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TOPIC: Tone Display

Re:Tone Display 16 Apr 2011 05:58 #5647

  • st-bob
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Since all systems, departments and channels are already programmed into the HomePatrol, there is absolutely nothing of added-value to seeing the CTCSS, DCS or NAC code on the display. There is no equivalent function to other scanner's tone-display ability to help identify tones and therefor what you're actually hearing in multi-tone selective-squelch systems. None is needed either. If the CTCSS is known the correct, identified by tone and geographic location, channel name is displayed.

If there are several agencies using the same frequency and different selective squelch codes then a conventional scanner might be set for "Search" in the tone setting so it would display the detected tone and allow you to save it in a bank with its identity. It's completely unnecessary on the HomePatrol as you don't save new info to it from the scanner but instead all such updates come from the RadioReference database.

On a conventional scanner you might hear 2 or more different agencies on the same frequency and have to guess which one it is depending on where you are in relation to the different agencies. With the HomePatrol you have 2 separate sets of 2-lines of text which positively identify the agency you're stopped on. Only the agency you're in the intended coverage area of will be displayed so there's no confusion.

It's a complete waste of display-space to display the CTCSS/DCS/NAC codes then. It won't give you any more data than the awesome amount possible on the ultra-long system, department and channel text already displayed and it couldn't be used for anything anyway.

The HP-1 is not your grandfather's scanner.
Bob Peloquin - KB1VUA
RR db admin (Massachusetts), USA
Scanner/GPS/Ham Radio enthusiast
Last Edit: 16 Apr 2011 06:00 by st-bob.

Re:Tone Display 16 Apr 2011 07:43 #5648

  • Docwatson431
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The RR data base is flawed and is only as good as the information that has to be updated and download once a week only to find the data is wrong. I have grown tired of sending updates to RR only to have them entered wrong.

I like to know what tone is being used with a glance at the scanner and not to have to go through several levels of a touch screen to find the information. At $500.00 that information should be on the screen, whether you feel it's needed our not it's information I want.

Your right this is not my grandfather's scanner. My grandfather won't get near this thing.

Re:Tone Display 16 Apr 2011 08:13 #5649

  • st-bob
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I have both the HomePatrol and GRE/Radio Shack's digital scanners. The Home Patrol, from my experience, does not need the advanced features you seek. It's not aimed at people like us who want or need the advanced information available from other scanners like the Uniden BC996xt for example.

I fail to understand why you want to see the detected tone? What good does it do you?

You're right that the HP-1 is only as good as the RR database. It's an acknowledged fact that there are errors and omissions in the RR data for many (if not all) areas. Since it's all user-contributed it will never be "perfect" but for the target user of the HP-1 it'll certainly be better than a new, unprogrammed (and unprogrammable by the new owner) BC996xt or other high-end scanner.

Put yourself in the shoes of the never-before-owned-a-scanner newbie. What is he going to do with a live display of CTCSS tones? He won't even know what they are, let alone know what to do with them. Your opinion of the HP-1 is shaded by your experience with more advanced scanners and years of using them. Cost has nothing to do with it. All new technology costs more than older, more mature technology.

I think it's unreasonable to ask for features on the HP-1 which are already available from other Uniden products. This is especially true when you consider that most people who've never owned a scanner couldn't possibly even set up and use a BC996xt for example. Right out of the box the HP-1 receives a lot of stuff that the target audience would never even know existed before using the HP-1. Is it perfect? No. Does it have every frequency and are they all correct? No. Does it matter to the new scanner user? No.

Like everything else, the HP-1 will get better as software, firmware and the RR database get better. Would I like to see a few more advanced features? Sure; but they're not necessary nor desirable for the target audience of the HP-1. Maybe you were just expecting something else when you paid $500 for it. Like HDTV when it first came out, it costs a lot because it's new. You can't expect to get the same features as a BC996xt just because they're in the same ballpark price-wise. You're getting totally new and different scanner technology, not some re-hashed "I've seen it all before" uber-complicated same-old-thing scanner.

It's not productive to continue asking or demanding things in the HP-1 which belong to the old-school scanners. The HP-1 seems to me to be almost perfect for what it was intended to do. For constant travel like I do as an on the road sales guy it's great. I use it daily and it keeps me informed and switches systems as I travel using a GPS input.

I also want to help improve the RR database and for that it's not the right tool. I have a Pro-106 for searching out and verifying new frequencies. I don't expect the HP-1 to be the ideal tool for doing that and 99% of the targeted purchasing public won't try to use it for that. You and I and a select few others are that remaining 1% that occasionally needs those advanced features and for that we've got other tools. Asking the HP-1 to be that tool is like asking a Porsche Boxter to carry plywood home from the lumber yard. It's the wrong tool for the job. I use a pickup truck for that.
Bob Peloquin - KB1VUA
RR db admin (Massachusetts), USA
Scanner/GPS/Ham Radio enthusiast
Last Edit: 16 Apr 2011 08:15 by st-bob.

Re:Tone Display 17 Apr 2011 22:13 #5680

  • b52hbuff
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st-bob wrote:
I have both the HomePatrol and GRE/Radio Shack's digital scanners. The Home Patrol, from my experience, does not need the advanced features you seek. It's not aimed at people like us who want or need the advanced information available from other scanners like the Uniden BC996xt for example.

I fail to understand why you want to see the detected tone? What good does it do you?



I respectfully disagree.

Why does the 'user' need frequency or TGID? Why is that more or less confusing than a tone? And without a bunch of more confusing data (e.g. frequencies and tables), TGID is pretty worthless.

The point of the HP-1 is to allow folks to navigate the RR.com db in the 'real world', thereby relieving users of having to understand how to program the radio to get it to receive a signal.

As I said in another post, if the RR.com database as a 'blank' or 'CSQ' tagged entry that matches one with a tone, then that entry is a wildcard that will block reception and proper labelling of an incoming transmission.

If the radio prevented reception of a tone encoded signal on an entry marked CSQ, then it would HELP that user by preventing an incorrect DB entry from popping up and mislabelling what is being received.

In the case of a blank tone entry, decoding the tone and displaying it would give the user a potential heads up that the received transmission may be improperly labelled.

As for the correct tool for the job, the HP-1 is perfectly suited for tone decode as we're discussing. If I'm driving somewhere and I have the HP-1 decode the tone, it is much safer than having to program the frequency in another radio just to grab a tone.

Re:Tone Display 26 Apr 2011 21:23 #5750

  • NS3K
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My thoughts with seeing a tone displayed is as follows. I see a conventional freq displayed
on the scanner on a common freq. If the freq is without a tone in the database if could be any agency in the area that is using that freq. If I see a tone popup when the freq is active I have a pretty good idea that what agency is displayed is the actual agency you are listening to. I don't want to have to hit any buttons when I am driving.

Thanks,

Jim

Re:Tone Display 01 May 2011 10:12 #5791

  • jmmather
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st-bob wrote:

I fail to understand why you want to see the detected tone? What good does it do you?

I'm an Amateur Radio operator and seeing the tone is nearly mandatory for me. As I travel I scan the local repeaters and without a tone displayed it is difficult to program my 2m/440m transceiver to work on local repeaters.

Mike
WD0CWT
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