In response to an observation...

n1chu

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I’ve been reading the mail on a few scanner forums and notice there are questions that ask “What will happen if I do this?”. My first inclination is to ask “Have you tried it?”

I believe the scanner enthusiast, by and large, are hobbyists, some new and some seasoned. And while I also have been guilty of asking a “what will happen when I do this” question from time to time, it’s my belief a large part of the hobby has transitioned from “throwing the manual over your left shoulder and winging it” to having to “learn” that new scanner. I reason the need for this is due to the increased complexity of the systems we care to monitor... that complexity has caused the scanner to loose its “friendly” ability to be manually programmed. And therein lies the problem.

So, I thought it might help if we reinforced the general assumption (which I believe to be true) that simply pushing buttons will not harm your scanner. It may not do as you hoped but you haven’t broken it or“bricked” it. You just need to start over again.

(True, in some cases you could cause the scanner to become “bricked” where it’s been reduced to a paperweight, boat anchor or door stop, but a factory reset usually allows for the scanner to be returned to its basic state without a need to return it for service in those rare instances, where a need to return it might be required. But in those cases I believe there was something wrong with the scanner from the get-go and it wasn’t anything you did. The bottom line here is I am not aware of anyone needing to return a scanner for repair because their 4 year old started pushing buttons Indiscriminately like he saw his daddy do!)

The “What happens if I do this?” scenario should be part of the learning process. You aren’t going to hurt your scanner and you may learn something in the process... it’s also quicker than posing a question on a forum group! Try it first. You may answer your own question. The forums are always there if need be... But Today, it’s expected part of the hobby is exploring the scanners abilities. Especially when we consider what they cost.

This is a general observation of the hobby. I understand there are instances where non-tech savvy people or those with medical impairments require assistance, and I accept this. There are always exceptions.
 

AB5ID

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I think some people (including myself) are concerned about messing up a good thing and not being able to find their way back. But that is also a way to learn. My curiosity has often gotten me into a pickle of frustration, but at the end of the day, I learned and retained something new.
 

Bugkiller

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I have found that to understand what you can do is to get to know your scanner. Take the time to download and print the manual for your scanner. Read it completely to get an idea the normal operation is. From there you can experiment for more functions.
 

IAmSixNine

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There are also going to be those (younger users) who want to be spoon fed instead of learning. Users who dont want to google but come here and expect us to do stuff for them. It doesnt happen often thankfully but it does happen.
When i get a new toy i put a good effort into learning what i can first and then asking for help when my frustration level gets too high.
With that said i am glad the forums are here and when i first joined and was a newbie people were there to help me and over time hopefully i have been able to pay back the help to other people.
 

drdispatch

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Well said, n1chu.
I myself had to seek assistance on the forum a time or two when the manual was not sufficient. Particularly in the context of "has anyone found an easier or more efficient way to set up favorites/systems?"
I experimented with a couple of different things, but was curious as to what others who had more experience with the radio came up with, so as not to "reinvent the wheel". I graciously took all suggestions offered and developed a system that works for me based on those suggestions. I have since helped answer those same questions for newer users. The forums are a great way to "pay it forward".

That said, I often find myself in SMH mode at some of the questions asked here, the answers to which are readily available. Example: "Does anyone know the frequencies for....." Answer: "Yes, and they're in the database."
 

ofd8001

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(True, in some cases you could cause the scanner to become “bricked” where it’s been reduced to a paperweight, boat anchor or door stop, but a factory reset usually allows for the scanner to be returned to its basic state without a need to return it for service in those rare instances, where a need to return it might be required. But in those cases I believe there was something wrong with the scanner from the get-go and it wasn’t anything you did. The bottom line here is I am not aware of anyone needing to return a scanner for repair because their 4 year old started pushing buttons Indiscriminately like he saw his daddy do!)
I can't see how any kind of programming error will ruin a scanner. Usually you see an error message saying you can't do that, or some kind of hint programming is amiss. Yes there are certain key sequences that could put a scanner into diagnostic mode, but they are such that you have to hold your hands in a certain way, not easily done.

I've never been too afraid to try something new, especially when I have a second SD card that I know I can turn to if I made an error with the first.
 

n1chu

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Wow! Not one dissenting comment! Thought for sure there was something I might have missed... thanks guys, your comments are appreciated. On the flip side however, all reasonable dissenting comments are also welcomed.

on a personal note, I am envious of your replies... you’ve summed up what I posted using fewer words! I tend to get long winded, consciously aware that I tend to ramble. Good job everyone!
 

sfb88

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All right, I will try a dissenting comment. I think there are two different facets to the scanning hobby. The first is the radio hobbyist aspect. This forum especially attracts those and is a good place for them. They are the ones who enjoy experimenting and learning about the hardware. But, the second are what I will call content hobbyists. They see the scanner as a tool to obtain the content that they are interested in listening to. They would want to minimize learning and experimenting with the hardware so that they can spend more time listening to content. They would use a scanner in much the same way as a first responder would use his issued transceiver. If a police officer needs assistance he just wants to press the button and talk not worry about do I need to set which filter or IFX, etc.
 

werinshades

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All right, I will try a dissenting comment. I think there are two different facets to the scanning hobby. The first is the radio hobbyist aspect. This forum especially attracts those and is a good place for them. They are the ones who enjoy experimenting and learning about the hardware. But, the second are what I will call content hobbyists. They see the scanner as a tool to obtain the content that they are interested in listening to. They would want to minimize learning and experimenting with the hardware so that they can spend more time listening to content. They would use a scanner in much the same way as a first responder would use his issued transceiver. If a police officer needs assistance he just wants to press the button and talk not worry about do I need to set which filter or IFX, etc.
I'lll add myself to the "hobbyist" column. I enjoy learning about the scanner, its features, different systems to program correctly, but don't have an interest in modifying hardware or pulling apart the guts to find out what makes it tick. Some of the new owners might never have programmed a scanner and had it done for them. The current models are a definite learning curve, but as it's been pointed out, we have two types here...those with knowledge just asking for advice, and those who don't have the patience and require "spoon fed" information as another poster described. If you're coming from owning an "pre-x36hp" scanner, you'll need to sit down and do your homework before jumping into it.
 

n1chu

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SFB88 Not dissenting at all. I don’t discount those who use the scanner in a professional or semi-professional manner. I too used a scanner in the performance of my duties... only difference was I am also an amateur radio licensee. So, since the hams are involved with experimentation, well, you get where I’m going with this. I just don’t think those that use the gear as a tool are inclined to even bother with forums. They are more likely to order something that’s plug and play right out of the box. Again, these people don’t want to bother with the ins and outs of the scanner. They just want to turn it on and listen to it work.
 
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