Bugs/Firmware Enhancements/Features

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JamesO

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Have only had my 436HP for about 24 hours, have not been overly obsessed with it, just playing with the scanner a bit.

Also note that I have had a 536HP for some time as well.

Here are the first of my comments with regard to the current firmware version 1.03.00

Have only played with some of these features for a few minutes.

1. Recording - I find recording more important on the 436HP as you are not as likely to be in a "controlled" quiet environment as compared to my 536HP.

Need a TIVO/DVR type functionality for these radios. If I enable recording, I still should be able to go back and "Replay" just like when I am not recording. I know this is somewhat a double edged sword because does/can the scanner the continue to scan and record while reviewing/replaying the last transmission or group of transmissions. This should really be considered and it may be possible with the current hardware platform???

2. OK, not sure if this really gets to anyone else. Is there a reason why the Yes/No that is displayed on the screen is opposite from the Yes/No button location on the keypad?? This is so NON INTUITIVE and requires a closer look at the keyboard. This also pertains when connection the USB cable up and the Mass Storage/Serial prompt is displayed. Uniden, just swap the Yes/No as displayed on the screen to match the keyboard layout, this should be dirt simple. What what someone thinking?? Oh, we are talking about programmers, they do not think!!

3. Lets use the 4 & 6 button or actually the < & > buttons on the keyboard for something!!!

A. Consider using these to advance the scan or change the scan direction. I realize in the current set up they are for Quick Groups as they are configured now, but is there a way there can be dual use of these buttons so you do not need a 2nd hand to rotate the rotary/multifunction knob??

B. To follow along with using the < & > (4&6) buttons, lets enable these to skip or back up when reviewing recordings. Again, the rotary/multifunction knob is required and usually needs 2 hands.

C. When reviewing recordings, the System/Dept/Chan button will "Pause/Resume" the recordings. How about making the System the "Pause/Resume" function, the Dept the "Skip Back" function and the Chan the "Skip Forward" function.

I am sure I will have other comments/suggestions as I use the scanner more, however, I think these are some pretty basic items that should be considered for future Firmware revision and would greatly enhance the scanners usability and intuitiveness.

These items may have been already mentioned, sorry if I am repeating or covering this again, but I feel these are some pretty important and needed changes.
 

XTS3000

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Many of your TiVo like features for the 436hp has a patent on it. Uniden would have to pay royalties to TiVo, making the scanner more expensive.
 

JamesO

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Many of your TiVo like features for the 436hp has a patent on it. Uniden would have to pay royalties to TiVo, making the scanner more expensive.
Patent or not, this feature is on almost all DVR systems, some Satellite radio receivers and some other devices. So if there is a royalty that needs to be paid, the question is how much?? This should not preclude this feature from being offered.

Even at $5 a device, I would not see this as a show stopper, I know almost everyone would be willing to have this feature.

Seems nobody else feels my comments or suggestions are warranted??

Just the stupidity of the Yes & No options on the wrong side of the display is enough to drive me crazy.

Do I have to think like I am standing on my head to do basic operations on the scanner? This should not be a suck it up and work around the "feature" that some programmer that has never used the scanner configured to torture the users.
 

JamesO

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2 more issues/bugs/comments.

1. How about a charge indicator?? Seems every other portable device known to man has some form of charge indicator. Tablets, phones, MP3 players, digital cameras, etc.

2. How about dropping the "Serial" indicator/option when the USB cable is connected to the scanner. This is just flat wrong and misleading. The x36HP scanners only have a serial interface for the GPS, the USB port is not a serial port. I am old enough to understand what a serial interface is, however, this reference it totally inaccurate, incorrect and confusing.

I think the prompt should be something like Charge/Remote.

These are all firmware changes/tweaks that can and should be corrected/added.
 

Jay911

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2 more issues/bugs/comments.

1. How about a charge indicator?? Seems every other portable device known to man has some form of charge indicator. Tablets, phones, MP3 players, digital cameras, etc.

2. How about dropping the "Serial" indicator/option when the USB cable is connected to the scanner. This is just flat wrong and misleading. The x36HP scanners only have a serial interface for the GPS, the USB port is not a serial port. I am old enough to understand what a serial interface is, however, this reference it totally inaccurate, incorrect and confusing.

I think the prompt should be something like Charge/Remote.

These are all firmware changes/tweaks that can and should be corrected/added.
1. When the radio is charging, the display shows "Normal Charging". Note that this is only when the radio is off - it does not charge while it is on. When the charge time limit has been reached, this changes to "Charge Complete".

2. The x36HP radios do indeed have a serial interface through the USB port. If you install the drivers on the Uniden wiki page(s), your radio will appear as a COM port when you choose the serial option. Here are two apps - one for Chrome browsers, one for Windows and Mac desktop use - that make use of the serial connection to replicate the display of the x36 on the computer screen:

http://forums.radioreference.com/uniden-software-discussion/289288-436-536-scanner-monitor-app-both-mac-windows.html

http://forums.radioreference.com/uniden-software-discussion/285096-scanner-screen-software-436-536-a.html
 

JamesO

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1. When the radio is charging, the display shows "Normal Charging". Note that this is only when the radio is off - it does not charge while it is on. When the charge time limit has been reached, this changes to "Charge Complete".

2. The x36HP radios do indeed have a serial interface through the USB port. If you install the drivers on the Uniden wiki page(s), your radio will appear as a COM port when you choose the serial option. Here are two apps - one for Chrome browsers, one for Windows and Mac desktop use - that make use of the serial connection to replicate the display of the x36 on the computer screen:

http://forums.radioreference.com/uniden-software-discussion/289288-436-536-scanner-monitor-app-both-mac-windows.html

http://forums.radioreference.com/uniden-software-discussion/285096-scanner-screen-software-436-536-a.html
Thanks for clarifying that the radio does not charge when the radio is on. Maybe this is why some many are complaining about the clock problems? Connect scanner and turn it on for 2 days!

Kind of beg to differ about the "Serial" interface, call it what you want, it sound like the design is to accept "Serial" command over a USB interface? The only true "Serial" interface on the scanner is for the GPS connection as far as I am concerned.

A bit confusing for people that are not even old enough to know what a Asynchronous RS-232 interface using Serial Interface commands are. RS-232 does not always mean the interface is Serial but it is somewhat implied and has been the case for many years know as somewhat one in the same.

You do not go by a new printer with a USB interface and it does not indicate is is a Serial printer. It is a USB printer by today's logic.

Anyone that is going to installed additional drivers and send "Serial" commands via USB will likely understand the differences.

This is why the screen prompt should be stated as "Charge/Remote". This way is is pretty clear what you are expecting of the USB connection that has just been connected.
 

Jay911

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Kind of beg to differ about the "Serial" interface, call it what you want, it sound like the design is to accept "Serial" command over a USB interface? The only true "Serial" interface on the scanner is for the GPS connection as far as I am concerned.
Suit yourself, but I too am well-versed in RS232 functionality, and when I use puTTY to connect to COM5 115200 8N1, and when I type in commands I get results back, that's close enough to a "serial interface" for me.

Calling it "Charge/Remote" instead of "Serial/Mass Storage" is ill-advised at best, because (a) it doesn't charge, and (2) your proposed terminology doesn't differentiate between remote via serial interface or remote via mass storage mode.

Like I said, call it whatever you want, but that won't change how the radio works.
 

W4ELL

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A bit confusing for people that are not even old enough to know what a Asynchronous RS-232 interface using Serial Interface commands are. RS-232 does not always mean the interface is Serial but it is somewhat implied and has been the case for many years know as somewhat one in the same.

You do not go by a new printer with a USB interface and it does not indicate is is a Serial printer. It is a USB printer by today's logic.
Technically, USB stands for Universal Serial Bus. While I understand what you are saying about USB not being the traditional serial port... the fact is that USB is a serial interface.

Also, even though the USB being connected won't charge the batteries while the scanner is powered on, it will power the radio when there are no batteries in the scanner. I use it like this quite a bit at home while charging my batteries via an external charger.

My point being... Uniden will never be able to please everyone with the labels they choose. I think the existing labels are fine. Once you learn what each function does, the label isn't that important anyway.
 

JamesO

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Suit yourself, but I too am well-versed in RS232 functionality, and when I use puTTY to connect to COM5 115200 8N1, and when I type in commands I get results back, that's close enough to a "serial interface" for me.

Calling it "Charge/Remote" instead of "Serial/Mass Storage" is ill-advised at best, because (a) it doesn't charge, and (2) your proposed terminology doesn't differentiate between remote via serial interface or remote via mass storage mode.

Like I said, call it whatever you want, but that won't change how the radio works.
Crack me up. Call it what you want, but it won't change how the radio works is correctly. Why don't we just call it Curly and Mo?? This is the problem, why not use an appropriate, current and correct term? What is so hard about this. It also makes things a bit more clear for the end user and it may actually be a bit more intuitive. It is the simple and straight forward things that everyone always lets slide that should be thought through and corrected before an item hits the marked. It makes for a much better product and user experience in the long run.

So I assumed my comments were pretty clear that the Charge/Remote was only a change to the Serial reference and was in addition to the Mass Storage reference. Initially I was kind of fine with the Mass Storage reference, however, on further reflection, this is a poor term to use as well.

As I have had a chance to reflect and learn more about this scanner, here is what I have determined.

1. Mass Storage is clearly the wrong descriptor for that option. Mass Storage has been used in the portable device industry to refer to built in memory, not a SD card. Although the Mass Storage term can reference removable memory, this Mass Storage reference should have been SD Card. Then is should crystal clear to all users what the USB path is communicating with, the SD Card, not some "generic" Mass Storage device.

2. The Serial reference should be USB or USB Control, as this is what in fact it is. Could care less how you communicate with the scanner, it is a USB physical/electrical connection. I think after 10+ years of USB ports, cables and devices being around on computers, this is far more a accurate and current terminology. Does not really matter what program or method you use to communicate over USB, this just clouds the picture.

3. It was not clear to me that the scanner would not charge the batteries while turned on, all other handheld devices that I have owned, phones, cameras, scanners will charge while on. Not sure what the issue here is, might be the 500 mA limit of USB, but it would be interesting to see how much current is required for charging the batteries and running the scanner.

But if the scanner cannot charge while turned on, then the Charge message should not be displayed when the scanner is on. I FOOLISHLY assumed that the scanner just might charge while connected to external power while turned on. Boy was this a mistake. I would bet MANY of the other 436HP owners have fallen into this trap as well. Just look at how many of the scanner owners are having issues charging the clock battery. I guess the clock battery only charges while the scanner is on, but the main batteries will not?

It just cracks me up how some many give these issues a pass and say things like Mass Storage and Serial are the proper and appropriate terms or they should not be changed as there is some convoluted argument, discussion, idea or spec that claims that serial communications runs over a USB connection.

The bottom line is the choices should should be SD Card and USB or SD Card and USB Control. Might even want to put a screen note that states the batteries will only charge while the scanner is turned off.

I have no tolerance for non industry standard or main stream references or for people that want to try and discuss all the reasons why these non standard or mainstream references should be allowed to be used and stay when this is a very simple change in the firmware.

How about lets change all the references back to kilocycles and megacycles? Technically correct, but the names were changed to honor Hertz in 1960 and in correct terms the H should always be capitalized as it is someones name. So it should be written as MegaHertz or MHz. Older pre 60's hardware will usually have the frequency referenced in Cycles rather than Hertz.

Lets agree that accurate, current and intuitive descriptors should be used and changes can be made if necessary.

Otherwise we will just have to agree that we will disagree.
 

SCPD

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Tivo idea

Many of your TiVo like features for the 436hp has a patent on it. Uniden would have to pay royalties to TiVo, making the scanner more expensive.

Tivo is for TV,the 436 is a radio,how so?Just dont call it Tivo--
 
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