As we released the v2.00 firmware, we also cranked up the volume on our own "Community Scanner," listening intently to what you had to say about it...the good and the bad. Based on that early input, we've put together an update that addresses a few big requests (and exterminates a couple of bugs along the way).
Next time you start Sentinel and attempt to update the database, you will be prompted to download and install a new version. After you do that, run Sentinel and click Update --> Update Firmware... to install the new firmware on your HomePatrol-1.
Here's the scoop on what is changed in this update:
We are still listening (we really never stop). Keep us up-to-date on how you are using your HomePatrol-1 in our Community Forums.
I've just finished putting the finishing touches on a video explaining the new features that will be in the HomePatrol Sentinel Update. Check it out on my YouTube page:
A couple of recurring questions have come up in the various forums, so I thought I'd take a minute to answer them here.
Q: How much does the update cost?
A: The part of the release we are calling the Updates is absolutely free. For a refresher on what those features are, see my previous blog entry. The Extreme Upgrade costs $49.99 until Mid-August, when we expect to release the new versions. After that time, the price will go to it normal price of $99.99
Q: Will the Extreme Upgrade be free once it starts being loaded at the factory?
A: No. You will need to purchase a key to unlock the Extreme Upgrade features, even after the factory starts preloading the update.
Q: When will the update/upgrade be released?
A: We are targetting mid-August. However, if we need to take an extra week to be sure everything is working to our expectations, we'll take the week.
Q: Where do I go to purchase the Upgrade Key?
A: http://my.uniden.com. Register your HomePatrol-1 and you will be provided with a purchase link.
Before upgrading the firmware in your HomePatrol-1 to the latest Version 2.00, you need to install the latest version of HomePatrol Sentinel, the PC software that supports the new features in the firmware. To install HomePatrol Sentinel:
Note: If you have an earlier version of HomePatrol Sentinel, you do not need to remove it before installing the new version.
Start HomePatrol Sentinel, then select "Read from HomePatrol." This will save your current Favorites Lists as they are in your HomePatrol-1.
Follow the on-screen prompts to update your HomePatrol-1's firmware to version 2.00.
To use the serial mode features of the HomePatrol-1 Extreme Upgrade, you must install the proper drivers. See the detailed instructions in the HomePatrol-1 Extreme Owner's Manual. You can download the drivers by clicking HomePatrol_Serial_Drivers.zip.
Check out our announcement on YouTube:
Look for another blog entry soon for more details.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
To discuss all the new features, join us in the HomePatrol Community Forums at www.HomePatrol.com Looking forward to seeing you there!