I am replying to my own post. This is my third BiPap machine, and I'm not a novice. I've been using BiPAP since September 2001. Despite my post, it turns out I was not, as I said in the post:
"locked into user mode" but I may have been "locked into an incomplete change in settings." It was was true that: "The bi-flex [as well as the ramp itself] did not operate." I hit the ramp button and there was no ramp.
I suspected when I posted that I had not completed the setup process because I couldn't stop some lights in the setup box from blinking despite pressing the knob. I had not seen any blinking that morning when I first experimented with the machine to see how it worked. Not completing the setup process, because I couldn't figure out how nor understood the reason some line items in the setup box blinked while others did not. Incomplete setup meant that items like the ramp were apparently shut off or not operating. In addition, the machine itself seems to set up challenges to users who make any single change, however slight, more than once in a single day.
Making changes on this machine can be complex, though the first time I did it it was simple. It may be that because I had changed settings more than once on a single day, and the machine is somehow set up to catch those who do this, the machine detects a potential problem, and then, possibly, the various steps in the setup process users see on the screen a second or third time they enter the screen changes. I truthfully saw changes, in particular, blinking lights, which surprised and confused me. The setup screen changed the second time I tried to make changes.
(In an effort to be clear and at the risk to repeating myself in this post, I changed the setup or tried to change the set up three times in one day, first in the morning without a problem; second in the evening, with significant problems, followed by my post to the forum; third, after I decided to wait as many hours as possible, and so in the early morning, with sucess, following much experimentation.)
I had been using slightly higher settings on a prior machine that was old (older than 10 yrs) and was losing its original pressures, and I was waiting to get a replacement BiPPAP. The night I wrote the post I only wanted to restore the original settings as prescribed by the doctor. I had increased them slightly to what I had set as the pressure on an old machine the first time I tried to change the setting that morning, for reasons that are not relevant to this story. This second attempt failed attempt, and so I posted questions to the forum. Finally, on a third try, much much later that night (early morning hours actually and after I posted to the forum) I completed the setup process sucessfully but it required a lot of experimentation.
My confusing and failed second attempt to change settings, the second attempt that day, I unplugged everything, including the cord to the power supply, and waited for a number of hours. I then went back, found my way to the box called "setup" after hearing the two beeps, indicating I would be able to change settings, and turning the knob again to the right to get back to the this box, as explained in the 'simplified explanation' on the Apnea Board website.
In "Setup" on this machine, there is a very long list of items, a list I thought was longer than the one I saw in the morning, and there were a few items I didn't think I had seen the first time I looked that morning. There were some I just didn't understand or I saw them and had just scrolled through them without being stopped by blinking lights, which I thought were intended to indicate there was a problem. I did decide to conclude that these were not relevant to the way I use the machine because I have a separate humidifier and don't use the one that comes with the machine, but the blinking lights gave me pause. I got through a couple of steps (without any blinking) okay and then, multiple times and I don't remember what each step was called but they included the IPAP setting. (I experimented and found that you may need to scroll down, turning the knob, and change the EPAP setting before you go back up and change the IPAP setting) Other items that blinked, both the item and the number to the right of the name of the item, items like "tubing" and "ramp", "ramp" and perhaps others stopped me in my tracks. I pressed the knob, shifted something to "on" from "off" and then back to "on" if that is what I wanted, or vice versa, if I wanted "off" and the blinking did not stop. There were items I thought irrelevant to my use of the machine, such as tube length, irrelevant because I use my own tubing and my own humidifier, but the blinking lights suggested I had to solve some kind of problem. I selected a tube length with the number 22 because my tubing is approximately this length. I requested bi-flex and was prepared to accept any of the three options (1 or 2 or 3), but I could not stop the blinking lights and the numbers would change without my turning the knob. For example, setting bi-flex, which was something I thought I needed to set, I made a selection, hit the knob, and the line to the left of the number, which I think said simply bi-flex, kept flashing, as did my selected number.
Third attempt, the last of the three I mention above;
There were two ways I discovered I could stop the blinking. One, I pushed the knob to complete the setting, waited a couple of second or longer, and then held the knob down about 3 seconds (any longer and I'd be sent back to seleting the bi-flex level setting once again) and this worked. After experimenting a little more, I found that after selecting a ramp time or even resetting the EPAP prior to the IPAP, all I had to do was turn the knob down to the next step and by doing that the blinking in the prior stop stopped blinking. Turning to some steps, like language, saw no blinking lights. At other steps, lights blinked. But by turning the knob down to the next item, despite the blinking, the blinking did stop and the selected number did not change from the one I had selected. All of this was odd, certainly, but it had a certain logic and it worked.
I got through all the setup items and hit the knob again and was in business. I was quite happy. For this reason, I have made every effort clearly to describe in this what I saw, what I did without success, and what I did that resulted in success and led me to complete the setup process.
Conclusion: if you work on the settings of this machine and perhaps others in the System One group (and I think this is a new series, not long on the market), the manufacturers may have built in some obstacles or confusing things like blinking lights to discourage patients from even trying to enter a change, especially, I suspect, if you try to change setting more than once in a single day or within an established period of time. Also confusing was the fact that the backlight would once in a while go out. I don't think this matters. Just keep a flashlight at hand so that you can see the screen clearly.
Now I would suggest that if the light blinks or the backlight goes out, try to do what I have described. It's probably best, as I have suggested, not to change the settings on the machine more than once a day or maybe no more frequently than once every several days. My first resetting (in the morning) of some of the setup items was simple, and I followed the simplified procedure outlined, with pictures, provided on the Apnea Board site.
I'll correct another comment I made in my initial post and which I accidentally erased in this post. The screen, with its four boxes, did not change. I thought it had because I was not at all familiar with this screen, and with my second attempt to reset the setup, it seemed I could not get out of that screen. But the problem was not with the screen. The problem was my fault; I had not completed the setup. That's why there was no ramp, for example. I just did not know what to do about the blinking and decided to ignore it. You can't ignore it.
I hope all of this will be of help to others. I describe what worked for me, but there may be other ways to complete the setup and get those lights to stop blinking. But once I had succeeded I did not dare go back to see what else one might do. I thank the patience of those who take the time to read through the long post. I won't post again unless some other issue arises that I cannot solve. I'm calm at last!