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Re: [TenTec] re should i buy an orion now

To: tentec@contesting.com
Subject: Re: [TenTec] re should i buy an orion now
From: Harry Reed <doon@infoscientific.com>
Reply-to: doon@infoscientific.com,Discussion of Ten-Tec Equipment <tentec@contesting.com>
Date: Tue, 21 Jun 2005 11:27:38 -0700
List-post: <mailto:tentec@contesting.com>
Methinks that people are forgetting the big picture.

Most, if not all, here want dependability, reliability, and repeatability in 
their rigs - 
especially ones that costs ~$4000. Is that *really* too much to ask? TTs 
competition doesn't
seem to think so. If I wanted an experimental rig I'd go out and buy a 

While the Orion's hardware seems to be up to the task (albeit getting a little
long in the tooth) TT firmware seems to have lingering problems. I gather TT 
engineering has been more than a little taxed trying to implement a bug free 
Real-time software is a bear unless done exactly right - the last 2+ years of 
has shown that they haven't. Indeed, going from a 1.x release to a 2.x release 
that they probably programmed themselves into a corner, so to speak. "When all 
fails do a rewrite!" Let's see if they can get it right with the v2 firmware. 
If not, maybe 
they should open up the firmware development to the FS/OS software community 
(ala GNURadio)
and get it done right HIHI :)

Please, don't misunderstand me, I'm not bashing TT or the Orion. TT seems to be 
a fine 
company and the Orion has the potential of being a fine rig worth its asking 
price. I 
just don't think people are happy in spending ~$4000 on a SDR whose firmware is 
very much beta quality and a work in progress. I'm curious what's happening to 
TTs reputation 
in all of this? Surely it can't be good. Indeed, one has to wonder how many 
people bear with
TT and their Orion in the hopes that TT will fix the problems and that the 
Orion will get
better because they don't want to admit that they spent their hard earned $$$ 
on a subpar, 
even flaky radio?

For these reasons I'm holding off my Orion purchase until v2 of the firmware 
comes out and 
the Orion owners/users/abusers have their say. I don't demand a *perfect* radio.
Just one that doesn't hang or require a HW reset because I twiddled a knob the 
wrong way -
one that works reliably and predictably when I want it and when I need it.

Harry Reed, AB7YF

><<<I just can't see any viable reason to not try/own an Orion. Especially
>any technical reasons.>>>

 >I'd go through the reflector archive for the past 2-3 years and look 
at what earlier >purchasers went through.
 >If you have a lot of free time to tinker, maybe it's okay. For example 
if you are >retired and have a lot of patience maybe it's okay.
 >I'm pretty low on time and patience. I want dependability. I want to 
be able to unbox >the rig, power it up, hook an antenna to it, ground, 
mic, key, cans...whatever i >need, adjust collector PA current and mic 
gain, adjust AF/RF gain, tune around, hit >the PTT button and start 
making contacts.
 >If it's much more involved than that, or its behavior mysteriously 
changes from one >day to the next on a regular basis, then I start 
loosing interest.
 >So the likes and dislikes probably have as much to do with operator 
personality as >anything else.

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