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WHAT IS P25 Phase 2?

 Uniden Home Patrol 1 
 Road Test 

NOTE: There is updated firmware available for this radio from Uniden for $99, which greatly increases the more advanced functions available on the Home Patrol.  This firmware gives additional tools for the scanner user who wants more technical information and customizing tools.  Details on the update are shown on this link.

The Uniden Home Patrol scanner, introduced October 1, 2010, is a new concept in scanners! Instead of the user researching frequencies, talk groups, and radio systems to program into the radio, it has the complete (RR) U.S. and Canada frequency database stored in a 2 Gb Micro-SD memory card in the radio. At a street price of about $500, it is competitive with other digital trunk-tracker scanners, although it's very different from any other scanner. It's not really a handheld, but it's not quite like other base scanners, either. It's about 6 inches wide, and 3.25 inches high, not including the antenna, about the size of a GPS unit.

Road Test Description:

I tested the radio on a 3-week road trip from Denver through Santa Fe NM, Scottsdale AZ, Palm Desert CA, Modesto CA, and returning through Palm Desert, Phoenix AZ, Flagstaff AZ, Santa Fe, and back to Denver. The radio was tested in two different vehicles, using a Larsen 150-450-800 mobile antenna on a magnetic mount. I used a set of Sony noise-canceling headphones to avoid distracting the driver when I was the passenger. The GPS auto-program function was not tested, since a cable to connect the radio to the GPS was not available at the time. This could have been a big improvement over manually programming in the name of each city or county during the trip.

How you use it:

The user selects the channels to be received by:

  • Choosing the desired listening area by using the touch screen to input the area to be received, such as either the city or county, or the ZIP code, and
  • Selecting the desired services (police, fire, federal, etc.) in the listening area from a menu on the touch screen.
  • The radio then searches the RadioReference database on the SD chip, and chooses the channels in the area.
  • The user can also specify the desired range, up to 30 miles, by using the touch screen. If not changed, the defaults are a 10 mile radius from the center of a ZIP code, and 20 miles if you used a city or county name.
  • There is also an intriguing AutoLocate function, which is separate from the GPS function. The radio searches frequency bands for a known radio system. When it finds one, you have the option of accepting that location or retrying for another one. I used it a few times, and sometimes it could guess where I was (and sometimes it couldn't). The radius default for this mode is 30 miles.

Other unique new features:

  • Most of the functions are controlled from the touch screen, rather than keys and buttons. Exceptions to this are power on/off, and volume.
  • Record the last 30 to 240 seconds of received audio to be repeated, on demand, to confirm what you heard (or missed).
  • Record and store received audio for download to a computer. Capacity is limited to the memory available on the memory card, probably about 30 minutes total.
  • Mute the audio completely, or just reduce the volume to a level you set, for a user-selected period of time.