Today I packed up my Pegasus radio and am sending it back, not because the
radio doesn't work but because of an undocumented feature that makes the
radio less than useful here.
When the Pegasus arrived I hooked it up and immediately began to debug many
hours of software development - the radio responded nicely. The design uses
three independent oscillator systems which was a surprise for a modern radio
but some extra work and the radio became self calibrating to within 1 Hz of
the desire frequency.
Shortly thereafter I connected the Pegasus audio line up to a (now) standard
DSP program that let me observe the audio spectrum coming out of the radio,
to prepare for another project I am running here. Low and behold there was
a very steady and somewhat weak audio signal constantly in the middle of the
passband. After some testing this "tone" is from the internal sidetone
software in the DSP system. When I connected up the DSP computer the
software quickly sounded an alarm, it had found a continuous carrier signal
in the Audio out of the receiver. The Pegasus has a problem.
It is important to note that this tone was NOT audible when listening with
headphones or a speaker. The signal could only be "seen" when a DSP program
was watching the audio coming from the radio.
An email was sent to Ten Tec, and they responded that the problem had been
sent to the DSP programmers. Silence for nearly six months!
A second request for action, also acknowledged and sent to the DSP
programmers. More silence for a Month.
The Pegasus radio was removed from the system and with considerable sadness
packed for return to Ten Tec. The Ten Tec Pegasus radio has been replaced
by a radio, with DSP design, that does not have the side tone signal
bleeding into the audio output.
>From here it looks like the vaunted Ten Tec product support ethic has not
managed to make its way into the DSP Programmer part of Ten Tec. The lack
of response from this part of Ten Tec bodes for poor future expectations.
Even more surprising is the tough and demanding QST product review that has
again missed a key area of product testing of radios for the new millennium.
This experience has not been pleasant. The wasted hundreds of hours working
on software for the radio are hard to accept, the failure of this
undocumented feature to be noted in product testing is also a bit much.
Other than for this one feature, undocumented, the radio is a great CW
radio. I only made one SSB QSO with the radio and I received a comment that
the audio was "constrained" which is probably fair as the microphone was
from a Korean War era aircraft... From my perspective it could use some
narrower CW filters.
A sad day.
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