HPE file opener

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sq5bpf

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Hello

A fellow ham asked me if it was possible to open Uniden HPE files, and i couldn't find a solution, so I've written simple program to decode these files:

https://github.com/sq5bpf/hpe_open

The files decompress to a nice (editable) text file. It is also possible to compress the files again.

The README.md file also contains some notes regarding the hpe file format (basically gzip + kindergarten obfuscation).

Hope that someone will find this utility useful. It could be used to import a lot of data into the files automatically (using awk and friends), or to export the contents of a hpe file to another format.

I don't actually own a uniden scanner, so if anyone finds this useful, or finds some bugs, please tell me.

VY 73
Jacek / SQ5BPF
 

sq5bpf

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Just to give you an idea what the config looks like.
This is UHF 452-454 MHz.hpe (downloaded from the radioreference website), after decompression with hpe_open.

Code:
TargetModel     HomePatrol-1
FormatVersion   2.00
Conventional                    UHF 452-454 MHz Off             Conventional
C-Group                 Analog Search   Off     0.000000        0.000000        0.0     Circle
C-Freq                  452.0000        Off     452000000       FM      TONE=Srch       215     Off     2       0       Off     Auto
C-Freq                  452.0125        Off     452012500       FM      TONE=Srch       215     Off     2       0       Off     Auto
[...additional frequency lines here, cut to keep it short]
File    HomePatrol Export File
As you can see the file is very easy to manipulate: take a csv file, convert it with awk, cut and paste the header and footer, compress with hpe_open, and load it into the uniden software.
 

fxdscon

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The favorites lists can be opened directly from the SD card or the computer's files with any text editor where they are still in the ".hpd" format.

They are only compressed when exported from Sentinel in the ".hpe" format.

You can import a ".hpe" file as a favorite list into Sentinel, and read it in plain text from the card in the Home Patrol or the computer's hard drive where it reverts to the ".hpd" format.

Not sure, but the exported files in the ".hpe" format might be done that way by Uniden because of licensing restrictions on the database data.
 
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sq5bpf

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Not sure, but the exported files in the ".hpe" format might be done that way by Uniden because of licensing restrictions on the database data.
ok, so there are some files provided by uniden only in hpe format? (this is probably a dumb question, but i don't have a uniden scanner). if so, this enables one to take such files, and use the frequency lists on his other scanners.
 

N0UDG

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ok, so there are some files provided by uniden only in hpe format? (this is probably a dumb question, but i don't have a uniden scanner). if so, this enables one to take such files, and use the frequency lists on his other scanners.
I think the purpose to the "hpe format" is to allow the exchanging of programing (which would include the frequencies). Therefore, it is more than just a list of frequencies since it can (with the appropriate software) program your scanner properly to use them too.

With the multitude of different digital trunking sites it can be a real challenging to learn to program all these different trunking sites properly, (even if you have the frequencies). But, if someone else has already successful programed their scanner for these sites, they can export the file(s) to the "hpe format" and send it to you. Then you can load this "hpe formatted file" into your scanner and it will program your scanner properly to successfully trunk these sites. However, it will not undo any of the program you already have in your scanner unless they all have the same name.

Hope this helps.
 

fxdscon

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ok, so there are some files provided by uniden only in hpe format? (this is probably a dumb question, but i don't have a uniden scanner). if so, this enables one to take such files, and use the frequency lists on his other scanners.
The compressed .hpe files are generated solely by using the favorites list export function of the Sentinel software (the free software used with the Home Patrol). Favorites lists are compiled by the Home Patrol user from sources that are already available in plain text. They are not provided by Uniden directly. They are useful in that format for easily exchanging favorites lists among other users of Sentinel by the use of Sentinel's import function. No other scanner or programming software can import them.

However.... if I was going to share the usable data contents of a favorites list with another scanner user that didn't have a Home Patrol, or use the data in a different scanner of my own, I would simply use the .hpd (plain text) version of the same file, that I would obtain from the hard drive that Sentinel is running on... or from the memory card in the scanner.

In other words... If I have a .hpe file, I already have the .hpd (plain text) version of it.

.
 

sq5bpf

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In other words... If I have a .hpe file, I already have the .hpd (plain text) version of it.
Then it is even more strange why uniden decided to have an obsuscated file format. Any idea why? (great idea from the marketing department perhaps?)

BTW this software was originally writen for a ham who just got a BCD536HP, and i was under the impression that the hpe files have some data that required a lot of manual input into the uniden software (ie it couldn't have been imported from a text file). I will have to ask him about it.

Anyway have fun with the software, i hope someone will have some use for it (and if not, the source can serve as an example how to read/write hpe files).
 
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fxdscon

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and i was under the impression that the hpe files have some data that required a lot of manual input into the uniden software (ie it couldn't have been imported from a text file). I will have to ask him about it.

That "extra" data is formatting instruction for the HP style scanners and is only usable by another Uniden HP style scanner, which can import the .hpe file directly.... so why convert it to text first?

As far as adding extra scanning data (agencies and their frequencies) to an existing .hpe (favorites list) file, that's very easily done in Sentinel. For instance, you can add an entire county's worth of data from the resident master database in Sentinel (which already contains that HP style formatting data) to your favorites list using the append to Favorites list command. With one (left) click of the mouse... literally hundreds and hundreds of agencies, frequencies, trunking structures, geo-tag info, etc. and all the formatting data used by the HP scanners will be added to that file in an instant.

The master database contained in Sentinel is updated weekly, and is derived from the massive database right here on Radio Reference... available in plain text format.

RadioReference.com - Scanner Frequencies and Radio Frequency Reference Database

.
 
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