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Re: [TenTec] Annual review of the Orion

To: Discussion of Ten-Tec Equipment <tentec@contesting.com>
Subject: Re: [TenTec] Annual review of the Orion
From: "Martin, AA6E" <martin.ewing@gmail.com>
Reply-to: "Martin, AA6E" <martin.ewing@gmail.com>,Discussion of Ten-Tec Equipment <tentec@contesting.com>
Date: Wed, 1 Jun 2005 14:42:37 -0400
List-post: <mailto:tentec@contesting.com>
I have infinite respect for Carl, N4PY, but let's recognize that
writing real-time embedded software is not the same as writing a
back-end that only needs to communicate on the serial port.

One of the most interesting subjects at Dayton for me as an Orion user
was the software for the SDR1000 and GNUradio.  It is developing at an
incredible pace, and it has features we can only dream about for the
Big Black Box.  (Many modulation modes, filtering options, displays,
etc. HDTV, anyone? I'd settle for an optimized RTTY filter.)  This is
not to downplay the Orion, but to indicate the possibilities of open
software development.  Many experts contribute new modules supporting
their favorite modes, bugs get fixed overnight, etc.

TT has the traditional development model, where because they own the
code, they can't easily let go of it to the community.  There are
probably lots of hardware dependencies, undocumented interfaces, and
so on.  They are probably using a commercial operating system and
libraries from Motorola or other vendors that cannot be distributed
freely in source form.  (I have no direct knowledge.)  Because of all
this, development and debugging will cost TT lots of real money, and
they don't get the free expert support that the open projects have.

Hopefully, our favorite vendor will take note of this for future products!

73 Martin AA6E

On 6/1/05, Don Rasmussen <wb8yqj@yahoo.com> wrote:
> One thing I've noticed. Those that use the N4pY
> software to drive their Orions have a lot less
> complaints. What does this tell us?
> >>>>>
> That N4PY should be programming the firmware in the
> radio itself?
> I don't know if he is even conversant in the specific
> microcode of Orion, but he has suggested that he would
> consider it. I long ago suggested that Ten Tec offload
> the programming burdon for the radio. The radio
> improves faster, but Ten Tec relinquishes absolute
> control of their product.
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