OK - here we go on what I found with my Orion. I got the Orion last Thursday
and got over the initial wow so can now report that the radio is fantastic.
Front Panel: Very friendly, elegant and functional layout. All the functions
you need for normal operation are here. The menu is only ONE level deep.
Want to adjust the VOX? Just press "Menus", hit the VOX button and adjust
away. You can adjust items under "TX", "CW", "VOX", "RX", "other", "SSB",
and "filter" (one wonderful thing about the "filter" is that it is set for
"auto" meaning that all the "9" Mhz roofing filters are switched in
automatically as the band width is adjusted to less than that of the roofing
filter - works wonderfully. Another interesting item - you can actually
adjust the CW speed with a knob that you can get your fingers around. All
knobs and buttons are high quality with a good feel. Many are lighted to
make sure you can see which antenna and VFO is in use on which receiver.
Filters: Fantastic. One wonderful set of algorithms!!! Steep skirts but no
ringing or thumping as in the 756 Pro. I have a 756 Pro and compared to the
Orion the Pro is not in the same category. The Pro is like kindergarten when
comparing filters, intermods, ease of use and functionality. There are so
many filters that instead of having a button that switches between a few pre
selected filters, you have a knob (yes another one that you can get your
fingers on) (actually the knobs operate encoders instead of pots - these
will never get noisy or jumpy!) that continuously adjusts the bandwidth from
6 KHz to 100 Hz. Smooth as silk and on CW you will not hear any change in
signal strength or quality as you adjust down to 100 Hz. Best 100 Hz filter
I have ever heard in 50 years of hamming.
Audio: Setting the Rx audio to "flat" (zero equalization) and using the
matching Ten Tec speaker produces such outstanding audio that I stopped
using the computer HI FI audio. My voice is low - particularly in the
morning. Using the Heil Goldline with the HC-5 I have the Tx equalizer set
for minimum base and the low frequency roll off starting at 300 Hz and have
been told that I have excellent audio by DX stations in the last contest.
The Rx audio is clean, and easy listening.
Two Receivers: The Main receiver (ham band only) is outstanding. The Sub
receiver is equivalent to the Jupiter or Pegasus with the same filters as
the Main receiver. I had it set to my morning 20 meter sked frequency while
eating breakfast today and could just barely hear some band noise when I
heard a booming voice come from the radio room - it was my sked partner.
Just amazing audio signal to noise ratio. The receivers can be locked
together for true diversity reception (really minimizes the QSB). Running
Main on VFO A and Sub on VFO B different filters can be set for each and
each audio can be directed to the left or right ear for each receiver (I use
Main Rx in the left ear and Sub Rx in the right ear). Really makes finding
the listening frequency of the DX station easy. Just worked Faeroe Islands
on 80 CW on the second call with 100 watts after I found his listen freq.
Noise Reduction and Noise Blanker: Have not had the opportunity to use the
Noise Blanker so report later on this. The Noise Reduction is great. This is
the first noise reduction that I have used that allows the use of a high
level of reduction WITHOUT introducing those annoying wobbles in the voice.
Just clean and quiet! Another fantastic algorithm! There are 3 noise
functions: Software Noise Reduction; Software Noise Blanker; and Hardware
Digital Modes: Hooked audio to computer (the included din plug with RCA
female jacks are a nice extra - hate soldering to the din plug - not
necessary here) pulled up MixW and was perfect copy on all modes. Did not
have time to try transmit but should not be a problem.
Enough for now - allow me to get back to playing with this great toy.
Fantastic on BOTH SSB and CW. Works perfectly with my Alpha 87A at full QSK.
[mailto:firstname.lastname@example.org]On Behalf Of Andy Bullington
Sent: Thursday, April 03, 2003 6:47 AM
Subject: [TenTec] Orion info
We're dying out here! Won't somebody wax eloquent on the Orion?
We that are forced to live vicariously for whatever reason are starved
for information...the meager E-ham reviews having been consumed and digested
long ago...please... risk boring us silly...beleive me...you won't...
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