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[TenTec] Re: Continuing Orion evaluation

To: <tentec@contesting.com>
Subject: [TenTec] Re: Continuing Orion evaluation
From: kh7t@arrl.net (John Buck)
Date: Mon Aug 11 16:58:41 2003
Hi Mark,

Glad to see that you got an Orion and are putting it through it's paces. 
 Mine came in the first round and I have noted many of the same things 
you have encountered.

I assume you are using the latest software version 1.349.  If not, a few 
of the items have been addressed.  Since this update is about a month 
old, I am looking for a new version very soon.
I assume your version of panic reset is to a previously saved User 1 or 
User 2 condition.  It may not be necessary to reset to factory default.

The History list is good reading for these issues.

I do believe that your message to the reflector shows a very serious 
effort in evaluation.  Many of the points you raise need correction.  In 
some cases, more experience with the radio may be helpful.

It would be helpful to separate your list into the form of:
1.  Obvious bugs requiring correction ASAP.
2.  Flaws needing correction but can wait for prioritiy.
3.  Design choices that I do not agree with so here is my wish list.
In particular the limitation of the main receiver to ham band only is a 
technical decision to get the best possible ham band receive capability. 
 General coverage forces giving up some capability.
Make sure the specific major issues are sent to ditsnbits.

This may help get your critical issues on the active correction list.
Several of my killer issues have bee addressed already.

I agree that this interface is a work in process.  But the Receive front 
end, filters and capability are unsurpassed.  My only concern is that 
perhaps the Dragonball interface control is saturated.  I hope that it 
is just that the software for the Dragonball is just poorly structured 
(I think that was the original problem) and that it will eventually get 
cleaned up.

I was very disappointed with the decision to make the scanning operate 
only on the main reciever.  I would much prefer it on the secondary 
general coverage receiver so that it can scan outside the hame bands.

By the way, be careful plugging headphones in and out.  Momentary shorts 
on the lines are not good.  I installed series resistors in the radio, 
with TT concurrence.  

Remember that it took ICOM three generations of new radios to get an 
acceptable result.  756, 756 Pro, 756 Pro II.  ICOM did the same thing 
with the 706 series. The Basic Orion outperforms the ProII although some 
will prefer the ProII interface. I believe something similar can be said 
about the FT1000 series also.  It cost some people a lot more than the 
cost of the Orion to get the benefit of the evolutionary process.  I 
really expect the interface on the Orion to evolve with the help of 
customer feedback without having to buy a new radio.

I think that the comments made by several that TT is bad for issuing 
such an expensive radio without have the interface perfected just do not 
understand the process.  TT has put the basic performance first and is 
continuing to work on the controls. And I think that some people will 
decide that the ORION is not for them.  Some of the operation is much 
different than historic radios and the learning curve is steep.

I certainly will take the radio now and expect the interface to evolve.

A Happy and Optimistic Orion user,
John KH7T

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