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Author Topic: What is safer, the old push button radios, or the new techno-stuff?  (Read 2728 times)

Offline CliffordK

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It seems as if I end up driving more than one vehicle.  And, the new radios have a bizarre arrangement of tiny little buttons and knobs with no organization that makes any sense.

And, thus, I end up having to take my eyes off the road to hunt for the power button, volume controls, or channel selectors.

With the old radios, one would just reach down with the hand, turn the knobs, or perhaps count buttons (which have a good tactile feel), and select the station.  Reprogramming the buttons was a piece of cake too...  just pull, then push.  Anyway, one would never have to take one's eyes off the road.



Online syhprum

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I have recently installed a large screen all singing dancing radio come tv come GPS gadget in my car where one interacts with it via a touch screen and I hate it!

Offline graham.d

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I have a large LCD display which I can toggle from radio (DAB, VHF, LW/MW) to SatNav to Telephone to a whole gamut of digital sources CD/DVD/FlashCard/various USB inputs. Plus a whole set of features I have never ventured to discover. Given the complexity, it is probably not bad ergonomically providing you can remember what buttons do what and which menus you have to access, but anything but the simplest features are quite difficult (and dangerous) to try to use whilst driving.

In answer to the question, I don't think the problem is to do with size and actions of the buttons on the example radio, which could easily be replicated with better and more functionality with modern systems, but is more to do with the increase in the features that people have in their cars. Providing I leave my radio on (on one of several organisational arrangements) or VHF etc., it is easy to select stations and can give traffic reports (if required) or display programme information (if transmitted). It is also easy to toggle between the sources so that having picked a radio channel, you can go back to viewing a GPS map. But some things are difficult to do and the menu systems rather arcane and unguessable

Are using these extra features dangerous to use whilst driving? Definitely. But, I still like having them. I think the overpriced systems that come with the car tend to be better than add-ons from an ergomic point of view.

Offline imatfaal

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It won't be long at all till devices like that use off-site spoken language interpretors and can be entirely voice-activated.    I was prepared to be completely underwhelmed by Siri on the iPhone - but I admit that after a few months I use it regularly. 

Purely anecdotally; last night as I was dropping off to sleep I remembered I needed to wake at 7am (and yes it is disgusting that 7am is an early start) - without putting on glasses etc I picked up the phone, pushed the button and told it to set the alarm for 7am, Daniel (for that is the name of the man that lives in iOS) replied that he had set the alarm for 7am.  It really is that easy.  I set 1-10 appointments, tasks etc every day using the voice-recognition software.  it is just far quicker than typing it in - and it works.  sorry to sound like a cheerleader for apple - but I was/am fairly impressed.

Offline neilep

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I have control buttons on my steering wheel !.....which is nice !

Offline Sprool

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^^ +1 for control buttons on the steering wheel.
On the same lines though I have  Sony DAB alarm clock radio and its a real pain going through the lengthy menu systems to change alarm time or retune radio, much rather just have an old turny knob or two. Must be getting old, but the new tech buttons do not add any extra value to the operation of the device, and detract from the experience of using it. To me this is a design fail.

Offline Geezer

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but the new tech buttons do not add any extra value to the operation of the device,

Yeah, but they add a lot of value to the manufacturers and retailers  ;D
That's probably a bit unfair. There is so much function to control that it would take a lot of knobs and dials!
I have a really basic digital alarm clock - no radio - no nuthin'! Despite that, I still manage to screw up the settings (usually confusion between am and pm.)

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