Police Officers & Home Patrol-1

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jrb6940

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Hello everyone,

I am a State Trooper in New Jersey. I would like to purchase a scanner that will allow me to best monitor the local police while I am at work. I patrol a couple of different counties and the radio systems that the local police agencies use vary from conventional to Motorola trunked, EDACS and some others.

I am looking for the scanner that can scan through these systems the fastest.

I have a 396T at my house and when it scans from the local county system to the State trunked system, and through another system, I think it takes a while, - and longer than what I want on patrol.

With all the rave about the HP-1, can anyone offer their opinion on how this scanner will perform in this manner? Are there any police officers on here who use the HP-1 like this?

Thanks in advance.

Jeff
 

UPMan

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How long it takes to cycle depends on many factors, including:

a) How many conventional channels are programmed and scanned (about .03 seconds per idle channel, or .06 for active channels that are using CTCSS/DCS that don't match the channel settings).

b) How many trunked radio systems are programmed and scanned (about 1.5 seconds per Motorola or EDACS trunked radio site, about .03 seconds per LTR system frequency). Note that this is regardless of the number of channels programmed for the systems.
 

crcarter

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Hello everyone,

I am a State Trooper in New Jersey. I would like to purchase a scanner that will allow me to best monitor the local police while I am at work. I patrol a couple of different counties and the radio systems that the local police agencies use vary from conventional to Motorola trunked, EDACS and some others.

I am looking for the scanner that can scan through these systems the fastest.

I have a 396T at my house and when it scans from the local county system to the State trunked system, and through another system, I think it takes a while, - and longer than what I want on patrol.

With all the rave about the HP-1, can anyone offer their opinion on how this scanner will perform in this manner? Are there any police officers on here who use the HP-1 like this?
I am a retired officer and currently employed as an investigator for the Commonwealth of Kentucky. My territory covers roughly 50% of the state (53 counties). I use the HP with the GPS feature so I don't have to constantly change channel banks when I transit different counties.

The HP-1 claims a 100 channel/second scan rate. I normally have 300-500 active channels scanning at any given time, so it takes roughly 3--5 seconds for a pass.

You can set up a favorite list or limit the services you want to monitor and I believe it will do what you want.

Another thing to consider though is the use of multiple scanners. Use one for the local and one for the trunk. If you still have a Crown Vic you can probably fit 2-3 scanners in.
 

KD8HE

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Im not a police officer but I do run 95% mobile and travel about 40k per year. In my opinion the HP would be good for your application. It is a compact package that lends itself to many mobile mounting options, easy to read and has several easy to access main screen features I like such as muting and recording. Scan time is always dictated by the number and type of systems in the scan but favorites lists can be groomed to give you maximum performance by avoiding distant trunking sites of statewide systems and segregating and combining favorites as needed or desired. I just bought my second HP1 and not looking back.
Harry
 

c5corvette

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The GPS scanning feature of the HP-1 and one of two local favorites that dont use GPS would be ideal for police work descibed by the OP.
 

jrb6940

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Thank you for the feedback. I do patrol in a CV, but not the same one everyday; so I am looking for something very portable, but easy to read while driving.

How does everyone like the stock antenna? Like I said, Im not in the same car everyday, so installing a permanent antenna is pretty out of the question. Maybe a magmount, but I would most likely have to run the coax through the door or leave a window cracked open (not ideal).

Is the audio loud enough? I plan on mounting the unit in the lower left portion of the windshield just above the dashboard, good spot or should I order an external speaker while Im at it?

Thanks again for the quick replies.
 

c5corvette

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Buy the suction cup mount that Scanner Master sells. I use mine with the stock antenna on the lower corner of the dash in a Tahoe. Again, I recommend the GPS add-on, if you buy the GPS unit the cable for that mag mount is small enough to go between the door jamb up to the roof. Good luck, have fun, be safe!
 

adamr368

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"How does everyone like the stock antenna? Like I said, Im not in the same car everyday, so installing a permanent antenna is pretty out of the question. Maybe a magmount, but I would most likely have to run the coax through the door or leave a window cracked open (not ideal)."

I would give the stock unit a shot and see if it works for you before making the investment - you will obviously get better reception using an external antenna but depending on how you setup the scanner, you may not need the maximum range.

"Is the audio loud enough? I plan on mounting the unit in the lower left portion of the windshield just above the dashboard, good spot or should I order an external speaker while Im at it?"

I think you'll do ok with the scanner mounted on the windshield; the speaker is front-firing so it will be right around ear level with the windshield and dashboard behind you to deflect the sound. While I have a home patrol, my vehicle is setup with a BCD996XT with remote head and external speaker. I am using a GPS puck and it sits on my dashboard with velcro and works great. Chances are you don't want to spend 15 minutes of each shift setting up a mag mount antenna, GPS receiver, mounting the scanner, etc. You may want to pick up egrips from the internet to stick on the back of the puck so it adheres to the dash via the tacky surface but isn't permanent and won't leave a residue.

For the application you'd be using the scanner, I would highly recommend considering the GPS option. In reality, you'd most likely only want to monitor the activity of the departments in the area you're patrolling. For instance, if you're out of Bordentown Station, you would most likely want to monitor Mount Laurel PD when on the south end of the patrol area, but not on the north end, otherwise there will be too much activity tying up the scanner if all of the police departments within the patrol area are active.
 

crcarter

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Buy the suction cup mount that Scanner Master sells. I use mine with the stock antenna on the lower corner of the dash in a Tahoe. Again, I recommend the GPS add-on, if you buy the GPS unit the cable for that mag mount is small enough to go between the door jamb up to the roof. Good luck, have fun, be safe!
+1 on the ScannerMaster suction cup mount. Also +1 on the GPS. Get a 2 to 1 cigarette lighter plug so you only need one outlet, wire tie, or better yet, wire loom everything once you get it tweaked the way you want it. The stock antenna may be all you want, give it a try before you buy something you don't really need.
 

VASCAR2

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I retired from the state police a couple of years ago but still work a little part time for local PD's. I found that an old magnet mount cell phone antenna works really good and I've shut the door on the coax hundreds of times and never had a problem. I've used this antenna with several different scanners and it works better for me than just the rubber antenna on the Uniden 396XT. Most of the cars I drove had light bars and I placed the antenna behind the center of the bar (never had an antenna come loose at high speed). The 800 cell phone antenna picks up very well on VHF high band and 800. If you program in the tone code you don't normally get any feed back when transmitting on the police 2 way radio on the conventional channels.

You can set the amount of time the 396 XT hangs in the trunking channels which might help you not miss as much traffic. From my experience with Pro series and Uniden scanners the 396T with an out side antenna might be the best bang for your buck. I'll have to admit that I've not tested the HP-1 Uniden scanner. I know my 996 XT has the GPS feature the same as the HP-1 but I'm not sure about the 396T. It's going to be hard to beat the size of your 396T. When I was programing 396XT for a friend I could clip the 396 XT leather case to the radio console and with the coax going behind the seat it didn't get in the way at all.
 

JASII

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Wow, there are a whole bunch of us lurking. I retired from a sheriff's office at the end of 2010. In my unmarked Chevrolet Impala I had a Uniden Bearcat BCD996XT. It worked out quite well for me. However, had a take home car, so it was a little bit easier for me to set something up and then just leave it in place. Now I work as a cop in a different capacity and we have scanners issued by my employer. If I were a trooper like you, I would also look closely at the Uniden Home Patrol HP-1. I think for someone traveling beyond one county, the HP-1 and a GPS puck would be slick.

As a side note, the Minnesota State Patrol has take home cars and use to equip them with scanners, but I guess I don't know if that is still the case or not. Maybe somebody could convince the powers that be how helpful having a scanner is for inter-op, etc. The road hogs (patrol) where I used to work are issued scanners for their take home marked cars, but us schmucks in other divisions apparently didn't need such things in our unmarked cars!
 
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jrb6940

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Mt Holly NJ
Thanks everyone for the feedback. I just ordered the HP-1 and the magmount they recommended. I'm pretty excited for it to come in the mail.

I'll post some updates once I have it for a week or two. Thanks again, you guys are the best.

Jeff
 
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