I have been reading about the different control programs being used on the
Orion and wanted to share my opinion
of the N4PY program. I chose to purchase this package and have been using it
for about a month now.
I heard about the program over the airwaves and when I attended Ten Tec's Ham
Fest this year I saw a demo of it.
I did manage to come home with a rather broad understanding of its capabilities
and I thought about it for a while
then decided to buy it. I am so impressed with it for the following reasons:
Some 34 Hot Keys, (Alt H) to bring up the list, is provided. These keys allows
a person to use the keyboard instead
of mouse clicking on the radio display for changing the Orion controls.Nice
feature when you are at the keyboard already.
The memory files are a must if you are wanting to select your preset
frequencies and recall them in a flash. I use this
feature all the time. I particularly like seeing a reminder of the use of the
frequency. Example I have one set for a SSB freq
that I occasionally use and in the setup I stated "Sunday 8:00 SSB group" this
reminds me the freq is the group's place of
meeting and the time. When I call up that memory I will see the information on
the program's display along with the frequency.
I like the Sweep function and use it a lot. It is a vivid display of
frequencies being used/unused and allows me to just click
on the one I want the Orion to tune to. I often am on one frequency, lets say
7.185 SSB but want to see when a frequency, say 7.040 becomes active. If it
does, I just click on that freq and immediately my Orion is tuned to it. I use
the various widths of sweeps and the different choices I have for centering the
K1EL's WinKey support is now offered in Version 1.12. This has really been a
fine feature for me. I am a CW nut and I like switching from a paddle to a
keyboard. I was using K1EL's K20 keyer with paddle input and CwType for my CW
generation. I sometimes use CwGet when the code being received is out of my
comfort range. The use of the three along with a home brew electronic logging
program required me to have three programs and the K20 keyer up and running.
With the added feature for WinKey I can now just have two programs up and
running. N4PY's control program with the CW feature which also allows interface
of a paddle and my logging program. I no longer need the K20 and keyboard nor
CwType. This means space for other things.
By the way if you have not looked into the WinKey you owe it to yourself to do
so. N4PY's control program has great support.
AGC control is a biggie for me. I change it as conditions change. One day it
will be on prog1 and a few mins later it will be on prog2 with the AGC slider
I remember the earlier talk about the Orion's display not having color. That
is not a big issue with me but I can handle the color display in the program
just fine. I particularly like the delectability of the various part of the
screen. Seeing the frequency change colors at TX is just dandy.
Selectable step tuning for both VFO's is a big plus but I maintain the memory
file is my most used. I am a frequency jumper. When I do use this feature, I
find it very handy and there are lots of choices for setting the steps up.
Well I will stop here. I will say that I no longer use the controls on the
Orion unless my wife is using the computer.
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