Uniden Home Patrol Scanner Review – A Scanner I Use Daily

Product: Uniden Home Patrol Scanner Review

Price: $390.00 (Home Patrol 1) and $529.99 (Home Patrol 2)

Cheapest Place to Buy Home Patrol 1:  Amazon

Cheapest Place to Buy Home Patrol 2: Amazon

Features: Digital APCO P25 Phase I and II (Depending on Model), Easy to Use Touch Screen Interface, Comes Fully Loaded With U.S. and Canada Frequency Databases, Eliminates Any Need for Programming

My Rating: 9.5 out of 10

Why I Often Use My Uniden Home Patrol Over My Other Scanners

I have been scanning for over 25 years now. Since I enjoy this so much, I believe in only purchasing and using exceptional scanners and products.

With that said, I just had to do a Uniden Home Patrol scanner review.

Here is my Youtube review and walkthrough of just how easy it is to set up and use the Uniden Home Patrol 1.

I personally own the Uniden Home Patrol 1. I use it every single day, and I often use it in place of my other police scanners. Why you ask?

Because the Home Patrol is easy to use and loaded with useful features

This scanner is simply exceptional and unprecedented in the way that it is designed and constructed.

The touchscreen menu driven interface I feel is a must. It is as intuitive to operate as your smart phone.

Uniden has definitely taken the stance here of why make something more complicated than it needs to be

And I agree.

This is exactly why I reach for my Home Patrol most often.

When something is easy to use and of good quality, you tend to reach for these products over other quality products that may be harder to use.
                                                             

 Here are the Features I Feel Set the Home Patrol Apart From Other Scanners

The Pros:

  • Easy to operate touchscreen means no more trying to remember complicated button sequences
  • Built-in frequency databases means NEVER having to spend time programming your scanner
  • You can record breaking events with this scanner without any other hardware or software
  • No add-on software needs to be purchased for programming
  • You Never have to spend time updating or modifying text tags and labels again
  • Different adjustable backlighting levels allow for visibility in different ambient lighting conditions
  • Add on GPS unit allows scanner to automatically reprogram as you change locations
  • Rechargeable batteries, AC adapter and stand allows for use as a desktop, or a mobile unit
  • Digital Audio is Crisp and Clear
  • Performs wonderfully on digital APCO P25 systems.
  • Sensitivity allows me to occasionally pick up signals 75 to 100 miles away, with the included antenna!
  • When traveling, no need to use software to reprogram, the systems for the whole U.S. and Canada are built-in!
  • Convenient size allows for small foot print. Put in your pocket, or leave it on your desk

 

Home Patrol Size

Get a Sense of the Home Patrol’s Size

Here are the Features I Feel the Home Patrol Could Improve On

The Cons:

  • Not compatible with Macintosh computers
  • The GPS used is an add-on GPS unit, not built-in
  • Database driven programming limits your ability to make your own updates, especially in real time.
  • The SMA Antenna connector requires an additional coupler in order to use BNC Antennas

    Close Up Of SMA Antenna

    Close Up Of SMA Antenna

Why You May Choose the Home Patrol Over Other Scanners

You Are Literally Up And Running in Minutes

Have you ever wanted to just open up a package and just be able to use the item within about 2 or 3 minutes without reading a bunch of complicated manuals written in technical gibberish?

Well then. Look no further than the Uniden Home Patrol…

Home Patrol Unboxed

Home Patrol Unboxed

The true benefit that you get from the Uniden Home Patrol is a fully loaded digital police scanner in an intuitive and easy to use package.

The touchscreen menu-driven Home Patrol is as easy to use as your smart phone. Simply pull the scanner out of the box and you are nearly ready to start scanning your neighborhood.

No Manuals, No Programming, Means No Complications

This in itself eliminates hours of reading through manuals and having to memorize complicated button sequences to operate and customize your scanner.

I had my unit out of the packaging and up and running in minutes.

All that I had to read was a one-sheet quick reference containing only a few steps.

It really doesn’t get much easier than that in the world of police scanners.

Home Patrol Quick Start Sheet

Home Patrol Quick Start Sheet

Another benefit that the home patrol offers over other scanners is the ability to bypass the programming and radio systems learning curve.

When you buy some other digital scanner models, you often have to get add-on software to program the unit, and you have to make sure certain settings are correct to select the proper radio systems, and to track the systems correctly.

This is not an issue with the home patrol. No need to get into the guts of radio system jargon.

The Home Patrol is akin to plug and play in the PC world.

Home Patrol Has You Up and Running In a Few Easy Steps

With the Home Patrol, this could really not be any easier.

Here is literally all it takes

1. You take the Home Patrol out of the box.

2. Load the database software onto your PC.

3. Synch the Home Patrol with the database using the supplied USB to micro-USB cable.

4. Enter your zip code on the Home Patrol unit.

That is really about it…

Uniden has made this the least complicated of any scanner on the market, in my opinion.

If you wish, you are then free to learn about radio systems and other more complicated scanner related knowledge at your own pace.

Home Patrol All Set Up

Here Is My Home Patrol All Set Up And Running!

The Difference Between Home Patrol 1 and Home Patrol 2

Here is the kicker

As far as I can tell, there are really only two main differences between the Home Patrol 1  and the Home Patrol 2.

  • The Home Patrol 1 only covers APCO P25 Phase 1 support.
  • The HomePatrol 2 supports APCO P25 Phase 1, as well as, APCO P25 Phase 2 TDMA.

This will be the future that most public radio systems will be headed.

Additionally, the Home Patrol 1 contains a 2GB MicroSD card for storing favorites lists and for recording transmissions.

However, the Home Patrol 2 contains a 4GB MicroSD also for storing favorites lists and for recording.

Beyond this, from what I can tell, not a whole lot of earth shattering features differs between the two radios.

So Why Did I Purchase The Home Patrol 1 Over The Home Patrol 2?

This was an easy choice for my situation.

I knew from my own research that both scanners are solid in both performance and features for the purposes that I wanted to use the radio.

I live near the border in southern California, so I know that it takes the U.S. and Mexico many years to agree on re-banding changes, legal issues and such before Phase II TDMA will be implemented in my area.

I also knew that it was not likely that I was going to be recording a lot of audio from my scanner for archives, so the smaller MicroSD was not a problem for me either.

This confidently allowed me to choose the Home Patrol 1 over the Home Patrol 2.

Home Patrol 1Components

Home Patrol 1 Components

Before purchasing one radio over the other, I would head over to radioreference.com to see what systems are currently in use in your area.

This is a very friendly scanner and radio enthusiast community and the members are always happy to help.

So it would be a good idea to find out from those in the know in your area whether or not APCO P25 Phase II is likely to be coming to your area within a year or two.

If so, you may want to purchase the Home Patrol 2 as you will get many years of use out of that scanner.

If APCO P25 Phase I is currently being used in your area, and Phase II is a long way off, you could purchase the Home Patrol 1 for use now, and buy a newer scanner on the market at a later time.

It really is up to you as both Home Patrol models are solid in my opinion.

The Bottom Line…

The Uniden Home Patrol is a great first scanner for newbies given its easy to use and has a straight-forward menu driven interface.

It will get a first timer up and scanning the neighborhood in minutes.

For the seasoned scanner hobbyist such as myself, this scanner is my go to piece of equipment because it is dependable, portable, and simple to use.

I never have to remember any button sequences as everything is easily accessed from the menu.

I simply love that part.

The scanner can be a great mobile unit or a designated desktop model…

And it travels well as you can enter the zip code of your new location in, or you can use the add-on GPS unit that will do this for you automatically.

I did not purchase the GPS unit, so I cannot speak to any experiences with that piece of equipment.

Personally, I do not think the GPS is necessary as it is easy to type in whatever zip code you are in, over spending the extra money on the GPS add-on.

If you are looking for a solid, dependable, easy to use digital scanner

Then the Home Patrol really is a solid scanner for a great price.

It really is one of the best performing and easiest to use scanners that I have owned, over the last 25 years.

I use my unit daily and have never regretted the purchase.

I found Amazon to have the best prices on both scanners. Feel free to click here if you would like to pick up a Home Patrol 1 or a Home Patrol 2 at a great price.

If you own a Home Patrol 1 or Home Patrol 2, feel free to leave a comment below about your experience with the unit.

If you would like more information on the scanner, you can ask any questions you have below as well.

I look forward to helping out in any way I can. In the mean time, keep scanning!

 

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2 Responses

  1. charlie tailford says:

    CAN YOU PUT IN FREQUENCYS MANUALLY IN THE HOME PATROL 1 OR 2

    • Steve says:

      Hi Charlie,

      Thanks for posting your question. This is a great question. The answer is sort of a yes and a no at the same time. Let me explain further.

      The Home Patrol does have a setting where you can enter in one temporary manual frequency to monitor something (within the frequency range spectrum that the Home Patrol covers of course). Let me give you an example of this. Since I live in San Diego, California, and MCAS Miramar is near me, I may want to override everything my Home Patrol is scanning for a few minutes and enter in the control tower frequency at MCAS Miramar, because I see something cool flying over. 🙂 So, yes, you can enter in a temporary frequency at any time to monitor something specific if you are so inclined. However, this entered frequency is temporary and is not saved in the system. The next time you power on your Home Patrol, you would have to reenter it, or another frequency in again.

      Now, for the No part of the answer. Out of the box, the Home Patrol is database driven. The unit gets all of its frequency and talk group information from radioreference.com, so if you navigate to the frequency database section of that site for your city and state, you will see all of the information that is programmed into the Home Patrol. So, you are not able to go into the Home Patrol directly and reprogram what is already in there with the factory settings out of the box. However, the good news is that Uniden previously released Home Patrol-1 Extreme Upgrade. This upgrade costed $49 through August of the year it was released for early adopters, and then went up to $99. This upgrade allows users to do what you have asked about. You can enter in (program) brand new frequencies and systems on your Home Patrol, or edit or modify existing ones, and do a lot more as well.

      So, the shortest answer is that yes, you can enter frequencies and systems in your Home Patrol, but you will need the upgrade to do so. Personally, I did not purchase the Extreme Upgrade because I never have felt the need to reprogram anything in my Home Patrol from scratch. The systems that I monitor here in San Diego are complete as they appear in the database at radioreference.com. If anything, I find myself locking channels and talk groups out because I feel that there is too much to monitor in the Home Patrol database for my area.

      I hope I have satisfactorily answered your question. Please let me know if you have any further questions or would like any further information. Thanks again for interacting with the site. I appreciate questions and comments. 🙂

      Best Regards,

      Steve

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