May 27, 2012

Back patting, at the least.

As stated previously, I love my job.  The management calls me Mr. Capable.  Which is fun and embarrassing at the same time.  On days like yesterday I feel I earn a bit-o-that accolade.

It was a great morning.  I was able to re-organize the 55" television by size.  It is much more aesthetically pleasing.  Televisions are measured via the picture portion diagonally.  This does not take into consideration the height of the stand and the bezel.  So each set will vary in height.  The human eye and brain likes to find patterns.  So I had noted the various heights of the Televisions and then set up an efficient plan to move the sets accordingly.  It came out looking very nice.

The morning started with lots of computer purchases.  I got to field several questions about home networks and  various ways of getting needed documents from one place to another. Which I always find enjoyable.

At one point during the day Eric (a manager) asked if I could download some software for our two way radio's.  He gave a vague direction about going to Motorola website.  I quizzed him on how I was to do this (we do not have internet connectivity).  Eric, suggested I talk to the Verizon guys, who have 3G wifi capable phones for Demo.  Fair enough...  So I got the model number of the radio's and went to the Verizon guys.

They set me up and gave me the security code.  I fired up a PC and logged in.  The distance I was at was playing havoc with the connectivity.  Also, the more I navigated through Motorola the more questions my brain kept asking me.

Why would radio's need software?  Do we have a base unit?  How are we going to upload said software to the radio?  Am I looking for an update? Patch? etc.

I had to get more info if I was going to make some non blundering sense out of this, so I headed into the office to talk to Leslie, as she had delt with the radios the most.  For some reason, because of how the radio's are we had a limited number of radios that would be able to communicate (I still do not quite get this, I mean there is no limit to the number of AM radios that can listen to one station, right?).  I was informed that the issue was the frequency for our area had some kind of issue and we needed to have our own.  Which had been acquired and now needed to be applied.

Further we did not have a base unit and she showed me a USB connection that connects a radio to a computer.  This gave me that eureka moment (minus the naked running).  So I grabbed the office laptop and headed back to Verizon and found the only software download.  Headed back to the office and USB'd the Radios and launched the code.

I was very curious at this point.  What was going to happen?  Would it update automatically? Would there be something I needed to do?  I was a tad disappointed when a user interface launched.

So now what does this mean?  I launched the help files and started perusing the file.  I found a part about doing a read from the radio.  Which yielded an error message.  Just about the time I thought I was missing something, I tried a different radio and it worked.  As I poked around there was an editable table. Which, only let you turn the frequency on and off.

I decided to set the frequency as close to the list as possible.  It was off by a 10th, I figured that was close enough. And it was.

Turns out this interface allows you to alter the settings for a radio and save that as a profile, then using the USB you can program the radio's one after another.  The Read will let you grab a radio's setting and 'clone' that to another bunch.

Once I got the methodology and enough understanding the rest went very quickly.

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