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Old 10-14-2010, 12:17 AM
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Default Home Patrol-1... My Review

Well, I will start out by saying that I am not impressed with this device as a scanner receiver. Receiver sensitivity is really bad. The idea of the device is pretty neat, and with the help of the Sentinel Software, it is very easy to set up. If you are not a person is fluent enough with a computer to navigate the software, you will not be able to fully benefit from the device’s features.

Pros:
--Nice display. Not as nice as the iPhone 4, but good for a scanner. :-)
--Descriptions of the channels are very nice. Not limited like most scanners to 12 or 16 characters per line.
--Owner information screen is nice. Name, full address, phone number, email address, and even more can all be displayed. It will help an honest person return the device if it is found.
--With the Sentinel Software, it is simple to configure the scanner to what you want to monitor. I look forward to other aftermarket software to make it even better.
--Very nice for someone that travels to many different locations in US and Canada. The entire Radio Reference database is stored in the scanner and it will automatically scan based on zip code and specified range.
--Audio recording is awesome! It’s like TiVo for the scanner.

Cons:
--The radio receiver of this scanner is probably one of the worst receivers I have used.
*Very very poor performance on VHF-High. This is disappointing as fire in Phoenix still uses VHF High extensively. I am comparing to my BCD396XT. I even swapped antennas on the HP-1 and BC396XT with no change. Monitoring the same VHF frequency side by side with my BCD396XT, the HP-1 will be scratchy and almost unreadable, while the BCD396XT is crystal clear.
*Poor performance on UHF.
*OK performance on 800mhz Analog.
*Adequate performance on a Digital Mixed mode P25 non-simulcast system.
*Terrible performance on P25 Simulcast! I have compared the radio with my BCD396XT that will decode about 40-60 percent of a transmission on the Phoenix RWC simulcast system. The HP-1 will successfully decode about 10-30 percent of a transmission. I have tried different locations, and switch antennas on the radios with similar results. This is very disappointing and makes the radios almost worthless for the radio systems that I monitor the most.
--Poor audio. The speaker is very tinny. It does not do a good job of filtering on poor quality transmissions. On a moderate strength signal, the audio quality is annoying because the static is in signal seems amplified rather than being filtered.
--For complicated trunked systems that have many simulcast and single IR sites, the range based programming selects a lot of garbage that is not useful for a scanner. As an example, on the Maricopa County trunked system, there are small filler sites that rarely have radios affiliated to carry talkgroups. This causes a waste of about 10 seconds in scanning unused IR sites. Scanner users must be familiar with what sites need to be “avoided” to a proper listening experience. This issue is caused by the comprehensive site information on RadioReference. All of the site information is nice to have docuemneted to get a full understanding of the system. These sites provide gap coverage for radio users of the systems. However, in Phoenix, most of the sites are unnecessary for a scanner. The same can be said for other complex systems like Douglas County Nebraska where I have heard similar complaints from one of my colleagues that tried the radio.
--Setting favorite lists via the device is more tedious than it should be. Example. To add the East and West Dispatch talkgroups on the Maricopa County trunked system you must: From menu, select “Manage Favorites Lists” and select your list. Select Review / Edit Channels, Add channel, USA, Arizona, Maricopa, Statewide(a system that covers multiple counties is listed under statewide), Maricopa County, MCSO East, MCSO East Dispatch, and Add Channel. To this point, I am ok. However, since the West channel is in a different “department” on the menu, I must then go back through the entire list, USA, Arizona, Maricopa…. If the channels are in the same “department” you can select multiple channels to add at a time. If they are in different “departments” it gets tedious. If it would not make me go back through the entire menu, that would be very helpful.
--Patched talkgroups on Pure P25 systems still do not decode properly on the HP-1! This is an ongoing issue I have with the BCD396XT that I was hoping would be addressed. GRE’s can properly decode patched talkgroups on a P25 system, but Uniden has not figured it out yet. This can be addressed by firmware, and hopefully will be addressed on BCDx96 series and HP-1 soon.
--No acceptable way to force the radio to continue scanning. Let me explain. My state agency is making a transmission that will last 45 seconds giving VIN, license info, make, model, color, etc. On my BCD396XT, I will hit “SCAN” and it will continue scanning and stop on the next active agency in the scan list. With the HP-1, I tap the channel name to hold, and then tap the channel name again to continue. However it scans the same agency and will stop on the same channel again. I have to do the about 2 more times before it will continue to the next agency.
--The device is larger and heavier than I expected. I was expecting something slightly larger than a modern GPS.
--No manual manipulation of programmed data. Something is incorrect or not included, you must submit to RadioReference and wait for the change to propogate to Uniden, then update the HP-1 via software.
--Now I am just getting picky… Battery low alert is annoying. The red symbol in the top right, and beep every few seconds is enough. We don’t need the popup on the screen that blocks everything and makes you hit ok every few minutes.


Overall as you can see by my long list of cons that I am not happy with the radio. I was not going to buy one, but I was offered a deal that I could not pass up.

I am an advanced scanner listener, but the cons I have above will come into play for anyone from a novice to a pro. This concept is definitely moving in the right direction for future scanners, but this idea is still in its infancy. I’m not gonna give up my BCD396XT anytime soon.

Last edited by cellphone; 10-14-2010 at 12:29 AM..
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Old 10-14-2010, 12:29 AM
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On the patches for a pure P25 system, does the scanner just randomly start scanning in mid-transmission?

Tim K.
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Old 10-14-2010, 1:06 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by timkilbride View Post
On the patches for a pure P25 system, does the scanner just randomly start scanning in mid-transmission?

Tim K.
Hi Tim,

For the P25 talkgroup patch issue, I can elaborate with an example from Omaha Regional Interoperability Network. This issue is present with all current Uniden Scanners. The GRE PSR-5/600 series and associated Radio Shack versions decode talkgroup patches correctly.

In a normal situation, Omaha Police Channel “A01 Northwest Primary” on talkgroup 5, and Douglas County Sheriff “A01 Dispatch” on talkgroup 2 are separate. If there is an incident that requires Omaha Northwest Units to work with the Sheriff’s office, the dispatcher can set up a patch to allow units on OPD talkgroup 5 and Douglas County talkgroup 2 communicate with each other without changing channels. Patches are set up in many mutual aid situations.

On Uniden scanners, when talkgroups are patched together, the scanner will only recognize traffic on one of the talkgroups, not both. Which talkgroup you hear on the scanner depends on how the dispatcher sets up the patch. In my example above, I hold on the “A01 Northwest Primary” talkgroup 5, and listen to the incident before the patch is set up by the dispatcher. After the patch is created by the dispatcher, my Uniden scanner will be silent. I will need to listen to talkgroup 2 in order to hear the patched talkgroup. In this example, if you are only scanning the Omaha Police dispatch talkgroups, you will hear the incident on the scanner.

The way it works on professional radios and on GRE scanners, you can have the radio holding on either Omaha Police talkgroup 5 or Douglas County talkgroup 2 and you will hear the radio traffic.

Hope this clears things up. Uniden fixed this issue for Motorola analog or mixed mode trunked systems with a firmware update. However, the issue is still present on pure P25 systems.
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Old 10-14-2010, 7:30 AM
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You'd better check your antennas or ensure that you don't have nearby signals that are desensitizing your HP-1. I find VHF-HI and UHF reception to be very good with mine.
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Old 10-14-2010, 8:01 AM
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Default My own "take" on the HP-1 is quite different

I too find the receiver to be one the "best" I have had in a scanner and quite surprised by the "poor receiver" comment heading the list of CONS. Most of the things listed don't effect me one way or the other so I don't care much about them. But the receiver specs itself matters to all of us without regard to where we live or work.
I too am equipped for an A/B comparison between the HP-1 and the BCD996XT, BCD99T and the 396 using a four port multicoupler with the HP-1 on the 4th port and all connected therefore to the same antenna (and I have severa different ones, from OMNI discones to LPs.
I just don't find the comment of poor reception matches my experience.
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Old 10-14-2010, 8:21 AM
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Default Receiver

I also find the receiver to be pretty good on VHF and on UHF whether with the stock antenna or a telescoping whip. Even sitting on the passenger seat in my SUV with the stock antenna I hold signals pretty well. I'm happy with the receiver...I think the AGC could be a little more effective, but I'm pleased.
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Old 10-14-2010, 8:26 AM
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Yeah, I am not sure what you had going on there but I think the HP-1 receiver is great. In a side by side comparison to the 996XT and 996T, I was able to receive signals on a variety of frequencies better on the HP-1.
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Old 10-14-2010, 8:52 AM
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I for one am glad to see he is not happy with it, and i will be more then happy to buy it from you so you wont have to look at such a dissapointing scanner.
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Old 10-14-2010, 9:38 AM
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I am surprised to hear others having good results with the receiver performance on the HP-1. It makes me think there may be something wrong with mine. I have the receiver listed it first on my cons, as it is my biggest complaint.

If there are nearby transmitters desensitizing it, then I am still disappointed as I am doing side by side comparisons with my BCD396XT using multiple hand held antennas. The BCD396XT is easily outperforming the HP-1 on every frequency with every antenna.

I have not yet connected it to my external antennas. I will do this tonight. I also have a Stridsberg 4 part Multicoupler connected to an external antenna. I will connect the HP-1 with my BCD996XT and BC780XLT to do some comparisons.


How is everyone else’s HP-1 doing on P25 simulcast systems? Mine is terrible at decoding. My BCDx96XT’s (which are not great at decoding P25 simulcast) are really outperforming the HP-1. This is a real deal breaker for me.
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Old 10-14-2010, 9:40 AM
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No matter the product there will always be someone who doesn't like it.BTW I would love to have a Homepatrol but that will never be possiable No Money.LOL
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Old 10-14-2010, 10:04 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by cellphone View Post
Well, I will start out by saying that I am not impressed with this device as a scanner receiver. Receiver sensitivity is really bad.
This to me is probably the most shocking thing I've read in any review of the HP.

I've found the receiver to be one of the best I've ever seen in a scanner - ever - it ranks right up there with the Pro-2006. And this is coming from an owner of an AOR-5000 and an Icom R9500.

Every listening post is different - so I'm not going to totally discount your claims - but I would certainly check to see if you have a faulty radio or antenna/connector problems.
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Old 10-14-2010, 11:33 AM
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Hey Joe, HRO has some at their store 10613 N 43rd ave in Phoenix. You might be able to stop by and test your radio side by side with one of theirs to see if you might have a defective scanner.
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Old 10-14-2010, 11:40 AM
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Not a bad idea...could be as simple as a bad solder joint at the SMA antenna connector.
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Old 10-14-2010, 12:01 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by cellphone View Post
Hi Tim,

For the P25 talkgroup patch issue, I can elaborate with an example from Omaha Regional Interoperability Network. This issue is present with all current Uniden Scanners. The GRE PSR-5/600 series and associated Radio Shack versions decode talkgroup patches correctly.

In a normal situation, Omaha Police Channel “A01 Northwest Primary” on talkgroup 5, and Douglas County Sheriff “A01 Dispatch” on talkgroup 2 are separate. If there is an incident that requires Omaha Northwest Units to work with the Sheriff’s office, the dispatcher can set up a patch to allow units on OPD talkgroup 5 and Douglas County talkgroup 2 communicate with each other without changing channels. Patches are set up in many mutual aid situations.

On Uniden scanners, when talkgroups are patched together, the scanner will only recognize traffic on one of the talkgroups, not both. Which talkgroup you hear on the scanner depends on how the dispatcher sets up the patch. In my example above, I hold on the “A01 Northwest Primary” talkgroup 5, and listen to the incident before the patch is set up by the dispatcher. After the patch is created by the dispatcher, my Uniden scanner will be silent. I will need to listen to talkgroup 2 in order to hear the patched talkgroup. In this example, if you are only scanning the Omaha Police dispatch talkgroups, you will hear the incident on the scanner.

The way it works on professional radios and on GRE scanners, you can have the radio holding on either Omaha Police talkgroup 5 or Douglas County talkgroup 2 and you will hear the radio traffic.

Hope this clears things up. Uniden fixed this issue for Motorola analog or mixed mode trunked systems with a firmware update. However, the issue is still present on pure P25 systems.
I have lived in Bellevue, NE. I guess I never noticed the issue.

My issue is with this system:

Johnson County Public Safety (Project 25) System Trunking System, Various, Iowa - Scanner Frequencies

The scanners, both 996t and HP1, will just start randomly scanning mid-transmission. This system does have patched TGs as they migrate to the system.

Tim K.
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Old 10-14-2010, 1:25 PM
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Gotta say I am surprised someone is complaining about reception with an HP-1 as it is the best reciever Uniden or GRE have come up with in many many years! VHF reception is far and above my 996 o 396's on the same antenna. I regularly hear 50 miles away and have recieved stuff from Michigan City 137 miles away on a JPole. As for 800Mhz, testing one night I was hearing and logging the Seymour SAFET tower 60 miles away. Not bad, and way above the PSR600 or any of my other radios.
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Old 10-14-2010, 1:48 PM
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Make sure you have the Attenuator (Atten) OFF.....that and squelch at 2 bars.

V
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Old 10-14-2010, 3:52 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Viper43 View Post
Make sure you have the Attenuator (Atten) OFF.....that and squelch at 2 bars.

V
Yes, if these two items are confirmed I think there is something wrong with your HP-1. Return it for another. I run mine right alongside of my BC785D and reception is the same, which is very good to excellent for both.
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Old 10-14-2010, 4:17 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Viper43 View Post
Gotta say I am surprised someone is complaining about reception with an HP-1 as it is the best reciever Uniden or GRE have come up with in many many years! VHF reception is far and above my 996 o 396's on the same antenna. I regularly hear 50 miles away and have recieved stuff from Michigan City 137 miles away on a JPole. As for 800Mhz, testing one night I was hearing and logging the Seymour SAFET tower 60 miles away. Not bad, and way above the PSR600 or any of my other radios.
I finally got to see a HP-1 and it was sitting next to a PSR600 both with stock antennas and I have to say they both receive very well, I do have to say by a very slim margin the 600 received a little better.
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Old 10-14-2010, 6:48 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Highpockets View Post
I finally got to see a HP-1 and it was sitting next to a PSR600 both with stock antennas and I have to say they both receive very well, I do have to say by a very slim margin the 600 received a little better.
I compared the HP-1 and 600 using the same antennas at the same time using a Stidesburg multicoupler. Just to make sure things were equal I even switched the two scanners around so the coax between the multicoupler and scanners couldn't be blamed for the difference. I was able to hear the CC on the Darke Co Ohio MARCS site 60 miles away on the HP-1, 600 was silent. I played with various other known CC and other audible tones throughout the HP-1 and the only one that the 600 did better on was VHF Low.
Using the stock antenna's is one thing, using them both on the same antenna is a much better way to test and get closer results. Even now the HP-1 is picking things up the 396XT isn't hearing.
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Old 10-14-2010, 7:06 PM
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Viper

I don't know why I post in a thread about the HP-1 where you can respond, I posted what I saw with the stock antenna which the scanner comes with, and this will be my last post in a thread that has to do with the HP-1 that you can respond to, you think it's the best thing since the invention of the wheel, others see things different after fooling with it.
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