More 996XT Adventures in Poor Interface Design

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brusso99

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I want to make it clear the uniden 996xt has the worst user experience I have ever had. Add to it the Ego of the people who defend the products shortcomings. feature wise it's the clear winner above the GRE, but for use its a ZERO..

The only Reason I have not returned this unit is ARC-XT.. Which takes care of 99 percent of ever having to touch this things buttons and deal with its non-sense. Without Software these units are worthless. UNIDEN is crutched on the Third-party software developers its a joke.

SO HERE YOU GO

Every time I press a wrong button, in hold I get Direct Entry..

OR let say I start entering a freq like 12 and press yes

I get the question like quick save TGID save?

This dialog box is inescapable. Search does nothing, menu does nothing,

I PRESS NO, AS IN NO MEANS NO!

Next I get Select System.. BUT I PRESSED NO!!!

I don't want to proceed, I want to say no and go back to what I was doing...


More fun, press a key on a conventional system and you get the question Quick Search? yes/no well guess what NO does mean YES.. AGAIN Pressing NO brings me to Search for Dialog screen..


Let's say I want to direct entry.. Can I do this when the scanner says nothing to scan,??? NO
I have to actually press hold which brings up the first control channel of system 1 ohh joy, that's what I want to hear Control Channel noise, when I want to enter a direct frequency. GREAT JOB UNIDEN


UNIDEN,

GET YOUR ACT TOGETHER THIS UNIT HAS THE WORST DESIGNED INTERFACE OF ANYTHING I HAVE EVER USED!

OPEN A FORUM ON YOUR SITE, ASK FOR ISSUES AND ADDRESS THEM IN THE NEXT FIRMWARE RELEASE!

Honestly, the only way this unit is worth a dime is to buy software to overcome its EGO Driven Design Flaws.. if the third party community did not pick up the ball this unit would be off the market..

UNIDEN IS NOT RESPONSIVE TO CUSTOMERS

MAKE IT POSSIBLE FOR ME TO TURN ON ONE SYSTEM FROM THE SYSTEM SELECT MENU.. How stupid is this thing, I press the Function Key it says select system, I scroll though the list (that is full of all these sites) that don't belong in the select system dialog in the first place. After turning the knob for a few mins, I finally end up with the system I want to monitor and what do you know I get the message nothing to scan.. Why because I have to turn on that system via a quick key press like 3 or .no 21 or whatever... FINE it sucks, Uniden doesn't care, ill deal with it.. SO what key do I need to turn on the system that I should have been able to turn on right from that dialog.. that would be too easy right!!!

Now before the few dudes with PHD's in workarounds for this thing jump all over me with their Stockholm syndrome responses about me not learning how to this or that, yes I have quick keyed all my systems and if I did not number them in the tags like 01 Coral Springs then I would be left with having about 2 seconds to count the spaces to the STAR to figure out which quick key it's on.. again how poorly designed can you get.. SHOW ME THE NUMBER THIS SITE IS QUICKED TO ON THE SCREEN IN NUMBERS NOT IN STARS.. I know they are in stars to show me they are off.. I know... then give me someother indicator on the screem of the number!! and kill that 2 second back to main screen its too fast to do anything.. make it user selectable in the settings..

SO after looking through the list, figuring out what the quick key number is, then turning that system on via a press like .no 68, it got what I wanted to monitor.. WOW what a crock! So what is the response from the uniden master of the radio reference universe?? make a paper list. 500 DOLLAR ELECTRONIC DEVICE, WITH A SELECT SYSTEM DIALOG, A SCROLL WHEEL, AND ENTER BUTTON, HUM and I should make paper lists, HEY PAL, Why don't you make the SCANNER WORK!!!!!!!!!

I'll SAVE A TREE!!!

Dont even get me started with the memory limits, you need to break up everything over 20 talkgroups.. this thing is the most expensive scanner you can buy, get it fixed.

BTW ENTER THE 21 CENTURY and Provide the USB CABLES !!! Thats a little 26 dollar hidden fee.. like not including a 12v cord for a handheld like the 396xt.. what a joke.

Thanks



why is this scanners interface so bad.

Because People Pay them Money for a poorly designed product because people who don't earn a dime pick up the slack and write wiki's and do videos and all that..

STOP Accepting JUNK!!! Demand they Make this thing work right.
 
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DaveIN

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I can see your frustrated with the radio and software interface, but I'm not sure why your having some much trouble with the third party software interface. The USB to serial connection was selected to be backward compatible with older and newer computers. Did you try FreeSCAN, ProScan, or even Radio Manager Master XT?

I'm not going to say it's simple to use any of the software, or navigate through the menus and features of the 996XT, but there are many of us who understand how to use it and don't consider it to be the failure that you obviously do.

It's been said before, this is not your fathers scanner, you just don't enter your frequency and go unless you just want to park on a frequency or talkgroup in the Hold mode.

With the Uniden product line manager on the forum daily answering questions, I'm not sure where your coming from when you say that Uniden is unresponsive.

How about asking some specific questions about problems that can be addressed beyond why when I press NO does the radio do something else?
With the correct sequence of key presses and a little Patience, I'm sure you can get used to the interface and get back to happy scanning again. ;)
 

brusso99

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Dave,

thanks for responding, please re read my post. I am saying that third party software like arc-xt, freescan, proscan, and trunktracker are the light in the dark tunnel that this scanners interface is, they make the scanner work. I clearly state the are mandatory to use this unit

What question is there to ask, when you press no and this thing acts like you pressed yes that's not a question to be answered that's a problem to be fixed!

Answering questions does not make them responsive, taking action does. Most posts I have read just defend why something is or is not.

As for the USB cable it should be included. Like a 12v cord for a portable like 396xt
 

DaveIN

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I am saying that third party software like arc-xt, freescan, proscan, and trunktracker are the light in the dark tunnel that this scanners interface is, they make the scanner work. I clearly state the are mandatory to use this unit
I respectfully disagree, I do not feel that the radio is not programmable form the keypad, having the third party software is a great time saver and enhancement to the radio (actually to the entire Uniden DMA scanner family).

What question is there to ask, when you press no and this thing acts like you pressed yes that's not a question to be answered that's a problem to be fixed!
What is the result of the key press sequence you are trying to achieve? If you press the incorrect button try the L/O button to return to the previous menu state.

Answering questions does not make them responsive, taking action does. Most posts I have read just defend why something is or is not.
Actually it does. The response may not be the instant fix that you want, but it could direct future model features and user interface design.

As for the USB cable it should be included. Like a 12v cord for a portable like 396xt
The serial cable is included, many people still use it. You can at least purchase a cheaper USB to serial adapter cable, and with th current or up-to-date drivers, you can still cheaply interface your radio to a USB port.

What other ideas would you like to see improved in future models?
 

sjlamb

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Since the things you don't like about the scanner are so numerous and not likely to change; maybe you should just return it and buy a better radio before you bust a vein in your forehead.
 

torontokris

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i agree if your not happy return it hopefully your store even has a money back return policy and get a GRE or Radio Shack etc (they too have some unique keypresses and probably need to be programmed by PC as well)

i agree some of the key presses (esp involving FUNC or direct entry) are a bit difficult to learn at first, esp if this is your first 996 unit (or even your first scanner)

most 996xt owners have come to understand we will probably need software on a 25,000 channel advanced digital scanner... i cant even think of programming it by hand (I have the ability but it would take me forever)

there are a few FREE software options out there







Since the things you don't like about the scanner are so numerous and not likely to change; maybe you should just return it and buy a better radio before you bust a vein in your forehead.
 

torontokris

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Note the Radio Shack top end handheld Pro-106 comes with neither a PC cable (serial nor USB) nor a 12v car adapter.

even the radio shack base unit the Pro-197 doesnt include those items.




As for the USB cable it should be included. Like a 12v cord for a portable like 396xt
 

Greg2561

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Are you a previous GRE user? If so, is that what you are used to? If you answered yes to both of these, I can see where you are coming from. I on the other hand have always been a Uniden person. I got the GRE PSR-500 just for the unit ID feature. What a pain in the a** to use! That scanner was so difficult to use, that after Uniden announced the firmware upgrade for Unit ID's, I sold it and took a $100 hit. I only had it a few months, but NEVER really understood it. I absolutley HATED the 22 scan list limit also. Just bought the 396XT, and love it. it's basically just like the 996T I have and I can understand exactly how to use it.

If you answered no to the above questions...DO NOT buy the GRE. You will be really lost then. While both scanners have different limitations and hang ups that we may not like, you do have a choice. GET RID OF IT! Ranting and raving about how bad YOU think a product is will not get you anywhere. Others, including myself, love the Uniden scanners. I have had GREAT response from Paul Opitz, aka UPMan. He is always monitoring the Uniden threads and does his best to help us out. Any question I have ever asked, he has personnaly answered, usually within 24 hours.

I think it's all a matter of what we have gotten used to. The very first day I got my BCD396XT, I was able to program and access any feature I wanted, immediatley. If you are that unhappy with it, return it or sell it.
 

W6KRU

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I have a 396T and I liked it so much I bought a 396XT as well. I can see how someone new to scanners could get a little frustrated because so many of the controls have triple or even quadruple functions depending on the current state of the scanner and the other controls. It is hard to put a lot of functions into a small radio with a few controls. My 857D is more complicated by far than the scanners for the same reason.

These things are far from toasters and there is definitely a learning curve to using them. Don't try to learn everything all at once as there is too much to learn. Just learn a couple things every day or two and eventually you will be able to do what ever you need without thinking about it.
 

brusso99

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i understand that the radio shack does not come with those items, but the pro-197 has been had for over 200 dollars less at times.

I have no intention of returning this unit. My intention is to bring to light its issues and demand better, so they will fix it and that is what Americans use to do and that is what i will do..now we accept all kinds of crap. I am not willing to just accept all this work around. Please get off the koolaid.. Obviously what i have pointed out is a FLAWED INTERFACE that needs to be addressed..

Question: Quick Search
.No / E Yes

Answer .NO

Response

Search For..

ITS BROKEN!!!!! ITS FLAWED NOT ME, NOT MY LEARNING OF IT.. THE RADIO FIRMWARE !!!!!!

I have never used the GRE!!! The Feature Set is Why i selected this, I now use ARC-XT and Others to make the scanner work.. If they were not availible then i would have returned the radio..

Uniden REP Please Address the obvious Design Flaw with the YES NO DIalog and let me know when to expect a fix.
 

mancow

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I agree the NO thing kind of annoys me at times too. I think they should have incorporated a HOME button to get people back one level or directly out of the menu entirely. However, the SCAN does tend to take care of it. Generally, whatever you are doing you can leave it by hitting scan and then you are out of all menus where you can start over.
 

W6KRU

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Question: Quick Search
.No / E Yes

Answer .NO

Response

Search For..

ITS BROKEN!!!!! ITS FLAWED NOT ME, NOT MY LEARNING OF IT.. THE RADIO FIRMWARE !!!!!!
Nothing broken there. When you hit the F+Srch button the scanner offers you the chance to go to quick search. You answer No, so the scanner assumes you knew what you wanted when you pressed F+Srch, so it offers you the other search modes that you have available. Look at the things that come up when you press No. None of them are a "quick search". Looks like it works as it should to me.

You have to realize that there is a lot of complexity when you have hundreds of functions available and only 17 controls to run them all. People want lots of functions on these scanners but then they complain when the scanners are too large or the buttons are too small. This is a tough job and I like the way Uniden handles it.
 

GTO_04

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It depends on what you are used to as far as the interface. I own both the newest GRE and Uniden scanners. IMHO the Uniden menus are easier to navigate than the GRE, and it is easier to change settings on the fly with the Unidens.

I can see where you would be frustrated with the "NO means Yes" issue. It just so happens I don't use those options very often so it's not an issue for me.

GTO_04
 

W6KRU

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I can see where you would be frustrated with the "NO means Yes" issue. It just so happens I don't use those options very often so it's not an issue for me.

GTO_04
No actually means No. The OP is just confused by the wealth of functionality in his scanner. Here is the entry in the Twiki that covers this situation:

To enter Search mode, FUNCTION+ tap SCAN . The scanner asks if you want to perform the Quick Search: tap YES if this is the search you want. To start a different search, tap NO: the scanner takes you to the Search for... menu, and you can select your search.
 

KE4ZNR

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Above responses take care of what I would have said so I am just gonna sit this one out and enjoy this Fat Tire Ale I have here...Happy Holidays all (including brusso99!).

Marshall KE4ZNR
 

sjlamb

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It has become obvious to me that the rest of this forum's membership, myself included, is either crazy, brainwashed or both. ONLY Brusso99 is seeing things clearly. The rest of us are obviously dillusional in our opinions of this radio and how it functions and performs.

I've never seen such an incessant rant from someone who has "no intention of returning" a product that they clearly don't like. Instead; the plan is to continue have a forum hissy fit and hold you breath until you turn blue in the face unless Uniden basically re-engineers a radio that only you seem to be having such a issue with. Talk about dillusional and self absorbed.... geez. Get rid of the thing... give us all a break... as you're obviously alone in waging your one man Jihad against a great product that works just fine for the rest of the masses. GRE would love to welcome you aboard.

When can you expect the "fixes" you demand??? How about never....Ain't gonna happen.... Cause ain't nuffin broke.... Much as the Upman has already told you.
 
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brusso99

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this is like every forum, two or three heavy hitters to shut down anyone whos not in the click.. anyone against the general grain. the interface sucks, the features are good, the radio does what it wants, how it wants. seriously. i set the alert on the talkgroup to blue on police talk groups and only about 10 percent of the time does it change to blue..

give me a break, thank god for the third party software out there for this scanner.

Brett
 
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W6KRU

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Are you saying you were "shut down" when I explained the correct use of the search function and why "no is really no"?
 

nmbobcat

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Well, I don’t consider myself brainwashed, and if you look at the number of posts associated with my name you’ll see I’m not a heavy hitter, not even close!

I have been an active scanner listener for 33 years. I’ve owned crystal scanners, an early 16 channel programmable scanner made by Regency, several Radio shack scanners including a Pro-2020, a Pro2005 modified with an Optoscan 456,a Pro-2006, a Pro-43, a BC780XLT, a BCD396T, a BCD996T, BCD396XT, and a BCD996XT. Most of these I still have and I am getting great service from yet today. I’ve tried AORs, GREs and others along the way.

To keep the scanner interface from being as complicated as most HF amateur radio rigs these days manufacturers have to fit it all in to the fairly simple keypad we have today. You see this same type of thing on ICOM, Kenwood, and Yaesu handhelds. I’m an Extra class Ham and have had to learn years ago how to use keys that have three functions. I have a couple Yaesu FT-530s.

Is the BCD996XT somewhat difficult to use, can be depending on experience level. Does software make it much easier to use, very much so. Do you end up in quick search sometimes? Well yes, I figured out a long time ago to answer ./No if I hit that key sequence. Does it mean the ergonomics are bad? Not necessarily so. I like being able to do a quick search at times when it really comes in useful.

Back up a bit, the amateur radio handhelds I mentioned a bit ago - the FT-530s. Great dual- banders! Let me just say I have hit more keys by accident that put me in way worse places on those than I’ve ever encountered on the 996s, or my 396s. At times it has taken me 20 or 30 minutes to figure out how to get the FT530s out of automatically sending DTMF codes each time I key them up from the actions of my fumbling fingers.

I like the interface on the 396s and 996s. Yes, it took me some play time to get them figured out. Yes, I carry a small cheat sheet with me to air shows and what not. With a little investment in time you may find yourself liking them just the way they are.

I for one am tired of your rants. If you find the BCD996XT so bad, send it back and leave the rest of us in peace. Hope you find what you are looking for, and I sincerely wish all the best to you Brusso99.

Happy holidays to everyone on the forum.
 
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