Over the course of the last few years I have received many PM’s (private message) and emails on how to navigate and use the Viper Club of America (VCA) web forums. Many people although aware of what the forums are, do not understand how to use them. I thought I would put together a quick list of the most popular questions with their corresponding answers in hopes that it may make things easier for those who are new here. SIGNING UP Signing up to the VCA web forums is easy. Click on Register on the bottom left of the directional information bar at the top of any page. 1 - Choose a user name. That is the name people will see you as. Your screen name so to speak. For example, mine says Mopar Boy. 2- Choose a password you won’t easily forget! Be sure to jot it down somewhere so in the event you do forget it… 3- Fill in your information. Do know that the VCA does keep this info confidential. They do not sell it to Spam companies, etc. As there are many raffles and giveaways that do take place on these boards it does give the website administrators contact info about you should you win. 4 – Hit Register at the bottom of the page and you are almost done! 5 – Last step to your registration is an email will go to you at the email address you provided. By going to the confirmation email you are sent, you can click on the link and your account will be activated! This email confirmation is done to prevent spam robots from signing onto the boards and posting how they have products that will help with whatever issues your body has! When signed up you will be given a user title. There are four levels of users on the VCA Web Forums: Enthusiast – Anyone can sign up as an enthusiast and can make use of most of the forums. This is most commonly seen by people who are doing research on purchasing a Viper. Viper Owner – This is a Viper owner, but an owner that is not a member of the VCA. By entering your vehicle VIN number (Vehicle Identification Number is found on the drivers side A pillar or on your vehicle ownership) into the VIN area while registering to the site, you will automatically gain this title. VCA Member – This is a member of the VCA. As all members of the VCA own a Viper (it is a Viper OWNERS club) the designation Viper owner is not needed. All VCA members have access to the full VCA site, including many areas of the site that are not even seen as available by non VCA members. VCA Venom Member – This is a VCA member that has signed up as the highest level of VCA. By joining as Venom, extra funds are sent to the National VCA so they can continue to help fund and plan events like the Viper Owner Invitational’s (VOI) and Regional Rendezvous. Moderator and Administrator – This is the last level and not really counted as a level. These are the site programmers, editors, and people who police the site for disrespectful content. Please note, in order to get a VCA member status (Regular or Venom) you will need to have your VCA member number at the time of registration, or if you are a new member to the VCA and have not yet received your New Member Information Packet in the mail, send a PM to one of the Administrators (Admin for short). An Admin can contact Viper Headquarters and can confirm your VCA status and then update your account. Also, as an Admin can update your account at anytime, still feel free to still sign up even if you don’t yet have your number. PM one of the following Admins for VCA status changes: CitySnake, Lee00blacksilverGTS, Y2K5SRT, and Kcobean. YOUR HOMEBASE – USER CONTROL PANEL When you have finished signing up and choosing your screen name and password, go to your User Control Panel. You will find this on the navigation menu at the top of every page. When signed in, click on User CP located on the upper left of the page. This is the place that you can control your account. Much like an email Inbox, you can see everything from your messages, to the threads you are subscribed to, to all of the customizing options listed down the information bar on the left side. Take a few minutes to set up your account the way you like it. Be sure to fill out your signature (must be VCA member) with your car info so that others can see your details when responding to your questions. As many things on Vipers are year specific, this will help with accuracy of your answers. Again, if you are a VCA member, be sure to choose an Avatar. This tab will again be found in your User CP on the left hand side. An avatar is the little picture you see above peoples Screen Names. Choose one that best represents you and your car You can choose a picture from the internet or from your hard drive. The only restrictions are it must be Viper related. POSTING There are two ways to post a response to someones previous comment or to the original post (often called the OP for short). To use the quick reply feature at the bottom of the page, just type in the open box. If you want to respond with the use of smiley faces, font changes, or would like to choose other options in the response, click on Post Reply under the last post. When finished typing your comment, click on Submit Reply. Your response will automatically be placed in chronological order with the other posts. To quote a specific post, just click on Quote. It will automatically quote the text for you and take you to the advanced reply page. To quote more than one post at a time, click the Multi Quote Feature. After you have click Multi Quote on all of the individual posts you want to quote, click on Post Reply under the very last post in that thread. STARTING A NEW THREAD A thread is a forum word for subject. So if you want to create a new subject, or in this case thread, just do the following: 1 – Go to the main VCA Forum index by clicking on Forums at the top left of the directional toolbar (the one at the top of every page). It will show you all the different sections of the website complete with a description of what that section is about. If you want to talk about your 1998 GTS, go to the GTS and RT/10 section. Have a joke you want to share? Go to Fangs Snake Pit. What about tire questions? Go to the Tire Forum! If you are really new to forums, feel free to stay under the New Members Section. Many of the folks on this site will go into extra detail when answering your question in this section as they know the posters are new to the site. All questions for all years are allowable here. Even an introduction to yourself! 2 – Once you have located what Sub-forum (section) you want to post in, look at the top left of the page where it says New Thread. Click on that and it will take you to where you can set up your thread. 3 – This page will now allow you to ask your question and post your info. Under the Title area, enter a title that gives a quick overview of what this thread will be about. This will be the part that others will be able to see what your thread is about. Try to limit it to a few words on your subject. After you enter your title, go down to the main Message area and type your question. Be sure to include details like car year, model, color, etc to help ensure a quick and accurate response. When complete, click Submit New Thread at the bottom of the page. 4 – Your thread is posted! The page you are taken to will be the same as what others will see. Be sure to re-read your post to ensure it is correct. If not, click Edit at the bottom right of your post. You are given 24 hours to edit a post. When you want to go back to see if you have any responses to your thread, just go to your User CP and it will automatically show up if someone responded! This feature is very helpful in keeping track of your threads! After you have started responding to many threads, you will forget to check them all if you don’t check your User CP! [SEARCH FEATURE Almost every question you can think of has already been asked and answered! In some cases, the information may be out of date and a new thread will be needed, but in many cases, an answer to your question may be under 10 seconds away! The VCA Web Forums has a search feature very similar to web search engines like Google. By typing in a few words, it will search all old posts since the website was created to find words matching what you typed in. Be mindful though, the more words you type the fewer results you will get as it will try to find posts only with all of the words you types. In saying that as well, by using words like “The” and “It” you will get hundreds if not thousands of threads. I might suggest sticking to main words. Also try to avoid year specific searches. It will block out a lot of good info. For example: “What is the best exhaust system for my 2006” It might be better as: “best and exhaust” - Note the 'and' in the middle. This tells the search engine you want to see results with both "best" AND "exhaust", not just one or the other. If you just type "best wheels" the search engine imparts the "OR" operator, so you'll get threads with "best girlfriend", "best crash", "best cheese", and threads with "wheels ruined", "big wheels turn slowly" and a bunch of other stuff that isn't relevant to your search. To do a search, click on Search located in the center of the Directional Information Toolbar. If you are wanting a quick overall search, just type in the words in the search box. For this example, we will go with an Advanced Search as you can further clarify your search parameters. Once you have clicked on Search, click Advanced Search located under the Quick Search field. Type in the key words you want to search for. Once you have typed in your key words, click on the drop down arrow on the Search All Open Forums tab located on the lower right side of the Search page if you would like to clarify your search. Choose a specific forums you would like the question searched under. In some cases this is not needed but if you are wanting the best exhaust for your 2008, you will not want the threads from the 1992 cars. This feature helps to cut down on the amount of non-applicable information that will be presented to you. Do remember though, by selecting the one section you are narrowing down the number of places the search will look. If there was a thread in the Racing section, and you only selected the SRT section, you will not see that information. This menu can be useful if used correctly. Once complete, click Search and see your answers! Feel free to play, there is no limit to the amount of searches you can do! SENDING FORUM EMAILS The VCA forums allow you to send what is known as a Private Message (or PM for short) to another user. It is the same as an email in the sense that no one else can see it. There are two ways of sending a PM. First is from your User CP. When in your CP, look on the left hand side of the page and click on Send New Message. When the next page loads, type in the screen name of the person you want to message. Then add the message title and fill in the message box. Then hit send. The second way to send a PM is to click on a persons Screen Name while in a thread. It will give you a drop down menu with a few choices. Click Send A Private Message To and it will automatically take you to the page you can type your PM! POSTING PICTURES Posting pictures is one of the most common questions! Do a search and you will find MANY threads on the subject. It really is simple and with the following description, I hope to make this as easy as possible! 1 – When signed into your forum account, click on Media Gallery located in the center of the Directional information bar at the top of the page. 2 – Click on Upload Photos on the next page. You will find the Upload Photos link on the right side of the page under the Directional information bar. 3 – Select the button Select Photos to Upload and choose pictures from your computer hard drive. You may choose to upload one or more photos to upload at once. 4 – Hit Upload/Submit for the pictures to upload. 5 – Once your photos have been uploaded, you will be taken to a page where you can title the picture and add a picture description if you so choose. Again click Submit when done. 6 – Your pictures have now been uploaded! Now that you have uploaded your pictures to the VCA website, you will now need to post them into a thread if you want others to see it outside of your photo album (also known as Media Gallery) To post the pictures, do the following: 1 – Again go to Media Gallery. 2- Now click on Members Galleries. 3 – Click on the letter your Screen Name starts with. 4 – Find your Screen Name and click on the picture, not your name! 5 – This will now take you to your photo album where all of your pictures you have uploaded are stored. Click on the picture you would like to post. 6 – After clicking on the photo, you will see three sections under the photo listed as Linked Thumbnail, Linked Image, and Medium Image. Using your mouse, right click on the text in the box to the right of the words Medium Image. A little drop-down menu will appear. Click Copy. 7 – Go to the Thread you would like to post the picture into. By using either the Quick Reply or Advanced Reply method, again right click in the text area where you would type your question. A little drop down menu will again appear. Click paste. Now that address link you copied in the photo area will be posted there. It will look something like http://...... [img] This is your photo. 8 – Type in whatever else you want to say in that post, or add more photos, then hit Submit. You will now see your picture posted! That’s it! You’re done! I might suggest if you plan on posting more than one picture in a thread, open a second Web browser window (Internet Explorer, Safari, Firefox, etc) and use one window to copy the picture info (where you hit Copy) and leave the other window in the thread you are posting the pictures (where you hit Paste). This will speed things up a lot for you! If for some reason your picture you posted does not turn out right, hit Edit, go back and erase the picture info, and re-copy and paste the photo information again. You may have copied the wrong link or accidentally deleted a number or letter in the information line. [B][U][CENTER][SIZE=4][COLOR=red]FREQUENTLY ASKED QUESTIONS[/COLOR][/SIZE][/CENTER] [/U][/B] If any questions are not answered here, please do check the FAQ section on the website. There is A LOT of good info listed there. You will find the FAQ section listed on the center of the Directional Information Bar at the top of the page. [B][U][CENTER][COLOR="Red"][SIZE="4"]YELLOW CARS[/SIZE][/COLOR][/CENTER][/U][/B] The last common question that many new users have is what all the hype about red and yellow Vipers are. Well, in a nutshell, there were many red Vipers made. After all, it is the most common Viper color. As that is the case they were all made the same. The yellow cars on the other hand, being made in much smaller quantities, went down a secondary line at the Viper factory. On this special line the yellow cars were factory tuned for extra performance. This is what frustrates red Viper owners so much. Sorry. I had to. I hope this helps and does not muddy the water too much! Special thanks to Juli for proofing to ensure all info was accurate!