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Saturday, May 02, 2009

RTFM! 

I'm sure you have all uttered the words or had them uttered to you at some point in time. RTFM or "read the fine manual". Now I have to say that I have heard other nouns and adjectives with different levels of frustration used in place of these four letters as I'm sure you have also. For the moments though we will stick with my current definition.

I am coming to understand that there is really some value in the words and following their suggestion. I own a Yaesu FT-60 hand held transceiver have been using it for about a eight or nine months now and enjoying it very much. Now I have to tell you being a geek and somewhat of a gadget nut one of my litmus test for how well a piece of equipment is designed is if can I take it out of the box and get all of the basic functions it has working without looking at the manual.

The problem with this attitude is that I have started in my old age to let the process end there and just use what I can figure out by playing with a new radio PDA phone or whatever. Add to this the fact that now days most new radio equipment has a computer interface that will let you program it with a GUI interface and that lessens the need to know what all those key combination are to get a particular feature enabled and the brain starts to atrophy. The next thing you know you find yourself out there in the field with no idea how to turn that darn beeping off that happens every time you push the PTT button. Or worse how to turn on or set the tone encoder so that you can access a repeater in a new location that you have just wandered into.

My point here is that after the new and shiny wears off you should take a little time to sit with the manual and figure out all of the little intricacies of your new toy. More and more manufactures are making it easy because the manuals are available in PDF format so that you can search for what that button does really fast. If your experience is like mine I think you will find yourself enjoying your equipment even more than you already do. I have found some neat features with my FT-60 that I didn't realize were there. Give it a try and see if you get the same results.

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Comments:
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