Well I tried writing some fed gov stuff to the HP to see what it would do. Want the good news, or the bad news first?
Let's start with the good. P25 encryption masking (mute)! Yes! Just a short blurb before the encrypted P25 is covered up. It will stay on the channel even though you don't hear anything, and that is a good thing because often the reply can be "in the clear". Now we need just a bit more SCAN DELAY. So that is a win. I hope the database guys are not skipping talkgroups in a TRS that are mixed encrypted and in-the-clear. With the mask feature there is no need to bypass anything, unless it is REALLY 100% encrypted...like a "strapped" channel in the radio for full time enc. Even then, people drop keys and you might hear some ITC.
Now for the bad news, and this is a deal-breaker for me unless there is a workaround. I may send it packing if there will be no possibility of a fix for this issue. The problem is that P25 conventional reception requires a NAC code to be programmed for P25 only (and please, no open CSQ). If you do not enter a NAC, it scans as CSQ...and there is that paging intermod I really need to filter out...yes, the scanner has intermod issues on two of my channels so far. My GRE scanners let me set a channel to only receive P25 with no NAC specified...Like "digital CSQ" on a Moto radio. Unless I'm missing something, I see no way to do what my GRE and Moto radios do. And this is why it is a needed feature; Some agencies use multiple NAC codes on a single frequency. IRS, CPB, FBI, BP, ICE, Park Service, FPS, TSA...just to name a few. The only way to hear the possibility of any one of the NAC codes they use on the HomePatrol (unless I missed something) is to scan a list of channels programmed with the same frequency but with different NAC codes, or scan CSQ. CSQ is not an option in metro areas or near my home. I only scan CSQ if there is no tone, code, or P25 filtering at all, even then I "avoid" them when near transmitter towers. These are all over Florida, so the noise is an issue on CSQ.
What is needed is a NAC 0 (zero) setting that will keep the receiver responding only to P25 reception (only) and allow any NAC code to open the receiver (like "digital CSQ" on the Motos). UPMan, is that a posible firmware update you could implement? . Without that feature I have to program up to 15 NAC codes on the same frequency just to listen to the IRS CI repeater channel, as they have been known to use up to that many different NACs. The DHS common channel is another that could be any of several NAC codes. Or the DOJ common, or several BP ICE freqs. If you start entering the same freqs with different NACs in a long list, you waste scan time, and if the dept uses a NAC you do not know, you won't here them. I really want to hear all digital (non-encrypted) transmissions and not miss anything. I would think this is a simple fix, so can it be done?
So I created a list of my local fed gov stuff, and I want to add these to whatever the database loaded for the area I'm in, and I see no way to do this. It gives me a choice of "use full database" or one of "my favorites"...not both at the same time. I see a way to add the database stuff for ONE area to my favorites list, but not the other way around. Am I missing something here? This is backwards. I don't want to add database channels to "my favorites list". I want to add my list to whatever the database picks for that area. Suppose I'm driving through Florida and I'm using GPS as I go through, county by county. I want to add my Florida federal list to whatever the HP loads so I will always hear my fed stuff even if the local stuff is changing. Can this be done? If not, why not? I really don't want the HP messing up my favorites list. If this is not possible, this is also a "deal-breaker".
I see my local area was updated in Sentinel. Thank you, but I don't know who makes these decisions about how this is done, because it is messed up in other ways that it was not before. And stuff was deleted that was very important...like my EOC digital TGs. How many times do we have to go through this, guys? And why are you tagging all the SO and PD dispatch channels as "LAW TALK"? SO Road Patrol is DISPATCH. And you have regular PD dispatch TGs in Martin County showing SWAT. uhhh...who is doing this?
Look...if I take the time to "spell it all out" in the same format as how Sentinel shows it, and I give it to you in Excel format...just the same way you would view it, will you update my info verbatim??? I think you database guys think you know more than you actually do. If you can't do the updates right after I hand them to you, why should I bother to hand them to you?
I'm not real happy with this whole deal. The box is sort of ok, if they address the "deal-breaker" issues I have, but if there is no hope, and the DB guys keep messing up, I see no value in the thing. Too much headache and not enough performance to make it worthwhile. Yeah...it makes noise wherever you go, but is it the right noise? "Me thinks" not.
I have a few more days, but I'm not too pleased so far. I'll try some other stuff and see what happens before I send it back.