Knowledge Base Feedback

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Stephen White
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Knowledge Base Feedback

Post by Stephen White » Sun Oct 15, 2017 10:56 am

The Knowledge base was started to provide simple guides to help get the best out of building an Armortek model.

As it was launched, we said:

"There are two sorts of topics, Basic and Advanced. Basic topics will help you get the best from your Armortek Model, as delivered. Advanced topics are more relevant if you want to customise and enhance your model. Each topic has two parts: The Knowledge and Discussion. Read The Knowledge when you want to learn about or refresh your memory about a topic. Contribute to the Discussion if you want to ask questions or offer new ideas or facts. There will also be a specific Discussion thread in which you can suggest new topics. "

A couple of recent comments suggest that it isn't always the first port of call when someone has a problem and one comment implies it isn't very user-friendly. Some topics just aren't user friendly (such as setting up the sound system) but the explanation in the Topics can no doubt always be made easier to understand.

A lot of work has gone into creating the Topics and the Knowledge Base is a work in progress. Without feedback, though, it's very difficult to refine and improve it. There has been very little feedback. The door is open........

Stephen

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Tim Page
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Re: Knowledge Base Feedback

Post by Tim Page » Sun Oct 15, 2017 1:10 pm

Hi Stephen, Overall, I have found the Knowledge base to be a great source of info and has helped me quite a bit.

The only issue i have found over the last few months is that with the 'demise' of Phobucket, many of the pix are now missing from the posts.
I realise, that nothing can be done to fix this easily.

It is in fact a problem with this and most other hobby forums on the planet.

I have never used photobucket, but many have and essentially those topics and threads have lost a lot of their quality.

PS - Thanks for all your hard work - it is appreciated.

Cheers
Tim
2008 Armortek Panther ausf.G #0035
2009 Armortek BefehlsPanzer 111 ausf.J #0011
2010 Armortek A34 Comet #0031 (SOLD)

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Re: Knowledge Base Feedback

Post by Steve Stuart » Sun Oct 15, 2017 1:22 pm

I think that an issue is that using the 'search boxes' to search for information doesn't really work. There maybe a technique as to using the search functions on forums that gets them to perform better, but I do not know it. This may be a useful Knowledge Base Subject as it would help accessibility to the Knowledge Base as it would help honing in on information.
I know that asking the question on the Forum, will find the location to the answer quicker than continuing to search for it, as the wise ones have an impressive grasp of the Forum!
The Knowledge Base is a very useful tool and needs to be used and developed.
Steve

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Re: Knowledge Base Feedback

Post by michael hilton » Sun Oct 15, 2017 5:46 pm

Stephen, I am not doubting the hard work input that has gone into producing the Knowledge Base. Steve in his post makes the point, the answers to our questions are hard to find. I was all at sea with my latest bench setup until Adrian kindly posted a diagram.
An example, in the booklet 'Audio Unit System Wiring' in the diagram Column and Function, column 3, RC1 loopback, loopback to the Motion Control Module, but where on the Module. I know the answer now, because Adrian explained 'how to'.
I am sure many of us stumble along through trial and error until finally you hear the roar of the engine from the sound card, and the motors turn, a most satisfying moment, and I can't for the life of me remember how I got there.....perhaps that says more about me and my aging mind.....Mick

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Re: Knowledge Base Feedback

Post by Stephen White » Sun Oct 15, 2017 6:42 pm

Thanks for the feedback so far. Obviously search/indexing is an area for improvement, within the limitations of the forum software. Maybe some keywords could be added to the Alphabetical list of topics:

- Index. The Knowledge Base BASIC Topics are listed alphabetically, here:

viewtopic.php?f=35&t=5823

and ADVANCED Topics here:

viewtopic.php?f=35&t=5822

Mick - thanks for explaining. I think there is confusion here. Your comment concerns the Technical Publications provided by Armortek with the kit. It's for Kian and his team to comment on that. Your remarks don't refer to the Knowledge Base, which is written by and for customers and represents the current state of the art, or best practice. If you've got comments on the Knowledge Base, please fire away.

Stephen

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Re: Knowledge Base Feedback

Post by Adrian Harris » Sun Oct 15, 2017 9:56 pm

For me, one of the main drawbacks to the KB is that the articles don't answer the question, they provide links to posts which should answer the question. However, for what ever reason, the links aren't accurate.

For example, if you select the KB topic "Tracks - how to paint and weather - ADVANCED", you are presented with two links.

As an aside, I personally feel it would be better for newer users if the KB topic explained where it was sending you, so you could gauge whether it was likely to answer the question for you.

The first link:

viewtopic.php?f=15&t=970&start=540

takes you to a message about Panzer III bump stops.

It's not until you've scrolled through a slew of messages that anything appears about tracks.

Ditto the second link:

viewtopic.php?f=23&t=3931&start=450

which takes you to some general conversation and then a message about Centurion exhaust elbows. If you're persistent, it does eventually lead to a message about track weathering.

The links themselves need to be improved, so that they start at the correct message. Note the hashtag at the end:

viewtopic.php?f=15&t=970&start=540#p28191

and

viewtopic.php?f=23&t=3931&start=450#p46585

I'm wondering if this is as a result of a Forum upgrade, or a dynamic of the backend database. If the latter, it may be impossible to keep the KB correct if it is globally affected by message deletions for example. The only way to avoid this would be if the KB topic is a verbatim copy of the source posting, rather than a link to it.

Adrian.
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Re: Knowledge Base Feedback

Post by Stephen White » Mon Oct 16, 2017 9:13 am

Adrian, you're quite right and there's a simple explanation. In order to get the Knowledge Base up and running quickly, we took some short cuts and linked to existing threads, one example being Mick Regan's guide to installing a rotary encoder. Since then, I've been gradually working through the topics, re-writing them as stand-alone pieces and in some cases updating them with new material. In many cases, the previous thread related to a specific model and I've had to re-write them to be generic. It takes time to make sure the facts are correct and to simplify the writing. The Forum update has also thrown some links out. That's why I described it as a work in progress.

Once Kian has time to decide the future of the Knowledge Base, I'm sure there is scope to pick it up again and resolve some of these issues. Meanwhile, I've got models to build....

Stephen

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Re: Knowledge Base Feedback

Post by Tim Page » Mon Oct 16, 2017 9:24 am

While we are thinking about the Knowledge base would it be possible to have access to download instruction manuals either through the KB or a seperate Downloads section.

I am sure this would be of benefit to all.

I have been given a download link from Gill in the past so the infrastructure is (was) there.

Cheers
Tim
2008 Armortek Panther ausf.G #0035
2009 Armortek BefehlsPanzer 111 ausf.J #0011
2010 Armortek A34 Comet #0031 (SOLD)

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Adrian Harris
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Re: Knowledge Base Feedback

Post by Adrian Harris » Mon Oct 16, 2017 3:24 pm

My concern was not that the information was not available, just that it might be confusing for a novice user to presented
with something which was not apparently related to their query.

I'm acutely aware of how much time and effort you have personally invested into getting the KB up and running, but you
did ask for feedback :D :D :D :D

Adrian.
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Re: Knowledge Base Feedback

Post by Adrian Harris » Mon Oct 16, 2017 3:28 pm

A "Members Only" download section for manuals sounds like a very good idea.

I prefer to scan through the instructions on a PC, zoom in etc, and it also means individual pages can be printed out
and notations made without defacing the original manual.

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Re: Knowledge Base Feedback

Post by Armortek » Mon Oct 16, 2017 4:21 pm

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Well done for finding the "hidden" function Adrian ! Although lets use is sparingly so that visitors still get value out of the forum.
Armortek

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