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General Scanning Discussion For general questions not specific to a model of scanner or general discussion of use of a scanner. Location specific posts should be directed to the regional forums listed below.

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Old 04-25-2012, 5:10 PM
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Default Digital scanning and the blind

My local public safety radio system is about to switch to p25. I have been looking around for a scanner that is easy to program. I also have been trying some of the programs that are used to program the scanners. I have found none of the scanners are easy to program and none of the programs are easy to use with a screen reader. I guess the blind are out of luck.

Donald Harkins
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Old 04-25-2012, 5:35 PM
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I can see screenreaders being confused by all of the tab fields and cells in the scanner software. I'd gladly donate my time to program a scanner for a blind person.
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Old 04-25-2012, 5:38 PM
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Thanks for the reply. The system has not switched yet.

Donald Harkins
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Old 04-26-2012, 12:28 AM
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Donald,
I think if you make a few inquiries, you'll find there are others here that are blind, and using Scanners.. I think we have a section for the blind if I'm not mistaken... Good luck in your Quest...
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Old 04-26-2012, 9:20 AM
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Testing on the new system started yesterday. At this time no one is using the system. In the next two to three years the cities that use the system will be moving to the p25 system.

Donald Harkins
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Old 04-26-2012, 10:43 AM
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Donald,

I think Schertz is currently on the Live Oak EDACS system. If that is so, what are you using (or used) to program your current scanner?

As I don't live in the immediate area, I don't know, but what system is Schertz moving to?

I ask these two questions as I don't know that programing a digital system is that much difficult than the current EDACS one. Indeed, it should be easier.
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Old 04-26-2012, 11:14 AM
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Schertz is on the Live Oak system. The Live Oak system is joining the LCRA p25 system. I use a pro-92 with gre scanner data manager.

Donald Harkins
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Old 04-26-2012, 12:06 PM
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I have a blind friend I have helped ever since he had a Uniden 780; he now has a Pro-2096 and a Pro-197. You are right that screenreaders such as Jaws do not work with the radio programs out there.

However, my friend has no problem using the Starrsoft programs to reload various systems as long as I set them up and E-mail them to him. He also has memorized the button layouts on both radios way more than I have, even though I have my sight. (Once I wake up)
Not that I am trying to push any radios or software, I have found this GRE/RS and Starsoft combination was much easier for him to deal with. Just my .02---

PS Sometimes if he getsconfused with what the radio is doing he just reloads the original program and gets back on track. He has expressed a wish that the radio "beeps" could be modified as to what they mean. Once you have someone set up a program you want I bet you can do it from there.
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Old 04-26-2012, 1:12 PM
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I'm glad that Thayne jumped in with that information. Since you are using a Pro-92 then might I suggest that stick with the GRE built radios. I am not as familiar with the current crop of them except for the PSR 800; however, I also think that the Starsoft would be the way to go if you do get a GRE radio.
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Old 04-26-2012, 2:11 PM
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Thanks to everyone. GRE makes good radios.

Donald Harkins
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Old 04-26-2012, 2:38 PM
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Smile scanners and the blind, sommore thoughts :).

Hey there, i also am visually impaired (high partial blind) and use a scanner as well as have a ham license and use those too . I don`t know if your unit has an alerting capablilty (a beeper that can be set to sound when a certian channel is active or comes up in scan mode), if it does, then here`s an additional thought for down the road a piece for ya, what i did with my unit was to set up the beeper to sound based on what type of channel i`m hearing, i.e. one sound for law, one for ham, another for aircraft and so on. That way i really don`t need to even look at the display all that much, i just memorized the alert settings i have, and when i hear one, i know for instance that i`m hearing a law channel, or a railroad one as opposed to ham or aircraft, point is, this is just one way i have my perticular scanner set up for my needs. Just some thoughts. 73. N9NRA
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Old 04-26-2012, 3:18 PM
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Thanks for the tip. I don't own a digital scanner yet.

Donald Harkins
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