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7004Re: more operational mishaps ...

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  • gteague
    Oct 7, 2012
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      wow! so much for using the 'rich text editor', it scrambled up my post to a fare-thee-well. i assure you, it looked much much better on my screen when i hit the |send| key.

      i just wanted to add that i mean no criticism of paul or uniden when i say i'm having trouble operating this scanner. i guess i make it sound like a big deal because i've been a 'gadget guy' all my life--people used to come to me to program their casio watches way back when 'cause i was the only one able to figure it out for nearly any model.

      so, losing the battle over knowing how to operate a gadget is an anomaly for me, but the bcd396xt is not unique in that regard, although rare. for one example, the yaesu vx7r (which is still in a bag somewhere in my house--lost but not mourned-- and non-operational defeated me. there were too many disparate functions assigned to too few keys. and i wasn't alone, people started putting out users guides and i remember carrying one around in my shirt pocket that was 84 pages! and that was the 'quickref' guide! and it wasn't just me--this radio alone was famous for defeated seniors with weak eyes and failing memories such as me.

      but the yaesu is just one of a handful of comparable radios--it's not like i _had_ to learn it or go without. i just picked up a kenwood th-f6a last week and although it's the first kenwood i've ever owned or used, i took one trip through the less-than-50-page manual and then did about 20 minutes of programming and i feel like i can understand and make use of about 90-95% of the capability of this radio despite it having nearly as many functions and features as the yaesu. the difference has to be in the philosophy of the user interface since the size and layout is essentially the same between the two radios with the exception of kenwood adding a handy 4-way 'mouse' button. and yaesu is not the only 'sinner' in this regards. some of the aor and icom models are not the easiest to use either, making kenwood's accomplishment all the more remarkable.

      but the bcd396 is different in that it is a brilliant brilliant engineering accomplishment and up until perhaps a couple of years ago there's been nothing remotely close to compare it to or to go buy if you couldn't deal with the uniden. and i haven't seen any of the gre or ratshack scanners, but ratshack has a long and deep reputation for having some of the most user-unfriendly and buggy user-interfaces going. i have never been truly happy with anything whatsoever i've purchased from them--it's nearly always been a case of needing something too badly and they happen to have it. but, i take that back. my radioshack race and 800mhz antennas are outstanding. but i've bought hundreds of feet of bad rg58 and pl259 connectors from them. anyway, i digress ... .

      so i keep hammering away at the 396t and xt because they are brilliant. but i think it's apparent that i'm one of the ones that just can't grok the paradigm of any logic the user commands represent. i have a digital audio recorder which is much the same with about 4 functions for each key depending on how, how much, and when and what mode you press the key. but an audio recorder has an order-of-magnitude less functions and operations than this scanner and it's manageable though irritating and necessitates repeat visits to the manual to bump the memory.

      /guy (73 de kg5vt | wqpz784)

      --- In BCD396XT@yahoogroups.com, "gteague" <accts@...> wrote:
      > coming home from work 0600 still dark as always much traffic on hwy 360
      > even on a weekend and the road isn't that smooth so scanner is bouncing
      > around somewhat in my crappy plastic iphone mount (another is on order)
      > hanging off the windshield by its suction cup when i realize i forgot to
      > turn the pd group on for the arlington system/site.
      > i'm scanning perhaps a half-dozen systems at the time and i realize that
      > i'm not going to be able to catch the arlington system at just the right
      > time to hit my 'func + 2' keys while it's on the screen. so what's the
      > plan, i ask myself (it was a long 12 hours at work!) after i tried and
      > failed to hit the '2' key while the system was onscreen and before the
      > func key symbol went away.
      > then i had a bright idea. perhaps if i hold on the system, then hit func
      > + 2 it will work. not a chance, even though after a couple of stabs at
      > the hold key i got lucky and it stopped on arlington. as usual, my
      > hitting func at the wrong time or in the wrong mode brought up some
      > unwanted search and in general nearly got me lost.
      > did i mention that trying to do even this minimum amount of button
      > pressing was perhaps 100% more dangerous than texting or talking on the
      > cellphone which i am quick to yell at other people for doing? it was
      > dark, my eyes are not the best--especially in low light--and i was
      > having to hit the light button in-between other operations and the radio
      > was bouncing up and down and the mount was bouncing up and down and
      > sideways due to the roughness of the road.
      > (we'll talk later about how radio operators are not nearly as prone to
      > accidents, but as our equipment increases in complexity, that won't hold
      > up for much longer--only our tiny percent representation in traffic
      > keeps us still under the radar, imo)
      > so what i did was disable all the other systems that were scanning
      > (still possible because i'm still programming my systems and the systems
      > i was scanning all are in the single-digit qkeys so far) until only the
      > arlington system was scanning, then i hit my magick 'func + 2' key to
      > finally get the pd into the game. of course by then i'd crossed over
      > into grand prairie and the arlington system was no longer needed.
      > <insert wahwah sound here>
      > so the first thing i do when i get home is look up in some of the $90
      > worth of after-market documentation i've bought over the last week and
      > find this:
      > To toggle Group quick keys on or off in another system press and hold
      > Func to 'lock' Function mode. Scroll to the (enabled) system that
      > contains the (enabled) group you want to turn on/off then press the
      > corresponding number key(s). Press Func twice to 'unlock' Function mode
      > and resume.
      > and actually, i had thought of doing this since i actually did know (had
      > read) that i could hold the func key and scroll through the systems. but
      > when you do that it looks exactly what it looked like when you pressed
      > hold on a system and that had been a disaster that had started up
      > obscure searches i didn't want, so i figured that if the system was
      > 'static' on the screen like it is when you scroll to it then it would
      > react negatively to the func + 2 command as it did when that command was
      > issued from hold.
      > but in any case, the biblical way of doing it listed above is, imho, way
      > too dangerous to attempt in a car moving at very (in my case) high speed
      > through traffic. especially with a handheld if you have to fumble around
      > with dismounting it to be able to manipulate it two-handed in that way,
      > although i feel uniquely qualified to drive in this manner ever since i
      > learned to drive solely with my private part from the neapolitans when i
      > was stationed in italy as they have to have both hands free of the wheel
      > to express their opinion of everyone else's [bad] driving.
      > and i guess the lesson learned from this 'frogs wild ride' is to make
      > sure you have every system and group you need activated before you start
      > your car and if you need to de-activate a group while on the road, live
      > with it until you can pull over.
      > [g]
      > /guy (73 de kg5vt | wqpz784)
      > [Non-text portions of this message have been removed]
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