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[TenTec] Quality Assurance at Ten-Tec?????

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Subject: [TenTec] Quality Assurance at Ten-Tec?????
From: a.k.chapman@juno.com (Allan K Chapman)
Date: Tue, 09 Jun 1998 00:34:51 EDT
Is Ten-Tec Quality Assurance for real?  Murphy's Law or Keystone Cops?
This is not T-T bashing, just reporting in hope of improving Quality
by top management.  Reliability is secondary only to performance,
according to
company literature.  In his apology letter, Jack K4JU, the President,
wrote to
me, "...we certainly don't need stress in our hobby...we should not have
worry about equipment...hopefully we can put this problem to rest."   To
date I
have seen nothing that confirms  quality control at Ten-Tec.  You will
find other
experienced retired radiocomm pros like K6MUP or KC6VCY who have
bought  new T-T equipment  that was defective.  Now and then this
mentions an in-warranty problem, but most who have been stung hope to
without exposing any problems.   My experience follows:
     A long-time admirer of T-T's fine reputation for customer support,
June of  97 I purchased a Scout  555 (s/n 12A10636) from the factory.  It
arrived  undamaged but with a dead receiver, and was returned with 
price refunded immediately - but I was out $30 shipping, and still in
need of a
compact low-power rig.  After prodding, I got standard answer #1: "No
found."  Another customer probably got this box of Smokey Mountain dew!
     I bought a second new Scooter 555 (s/n 04A10425) in September, but
there was no transmitter output.  Repair job #848 replaced defective R60
Q10.  Cost me $15 shipping.  On return, the transceiver failed
intermittently, so
it was again returned  for repair (job #886), with shipping costs $15. 
instructions were: "DO NOT RETURN until you have found and fixed all
problems," You guessed it, "No Trouble Found."  Eventually, it turned out
the intermittent transmit problem was the end result of engineering
Stray RF in my shack feeding back on the >>UNFILTERED<< DC power line.
To correct that I spent a single dollar to install a 100 pF ceramic disc
across the
power line just inside the case, and one Amidon type 77 ferromagnetic
bead on
the positive lead inside the case..  I have the same stray RF (no changes
made to
antenna, ground or cables) but since that time there has not been one
instance of
failure due to RF feedback into the radio.  Service Manager Paul Clinton
WD4EBR was the one who suggested stray RF as a possible cause. It's
common on the 555, and a MOD should have been issued, if QA is important!
        The #804 30-meter module intermittently hopped to an out-of-band
frequency, so it was returned ($3 shipping) and exchanged by the factory
one that is working FB.  But, they shipped the replacement TWICE and
me the postage both ways!  Another $6 lost.  This is QUALITY service?
        The model 297 noise blanker I bought and installed on my second
has never worked for ignition, and I suspected that alignment
might be the cause.  On both return visits the service techs found the
performing fine on the bench, using a pulse generator.   When installed,
SMT board has no test point or other access to Q3 for the scope
connection and
is therefore impossible for the average user to calibrate.  Any 555 user
out there
want to try?  It's no good to me as-is, but I do need a blanker.!
     Except for the noise blanker I am finally satisfied with my Scout
555, after
many months of frustration.  I'm $70+ bucks out of pocket just correcting
mistakes.  Let's hope T-T management soon learns about Quality Assurance
as a part
of  RELIABILITY.  AEA's top management failed this one and the company
belly-up with users hung out to dry. Ask Mike Lamb N7ML, ex-president..

>>>>REPLY TO:  a.k.chapman@ieee.org     ONLY!
Allan K. Chapman     PO Box  1200
100 California Dr    Yountville, Ca 94599
(707) 944-1322
W6MEO@KJ6FY.#NCA.CA.USA.NOAM   (Ham radio packet address)

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