The System, Department and Channel Hold Buttons

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n1chu

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I’ve noticed that sometimes the hold button will give the audible beep but not engage the hold. I expect this is the accepted norm, a quick look at the display will confirm if it took or not. But that requires taking a look at the display. Great for the sighted but not so much for the sight impaired. I have a friend who is blind, but insistent upon not being cut out of the joys of life the rest of us enjoy. To that end, he purchased the SDS100... I guess the heart wants what it wants. I mentioned the radio has a sharp learning curve and is more radio than he will ever need but his response to that was that I have the same radio and it’s also more radio than I will ever need! Can’t argue that. But it brings me to this question;

How much can I accomplish with what the radio offers to make it more compatible with the blind? A lock on the keypad would be nice but my blind friend knows to keep away from fat fingering the keypad. We’ve played around with QK’s that allow for turning FL’s on and off but finally ended up using just one FL. The only stumbling block we would like addressed so far is the use of the System Hold, Department Hold and Channel Hold buttons. Sometimes if the button is not pushed properly It will produce the corresponding beep but fail to engage the hold. And since the beep is the same for engaging or disengaging the hold function, my friend doesn’t know right away if it took. Yes, he could listen for a bit to determine if the radio is still scanning or not but it sure would be nice if the hold function had two corresponding beeps, one for engaging and one for disengaging. Hopefully, Uniden is reading this board and will consider a software/firmware option... maybe even a separate firmware package that is friendly to the sight impaired.
 

Saint

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You say your friend is sight impaired does this mean he can not see at all or could he use a computer program that has a virtual control so you can see the scanner controls on your computer screen ??
Steve
 

n1chu

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He is not only legally blind, he has no sight at all. But thank you for replying to my post. It’s ideas such as yours that are helpful towards creating ways around the obstacles the blind deal with. Ideally, with a “software defined radio” (SDR), it’s plausible the use of a voice chip. The scanner already has the ability to attach to the systems, departments, and channels/TG’s as is apparent through the use of QK’s. We can identify and tag all with labels. So, is it too much of a stretch to plug in a voice chip which would say out loud what the scanner just stopped on? I know it’s not as simple as that, but I believe it would be doable... at least there should be enough interest in the future capabilities of the radio to cause a serious study on the subject. I haven’t forgotten the early claims by Uniden about the positive possibilities a software defined radio is capable of and the expectation of numerous updates.... updates that so far, have not materialized. Maybe they should have made the SDS series “open source” so others could write software for it.
 

Saint

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He is not only legally blind, he has no sight at all. But thank you for replying to my post. It’s ideas such as yours that are helpful towards creating ways around the obstacles the blind deal with. Ideally, with a “software defined radio” (SDR), it’s plausible the use of a voice chip. The scanner already has the ability to attach to the systems, departments, and channels/TG’s as is apparent through the use of QK’s. We can identify and tag all with labels. So, is it too much of a stretch to plug in a voice chip which would say out loud what the scanner just stopped on? I know it’s not as simple as that, but I believe it would be doable... at least there should be enough interest in the future capabilities of the radio to cause a serious study on the subject. I haven’t forgotten the early claims by Uniden about the positive possibilities a software defined radio is capable of and the expectation of numerous updates.... updates that so far, have not materialized. Maybe they should have made the SDS series “open source” so others could write software for it.
Your welcome, I was going to suggest a computer scanner program with virtual control and also use a program that comes with Windows operating system called Magnifier but that would not help in your situation
Steve
 

trentbob

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Interesting thread, I haven't been posting much on RR for a while now but I'd like to chime in here. As far as Uniden coming up with something I probably wouldn't put any merit in that whatsoever, but just by posting your thread already you're getting great suggestions.

I'm a retired newspaper man but also a RN with my masters in public health. I have a significant background working with the Associated services for the blind and you've got me thinking here.

I assume your friend uses a white cane and most likely has a seeing eye dog? You never know, I've done a lot of Mobility training and some of those dogs are just the smartest on earth but it's too far of a reach to train the dog to react to motion on the screen.

Just to clarify the terminology for future reference. Visually impaired is 20/80 in better eye. Legally blind is 20/200 in better eye and of course totally blind is 20 / nothing.

We may have talked about this in the past but I did want to point out that the sds100 like many keyboards that go from 1 to 10 universally has a tiny little nub on the number 5. This is a feature for the blind. I guess it could be used in total darkness if there was no working keyboard light also.

So feeling the nub on number 5 a blind person then can go left right up down and know what number button they are touching and can be shown other buttons available on the keyboard all by starting at number 5.

As far as software goes there are programs for blind people that are voice activated to let them know what they're touching on a keyboard. That would be something interesting to develop using virtual control computer and combining an electronic voice that would say hold on or hold off.

Anything's possible these days, there are handheld devices a blind person can place on their clothing in the closet that tells them what color they are, there are devices that can tell them when their coffee cup is full when pouring a cup.

It is a tough problem here you're pointing out and I have a feeling your friend already knows about the number 5 key universally having a little nub.

You got me thinking about it though.
 

n1chu

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Thanks for the input. I met the gentleman because his requests for help were falling on deaf ears. So, I chimed in and offered my help. It also gave me a challenge to see how far I could get using the radio without any mods. I knew about the #5 “home key” as did my friend. I call him friend when actually he is just a recent acquaintance... don’t know anything about him excerpt he’s is totally blind. (I knew legally blind is a term used specifically to describe a certain Level of blindness, not totally blind but bad enough. He’s not getting his drivers license any time soon!
But I digress... there’s not much in the form of audible que’s that can help, especially when one can miss-fire. The SDS100 was programmed by Scanner Master when he bought the radio and of course, it wasn’t long before he wanted to fine tune his programming. I knew up front, before volunteering to help that this would be a long term affair but I’m retired with a lot of time on my hands, so what the heck. I’ve spent considerable time on taking advantage of what the radio offered in the way of alerting him to where he has to navigate. We tried QK’s but it got too confusing to him. He fell back to his ability to hold on channel or TG and that’s where we left it for now. But that’s really as far as it goes. I ran out of suggested enhancements. To make matters worse, he wants to use the radio as a carry along so any extraneous equipment (that you hamentioned and I’m aware of is out of the equation.
Thanks again. And yes, hell will freeze over before Uniden comes out with anything remotely helpful for the issue at hand. They are more inclined to offer features that are fixes for unanticipated bugs such as the filters.
 

ofd8001

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You can try tinkering with the display colors. I can't remember how I did it a year or more ago, but when I'm in a System/Department/Channel hold situation, the colors reverse and there is a color band as a background (I think).

Shows up much better than just the word HOLD.
 

Saint

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You can try tinkering with the display colors. I can't remember how I did it a year or more ago, but when I'm in a System/Department/Channel hold situation, the colors reverse and there is a color band as a background (I think).

Shows up much better than just the word HOLD.
From what I understand this person is 2 blind to even see the screen
 

trentbob

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You can try tinkering with the display colors. I can't remember how I did it a year or more ago, but when I'm in a System/Department/Channel hold situation, the colors reverse and there is a color band as a background (I think).

Shows up much better than just the word HOLD.
From what I understand this person is 2 blind to even see the screen
So as long as we're just brainstorming here on a pretty much, and I don't want to use the word hopeless because it's not in my vocabulary, but this is a difficult problem that doesn't seem to have a viable answer.

If I was in this position working with this gentleman I would want to know what caused your blindness. Did you have a detached retina where you have absolutely no vision whatsoever but complete dark or did you have a vitreous hemorrhage and your eye filled up with blood in the vitreous and covered up your macular and you can't see anything. In that case they would see a whitish vision and if you put a flashlight into their eye they would see that things got lighter so if you were to have something red or something blue they would see red or blue. If they were staring right at the screen and something got brighter they would know it got brighter.

So yes ofd8001 there is a color band which would show brightness especially if you switched over to White text and black background. And it would show a little brightness in the eye.

Not to say we're grasping for straws but it is brainstorming. That's better than nothing.

n1chu, you've obviously reached out and tried to help and establish some kind of relationship. See if you can gain some more information about this gentleman's blindness and what caused it and what Vision does he have. Total Blackness as opposed to some light if you were to stick a flashlight in his eye. I have a feeling he won't mind you asking and would probably talk about it freely... It would alter the different options we can think of to help him.
 

n1chu

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Sorry but I do not intend to ask about his disability. I was informed he is totally blind and that’s all anyone in my position needs to know. With that in mind I put on a blindfold, total blackout, and learned what parts of the radio’s operation can be handled using only hearing and touch. I didn’t do too badly but I was already familiar with the radio. I knew enough to stay out of the menus and just learned what was possible using the keypad, function and volume knob.

The best part so far is the irony of it all... here’s a guy who is blind... and what does he do? He goes out and buys the most impressive display on any scanner I’ve ever seen. I secretly believe the vast majority of sales were due to that colorful display! I had two BCD536HP’s and the BCD436HP. I couldn’t get my hands on the SDS100 fast enough! For all intents and purposes there is no difference between the BCD436HP and the SDS100 EXCEPT the display! I admit it, ya got me, I bought the SDS series solely for those beautiful displays. I didn’t even have a problem with simulcast system reception with the BCDx36HP’s!
 

trentbob

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PSX_20190504_002248001.jpeg
Yeah so we are all on a different level. I was just thinking out loud about really solving the fellows problems but I appreciate your level of desire to get involved. Perfectly understandable...

Here's what my display looks like. I looked at the colors the first day I had the radio and never looked at them again, I didn't get it, it was confusing and all of the information I didn't need cluttering up the display prevented me from actually seeing what I was listening to.

Again we are all different. I'm glad I was able to participate and give my two cents here but I can see there really isn't a solution without further intervention and knowledge.

Thanks for the interesting thread, other than the repetitive same 20 questions asked over and over and over ad nauseam your thread stood out.
 

n1chu

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There’s help for your comment regarding too much info on the display. Menu>Display Options>Customize>Set Detail or Set Simple... for both Conventional and Trunk.
 

trentbob

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There’s help for your comment regarding too much info on the display. Menu>Display Options>Customize>Set Detail or Set Simple... for both Conventional and Trunk.
Yes, the picture I provided is a customized display that I did. I removed all of the information I didn't want, rearranged it and changed the Alpha tags from what was in the database.

This is a customized display, it doesn't come out of the box that way LOL.
 
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