SDS100 & the sight impaired

n1chu

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I’m helping a blind friend who has the SDS100. (Yes, more scanner than he can ever hope to use, but I must say, he’s got a good handle on it and manages quite well most of the time. I program for him using numerous FL’s that are all on and he limits himself to using the channel hold button, toggling between hold and scan.) He knows the scanner will remember if it was scanning or locked down on a channel when turned off, and resume when turned back on. But he sometimes forgets which mode he left the scanner in when he turned the scanner off and continually asks his wife to look at the display to determine if the scanner is scanning or not. The question is... Is there a way he might be able to determine by himself if the scanner is scanning or locked when he turns it on?

My suggestion was for him to listen for a bit-if there is traffic, that’s a good sign, but he will still not know for sure if it’s locked down until he hears more than one system. And, there are times (early mornings) where there is no traffic and his wife is still asleep. So, he is stuck with a scanner that may be scanning or not, with no way of knowing. I also thought about using QK’s to toggle on and off a continuously transmitting service such as the weather channel. He could toggle the weather frequency on before turning the scanner off. When turned back on it would remember where it was when turned off, and start chattering... at which point he would toggle off the weather channel. But that still doesn’t tell him if it’s scanning. Since I don’t use QK’s, I thought I’d consult with this group for any ideas.
 

letarotor

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I am legally blind with very little vision and your question got me thinking. I think your weather channel idea is a good one because he can hit the avoid button just once and it will temporarily lock out that frequency and then when he recycles the power it would start receiving it again if it's scanning and of course it wouldn't if it was on hold. The one problem I see possibly happening is if he presses something like 2 and enter If the radio is already in the hold mode. That will just put it in there as a temporary TGID kind of like what I'm describing in the next paragraph. However, if he does that I think he'll know if he's not hearing the weather frequency and then he could hit the system/resume scan button and it would not save anything and it would go back into a scan mode automatically. And I just checked what I was recommending or thinking what happened and it doesn't work that way if it's a TRS he's monitoring. If he's trying to turn on a quick key, and I'm just using QK2 as an example, and if the radio is on hold at that time, it's going to try to program that TGID of 2 and It's just too many steps to back out of that probably.

I do have one other idea at the time. If he is able to type in the NOAA weather radio frequency himself and then hit the channel/hold button, if it is scanning of course he won't hear the weather channel. But if it isn't he will. And then all he has to do to get the radio scanning again if the weather frequency becomes active is hit the system / resume scan button. That one is the top left of the three main buttons where the channel / hold is the top right of the three main buttons. If you're on hold and you type in a frequency and then hit that channel / hold button it will go to that frequency in a temporary type mode until you hit the other button, or the system / resume scan button, which will take the radio back to scanning. It will always resume scanning and not go back to hold.

I'm thinking of one last thing that to me see ms like it would be the most helpful. Since no quick keys are currently being used, and the radiosounds like it is just scanning everything, just enter in an entry so that it will always scan the NWS frequency whenever the radio is turned on and it is scanning. And of course if it's on hold, he will not hear the NWS frequency and he'll know. But if he hears it he can just do the temporary lockout on it and let it keep scanning. This may require a few power cycles throughout his use of it if he's not able to remember or if he sits on a TGID or frequency for a long time and he's not recalling whether he left it scanning or on hold? But with a fresh power cycle, he'll either hear the NWS frequency where he can hit the avoid button just once to temporarily lock it out or he won't hear it at all and he'll know he's on hold.

I don't know if this is making much sense this morning because I'm still trying to wake up :) If I can think of anything else I'll make another reply.

One thing I realized when I lost my vision after I surgery's back in 2001 was that I knew my radio keypads much better than I even knew I did. But I also realize that I definitely was going to need to be able to ask somebody on occasion whether or not I was actually scanning or if I had typed the right frequency in even. It was definitely a huge learning curve and for close to 2 years It was a royal pain knowing that I had things right or possibly not because it took that long just for me to start recovering enough vision to where I could use magnifiers and of course computer screens much easier. But it sounds like he is completely blind and that definitely presents more of a challenge. No matter how good he figures out a way, there will still be sometimes where hopefully his wife won't mind him asking. I know I burned out a family member asking them for the first few months haha. I would be curious to know what method works best for him. I never know exactly what will happen with my vision in the end and whether or not I'll lose all of it instead of 85% of it like it's been the last 19 years. But the brain is a powerful thing in it figures out ways of getting things done. It's just unfortunately not foolproof and it can't always figure everything out without some sight. I really hope he's able to figure out a way to tell.

Okay, one last idea I was thinking of would not involve making any specific change on the radio itself. But is there anything he might could do at his home when he goes to turn off the radio that would help him remember. This is a poor example but something like a light switch could be a reminder. I know a light switch would not be what he would really use or want to leave off or on all night / day. But whenever he goes to turn off the radio, have the light switch turned off. If it's turned off he has the radio on hold and it's not scanning. If he checks and the light switch is on, then that means he left it on scanning which he will often know anyway. If there's just something that he can use to switch between two choices, and then if he can remember to use it and be able to check it when he turns the radio on, it could indicate to him whether or not he left it scanning or on hold possibly? I'm going to shut up because my ideas are probably just going to get worse and worse until I wake up. Good luck on the endeavor and I'm sure he appreciates you trying to help him out. You sound like a good friend to him!

Brian (COMMSCAN)

Sent using Google Voice to Text. Please excuse any errors I could not see.
 

letarotor

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One update to paragraph two, as I was describing him typing in the NWS frequency as the radio is scanning and then pressing hold, that would cause it to of course not receive the NWS audio/frequency. And what he would need to do, knowing that it's in scan mode, is just hit the menu button on the side of the radio and it would go back to scanning. That might actually work pretty good and if I made sense in explaining it you can try it out and see that it would be very few steps to figure it out if it was scanning or not. I just forgot to mention that part as I was thinking about how it would work earlier. Okay, I'm done now :)

Brian (COMMSCAN)

Sent using Google Voice to Text. Please excuse any errors I could not see.
 
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