Sentinel Software Request

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JamesO

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Ability to edit the Global Data Base similiar to Favorite Lists.

But this is not a request for Full Editing of the Global Data Base once the info has been downloaded to the Sentinel software.

The Global Data Base has Sites, Frequencies, Talk Groups, etc.

However, it would be very useful and helpful if tweaks such as Alerts, Volume Offsets, Attenuator, Scan Delay and some of the other user options.

This would allow users to tweak the Global Data Base to their individual needs.

How about considering this as a Feature?
 

Dewey

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While the idea is good, the problem is that once you update the database, you're right back as if you had not done anything... hence, the Favorites Lists.
 

LIScanner101

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While the idea is good, the problem is that once you update the database, you'hre right back as if you had not done anything... hence, the Favorites Lists.
Excellent point.

What I just do is go to the map portion of RR's frequency database and look for green updates for my areas of interest. I make whatever changes I need to make and I'm all set. Of course this is using FreeSCAN. I do this almost every day and most days no changes need to be made.
 

ofd8001

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Even the ability to add User ID's would be nice.
I'm not sure I'm following you on this. If you are talking about adding User ID's in Sentinel, that is there. It can be found when editing a trunked system "Unit IDs" tab (between sites and Dept/site quick keys status). I've got about 1,000 entered for a trunked system I'm reasonably familiar with. It seems to work pretty well.

If you are talking about the RR master database, that might be a major undertaking to get started and keeping it current would be just as challenging. That's because radios can be swapped around quite often, depending upon many factors. For example, one day radios A and B can be in Ambulance 1, but the next day Ambulance 1 has radios B and C owing to what the crew grabs on their way out the door.
 

JamesO

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While the idea is good, the problem is that once you update the database, you're right back as if you had not done anything... hence, the Favorites Lists.
Not if the software was written properly. This is the problem, people settle for mediocrity all the time with software. What everyone needs to realize the RR database does not contain the fields that I am referring to anyway.

So effectively Sentinel would merge the RR database with the specific settings that you have chosen. For the specific records or only append the lines in the records like System, Site, Location, Frequencies, Talk Groups, Service Type. Everything else has nothing to do with the RR database.

If you look at all the fields that are available in Sentinel you will see that the person that writes the software likely just put default values in for everything? But the fields I am referring to are all there.

There is NO reason that users could not edit the lines I am referring to in the Master Database File within Sentinel and/or maybe even in the scanner itself, but it would be best addressed in the Sentinal software. The only trick is when something has to be removed from the database, it would need to delete the entire line, which is likely what happens now anyway.

You can download the data base into a favorites list and edit it anyway you want.
Quite aware that you can download the database into a favorites list, but doing this for the entire database might be a problem and it may take up additional resources in the SD card?

Interesting I did a quick experiment and reimporting the database did not seem to wipe out the specific settings I made, but maybe the database just ignored everything as there were no database changes anyway? Someone that knows how the database updates functions would understand the small details.

So for example if I drive through many states or cross country, I do not want to import everything into a Favorites list and modify them there. I would prefer to modify them in the Master Database so I can use the GPS function to manage the entire database while I drive and when I get to a final destination, I can then just continue to use the Master Database with my custom edit for Alerts, Volume Offsets, Priority, etc.

Seems simple enough in concept, this is what the Master Database was intended for from my understanding, to simplifying programming and allowing the scanner to be up and running in an area very quickly. Why can't a user modify the fields that make the HP scanners unique?

I am not looking for work arounds, I am looking for the software to be flexible enough that it should be able to be adjusted by the user. If you look at the Master Database, all the fields are present, they are just locked out and not modifiable.

Really not such a difficult task if the software was written correctly. But again, the software was likely written either to a spec that did not request this option or in a vacuum by someone that does not use a scanner?

Again, I get a bit frustrated by always being told, live with it and work around it. It does not look like this was the intention of the software and features in the first place.

I think if more users think like users and not always thinks about all the limitations and come up with work around solutions, the world would be a much better place and things would work a bit more like they should and not have limits due to incomplete software and/or incomplete implementation.

I have seen some VERY creative solutions performed with software that had project managers and real world end users providing wish list and real world feedback and ending up with a product that is flexible, usable and users friendly while being robust and stable.
 

JoeyC

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JamesO you need to consider writing your own software. You have tons of needs and requests that frankly the rest of the monitoring community doesn't share.
 

JamesO

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JamesO you need to consider writing your own software. You have tons of needs and requests that frankly the rest of the monitoring community doesn't share.
Well maybe I do have different needs/suggestions, but not tons of them. As usual it seems the "community" is willing to accept the software that is handled to them as is. Assuming you speak for and know what the "community" needs.

Unfortunately I may just see the world in a very different way, and I am the bad guy?

I am making suggestions for simplicity, clarity, simple modifications and hooks to allow the full feature set to be used and allow these to be truly great scanners and try to make the software a bit more user friendly. There is a way to make software more intuitive and user friendly and many times this does not talk much additional effort.

The problem is software and processing is coming to something that historically did not start out as a software or processor based item. So to developers need to step back and look through the tunnel from the other end sometimes.

I appreciate other members suggestions and feedback, as maybe I have missed a part of the puzzle as the Sentinel and Home Patrol Platform is new to me, however, I am also not looking for specific work arounds. Others may be interested in work arounds and this info may help others, but this is one of many forums where the Uniden staff does pick up on what users have to say, so I am also using my comments as hopefully a way to bring these items to Uniden's attention.

I am also not a programmer, however, I have worked with many very good programmers and managed many software projects over the years, so I know what it takes to get software changes implemented and I also know many times programmers do not see through the eyes of the end users. But the issue I am specifically raising here is not something that could easily be addressed by a 3rd party because it involves specific hooks to the RR database (maybe others) and large batch downloading that is likely controlled.
 

Jay911

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Quite aware that you can download the database into a favorites list, but doing this for the entire database might be a problem and it may take up additional resources in the SD card?
The entire North American (US/Canada) database as stored on the SD card is just shy of 40MB. You're not overtaxing any size of SD card by copying this to favorites.

So for example if I drive through many states or cross country, I do not want to import everything into a Favorites list and modify them there. I would prefer to modify them in the Master Database so I can use the GPS function to manage the entire database while I drive and when I get to a final destination,
GPS functions work just as well with favorites lists as they do with the full database. I maintain custom favorites lists for Newfoundland, Texas, Montana, and Florida, for when I visit those regions, and simply lock out/avoid the "duplicate" systems in the full DB which match the systems in my FLs. When monitoring both the full DB and my custom FLs, use of the radio is seamless when I cross into areas where a favorites list is in use.

I do concede it would be nice to be able to do ID search/show radio IDs/have emergency alerts on full-DB systems, but for whatever reason, Uniden has disallowed this. Hopefully it's a feature that was simply overlooked when the more feature-rich x96 radios were incorporated into the HP design, and we'll eventually see it. For now, it's a no.

I understand that those of you who aren't familiar with the HomePatrol concept think all this is a step backwards, but really, it's not. Once you learn how it works, it'll make much more sense.

Lastly - yes, programmatically, and database-wise, it would be possible to tie custom changes to the full DB - it's already done for avoids. You could theoretically also do it for the favorites lists, were they set up only slightly differently. However, I'll raise the same issue I did in the last thread someone posted on this subject a day or two ago. Let's suppose favorites lists were kept in sync with the full DB's weekly updates. I have made significant changes to a number of components of the systems I imported into my favorites lists. When next week's full DB is downloaded, this hypothetical Sentinel software which keeps FLs in sync with the DB notices there are discrepancies between my FLs and the DB. What does it do - keep my drastically-changed data, and keep me happy, or overwrite all my changes with the ("unchanged") full DB, essentially reverting all the changes I made to my FL, and keep you happy?
 

JamesO

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I do concede it would be nice to be able to do ID search/show radio IDs/have emergency alerts on full-DB systems, but for whatever reason, Uniden has disallowed this. Hopefully it's a feature that was simply overlooked when the more feature-rich x96 radios were incorporated into the HP design, and we'll eventually see it. For now, it's a no.
Jay911,

Thanks for your comments, suggestions and view on this.

I do think that there are issues and room for improvement here, if the community voice their concerns, maybe Uniden will listen?

Databases are databases, they can be a PITA for many reasons.

Your comments on how doe the Master Database influence the Favorite List? This is a good question for now, I assume the Master Database does not influence or update/change your Favorite List?

How should it work?

This is partially why it would be helpful to manipulate and change user fields from the Master Database.

My initial thought is initially scanner specific options, but there may be a reason/argument for changing fields from the RR import?

This all could turn into a very interesting discussion in the long run.

Overall it appears that Uniden has committed to the HP philosophy, which I think is a good thing in the long run. So moving forward these kinds of discussions may be very valuable for changes, improvements and updates for the Sentinel software.
 
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mikewazowski

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Yes, you can add Unit ID's when editing a Favourites List but since the subject of this thread is editing the Global Database, my suggestion concerns adding Unit ID's to the Global Database in Sentinel.

Unless you've come up with a way to edit a trunking system within the Global Database, my request still stands.
 

LIScanner101

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Again, I get a bit frustrated by always being told, live with it and work around it. It does not look like this was the intention of the software and features in thesoftware implementation, st place.

I Think if more users think like users and not always thinks about all the limitations and come up with work around solutions, the world would be a much better place and things would work a bit more like they should and not have limits due to incomplete software and/or incomplete implementation.
Give this man a gold star. Best points in this thread.

The "work around it" mentality is old fashioned thinking which hampers technical advancement. It's a self-limiting mindset that basically says, in this case "Hey,
Uniden did the best they could, let's just be happy with what we've got and suck it up". Sorry, not good enough. Although I agree that sometimes hardware manufacturers are not the best at software implementation, this is a special case where the software can make or break the public perception of the product, since it's a huge amount of work to program these scanners by hand.
 
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