Homepatrol vs BCD996 XT Programming Software

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N8IYR

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I have a dilemma I hope some of you can help me with.

I am looking at purchasing a scanner. I am a HAM and have programmed many scanners in my day, however never a trunking scanner with GPS.

Here is what I want to do.
My goal is a scanner that I will have in my car while I travel all of the Western 1/2 of Michigan and at times the east side, so I want all of Michigan (Lower) programmed in and have a GPS connected to turn on and off the areas I travel.
My main and really only interest is Police, Fire and EMS. Cities, State, Counties Twps. Every where I go.

The Homepatrol looks like it would be ready out of the box for what I want, but a few concerns.
From my research on the forums it sounds like the HP has a lot of other services Im not interested in listening too. I know you can program out (Lock out) many of these, but it also sounds like this takes allot of time to get it down to what I want. The other is audio volume in the car. I want it load enough to get well above the road noise. And lastly, it doesn't look as robust as the BCD996 series.

My main issue with the BCD 996 XT or T, is the programming. IS there a good software and can I down load the info from this site to set it up for just what I want?
Will this take me weeks, days or hours?
Hours I can do, days and weeks no.

Again, I want all of Michigan, Police, Fire and EMS. The new 800 system as well as the locals still using analog such as Fire and EMS.

EMS also includes HERN and Air Car flights. Field to Hospital. Im not interested in the Hospital Securety or internal traffic, or any other security services.

Can some of you experienced people please shed some light on which may be best and what I may be getting into?

Having it easily move inside for the occasional listen at home is a nice idea, but not critical.
It will be mobile 95% of the time.

Thank you in advance!!

Tim
 

N8IYR

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! More thing to consider, I see updates and changes to County's regularly, I know the HP1 can be updated by simply plugging it to the PC and down load, but how much trouble is that to do regularly using the BCD 996?
 

wyomingmedic

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I cannot comment for the HP1, but I do have the 996XT in my wife's car.

I programmed in ALL of the state of Wyoming as well as smaller portions of South Dakota, Colorado, Utah and Montana. All with GPS coordinates, appropriate alpha tags, etc.

To get this the way I wanted took 3-4 days of playing, 3 or 4 hours a day. It was a rather frustrating undertaking, but now that it is done, I am DONE. I can drive for 5 hours in any direction and still not have to touch anything.

The HP1 would be nice, but I like the control the 996 offers when it comes to programming. I DON'T like the amount of hair I removed from my head while inputting data. It's a crap shoot.

WM
 

N8IYR

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Thanks WM, I figured it would be a job. Maybe just locking out what I dont want to hear on the HP1 would be easier!!
After all of that programming, do you have it backed up on a program so in case of disaster, you can set up a new one with a quick download?
 

trkntrlrman

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BCD996xt or ?

I'm a newbe, and have never programmed a scanner except for the old RS Pro 60 which had banks.
When I plugged the BCD996xt in and started to program it, I was totally in the dark. and Pulled out my hair every day. Then I got Freescann programing softwear (its free online), and that was better. Then I spent the $30.00 /yr for an account on Radio Referance and my life became heaven. Find what you want, download it to a folder, load it into the scanner. 123 bingo all done, and you can tweek it as you like.I use it in the car and as a base unit, and both work wonderfull so in MHO I would go with the BCD996xt Most people give up on it as I almost did, but patience and some practice and you'll love it. The best part the trunking is done for you, Good luck, Ron
 

N8IYR

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Does the Radio Reference down loads include GPS Info?
 
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N8IYR

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Thanks Ron,
SO you can down load towns at a time and load them? I like that!!
30 a year is a small price to pay for that.
Thanks for the advise.
 

trkntrlrman

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BCD996XT programming

Yes, you can download whole states, actually the radio comes with a lot of states already programmed into it. larger states like California, you have to download spacific locations due to the size of the systems . some have the information and some you'll have to enter, If you buy this scanner, be sure to order the b-1 cable to connect to your computer. It uses the front port on the scanner, and hook the GPS to the back. the big problem is finding a GPS that uses RS232 as most are usb and the unit will not work with an adapter.They did everythig right except make it usb compatable for the GPS.
Good Luck. Ron
 

N8IYR

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Thanks Ron,
I think I will be going with the 996
Have a great weekend!
Tim
 

wyomingmedic

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After all of that programming, do you have it backed up on a program so in case of disaster, you can set up a new one with a quick download?
Oh YES!!! I have several computers dedicated to programming and they all are backed up. Don't want to go through that trouble again.

WM
 

N8IYR

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Oh YES!!! I have several computers dedicated to programming and they all are backed up. Don't want to go through that trouble again.

WM
Great, now if I could just get the software ahead of time and get it all set up, when I buy the scanner, I can just plug it in and be ready to go.

Thanks for the info!

While Im waiting for my Tax refund, can anyone shed some light on the Homepatrol?
Mobile, is the audio load enough? and is it a pain to have to lock out all the freq. you dont want?

Thanks again Ron and Wm
 

rwier

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......................... can anyone shed some light on the Homepatrol?
Mobile, is the audio load enough? and is it a pain to have to lock out all the freq. you dont want?

Thanks again Ron and Wm
HP-1, mobile, Phx, AZ, Ram 2500 Hemi, dual exhaust noise makers, like to go with the windows down. Audio not nearly loud enough for me. A "powered"12 volt external speaker mounted near my head allows "knockout" volume.

Pain to "lock out""? I don't know. I rarely use the "lockout function" while actually scanning. I make scanlists based upon location and/or listening preferences. You select the scanlist entries from the entire HP-1 database. Very similar to the selection methods with the 996. GPS data is already in the HP-1 database.

With a little creativity in the scanlist assembly, it becomes very easy to switch from scanning one list of frequencies to an entirely different list (No restrictions on having duplicates in the lists).

Several years ago I tried to enter the GPS co-ordinates into a 996T for locations in AZ, CA, and NV. I didn't have the skill and/or the patience to finish the job, like the earlier poster described.

So for GPS control while on the road, for me the HP-1 is my "deus ex machina".

Rob
 

N8IYR

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Thank you Rob,
This is why I posted again, I didnt see your reply and here was mostly on the 996. Glad to hear from someone who has an HP1 and using it as I would.
Thanks again.
Tim
 

jetspeed

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Hp-1

I've had my Home Patrol for about 2 months now, and the more I use it, the more I love it. I travel a lot in the Ohio, Indiana, Illinois, Michigan area and the radio makes an otherwise boring drive much more interesting. with my GPS hooked up it changes data-bases seemlessly and changing service types is easy to (even while driving) thanks to the touch screen. I also own a Pro-106 that I still use a lot at home but the HP-1 goes everywhere I do.
Updating is a breeze with the included software, and the data-base is updated every week. I run the audio into the aux jack on my car stereo to solve any low audio issues.
The radio is great and I would highly recommend it to any scanner listener, new or experienced.
 

N8IYR

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I've had my Home Patrol for about 2 months now, and the more I use it, the more I love it. I travel a lot in the Ohio, Indiana, Illinois, Michigan area and the radio makes an otherwise boring drive much more interesting. with my GPS hooked up it changes data-bases seemlessly and changing service types is easy to (even while driving) thanks to the touch screen. I also own a Pro-106 that I still use a lot at home but the HP-1 goes everywhere I do.
Updating is a breeze with the included software, and the data-base is updated every week. I run the audio into the aux jack on my car stereo to solve any low audio issues.
The radio is great and I would highly recommend it to any scanner listener, new or experienced.
Sounds like you do exactly what I would do with it. I think you convinced me that the Homepatrol would be the way to go.

Thanks for the info.
 
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