New Update Coming

In the next couple of weeks we will be releasing a maintenance firmware update for the HomePatrol-1. This update will address the few bugs you've brought to our attention. Once we finish testing and release the update, I'll fill you in on the details (some things could change in testing).

All you'll need to do is run Sentinel and do a normal database update. If a firmware update is available, you'll get a pop-up notification. The update process itself is fast and easy.

This small update is just a precursor to larger things to come...but more on that at a later time.

Was a HomePatrol-1 in Your Stocking?

Well, it is that time of year, again, the time of year that brings lots of excitement, cheer, and some great HomePatrol-1 listening, too.

If you are just joining our community, welcome! Here are a few tips to get you started with HomePatrol-1.

  • Now that you’ve installed Sentinel (haven’t yet? We’ll wait…..) connect your HomePatrol-1 to your PC, run Sentinel and do three things:
  1. UPDATE --> Update Firmware – This will put the very latest operating system in your HomePatrol-1 so you will be sure to get the best performance.
  2. UPDATE --> Update Master HPDB – This will put the very latest radio system database in Sentinel (the database is refreshed at least every Monday morning).
  3. HomePatrol --> Write to HomePatrol – This will put the very latest radio system database in your HomePatrol-1.

Now you are ready to fire up your HomePatrol-1, follow the on-screen prompts, and start hearing the excitement.

Questions, comments, or have something to share? Our Community Forums are just the place. I’ll be hanging out there throughout the holidays, making sure things are running as smoothly as possible, but even when I’ve succumbed to L-Tryptophan overload (ok, maybe refreshment overload), there are many other knowledgeable folks that participate and can help you get through any bumps in the road you might encounter.

The holidays provide a lot of opportunities for some interesting police calls. From the calls that make you thankful for friends and family that don’t behave badly to the calls generated by late-night partiers, crowds at the malls, storms in the West and snow in the Northeast, you are almost certain to have plenty to hear.

To our friends who have been on the boards for a while I have this advice: Remember how excited you were when you were just starting to monitor…full of questions and maybe a little impatient to get going? What got us all through this stage was the patient and thoughtful replies we got from the community, helping us along. We’ll see questions that have been asked and answered before, dead horses given new life, and the normal smattering of holiday Grinches. Take it all in the spirit of the holidays and make our new friends feel welcome.

Happy Holidays to all!

Getting Better Every Day!

Getting Better Every Day!

Now that a few thousand folks are out there using the HomePatrol-1, we are getting some great feedback on how to make it even better. Top priority is going right now toward filling in some gaps in the channel coverage for particular areas. To that end, we are working closely with and have been making hundreds of updates every day.

So, how do we know what needs an adjustment? You tell us! By posting your experiences, good or bad, we get the input we need to make your experience even better. In most cases, we have been able to roll out a new database with requested improvements within 48 hours of hearing from you.

So, if you aren't hearing some channels that you expected to hear, or are hearing channels you don't think should be selected, don't send back your HomePatrol-1 -- instead, let us know about it! There are a couple of ways to do this, depending on what information you have at hand.

If you've read the Location, Location, Location, blog, then hopefully you understand how important it is for the radio system information we receive from RadioReference to have good location information attached. 99% of the changes we are making involve either adding or tweaking the location data so that it is a better match to the area the channels are intended to cover. Many of these updates are submitted by folks just like you. A database administrator then verifies your submission and applies the update.

This brings us to the second way you can let us know what needs to be changed: If you know the correct locations for things, submit them either to us in a forum post, or go to the page on that has the channels that need to be updated, click SUBMIT in the left-side menu, and provide a submission. A location submission has three parts:

  • Identity of the department
  • Centerpoint of the location
  • Range for the location (in miles)

Put together, these define a circle that should just barely enclose the department that uses the channels (see the Location blog for drawings). Here is an example of a section of a good submission I recently worked:

***Kansas City MO Public Safety***
Central Patrol Division:
39.083172,-94.578552     4 miles
East Patrol Division:
39.058983,-94.489975     7 miles

HomePatrol-1 has quickly become the most exciting product we've ever released. Thanks to you, things are just going to keep on getting better -- every single day.

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