Extreme Things Coming


In mid-August Uniden will release a significant update for its HomePatrol Sentinel software, a major update to the HomePatrol-1 Feature Set, as well as an exciting optional Upgrade that adds significant new features and capabilities to the HomePatrol-1.

Read on to see what you have to look forward to.

HomePatrol Sentinel Update

The HomePatrol Sentinel software has been an essential tool for keeping your HomePatrol-1’s database up to date, managing favorites lists, and backing up your HomePatrol-1’s settings. With the update, we’ll be adding some much-requested features and functionality, including:

  • Complete programmability for new or existing systems. Create or edit any system in a Favorites list to personalize alpha tags, apply some of the newly available settings (read on!), or set up systems that have not yet made it into the main database.

  • New channel settings include:

    • Per-channel delay of 10, 5, 2, 0, -5, or -10 seconds (those negative settings force scanning to resume after the set time elapses, even if a transmission continues).

    • Per-channel alert to get your attention when a particularly important channel becomes active.

    • CTCSS/DCS or NAC Search to capture unknown subtones on frequencies.

    • Per-channel attenuation to help avoid interference from other in-band transmissions.

    • Per-channel volume offset to help balance the audio level amongst channels.

    • New service tags for Racing Officials, Racing Teams, and eight Custom tags.

  • Support for defining location using up to 32 rectangles per department or site, instead of a single circle.

  • ID Search mode for trunked systems so you can monitor channels even if they are not yet in the database.

  • Unit ID programming so you can alpha tag individual radio IDs and see specifically who is transmitting.

  • The ability to add channels to a favorites list automatically based on your location, a range, and the service types you are interested in.

  • The ability to enable up to 256 Favorites Lists for scanning along with the Main Database.

  • Tools for reviewing the results of Discovery sessions or Activity Logs (see more in the HomePatrol-1 Extreme Upgrade section).

  • An Export feature that allows you to easily share Favorites Lists with other HomePatrol users (and a companion Import feature so you can use Favorites Lists others share with you).

  • A KML Export feature that lets you export system information for viewing in Google Earth.

  • Automatic update notification for the HomePatrol Sentinel software will now let you know when a new version is available.

HomePatrol-1 Update

Of course all of those new settings you can apply using HomePatrol Sentinel, the HomePatrol-1 will take advantage of. Just in case you skipped ahead, you might want to go back and read that section, now. (I’ll wait.)

These feature additions address all of the major feature requests we’ve seen from many of you. Some of them will slightly change the way information is displayed on HomePatrol-1’s main operation screen. For example, we now display the name of the Favorites List below the System name so you can more easily identify which system you are hearing and will display the alpha tag for Unit IDs along with channel alpha tags when you are using this feature.

Taken together, we believe that the HomePatrol Sentinel and HomePatrol-1 updates provide features and benefits for just about everyone from the novice to the advanced. So, even though you might be able to imagine the significant amount of resources we dedicated to creating these updates, we decided to release these as free updates.

HomePatrol-1 Extreme Upgrade

Now we get to some really cool stuff. These are features that, for the most part, we’ve never seen requests for. But, they are going to allow the HomePatrol-1 to become an essential part of the advanced user’s tool kit. Ok, enough hype, let’s get to the fun stuff. Here’s what the paid Upgrade will get you:

  • Complete front-panel programmability – lets you edit existing systems in favorites lists, or create new systems from scratch. You’ll no longer be tied solely to the information we provide in our Database when you are out and about, away from a PC.

  • Trunked System Load / Reception Status tool

  • Current Trunked System Activity

  • Trunked LCN Monitor (activity over time)

  • Trunked Activity Logging (includes log file for detailed review)

  • Talk group converter to switch between Decimal and Hex channel representation

  • LCN Finder to helps determine the Logical Channel numbers for EDACS and LTR trunked systems.

  • Band Scope plots a graph of RSSI vs Frequencies for a range of frequencies

  • RF Power Plot plots a graph of RSSI vs Time for a single frequency to help locate transmission sources, monitor antenna performance, and track down interference issues.

  • Limit Search

  • Trunking System Discovery makes it much easier to discover new channels on a trunked radio system. The HomePatrol-1 continuously monitors the selected system and compares received channel grants to the known channels for your area. When a new Talk Group is discovered, it records up to 3 minutes of audio so you can later review and identify the agency using the channel.

  • Conventional Discovery similarly helps you find active frequencies in your area that haven’t made it into the database. When a frequency has activity, the HomePatrol-1 compares the frequency and subtone settings to known channels in your area. If the information is not in the database, the HomePatrol-1 records up to 3 minutes of audio so you can later review and identify the agency using the frequency.

Note that the above screen shots were all made using the beta test version of the upgrade, some of them might change for release.

As mentioned before, the updates for HomePatrol Sentinel and HomePatrol-1 are absolutely free. You will get the benefit of these updates as soon as you install the new version of Sentinel and update your HomePatrol-1’s firmware.

UPDATE: The HomePatrol-1 Extreme Upgrade will be available for only $99.99 from Uniden.com. But, we want to take care of those of you who have already bought the HomePatrol-1. We will soon add a link to prepurchase the upgrade for only $49.99. In order to prepurchase, you will need to provide us with the electronic serial number of your HomePatrol-1 so that we can provide you with a registration key that is specific to your HomePatrol-1. Having that in hand, you’ll be ready to activate the Extreme features as soon as we release the update. Once we release the update, the price will go to the normal $99.99 price.

UPDATE: Since the update has been released, the price is now $99.99.

YouTube Announcement

Check out our announcement on YouTube:

HomePatrol-1 Extreme Announcement

Look for another blog entry soon for more details.

New Update Here!

This afternoon we released firmware version 1.03.01. This update fixes a couple of little bugs that have been reported to us. Nothing major, here, but for the curious, here is the list of things we fixed:

  • In our original release, we included options for default actions when you power off your HomePatrol-1 (Clock Standby, Weather Standby, All Off). However, the hook to connect this to the actual power-off routine never got connected, so you've been having to tap the screen, then tap again to select your power-off option. After the update applies, your HomePatrol-1 will stay on the first info screen for about 5 seconds, then move on to the next screen with the power-off options. If you still don't tap the screen, your HomePatrol-1 will power off into the state you set for the default setting.
  • Sometimes, you had to hold down POWER a long time to turn on your HomePatrol-1. This time should be much shorter, after the update.
  • If you were holding on a channel that belonged to a trunked radio system, then tapped the sidebar menu, scanning would resume (you'd lose your channel hold).
  • Finally, the bug most discussed in our forums, if you were holding on a channel, then held also on the department, when you released the hold on the channel, your HomePatrol-1 would jump to a different department. No more workarounds needed, this one is fixed, as well.

So, how do you install the update? Pretty simple, really. Just run Sentinel and select "Update Firmware" from the Update menu, select your HomePatrol-1 from the list, and press OK. Sentinel will retrieve the update from our server, and put it on your HomePatrol-1. When you unplug the USB cable from your HomePatrol-1, the update process will run (this takes a couple of minutes), then your HomePatrol-1 starts up normally.

This won't affect your Favorites Lists, Avoids, or any other user setting...it just fixes the few things I've listed above.

It looks like we'll be able to start talking about the next update (which will be a major one) in just a couple of months. Can't give any details, yet, but be sure to watch this space!

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