"Don't read QST or eHam reviews. Learn to read
ARRL's Expanded Test Reports. The real unvarnished
data is there if you know how to interpret it."
I have to agree with Bill. The "subjective data" is always likely to doubted by
people that use or prefer other suppliers. The expanded technical reports give
enough data to let readers understand the "hard performance" of the radio. No
one else really does this like the ARRL and I would pay more a year for an ARRL
membership that got even more technical reports! Then people need to find a way
to "hands on," if that kind of testing is critical to their decision.
On the "firmware bug issue" - this may be a new issue to be thought about and
sorted out by the amateur technical community and the ARRL. It may be that the
ARRL could do "periodic" follow-up reviews - based on survey data - to address
the issue of "bugs" or changes in "software designed radios."
Another issue this raises is "if the radio firmware is significantly
redesigned," like the Orion V2 software, is any of the previous
testing/evaluation of the radio still valid? What is the shelf life of ARRL
testing of a "software defined radio"? If the signal flow has been
significantly changed and the firmware radio components have undergone major
redesign/programming, is the radio at all the same in performance - other then
the knobs and dials? With Yaesu, ICOM and TenTec increasingly moving into the
"software designed radio," we and the ARRL may have to think about how one
defines when the "software wire cutters" have done so much to change the
firmware that it becomes a different radio, and deserves new evaluation. A
major software redesign of a "software designed radio" may fix obvious user
issues and also change the technical performance of the radio for the worse -
which might take longer for users to realize.....Kind of the "other side" of an
"ever evolving" softwa
re designed radio.
Merle - W0EWM
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