles away and one about 250 miles away (picking up TG traffic on MPSCS?). As noted elsewhere it does not use the GPS for the Autolocate function.
 

KE4ZNR

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I don't know how AutoLocate (finding your position without a GPS) works. I suspect it has something to do with finding the signal strengths of various systems with known position information and "triangulating" your position from there.
Autolocate does not use the GPS in any form or fashion.
From page 12 of the Owners Manual:

Autolocate: HomePatrol‐1 searches frequency bands for a known radio system. When it finds one, you have the option of accepting that location or retrying for another one
It then assumes that since it can "hear" the radio system that you must be within a 30 mile radius of said system and uses that as a base point of location reference.

My gut feeling is that the lat/long location info for the original poster is off in the RR database.
The Uniden GPS Puck comes with a "quick start" sheet of info.
Marshall KE4ZNR
 
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rwier

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....................................................................................................................................... Anyone who's using that GPS - does it come with any setup instructions at all? ......................................................
Can't remember about instructions, but It would appear to be a completely passive device, only delivering data to the end of the cable. Mine has set untouched on the dash for many months now. No moving parts, no lights, no user adjustable settings, no on/off switch, no battery to change, etc. The only options are
a) Leave the puck unplugged (no instruction manual needed)
b) plug cable into HP-1 (all user options become a function of the HP-1)
 

OCO

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I should have clarified - my question pertained to the HP1 setup for the GPS. The OP was asked if he had the correct coordinate format set. I figured that you'd get that for the BC-GPSK from its user guide/sheet...

Some of the puck style GPSs are still configurable from the associated software.

I
 
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