HP-1: Sentinel Software Extreme Activity Monitor??

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JamesO

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So is it possible to log and/or look at Current Activity on the HP-1 using the Sentinel Software??

I see there is an Activity Log Viewer that I am not 100% sure it is as simple as the Current Activity that the HP-1E displays and will show TGID?

I also see the Discovery Log Viewer which does appear to fairly straight forward.

What if you want to look for new/unlisted TGID's in a trunked system? Can you log, monitor when and how often a specific TGID shows up?

Maybe it is there and I am just missing it?

Maybe there need to be some software filters in Sentinel so you can easily only display things like TGID's or other specific fields.

Any insight would be helpful.

Seems that to some extent that Sentinel is coming up a bit short for the HP-1E add on?
 

JamesO

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That's what Trunking Discovery does.
Fair enough, I had not played with this feature much and here is what I have found so far using this feature.

I wanted to only find New TGID, I chose Compare To Database and Logging - New. I would have "assumed" the scanner would basically search for TGID that were NOT in the database, however, what happens is the scanner appears to be in ID Search mode and will only log/record new TGID's. So there is a likelyhood that many new/unlisted TGID will be missed while the scanner is stopped on KNOWN TGID's. It would also be helpful the TGID would be color coded so you could easily see what are NEW/UKNOWN TGID's while in Trunking Discovery mode.

Is it just me, or are there a lot of things missing here in the Extreme Upgrade???

So then back to my original question, how can the Current Activity be logged/monitored in Sentinell to include a summary of how many hits on each TGID and possibly even a log summary.

Does the Activity Log Viewer have all of this captured? If so, I see no way to analyze/display this information in a summary view.

Seems to me that since the Extreme Features were added after the fact, Sentinel needs some work to allow users to get a summary for each option and manipulated the data and even export it for graphing and/or other uses.

I would hope this is being considered for the x36HP scanners and the x36HP Sentinel software as well.
 

Jay911

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Activity Log is like Unitrunker or PRO96COM. It's a log of the actual control channel data.

If I want to find out which TGs were logged and not in the DB, I use either Discovery mode, or looking at the recorded files themselves.

There's no need for them to be color-coded.. known TGs are labeled "Known", and/or have channel names. Everything else is listed and/or recorded.
 

JamesO

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Activity Log is like Unitrunker or PRO96COM. It's a log of the actual control channel data./QUOTE]

This is what really frustrates me with certain members here and on other forums. I am aware of Unitrunker and PRO96COM, however, I do not have these programs and I have never used them. I was SPECIFICALLY asking about the HP1 and how its functions, reports and data gathering works.

I cannot confirm if in fact the HP1 Activity Log is like Unitrunker or PRO96COM, however, I do not see the information that I would expect either on the scanner or being able to import back into Sentinel for a better review and analysis.

If I want to find out which TGs were logged and not in the DB, I use either Discovery mode, or looking at the recorded files themselves.

There's no need for them to be color-coded.. known TGs are labeled "Known", and/or have channel names. Everything else is listed and/or recorded.
Again, you tell me that there is NO NEED for anything to be color coded, where do you get of telling me there is no need for this??

You obviously have not spent any time using the HP1 in Extreme mode, I am by no means an expert, but this is what I can tell you.

1. When I set the HP-1E to Trunked Discovery mode and choose Logging as New and Compare to Database as "ON" and Logging to "New Only", I would expect that the software would put the scanner in an ID Search Mode with all the "known" TGID from the database locked out. This way the scanner would log "New Only" TGID and not stop and waste time recording and monitoring all other TGID that are already in the database. The totally ties the scanner up and it may in fact miss new TGID that may have light traffic use.

2. Once I import the Trunking Discovery data back into Sentinel, there is NO explicit way to determine if any of the TGID are new or already in the Master Database. I see nothing that states any TGID's as "Known" and there are absolutely no "channel names" or TGID info from the Master Database.

3. The coloring coding of "new" vs. "known" TGID is fact necessary. When in Discovery Mode any TGID shows up on the the display with "TGID: ###" the colored banner is orange. There is NO WAY to tell if this is a TGID from the Database or a "new/unknown" TGID. Going back to item #1 above, all the TGID's in the Master Database should be locked out, but they are NOT. So at least if the "new/unknown" TGID's were a different color, then while monitoring, a user could then start to easily Avoid all the "Known" TGID's, however, if the database would be set up as in #1 about, a user would not need to lock out the possibly hundreds of "Known" TGID's.

4. In Sentinel, color coding would allow a QUICK and EASY way to determine if there are any new/unknown TGID's picked up.

5. I have not confirmed whether or not with Logging On and Compare to Database on limits what is displayed in the Sentinel file when it is imported and leave out the "current/known" TGID's, however, there is nothing within Sentinel that clearly states what may be displayed are only "New" TGID's.

Here is the deal, one of the reasons I bring all of this up as Uniden supposedly wrote software and firmware to do Analysis and Discovery, but as usual the people writing the software and firmware do not use the scanner and tools they they devolved.

We as users should not be limited by narrow minded programmers and end users that continually give the vendor a "pass" and explain to all the users how to work around these limitations.

Additionally we as users should not be required to download and/or purchase additional software, cables and hardware as well as learn a completely different system to do something the HP-1E claimed it should be able to do. Additionally I am now VERY concerned as to what Uniden may deliver for the x36HP series of radios and the x36HP Sentinel software.

We should also not be required to always connect the scanner back to the Sentinel software to view more detail about the data that was gathered. These features should be able to easily provide the basic data and details about Discovery, Activity or other features directly on the scanner. The software

The more time I spend with these Uniden products and software, the more I find they come up VERY short in being a good or even great tools and actually doing what they claim they are capable of. Connecting the scanner up to the Sentinel software and importing the data that was gathered should maybe provide far more data, but to do something simple like finding new/unknown TGID's, this should be something easily viewed directly on the scanner screen and maybe easily be moved into a new Favorites list for the specific System with few keystrokes for quick and easy monitoring and recording.

What continue to get my goat is how EVERYONE always seems to offer a "solution or workaround" for an inherent design, software or firmware short coming. Why can't people hold the vendor to the task of completing a job correctly.

Why should I/we be required to use an additional 3rd party software, cables, other radios and computers to do the job of what the HP series devices are "advertised" to do.

I am sure many can drop in and and defend the HP-1E as doing everything it is advertised to do, but when it is lacking a complete users guide and CLEAR explanation of how to use the features, or how to view, understand and interpret the data provided, I feel this is all just a bunch of garbage.

It becomes VERY clear to ANY vendor once they start to PROPERLY and CLEARLY document all the functions and features of a device, they may even see where their products are coming up short.

Overall now that I am starting to look at the Extreme features a bit closer on the HP1-E, I am very concerned as to what Uniden will deliver for the x36HP products.

I would love to hear from others if I am totally off base or if they seem to agree with my findings.
 

Jay911

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I could provide screen shots of discovery mode to explain where the known/new indication is, but with your attitude toward my previous help, both in this thread and elsewhere (and yes, I've used extreme mode before - probably more than most HP1 owners), you can get stuffed.
 

JamesO

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I could provide screen shots of discovery mode to explain where the known/new indication is, but with your attitude toward my previous help, both in this thread and elsewhere (and yes, I've used extreme mode before - probably more than most HP1 owners), you can get stuffed.
This is part of my and likely many others frustration. First, I do not think you or other forum members should even need to provide screen shots, this is something that Uniden should have provided somewhere at some point.

If you have the answers, please share, but I have looked at both the data within the scanner and within Sentinel and I did not see anything that clearly and intuitively highlighted "new/unknown" TGID's. I do believe that I was picking up some "new/unknown" TGID's as I did go back and search through the current database that I had just updated and there were a few TGID's that did not show up in the database.

Users should not have to invest 40 hours in using something that should be relatively simple to then learn about all the pitfalls in the device or software.

You can take my comments as you wish, but this is the issue I have on a regular basis, if you have something to share, please do up front. If Uniden would do this as well with a decent users guide with screen shots, this would be helpful as well.

I have not seen anything from Uniden that gets into great detail about the Extreme Upgrade and if they did have something web based, they could easily put a web address in the Help section within the HP1!

The best analogy that I can make is a car manufacturer selling a car without an owners manual. Not everyone will read or need the owners manual, but to not even offer a clear and concise owners manual and/or supplement for advanced features (Example Extreme Upgrade) then how many hours is someone supposed to spend trying to figure all of this out?

I have found many, many non intuitive software menus, hoods and such within Sentinel it frustrates the hell out of me and many others. Then there is the group that comes behind and says will this is how it is, the software is fine, you just do not know how to use it, when in fact the software is actually very poorly formatted in certain places and for certain features.

Thanks in advance for anything that can clarify this mess.
 

fxdscon

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I could provide screen shots of discovery mode to explain where the known/new indication is, but with your attitude toward my previous help, both in this thread and elsewhere (and yes, I've used extreme mode before - probably more than most HP1 owners), you can get stuffed.

As another long time user (since day 1) of the Extreme Upgrade on 2 Home Patrol's, I was about to post some very helpful info for JamesO. But.... After reading his reply to you, it's pretty obvious that he lacks the patience to learn, and willingness to even consider that someone may have more experience and knowledge than he does.

I'm right there with you Jay, I'll save my knowledge and experience for someone more deserving. Someone who is truly interested in learning, not arguing.

.
 

JamesO

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As another long time user (since day 1) of the Extreme Upgrade on 2 Home Patrol's, I was about to post some very helpful info for JamesO. But.... After reading his reply to you, it's pretty obvious that he lacks the patience to learn, and willingness to even consider that someone may have more experience and knowledge than he does.

I'm right there with you Jay, I'll save my knowledge and experience for someone more deserving. Someone who is truly interested in learning, not arguing.

.
I have plenty of patience and am very willing to learn. I just have ZERO patients for sloppy software.

Too bad I am "not deserving". I am not arguing, I am stating my position and I really do not like it when anyone tells me I do not "need" something. Funny how it may have been different if maybe someone said, :"huh, that might actually be a good idea!"

Just for the record I did finally find the "Known" column in the table with the "Known" and "New Found" designator. The issue is Sentinel sizes the pop up window too small and it cuts off the last 2 columns of the table unless you scroll over. Maybe it has to do with the screen size on my computer, but it also amazes me when wanting to use the specific feature to "Discover", the "Known"/"New Found" designator is in the NEXT to last column of a table. I would think this would better positioned directly before or after the TGID as it is kind of an important piece of what someone it trying to find out. Huh, might be a good idea if the "Known" column was one of the first few columns in the Discover table?

Additional in ALL of my captures, there is not a single letter in the "Channel Name" field. Not sure if this field should be auto populated from the database or why this field is empty? Maybe this is because some of the scans were from a Favorites database as I just now figured out that it is VERY hard to determine what "database" is actually being used as a baseline.

Also how are you supposed to know "what" database is being used for the Discovery?

I am not seeing anything within Sentinel's "Summary" or "Detail" as to what database was used for a Discovery session once the info is imported. Looking in the scanner the "Run Info" does provide this and "System Info" does in fact list the database used, but again it does not show up anywhere I can find within Sentinel once imported. Again, is this really missing on the import to to Sentinel or is there a group of windows or a menu bar missing from my Sentinel?

Also the database is not listed on the Summary screen when "Discovery in Progress" is displayed. This should be a no brainer, how is anyone supposed to know for sure what database is actually being used until the Discovery is stopped? Yes you set it up, but what happens when you have multiple saved Discovery sessions and do not recall what database was selected for which Discovery session?? I have not even tired yet to see if there is a warning message if you attempt to run a Discovery session with the required database disabled or turned off.

The window sizing in Sentinel does get a bit old as you cannot even see the Master Database date until you expand the Database window fully.

These are the totally frustrating details that just keep adding up and although I will likely get used to them, however, I nor anyone else should "have" to get used to this kind of thing.

If someone does not speak up about these short comings, then things will never change.

I am more that willing to listen and learn, I am on many other forums for many different things and I provide quite a bit of support. But I also try to institute change and I am finding that in my opinion way too many seem to get Uniden a free ride on sloppy and non intuitive software and firmware.

Will things change if people comment?? Only time will tell, but until people speak up, things will be business as usual and we will never know if improvements will ever be considered or executed.

It just amazes me how so many people are accepting this as a finished, polished and user friendly interface/software. Most of these issues are pretty minor to correct and would make for a much better overall user experience.

I would guess many of these same issue will be carried over to the x36HP Sentinel software as they were not addressed here with the HP1 Sentinel software.
 

03msc

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I could provide screen shots of discovery mode to explain where the known/new indication is, but with your attitude toward my previous help, both in this thread and elsewhere (and yes, I've used extreme mode before - probably more than most HP1 owners), you can get stuffed.
Where's the "like" button when we need it...?
 

UPMan

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James: If you set the options as you describe (Logging: New, Compare to Database: On) the HP-1 does not record hits on known channels nor does it log hits for known channels. It sounds like you are using a copy of a system from a Favorites List that has few or no channels set. You need to be monitoring from the main database. To do that, make sure your FLs are disabled and the Main Database is enabled when you enter the discovery mode (system selection picks from the systems in the current scan selection).

Also, please write shorter posts. I almost missed that detail in all the rest of the stuff. :)
 

JamesO

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James: If you set the options as you describe (Logging: New, Compare to Database: On) the HP-1 does not record hits on known channels nor does it log hits for known channels. It sounds like you are using a copy of a system from a Favorites List that has few or no channels set. You need to be monitoring from the main database. To do that, make sure your FLs are disabled and the Main Database is enabled when you enter the discovery mode (system selection picks from the systems in the current scan selection).

Also, please write shorter posts. I almost missed that detail in all the rest of the stuff. :)
Paul, thanks for the reply.

After some messing around a bit, it became a bit more clear that part of the problem was due to the "Database" being a "Favorites List" and not the "Master Database".

Now here is the real world issue, I do not know may people the use the "Master Database" in metro areas for regular scanning, so I think most people will probably run into this same situation and not realize a Favorites List is being used and not the "Database". The term "Database" means to me the "Master Database" and not a "Favorites List". Maybe something flagging the user would be helpful?

Because the primary Trunked Discovery Screen does not indicate what "Database" is being used and none of the reports in Sentinel indicate what "Database" was used for the Discovery, this can be quite confusing and unless you dig down a bit deeper you will not see what "Database" or "Favorites" list was used for the Discovery.

Also for Discovery, does the Service Type factor in at all? I assume not, but I have not thought this through fully or tested different Service Types to see what happens.

I hope that some consideration can be giving to both the HP1 and the x36HP platforms to clearly display what "Database" or "Favorite List" is being used for any sort of Discovery/Analyzing both on the main Discovery/Analyze screen of the scanner and also within the Sentinel Discovery/Analyze Reports. This would a very helpful and useful addition to both the scanner and Sentinel.

Also consider moving the "Known" column closer to the left of the tables in the Sentinel reports.

Since there is a smaller subset of current HP1 owners that actually purchased the Extreme Upgrade, not sure how many people are using these features. I have had my HP-1E for about 6 months and I am just now starting to poke around with some of these additional features. My free time comes and goes randomly so I cannot always stay on top of some tasks I might like to address.

I can see a very similiar levels of customer frustration occurring once the x36HP platform Discovery/Analyze features are released, as this means everyone who has a x36HP may in fact start to try and use these new features.

It would be very helpful if there was a specific Users Guide for the HP Extreme type feature set with examples and screen shots.

I can already see the challenges that face Uniden just with the display layout for the 436HP vs the 536HP and how just the Discovery/Analyze feature set firmware will not be 100% the same between the 2 scanners because of the display size and layout.

I will continue to play with these features and I hope some of this feedback will be considered.

I can usually pick up almost any device that is software/firmware based and pretty easily find my way around whether there is a quick start guide, manual or no documentation, but I am finding a lot of dead ends within the Sentinel software and pitfalls within the scanner firmware which most could be easily tweaked to make for a much better and successful user experience.

I did not mean to ruffle anyone's feathers here, but I am finding that there are too many work arounds suggested or just suck it up suggestions and not any real effort to institute change that would benefit everyone.

When change is needed, change it, do not just live with the problem!
 
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