So here I am, the owner of a brand new Orion II and much of this
reflector would have me believe it is a pos and almost obsolete. Yet I
bought it after spending a couple of weeks reading the reflector
archives for months and years back, downloading the manual and reading
that several times, and examining the firmware changelog. Only then did
I commit my cash (and Orions are *much* more expensive here on the
European market - but still half the price of the grotesque alternatives).
It became clear to me that a lot of the bitching was about details that
probably wouldn't worry me much when factored against the RF
performance. Now, after a week of hands on, any worries about those
details have evaporated. Minor firmware quibbles aside, many appear to
have originated from the personal taste in operating style of other ops.
The Orion is simply superlative; not perfect, superlative.
I had considered the Flexradio equally carefully: much of the
performance and the open source software model is a very large plus, but
the poor rejection of an image just 22kHz away is a very large negative.
Yes, you can adjust the image cancellation somewhat for your spot
frequency but even then it ain't too good ;-) And using processing power
to work around lo spurii seemed to me a step backwards. To me SDR lacks
'front end credibility' and has not yet offered a mature system.
This brings me to the one thing I think the Orion does need - as pointed
out by others, a final IF output would allow an open source model a
fantastic baseline to start from.
...until they fell over backwards, foaming at the mouth (with apologies
to Monty Python):-)
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