[aprssig] How to deal with DTMF keypad differences betweenmanufacturers

Jeff N0JUH jefflists08 at corrt.com
Wed Oct 1 01:55:41 EDT 2008

What a bunch of OLD F*RTS!  (I'm an major old f*rt myself, but still 
have one teen at home, and work with many more in a couple of youth 

Teens are dumping old numeric-only phones by the truckload, and adopting 
alpha-keyboard phones as fast as they can.  Just a couple of years ago, 
they were making fun of nerds and old men with PDA's.  But that has 
changed.  A seventh grader, just this weekend, wanted to try out my 
Centro, saying "all my friends are getting that exact phone."  I got my 
daughter one of those slide-out-keyboard "envy" phones a year ago and 
she was on the leading edge - now all of her friends have them.

Teens are not idiots! Once the full-keyboard phones became widely 
available (at super low prices with a contract renewal) they dumped the 
old clunky interface for something better.  I don't need to tell you 
what they would say if they saw a bunch of has-been nerds claiming that 
texting on numeric keypads is all the rage!

If our only option is to message with a numeric keypad, then we can make 
do with it.  But don't try to pretend that it is easy and cool!

   -- Jeff, N0JUH

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?)
> --zawada
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