The recorder takes 2 AAA batteries. Press Menu/Folder (on the right above the jogdial (Stop, Rewind, Fast Forward, Play)) to select the folder to add a new recorded item. (The folders are A,B,C, or S. Folder S will come up with a date and you can select another date for the recording.) Folders A, B and C can hold 100 files each; Folder S has 365 dates which can hold 15 items each.
Press and hold the Menu/Folder button for a second or longer. The Screen should show the Mode menu. Press Play and then the Fast Forward and Rewind buttons to set the recording quality. HQ is the high quality recording and will fill up the available storage on the organizer more rapidly. LP will record for the longest period.
Set the Microphone sensitivity by pressing and holding Menu/Folder. Then press the Fast Forward or Rewind button until Mic appears on the display. Then press Play and use the Fast Forward or Rewind buttons to select Low or High sensitivity. (An external mic often gives better results.)
Once you have set the folder for the next recording and the recording quality and microphone sensitivity, press Rec (center above the jogdial) to start recording. Press Stop to end the recording or Rec to pause it. (It will stop if the Pause is longer than 10 minutes.) Press Display to see how much longer you can record before using up the available storage space.
To play back a record, locate the item in the folder then press Play.
The manual for the Olympus VN-1800 is available from the Olympus support site: http://www.olympusamerica.com/cpg_section/cpg_support_manuals.asp?id=841
. The direct link to the English version of the manual is http://www.olympusamerica.com/files/oima_cckb/VN-900_VN-1800_VN-3600_Instructions_EN.pdf
I hope this helps.