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[TenTec] Orion heartache

To: <tentec@contesting.com>
Subject: [TenTec] Orion heartache
From: w5yr@att.net (George, W5YR)
Date: Wed Apr 9 21:37:31 2003
Alan, welcome to the (fortunately) small group whose private thoughts and
opinions get published whether they desire it or not. In your case, it may
have been mischief and in my case simple failure to check the address field
before hitting the "go" button. I really doubt that "mischief" is the proper
word to use here, since I suspect that another disenchanted customer simply
wanted your findings to be made public and an official Ten Tec response to
be made. I would expect him to come forth with some justification for his
action, nonetheless.

I found that for the few negative responses I received - and most of those
were made public on the reflector for obvious reasons - I received privately
around 30 more responses thanking me for disclosing my thoughts and agreeing
with my observations. I trust and believe that you will find the same thing.

Right now, the adrenaline is flowing and a wonderful new rig sits upon the
desk and overall seems to work quite well. But, as time goes on, folks will
look deeper into the operation of their new radio and begin to identify the
problems that you have uncovered and described. And, as Ten Tec becomes
aware of these issues, we can expect them to react with design changes and
retrofits accordingly.

Your point about "hating Ten Tec" cannot be over-emphasized. There is no
benefit to anyone in seeing  Ten Tec suffer damage over the ORION program.
We all want to see a successful new radio come out of all the work and
investment that has gone into it. But no useful purpose is served by the
misguided efforts of a few who would see nothing but words of praise on this
reflector. We learn, and Ten Tec will learn, from errors and omissions -
this reflector should be a welcome forum for balanced technical and
performance discussions, positive and negative, not a censored platform for
presenting only one viewpoint.

Frankly, Alan,  excusing most of the faults that you enumerated as "design
decisions" or "individual user preferences" just doesn't ring true. For
example, a number of new owners have commented upon the random pinning of
the S-meter for no apparent reason. Somehow, one does not imagine that this
was a behavior specifically implemented for some arcane reason. And walking
up to the radio across a carpet and having the software lockup when the
cabinet was touched was hardly a deliberate design intent. Either your radio
was a remarkable exception or many new ORION users have just not yet gained
the familiarity with the system that you have.

The bottom line for the ORION or any other new radio that comes into today's
marketplace seeking dominance is that it must be at least as good - in *all*
respects - as the competition, and in order to gain a position of
superiority must excel in a least a few areas. The reports thus far would
indicate that the ORION may indeed excel in some areas, at least
anecdotally, but seems to fall short in others.

Time will tell as the ORION population of users grows and collective
experience is gained with the new system. Bugs will be found and hopefully
most of them can be corrected by control-program software upgrades, although
as the static discharge problem revealed, firmware cannot cure all ills.
Comparison of Ten Tec lab findings with independent lab tests will also
serve to validate the position of the ORION in the marketplace, as will
comparative sales and new buyer preference once the current Ten Tec customer
base has been supplied. The design of the ORION would seem to place it
solely in the amateur marketplace where it will be judged against its peers,
not more esoteric commercial/military systems.

Ten Tec has given birth to a highly complex amateur radio transceiver in a
relatively short period of time with a fraction of the staff that the larger
companies can deploy. Given time, the ORION may yet become the radio it was
intended to be. Let's all hope so!

73/72, George
Amateur Radio W5YR -  the Yellow Rose of Texas
Fairview, TX 30 mi NE of Dallas in Collin county EM13QE
"In the 57th year and it just keeps getting better!"

----- Original Message -----
From: "Alan Davis" <k2ws@hotmail.com>
To: <tentec@contesting.com>
Sent: Wednesday, April 09, 2003 3:59 PM
Subject: [TenTec] Orion heartache

>    Although I stand behind my Orion statements, I never posted them, nor
> were they intended for public disclosure.
>   It was posted by Rog Penrose, "xbts337@hotmail.com"
> Rog, go to your room and stay there!
>    There have been eleven Orion firmware updates since v1.328 of March
> There are literally hundreds of software bugs in the control program.  As
> for the issues of VFO speed and resolution, compare the Orion with the
> or 950 or the IC-756Pro or 775 or FT1000 series and see how these popular
> radios do it. Some of you guys just don't get it. I don't hate Ten-Tec.
> a Ten-Tec customer too, I am terribly disappointed that the Orion was
> released in this condition!
>    Hey, at least this scapegoat had the courage to be honest and tell it
> he see's it!
>    73, Alan    K2WS

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