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

To: <tentec@contesting.com>
Subject: [TenTec] Quality Assurance at Ten-Tec?????
From: paulc@mediaone.net (Paul Christensen)
Date: Tue, 9 Jun 1998 09:32:15 -0400
"Engineering oversight" or operator error?

I have owned a Scout 555 since 1992 and have never had one iota of trouble
with it, not even PTO instability.  The QSK, CW note and receiver fidelity
still amazes me.

Regarding your trouble with DC filtering: I fail to see where this is a QC
or QA issue on Ten-Tec's part.  Other 12 volt-powered radios suffer from
stray R.F. and inadequate filtering.  In my opinion, it's up to the owner to
ensure that his power supply is providing the proper regulated and filtered
power to the radio.  Was it a Ten-Tec power supply you were using?
Presently, I use a 35-amp Astron to power all my Ten-Tecs, but in
retrospect, I would have purchased theirs.

How well is the Scout grounded?  As a matter of course, I now run all my
coaxial transmission lines through a long series of type 43 and 77 ferrite
chokes to form a current balun in the shack.  Stray RF, even at the 1500
watt level is simply a thing of the past.  You may be asking too much from
the manufacturer of a $500 radio to include brute-force power filtering.
Also, I have run my modified Scout into an Alpha 77DX running 1500 watts TPO
and never had any abnormalities with the Scout.

-Paul, W9AC

-----Original Message-----
From: Allan K Chapman <a.k.chapman@juno.com>
To: tentec@contesting.com <tentec@contesting.com>
To: <tentec@contesting.com>
Date: Tuesday, June 09, 1998 12:36 AM
Subject: [TenTec] Quality Assurance at Ten-Tec?????

>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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