G0VQY's Online Blog
What's on the mind of a UK ham radio operator?
Radio manufacturers should take disabled operators into account
Modern day amateur radio transceivers have become quite compact and stylish. If you compare the modern day HF transceiver to one from the 60s or 70s you will probably find that the older models have larger knobs and buttons, whereas modern-day transceivers that are packed with features now have tiny buttons and knobs within knobs. You may be surprised to know that as a disabled person, I actually find the older radios easier to use than modern day transceivers. Since owning the more modern transceivers I've now realised that even though it's nice to have one of these all singing and dancing modern transceivers that almost looks like a fashion accessory, they are not actually very practical to operate when it comes to using them if you have a disability that renders your hands and fingers unusable. Some people may suggest that maybe they should make the transceivers more disabled friendly, make them unsung buttons bigger say that we disabled people can use them easier. No, I don't think that is the case and I'm more than happy with the way they are designed. The easiest solution to this problem is to provide on-screen operating software with every transceiver. This would enable people who have a disability to operate all the controls and features of the transceiver using the computer alone, cutting out the need to struggle with all the buttons and tiny buttons on the front of the transceiver.
Some of the manufacturers already provide on-screen software, Kenwood provide completely free on-screen operating software that is simply fantastic. You can even switch the radio on and off for the software, you don't have to touch the radio at all, everything can be done using the computer.