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[aprssig] How to deal with DTMF keypad differences betweenmanufacturers

Stephen H. Smith wa8lmf2 at aol.com
Wed Oct 1 02:57:11 UTC 2008

Paul Zawada wrote:
> On Tue, Sep 30, 2008 at 12:40 PM, Stephen H. Smith <wa8lmf2 at aol.com> wrote:
>> My gut sense is that in the amateur radio context, this whole horribly
>> clunky user interface of trying to enter alpha characters on
>> numeric-only "non-keyboards" is doomed to the same lack of wide-spread
>> acceptance as "Voice alert".
> Yeah, that text messaging thing on cell phones will never catch on either.
> All kidding aside, this is exactly the interface that millions of
> teenagers are completely comfortable with, many to the point where
> they don't even need to look at the screen to see the message they are
> tapping.  While the implementation on current ham handhelds may be
> lacking (especially if you're trying to tap out "live" DTMF over the
> air), but this is one of many things we need implemented properly to
> make the hobby relevant to the younger generation.  It would be neat
> to see an APRS messaging platform built to look like a typical cell
> phone text messaging interface.  (Sorry, I've never used a TH-D7; how
> similar is that?)
The difference is that:

1)    On a cell phone or D7    YOU HAVE A DISPLAY!!!    You can actually 
see what you are keying

2)    You can compose and edit the entire line BEFORE you hit <SEND> !!

Keying in a perversely clunky multiple keypress sequence in the blind in 
real time is absurd.

On a TH-D7 or D700, the keyboard does not do text entry.  For each 
character position in a message, you spin the click-stop tuning knob (or 
use the cursor up/down arrows) to scroll through the entire 
alpha-numeric symbol set until the letter, number or punctuation desired 
is showing; then you press OK to select and advance to the next 
character position in the message.    This process is used both to enter 
user information such as callsigns, digipeater  paths,  status beacons 
etc into memory , and to compose  messages.

As I pointed out in my last post, this is very similar in concept to the 
old Dymo label guns for embossed plastic labels.  You would spin a 3" 
diameter wheel with all the alpha-numeric characters on it's 
circumference until the desired letter showed in a window, then squeeze 
a trigger to press that letter into the plastic tape and advance to the 
next position on the label. 


Stephen H. Smith    wa8lmf (at) aol.com
EchoLink Node:      14400    [Think bottom of the 2M band]
Home Page:          http://wa8lmf.com  --OR--   http://wa8lmf.net

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