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[TenTec] ORION Returns

To: <tentec@contesting.com>
Subject: [TenTec] ORION Returns
From: mark@microenh.com (Mark Erbaugh)
Date: Sat Aug 2 11:01:36 2003
> Mine has been aging quite well since April.  Firmware updates have
> slowed but I don't expect them to stop and I've submitted suggestions
> for a couple of things I'd like to see.

There have been a lot of firmware updates for the Orion, but firmware
updates for the Jupiter and Pegasus have all but stopped. We did have a
recent update that enabled 60m. Granted, that's more than most any of the
other rig manufacturers did, but I seriously doubt if we'll see any
substantial feature additions (narrower filters, selectable NB level, etc)
for these radios.

Firmware updates are a tricky proposition. When you buy a new radio you (
and the marketing department ) want to think that the upgrades will be an
ever continuing stream that will forever keep your rig up to date with the
competition. However, if the updates are free there's little incentive for
the manufacturer to invest into creating them.

I would be willing to pay a modest subscription fee to keep the updates
coming.  As a comparison, look at what Carl, N4PY, is doing with his control
software. For a small fee, you get upgrades every couple of months.  In
fact, thinking back to Carl's Omni V.9 firmware update to the Omni V, I
wonder what he, or someone like him, could do if TT would open up and let
third parties develop new firmware for the Pegasus?

Granted, when the Pegasus was new and the technology unique, TT needed to
protect their development investment. But now, the Pegasus is mature and I'm
sure anyone that's interested has figured out the technology involved. If TT
let third parties work on firmware updates, I think they would actually spur
new Pegasus sales.

Just as a thought exercise, imagine being able to download firmware to your
Pegasus to make it a dedicated PSK31 transceiver (or SSTV, or ... ). Imagine
being able to do the modulation and demodulation at IF with the DSP inside
the Pegasus rather than doing it in with a computer soundcard and with the
additional A/D and D/A steps involved. I'm no DSP expert, but I suspect that
each A/D and D/A conversion adds a little extra noise that reduces the
overall performance.


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