RT Systems Programing Software Accessibility Review
By Dave Marthouse N2AAM
I would like to bring a few things to the attention of folks who are looking for a speech-friendly no hassle software method of programming amateur gear.
Rt Systems http://www.rtsystems.com produces a line of software programming
packages for a large variety of amateur radios. They produce software packages to program the Kenwood TH-F6A, the Wouxun KG-UV series of hand-helds, Yaesu, Icom, and loads of others.
As a screenreader user naturally I was concerned with accessibility. The software for the TH-F6A can not be used with jfw. I haven’t tested it with WindowEyes so I can’t comment on it’s usability there. The good news is it works flawlessly with NVDA.
The app is arranged like a giant spread sheet. You use your up and down arrows and the tab key to navigate around the settings. There is a convenient standard pull-down menu for settings like cut/paste, copy save, read and write to radio etc.
Another great thing about this package is the system works with all state of the art machines including Windows8. The programming cable has a usb connecter so you don’t have to worry about usb to serial adaptors and compatible drivers and other hassles.
I plugged in the supplied usb cable and the computer recognized it right away. Then it was a matter of just installing and running the software. If you know just a minimum about spread sheets you will have no difficulty with this app. I had the system running within 5 minutes of installation. For me it was so intuitive that I didn’t need to consult the documentation.
The only minor sticking point is if you order the app on cd you must type in a serial number when you install it. Access to a set of working eyeballs is highly recommended for this step. LOL! The serial number is on a label on the envelope in which the cd is shipped. You can also download the software after you purchase it on-line. I’m not sure how the serial number is handled if you use that purchasing method.
The bottom line is the app works great with the TH-F6A and is accessible using NVDA. If their other apps work as well with NVDA this in my opinion is a very good speech-friendly way to program a wide variety of amateur gear.
As far as price you will spend about $25 for the software and slightly less for the cable. You can get the software separately from the cable as some radios use a single cable, (example the Kenwood and Wouxun).
I give the app five stars. I know this sounds like a commercial. I can assure you that I get nothing from Rt Systems. I’m just posting this for those who may be interested and would benefit from the information.
Dave Marthouse N2AAM
R T Systems Youtube demonstration using the NVDA screen reader