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Old 12-30-2017, 4:34 PM
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Default HomePatrol II Tucson Police Talkgroups

I have a Homepatrol II which was purchased as a gift in order to listen to Tucson TPD. We are newbies, and are used to the old Radioshack analog scanners which picked up everything in our area. Tucson TPD are on Pima County Wireless Integrated Network (PCWIN), Project 25 Phase II, APCO-25. We want to listen to our local police talkgroups, specifically TPD Team-4 which is the area we live. I have downloaded Home Patrol Sentinel version 2.03 (rev 05) onto my laptop and have updated the database and did a "write to Home Patrol". I first cleared all the data on the Homepatrol so as to start over. No luck thus far. Am picking up just a few of the Tucson Police channels, not ones in our immediate zipcode area. It can also pull in the Highway Patrol miles away. I'm not sure what the Squelch or Range should be on. I have Squelch around 5 bars and Range 10 miles. I have reduced the Select Service Types to Law Dispatch, Tac, and Talk. I have replaced the stock antenna with a Diamond SRH 789 but don't seem to notice any difference with it. I've even been up on the roof with it to see if being outside would help. Any other ideas?
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Old 12-30-2017, 5:30 PM
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The first thing to check is the actual location being used. The scanner always uses GPS coordinates to decide what to scan. When you enter a ZIP code, the scanner looks it up and uses the coordinates of the center of the ZIP code, which may be many miles from your actual location. Is the scanner actually trying to scan your local system? Your best bet is to look up your location in Google Maps, and then enter your actual coordinates in Sentinel. Click the Edit Profile button, then go to the Location Settings tab.

The Range setting controls how far outside a city or county you can be, and still scan that jurisdiction's channels. Typically you want to set it at 10 miles or less, or the scanner will try to scan too much stuff. Squelch should typically be set between 2 and 5.

The next thing to look at is Service Types. Uniden has most of them turned off by default. Turn on all of the EMS, Fire, Law, Interop, and Multi Service types. Multi is important, because in many jurisdictions, dispatch is shared between EMS and fire, and sometimes police as well. These are tagged as Multi.

You also want to consider your antenna. An indoor antenna (or any duck/whip) is not going to get very good reception, and is only suitable for strong local signals. If you want consistently good reception, you need an outdoor antenna designed to receive the bands used by your local agencies.
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Old 12-30-2017, 5:33 PM
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First - this is that system... It's simulcast thattype of system can be a bear to receive.

https://www.radioreference.com/apps/db/?sid=7735

It looks like a range of 1 is all that should be needed as both talkgroups and sites have a 90 mile or so range...

Squelch - no more than 2, unless you have noise.

Add Multi-Dispatch - as well.

This is all assuming that you wrote to it properly ,etc. etc.

Can you see it scanning that system?


- there is also a Arizona section that may help as well. -
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Last edited by phask; 12-30-2017 at 5:37 PM..
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Old 12-30-2017, 6:22 PM
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Thanks for the replies! I'm in process now of updating Sentinel with my GPS location...does it matter what the "GPS Format" is set on? It's currently on DMS-Degrees with a Baud Rate: 4800bps. I'm already pulling in more channels by changing the scanner's Service Types. Still no TPD Team 4 yet but maybe changing to GPS rather than zip code will fix...let's hope anyway. Next step is to connect it again to Sentinel for the changes. I changed squelch to 2 and Range to 10 miles.
I've been to the radio reference site many times but thanks for the link. Can someone tell me what the DEC and HEX columns mean on that site, particularly in the Tucson Police Talkgroup section?
What type of outdoor antenna do you recommend and where would I get one? Thanks again.
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Old 12-30-2017, 7:19 PM
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I set everything to decimal degrees, it makes copy/paste of coordinates a lot simpler. Google Maps uses decimal degrees in the URL when displaying a map location.

https://www.google.com/maps/@39.9376873,-77.6291549,19z
39.9376873 is the latitude, -77.6291549 is the longitude.

Baud rate only matters if you have a GPS connected to your scanner. It must match the output of the GPS.

DEC and HEX are just different formats for the same number values.

https://www.amazon.com/dp/B00QVPGKHU/
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Old 12-31-2017, 11:13 AM
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Thanks again for the additional info and links. I’ve connected to Sentinel and wrote my GPS coordinates and the additional service types to the Home Patrol II. I locked PCWN full database on the scanner and it appears to be scanning and broadcasting sheriff, police, fire, meds, etc. It broadcasts TPD teams 1 thru 3 but still not team 4 which is where I live. It’s frustrating when helicopters are flying overhead, sirens everywhere but I can’t hear any info. The radio reference guide says that Tucson Police Talkgroups are always heard on Simulcast A. I’ve been reading about “simulcast distortion”...is that what’s going on here? Ideas on how to deal with that issue? Should I buy the discone outdoor antenna or maybe a yagi to point at the tower if I only knew where that is lol. I don’t want to spend a fortune on various antennas only to find out they can’t address my issue. Maybe just for grins I’ll take the scanner to another location in Tucson to see if I can pick up TPD team 4.
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Old 12-31-2017, 9:55 PM
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Ask a moderator to move this to the Arizona forum. There are a couple of people in the Tucson area that can help you, possibly even in person, to help you hear what you want to hear. (On your first comment here look for the red exclamation point inside the red triangle at the top right of the comment. Click on that and make your request there.)

John
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Old 12-31-2017, 10:30 PM
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Good idea, thanks! I did just that.
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Old 12-31-2017, 10:39 PM
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Moved as requested.
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Old 01-01-2018, 11:47 AM
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This is my Tucson .hpe file with just TPD Team 4 enabled. Try loading this and see how it goes.

http://www.kd7eir.net/Tucson.hpe
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Old 01-01-2018, 3:25 PM
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No stupid questions right??....I'm not familiar with how to do that...I see that in Sentinel there's a place to import from .hpe file but how do I get it from here to there? I tried saving your file to my desktop but no luck, maybe I saved it incorrectly. Then I write it to my Home Patrol and it will show as a favorites list?
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Old 01-01-2018, 5:18 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Forty8leap View Post
No stupid questions right??....I'm not familiar with how to do that...I see that in Sentinel there's a place to import from .hpe file but how do I get it from here to there? I tried saving your file to my desktop but no luck, maybe I saved it incorrectly. Then I write it to my Home Patrol and it will show as a favorites list?
I would recommend saving the .hpe file to a place that you can easily find on your computer.

Then, import the file to your scanner. That should do the trick.

Just an FYI, be sure to have both Team-4 talkgroups enabled, as they will switch back and forth between the original talkgroup and a patched talk-group that is actually owned by TFD.

Ensure that "Multi-Dispatch" is enabled to hear both of these talkgroups (19009 and 15014) for Team-4 activity.
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Old 01-01-2018, 7:31 PM
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Thanks for the response, I've tried several times....Are .hpe files like a "zip" file? I'm saving the file to my desktop where I can find it easily however it wants to save as an .html file not .hpe which isn't working to import into Sentinel. I found some info in the wiki section: "Sentinel .hpe files library"...maybe I need to download a program like "win zip" to my Windows 10 laptop? My computer experience with these type files is zilch.
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Old 01-01-2018, 10:33 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Forty8leap View Post
Thanks for the response, I've tried several times....Are .hpe files like a "zip" file? I'm saving the file to my desktop where I can find it easily however it wants to save as an .html file not .hpe which isn't working to import into Sentinel. I found some info in the wiki section: "Sentinel .hpe files library"...maybe I need to download a program like "win zip" to my Windows 10 laptop? My computer experience with these type files is zilch.
Try this. Place your cursor over the link provided to you and right click with your mouse. You should get a pop-up. About the fifth selection down, it should say "save link as...". Choose this option by clicking with your left mouse button.

This will bring up another pop-up with the filename in hpe format. Make sure you are in the directory that you want to save the file and select the save button.

That should work for you, assuming you have your mouse buttons enabled.

Then import the file.
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Old 01-02-2018, 3:19 PM
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I'm very familiar with how to save files and use the mouse buttons, but thank you. My issue was with saving the file as an .hpe file in Windows 10 on my laptop. Only file extension available to save it to in the popup menu was "html" or "all files".
BUT...I was able to save it as an .hpe file on my desktop computer which has Windows 7 go figure. Windows 10 wasn't doing it for some reason. I downloaded Sentinel software on the desktop, imported the .hpe file, wrote everything over to the Home Patrol 2 and I'm listening to Kd7eir's file right now in my favorites! I'm even hearing TPD Team 4 coming thru occasionally. I've enabled all the service types mentioned in previous replies. Thanks again everyone, I've got so much to learn.
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Old 01-04-2018, 2:33 PM
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Hey Forty8leap,
I think I know whats going on. I too live in TPD 4 East area. I was also perplexed and wondered why when the Helo was orbiting and the sirens were a few blocks away, I would not hear any traffic on TPD-4 EAST. For some reason, TPD East Dispatch and/or Officers like to more frequently use TFD/TPD T-4. This is Talk Group 15014/3AA6.
One other thing and maybe not in your case, but for some reason my 436HP would stay locked on Keystone Peak with barely any bars and not steer itself to the more local simulcast A/B systems. I ended up deleting the Keystone Cell out of the radio. Now, all is well.
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Last edited by 2wayfreq; 01-04-2018 at 3:02 PM..
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Old 01-04-2018, 3:10 PM
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I think I know whats going on. I too live in TPD 4 East area. I was also perplexed and wondered why when the Helo was orbiting and the sirens were a few blocks away, I would not hear any traffic on TPD-4 EAST. For some reason, TPD East Dispatch and/or Officers like to more frequently use TFD/TPD T-4. This is Talk Group 15014/3AA6.
This is likely occurring as they are patching talkgroups, and if you have a Uniden scanner it will not properly follow the patch on P25 systems. John had a thread about this a while back.

https://forums.radioreference.com/ar...st-2016-a.html

Make sure you have all the TFD/TDP talkgroups in your scan list in case a dispatcher sets up a patch.
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Old 01-04-2018, 3:38 PM
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Cool

Ok,
I definitely missed the 2016 thread and I feel a little silly now..LOL. But THANKS Cellphone for pointing that out . I usually just keep the 436 parked on the TFD/TPD 4 Patch anyway for night listening. Seems to work well for me.
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Old 01-04-2018, 7:02 PM
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Thanks for this info! I’ve only been listening to the file that kd7eir provided me with TPD Team 4 enabled. Good to know about the action on TPD/TFD that I’m missing. I need to learn how to get this talk group 15014 into the scanner to play. I’ll mess around on Sentinel and try building a favorites list or maybe I can add to the kd7eir list. I’ll study the 2016 thread also. I don’t think I’m having an issue with getting locked on Keystone Peak like you describe.
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Old 01-05-2018, 7:07 AM
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The necessary talkgroups to hear TPD when they setup a patch with TFD are already in the file that I sent you. You can enable TFD by turning on quick key 0. The crosspatch talkgroups are in both the TPD and TFD groups.
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