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Writing Your Own Service Searches Using Sentinel


Pre Extreme Upgrade Method

Download this file and save them to whatever folder you use for downloads. Unzip them into your desired directory using your favorite zip utility.1


Open Sentinel and create five new favorites. Label them as 2m Repeaters, Marine Channels, CB & FRS Channels, 6m & 10m Simplex & Repeaters and 1.25m & 70cm Repeaters. Go to Edit/Profile and on the Favorites Lists tab toggle Download On for these five new favorites. Now, File/Save and File/Exit.


Let's do the easy ones first; Marine Channels3 and CB2 & FRS Channels. These two require no editing on your part. In Notepad++4 open the .hpd favorites file in Uniden/HomePatrol/FavoritesLists for Marine Channels. This should be the second new .hpd file you previously created in Sentinel. You'll see just two rows in this file. Next, open the Marine Channels.txt file. Copy-n-paste rows 3-57 to the open favorites .hpd file starting at row 3. Save the favorites .hpd file. Repeat these same steps for the CB & FRS Channels. The CB & FRS favorites file will be the third new .hpd favorites file you created in Sentinel. Double check your work by opening Sentinel and reviewing these two new favorites folders. Always close and open Sentinel when you double check your work so Sentinel will refresh what you've done.


Now let's do the three Amateur .hpd favorites lists. The three .txt files are currently for the Washington DC area. Open the 2m Repeaters.txt file. In Notepad++ open the .hpd favorites file in Uniden/HomePatrol/FavoritesLists for 2m Repeaters. This should be the first new one you previously created in Sentinel. Copy-n-paste rows 3-81 from the .txt file to the .hpd file and save the .hpd file. Row 3 in the .hpd file is what will show as Row 1 in the HP-1 when you're scaninng. Now, edit Row 6 by deleting the state abbreviations and type in the state abbreviations you want. This is what will show as Row 2 in the HP-1 when you're scaninng. Now, here's where you'll need your ARRL Repeater Directory or the online repeater lookup search website. Rows 7 and beyond is what you'll edit for the 2m repeaters in your area. Carefully delete the city names and clubs and type in your city names and clubs. Next, delete the six digit frequency and type in your six digit frequency. Always leave the trailing 000 after the six digit frequency. Edit as many rows as you want going down the page. Periodically save the .hpd file and open Sentinel and review the 2m Repeaters folder. If you see any corruption in any of the rows, such as zeros in the frequency column, AM in the Mod column or Aircraft in the Service Type column this is a tabbing issue in your favorites .hpd file. Reopen your 2m Repeaters favorites .hpd file and place your cursor right after the city name and club and hit your tab key once. Repeat this for any other corrupt rows. Save the favorites .hpd file and reopen Sentinel and double check again. Continue editing on down the .hpd file for your remainng 2m repeaters. Delete any remaining non-edited rows. If you need to add more rows after row 81 copy-n-paste row 81 on down the page. For the new rows, increment the CFreqId= starting with 261360.


Repeat the same steps above for the 6m & 10m Simplex & Repeaters (the fourth new .hpd favorites list your created) and the 1.25m & 70cm Repeaters (the fifth new .hpd favorites list you created). Note that the 6m repeater outputs are good for every state except California. California follows the even numbered outputs as shown in the ARRL 6m Band Plan. For some reason, every other states' outputs are odd numbered and, compared to the 6m Band Plan, fall into the Band Plan input sections. Once again, double check your work in Sentinel and make any corrections as necessary in your .hpd files. Once you're satisfied, write to HomePatrol and fire up your HP-1


Notes
  1. Never depend on Windows to unzip a file properly. It is known to corrupt files. Use one of the popular zip utilities instead, such as WinZip, WinRAR or 7-Zip. Links for them (and others) can be found here
  2. CB channels 16 and 36-40 may have SSB transmissions on them; Home Patrol may not be able to receive these frequencies correctly
  3. Marine channels 87 and 88 are reserved for AIS - Home Patrol will not be able to receive these frequencies correctly
  4. Notepad ++ is a popular freeware text editor - it can be downloaded from here

Thanks to Stu N3PZT for the procedure


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