Well, I've had my Orion for about 2.5 years now (from new). Within a matter
of months the RIT/XIT problem arose on an intermittent basis. Then just
before it was 12 months old, the display went down. I took the rig in for
repair here in the UK (which was done straight away) and mentioned the
RIT/XIT problem. They had never come across it and it did not appear while
the rig was on the bench. Since then it has got progressively worse such
that the problem is there more than it isn't and I almost exclusively use
the 302 now for RIT and XIT. When it first appeared the work around of
pulling out the RIT/XIT knob would work but that is less effective now. I
don't think my particular version of the problem has anything to do with a
series of button pushes but it may be an intermittent solder joint. This
rig has never seen a computer program or RS232 link. Because of the various
problems with software upgrades it still has its original version 1.372b.
The rig is now exhibiting the flashing screen on switch on problem recently
raised on the reflector and will shortly have to take the rig in again.
This brings me to my other point. Let me say straight away that I like the
Orion, despite its various idiosyncracies. However, 3 problems on a rig
that costs the equivalent of $6,000 over here (not factoring in anything for
differences in cost of living) leaves a sour taste. I smile at the
jingoistic rice-box smashing that goes on on this reflector. I had 4
different rice boxes over 30 years before getting the Orion. The number of
failures on this Orion now equals the number I had on the rice boxes over
those 30 years. Maybe I've been lucky/unlucky.
I also smile at the "great service" comments too. Yes, that is great - and
I wouldn't want it any other way. TT have a great reputation for service.
However, it reminds me of many years ago when some guys I was working with
were telling me how they were improving our servicing so that customer
telephone calls could be answered and problems sorted quicker. I suggested
it would be better to spend the money on preventing the problems (and phone
calls) arising in the first place. They seemed a bit confused by this.
If a potential purchaser asked me for my opinion I think I would have to say
honestly that in my experience, it's performance (especially receive) is
great but let down by its reliability - a bit like my recently "upgraded
high speed" internet connection.
----- Original Message -----
From: "John T. Fleming" <W3GQJ@embarqmail.com>
To: "'Discussion of Ten-Tec Equipment'" <firstname.lastname@example.org>;
Cc: "'Paul Clinton'" <email@example.com>
Sent: Thursday, August 23, 2007 6:09 PM
Subject: [TenTec] FW: [orion565] Digest Number 853
> When I originally replied to Hector's comments about the RIT problem, I
> copied Paul Clinton on the reply. I received a reply from Paul and want
> pass it along showing how much effort Paul and Ten-Tec have put into the
> problem. If you have a problem, please call and try what he suggests.
> Maybe we can get to the bottom of the problem and everyone will be happy.
> From: Paul Clinton [mailto:firstname.lastname@example.org]
> Sent: Wednesday, August 22, 2007 9:26 PM
> To: John T. Fleming
> Subject: Re: [orion565] Digest Number 853
> Dear John:
> Thanks for the update. The RIT failure is one of those unsolved
> some rare cases the RIT encoder is defective and replacement will solve
> problem. In the cases where the encoder is defective, there is no problem
> reproducing the failure on the service bench. One customer with the
> intermittent failure insisted that we change the encoder, the encoder was
> changed but the failure returned after a few weeks of operation. In other
> rare cased we have found a broken solder joint where the encoder is
> to the circuit board, again no problem getting the RIT to fail on the
> service bench. I have literally spent days using an Orion with the
> intermittent RIT failure and have been unable to reproduced that failure.
> The Orion was operated hot and cold. The Orion was controlled from a
> computer using various logging programs. I spent hours with the Orion
> engaging the RIT, raise the frequency using the RIT, reset the RIT,
> the frequency using the RIT, reset the RIT and it never failed.
> spent a week with the same Orion and could never reproduce the RIT
> If the RIT failure is a software glitch, we are unable to reproduce the
> series of button pushes that trigger the failure. If the RIT failure is a
> hardware problem, it is logical that it would surface on the service bench
> or in our own shacks. We wish to solve the mystery of the RIT failure as
> much as any Orion owner but unless we can reproduce the RIT failure, we
> not discover the cause. I would encourage any Orion owner that has the
> problem to call me when the RIT on their Orion is in the failed state. If
> could talk to an owner who is in front of an Orion in the failed state
> perhaps I could discover the source of the problem.
> Paul R. Clinton
> Service Manager
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