I've had the HomePatrol since it was available and really like it. Of course there are a few things that could use improvement -- most likely they will be addressed and/or updated in the coming months.
Uniden addressed the ever increasing complexity of programming newer trucked radio systems by simplifying programming by using a location-based database from the Radio Reference website. While this feature has changed how scanner enthusiasts think of scanning, it has also frustrated users that want more control (customization) of their selected services. Of course third-party applications will hopefully fill the void at some point but what to do now?
After reviewing the HomePatrol forum it appeared that the easiest way (at least for now) is to modify the favorite list(s). This is exactly what I did to get my favority ham radio repeaters loaded. The concept seems simple enough -- update and/or create a favorite list with your freqencies that aren't currently in the Radio Reference website. While I finally was successful in getting this to work, it wasn't nearly as easy as I had anticipated.
The basic steps I followed were:
- Start with a favorite list I had already created with all of the systems/services that I wanted as my default starting point.
- Import this file into MS Excel (or any other spreadsheet app)
- Add ham repeater freqencies to list
- Save as a Tab delimited file
- Upload favorite list back into HP-1
Now as I hinted to, this wasn't all that as easy as it would seem. The difficulties are in the details.
The first hurdle to overcome was the fact that I use a MacBook as my main computer whereas there currently isn't a Mac version of the Sentinal application from Uniden. Fine I thought as I have a HP Mini netbook for situations like these. As I don't have MS Excel installed on my netbook, I decided to save the favorite list file on my home server. This allowed me to import the file on my Mac but now what do I add? I used the following download (Download Favorites_lists) from the HP forum as a reference.
More detailed information:
- The first five lines of your favorite list can remain the same and you can safely ignore the ones from the reference file. I then copied a C-Group row from my list and pasted it at the end of my list.
- I changed the second column with CGroupId=1
- I replaced the fourth column with description of 'Amateur Radio'
- The following C-Freq rows were similar to this:
- C-Freq CFreqId=3 CGroupId=1 2m SMPLX Off 146520000 FM 13
- The CFreqId=# increases by one for each row
- Column 8 would have TONE=C127.3 if you wanted to decode a CTCSS signal
- Column 9 (value 13) at the end designates the 'Ham' service type
- Save this new file with the same name (choose Tab deliminated) if you don't want to mess around with the favorites_lists.config file
- Verify that the new file 'looks right' using a text editor (Wordpad/Win or TextWrangler/Mac)
- If it doesn't look right on a Windows PC, be sure to select 'Windows (CRLF)' for the Line breaks option when performing a save as using TextWrangler
- Save the file back to the HP-1 (<drive:>\HomePatrol\favorites_lists\) using Sentinal
- A problem I ran into was that my favorite list wasn't be uploaded. I had to change download from No to Yes under the properties of my favorite lists in Sentinal
- I did not check the 'Erase favorites....' option
- I selected 'Copy & Replace...' option to update the list on my HP-1 after the database uploaded