Home Patrol / The intended customer thread...

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b52hbuff

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I am reading a lot of debate within the various Home Patrol threads where folks are debating the intended customer for the device. I thought I'd make a thread where we could talk about it. In the 'cost' thread I started, folks are talking about how price points will effect the product's success. And in the main thread, folks are talking about how the ease of use will effect the product's success.

Here is a place where we can talk about who might buy the radio, and how it might get used.

I saw the video of the launch, and I admit that I'm lost about all of the 'names' attributed to folks with various degrees of capability and interest in programming the radio. UPMan's premise was that programming was a limiting factor.

Now on the boards, people are rightly discussing how a price point will effect a product's success. We really haven't talked about it, but the featureset and usability will also play a factor. And I think here, Uniden has made a wise choice. While the GRE entry might be cheaper, due to lack of digital, and perhaps choice of 'legacy' button-based UI... The GRE cannot receive digital.

Out of the box, you can take the uniden *anywhere* and listen to the radio.

Clearly the downside is that the all-purpose digital costs more, but it also reduces the confusion from folks who don't know/understand their local public safety is digital.

The other question I have is that if you beleive that price is the primary barrier to entry, then why isn't that served by craigslist or ebay? So the more I think about it, the more I think Uniden has a winner...

Price challenged folks will go to the used market.
Technically challenged folks (with resources) will go for this radio.

And if in six months or a year, the radio flops as a introduction to scanning, you update the GUI to provide an interface more attractive to the advanced user. (Pro-2006/optiscan anyone? ;)

My only reservation is my admitted frustration in Uniden's ability to provide software support for their latest radios. My hope is that the folks writing the 'firmware' are in a different group and better funded to provide better support than the folks in the 'software group', writing the UASD.

So to wrap this up, I think Uniden is going to go after the more affluent buyer that doesn't have the time/resources to preprogram the radio. Price sensative folks will go used. And the tech gurus are going to be buying this for friends, family or travel (as I will be) and hopefully will benefit from a GUI change later in the production...
 

KE4ZNR

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My hope is that the folks writing the 'firmware' are in a different group and better funded to provide better support than the folks in the 'software group', writing the UASD.
I don't think you have to worry about the creators of the original UASD having any input to the HP or the related software Sentinel at all.
The HP's software is designed for ease of use first (for Bob) and foremost over any confusing navigational trees.
I know there are a lot of "negative nellies" out there but
once released I believe the HP will be a successful product due in
part to its easy to use software.
Marshall KE4ZNR
 

AZScanner

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This would be mindblowing: Imagine if the firmware could be edited. :twisted:

Think about it, that would open a whole new world of possiblities up to the advanced user. While the "just turn it on and listen types" would obviously stick with the stock firmware, tinkerers and advanced users, if given access to go in and fiddle with things, could create cool new features and maybe even open up new capabilities. Imagine the ability to rearrange the menus or create new icons and themes to customize your scanner. Getting even more advanced, imagine if you could import and run scripting on the underlying kernel to decode certain data transmissions on particular channels and display them on the screen, rather than just hearing the audio thru the speaker - how outstanding would THAT be? Imagine if you could add code to the firmware that would automatically detect overload/desense had occured and automatically engage the global attenuator for a few seconds or minutes? And so on - the possibilities are endless here. Super users could even reprogram the DSP to decode new modes. Users could submit their upgrades along with a price per download, and Uniden could make those upgrades available in an online marketplace where they (the users and Uniden both) could earn revenue from these enhancements, like an app store.

Three words would make it all possible: Open Source Firmware. Uniden should create and release a development kit for this radio so that more advanced users like us could go in and fiddle with stuff and experiment (obviously, it would be tinker at your own risk, Uniden cannot provide firmware programming support other than the supplied devkit, so on and so on, if you screw up your radio, a simple hard reset/memory wipe will get it back to factory and you can try again, etc).

The technology exists, and if exploited, could TRULY create a revolution in the industry.

-AZ
 

DaveIN

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I am reading a lot of debate within the various Home Patrol threads where folks are debating the intended customer for the device. I thought I'd make a thread where we could talk about it. In the 'cost' thread I started, folks are talking about how price points will effect the product's success. And in the main thread, folks are talking about how the ease of use will effect the product's success.

Here is a place where we can talk about who might buy the radio, and how it might get used.

I saw the video of the launch, and I admit that I'm lost about all of the 'names' attributed to folks with various degrees of capability and interest in programming the radio. UPMan's premise was that programming was a limiting factor.

Now on the boards, people are rightly discussing how a price point will effect a product's success. We really haven't talked about it, but the featureset and usability will also play a factor. And I think here, Uniden has made a wise choice. While the GRE entry might be cheaper, due to lack of digital, and perhaps choice of 'legacy' button-based UI... The GRE cannot receive digital.

Out of the box, you can take the uniden *anywhere* and listen to the radio.

Clearly the downside is that the all-purpose digital costs more, but it also reduces the confusion from folks who don't know/understand their local public safety is digital.

The other question I have is that if you beleive that price is the primary barrier to entry, then why isn't that served by craigslist or ebay? So the more I think about it, the more I think Uniden has a winner...

Price challenged folks will go to the used market.
Technically challenged folks (with resources) will go for this radio.

And if in six months or a year, the radio flops as a introduction to scanning, you update the GUI to provide an interface more attractive to the advanced user. (Pro-2006/optiscan anyone? ;)

My only reservation is my admitted frustration in Uniden's ability to provide software support for their latest radios. My hope is that the folks writing the 'firmware' are in a different group and better funded to provide better support than the folks in the 'software group', writing the UASD.

So to wrap this up, I think Uniden is going to go after the more affluent buyer that doesn't have the time/resources to preprogram the radio. Price sensative folks will go used. And the tech gurus are going to be buying this for friends, family or travel (as I will be) and hopefully will benefit from a GUI change later in the production...
Well those folks who are currently driven by the economy will not be able to afford it, but the ones who purchased the BCD396XT or BCD996XT and decided it was too far above the learning curve may take a hard look at this model. I would consider that a "Bob" market. Then there are the camp that will buy anything that is P25 capable just to have it, and another demographic that just want's the latest and greatest. This would be the Joe Scanner user that will be eagerly awaiting word for a firmware upgrade for the feature most Joe's want. If the HomePatrol is as successful as it may be, then I'm guessing we will see more like it in the future.
 

HillWalker

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Feb 12, 2010
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I started out knowing nothing about scanning, my first scanner I bought three years ago having been programmed to only one frequency: the local police. I didn't even know how to do this myself, and so a wiser person than me had to do it for me before I bought it from him.

Now, I've been through four different scanners and can handle just about anything thrown at me having engrossed myself in manuals and scanner literature after that one frequency went dead due to TETRA, I've come along way. I now consider myself an intermediate user, too grand for the likes of the iScan type receivers on which the Home Patrol is based, but not of sufficient ability to tackle HF receivers or get into ham radio.

However, I can see the market the Home Patrol appeals to. It will be the curious, Middle Class housewives and even the young feral males who want an easy fix to be one step ahead of their peers by monitoring local police and emergency frequencies. I don't think we should underestimate either of those markets, certainly not in American where scanning is still thriving. In Europe, there's no real market due to the lack of a central database for each country and the spread of encrypted TETRA and TETRAPOL standards to most country's public safety organisations. A new Close Call scanner, with a few new bells and whistles and functioning Repeater Reverse would catch a few sales but hardly enough to break even I'd say, but sure we can dream.
 
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