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Author Topic: Why the hatred for menu driven radios?  (Read 12977 times)
AA4PB
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« Reply #15 on: September 16, 2013, 10:01:50 AM »

My grip is with rigs that have things like tone freqs that are buried. None of the labels on the buttons give a clue how to access the tone menu. Sure you can read the manual but if you don't change the tones every day you easily forget. You are on a trip and want to access a new repeater you have to dig out and search the manual to find it. If some of the rig mfgs used a little common sense they could come up with more "user friendly" menus.
 
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K0OD
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« Reply #16 on: September 16, 2013, 10:45:41 AM »

I bought a credit card sized Yaesu VX3 HT mostly for use in the event of a tornado or rare similar emergency. What a tech marvel and only $170!

Programming buttons are inscrutably labeled: "TX PO." "V/M," "F/W" and "HM/RV"

If we get hit with a tornado, you'll probably find me dead clutching the 120 page manual and a magnifying glass.
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K5TED
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Posts: 780




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« Reply #17 on: September 16, 2013, 11:47:08 AM »

  The statement "learning to use menus is not rocket science" by a previous poster appears to be true, upon researching about 300+ eHam Spot light pics the majority of operators look to be very familiar with menus already and many are still operating boat anchor type gear. Wink

 Cheesy
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KX8N
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Posts: 542




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« Reply #18 on: September 16, 2013, 12:06:49 PM »

In reading some of the eham.net reviews and for sale ads, it seems that a lot of hams have a real hatred of menu driven radios?  Why?  They aren't that hard to use, just read the manual.  The menus also the radios today to do so much more than the old ones did. So, what is the problem with menu driven radios that makes so many people hate them? 

John AF5CC

Honestly, take ANY subject in ham radio - CW, SSB, FM, emergency coms, digital, D-Star, verticals, dipoles, software defined radios, phonetics, whatever - and there will be someone who hates it.
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KH2G
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Posts: 329




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« Reply #19 on: September 16, 2013, 12:12:36 PM »

To me it doesn't matter. I have been in the game quit awhile (Novice 1953 and general 1954 Extra 1965) I enjoy the oldies but regarding menu driven equipment, It doesn't take that long to find the settings that I use most. It doesn't take long to look up the seldom used functions. There are nice things in terms of convenience to the menu driven radio but at the same time, I enjoy the soft blue glow of a pair of 866A rectifiers and watching them dance a bit with modulation.  Kind of like living in a modern apartment and then going to spend some time in a log cabin carrying your water from the well. I think it's great that we are advancing for those who really enjoy the latest and greatest which I do BUT I also enjoy the rocking chair time.  - That's just me and not all enjoy the same cup of tea.
Enjoy the hobby as you play it and don't worry about the others and how they enjoy.
73
Dick KH2G
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G3RZP
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« Reply #20 on: September 16, 2013, 03:03:53 PM »

If you like a menu driven radio - go for it.

If, like me, you don't, then don't go for it. Simple as that.
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WB2WIK
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« Reply #21 on: September 16, 2013, 03:32:49 PM »

The claim that older, menu-free rigs didn't offer the versatility of newer menu-laden rigs isn't true at all.

Sure they did.  They were just much more expensive to manufacture because hardware has cost that software does not.  Also it's easy and common to upgrade software, whereas field hardware upgrades might be difficult or even impossible.

I have some older rigs that have dual VFOs, internal electronic keyers, internal keyer memories and even voice synthesizer memories; as well as adjustable "everything" using knobs and buttons on the front panel rather than menus: One is my 1990-vintage TS-850SAT, and the other is my 1987-vintage FT-736R.  Both have large front panels with scores and scores of knobs and switches.

One of the advantages to that approach is that "no operator training" is usually required.  Anyone familiar with operating a transceiver can sit in front of the rig and start using it, if he just reads the front panel control labels.  Another advantage is a wider variety of adjustments: Many "menu driven" rigs allow you to set a noise blanker or mike gain or transmitter power or many other adjustable things only in defined increments rather than "continuously."  Continuously is often better.  Also, with front panel controls the operator can tell at a glance without "touching" anything exactly where many of the controls are set.  With menus, often this isn't the case and operator intervention is required to just "view" a setting.

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AF5CC
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« Reply #22 on: September 16, 2013, 09:16:45 PM »

One thing I do like about menu driven rigs, at least the HF/VHF/UHF ones is that you can set the power level differently for different bands.  Great for using amplifiers for the different VHF/UHF bands.  You can't do that with a dedicated power knob.

John AF5CC
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WB2WIK
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« Reply #23 on: September 17, 2013, 08:17:51 AM »

One thing I do like about menu driven rigs, at least the HF/VHF/UHF ones is that you can set the power level differently for different bands.  Great for using amplifiers for the different VHF/UHF bands.  You can't do that with a dedicated power knob.

John AF5CC

Sure you can, if power is one of the adjustments that plugs into the rig's memory once set; many older rigs have "band stacking registers" which remember all your settings on each band and retains them until they're changed.  This does require a battery backed-up memory system, which many rigs from the 1980s had -- even without "menus."

One of the advantages of lots of panel controls (in lieu of memory operations) is you can adjust two or three things at exactly the same time; I can adjust power, mike gain and IF bandwidth, for example, just by using two hands on the panel, and change them all at once on the fly, even while transmitting.  Menu-driven systems are generally "serial" interfaces where only one thing can be adjusted per operation.  That makes it "slower," which could be a drawback in rapid-fire operating such as contesting.

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KB2FCV
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« Reply #24 on: September 17, 2013, 01:11:03 PM »

I prefer to have the most used functions out on a dial or knob somewhere. I borrowed a menu driven HF rig that happened to have the power level and CW speed in the menus.. ugh, what a pain that was. I lower the power to make any small adjustment to my antenna tuner but to have to dig into a menu every time I needed to make an adjustment made the task annoying. On my regular HF transceiver it's just a turn of one knob. Same goes for the cw speed.. I adjust that often to match the speed of the person sending. Some things are fine to be in a menu if it's something you rarely need to adjust but for the most-used functions.. I prefer it on the front panel. The rig I have is perfect as it is a nice match. I almost never had to dive into the menus.

HT's are a different case as they only hold so many knobs or buttons. I use them so rarely I don't mind.
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G3RZP
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« Reply #25 on: September 17, 2013, 02:24:08 PM »

I use a 1983 FT102 with a tube PA. The product reviews show that unlike the later SS rigs, the 7th and higher order IMD products are negligible/not there. The RX phase noise is outstanding. The bells and whistles with external the VFO are more than adequate. I need one country for top of the 'Honor Roll'.

What does a menu driven  solid state modern rig of worse overall IMD performance offer me - or any of the other poor so-and-so's who would have to put up with QRM from my high order IMD?
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N2RRA
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« Reply #26 on: September 17, 2013, 05:17:29 PM »

In reading some of the eham.net reviews and for sale ads, it seems that a lot of hams have a real hatred of menu driven radios?  Why?  They aren't that hard to use, just read the manual.  The menus also the radios today to do so much more than the old ones did. So, what is the problem with menu driven radios that makes so many people hate them? 

John AF5CC

That's because their spoiled babies and self centered. Manufacturers are supposed to read their minds and design a radio specifically for their customed needs. What the HELL are they thinking?

Another reason is, their appliance operators too stupid in anything technological and lack common sense.

I think ICOM makes the easiest and simplist format of such radios. Even their smallest IC-7000 and IC-7100 are incredibly easy to understand. How the HELL can you have trouble with these rigs?

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N2RRA
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« Reply #27 on: September 17, 2013, 05:27:04 PM »

In reading some of the eham.net reviews and for sale ads, it seems that a lot of hams have a real hatred of menu driven radios?  Why?  They aren't that hard to use, just read the manual.  The menus also the radios today to do so much more than the old ones did. So, what is the problem with menu driven radios that makes so many people hate them? 

John AF5CC

That's because their spoiled babies and self centered. Manufacturers are supposed to read their minds and design a radio specifically for their customed needs. What the HELL are they thinking?

Another reason is, their appliance operators too stupid in anything technological and lack common sense.

I think ICOM makes the easiest and simplist format of such radios. Even their smallest IC-7000 and IC-7100 are incredibly easy to understand. How the HELL can you have trouble with these rigs?



Just for the record........ I've owned many other brands other than ICOM and have no problem getting accustomed to all of them.
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TANAKASAN
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Posts: 933




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« Reply #28 on: September 18, 2013, 01:03:54 AM »

I've just had an idea. All of us want the most frequently used controls on the front panel and the rest such as VOX Gain or Sidetone Frequency could be buried in menus to save front panel space. The problem is that each of us want different controls there, and maybe in a different layout.

So..........................

Use only encoders rather than real switches and potentiometers and have a small LCD or OLED display above each control. The owner of the rig sets the control to do exactly what they want and the display alters accordingly. All of these initial settings are done through either a menu of a PC connection. How small can these displays get? This small:

http://www.flatpanelshd.com/pictures/microoled-1l.jpg

Tanakasan
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G3RZP
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« Reply #29 on: September 18, 2013, 01:11:38 AM »

More to the point would be to get the 5th, 7th, 9th 11th etc IMD products down to the same levels that the last generation of tube transceivers did - 55dB or better below PEP for the 5th and all the rest below -65dB. The only modern rigs doing that are those Yaesu ones that can run Class A in the PA at the expense of heat.
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