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Re: [TenTec] Orion Repaired and Back to V1.373b5

To: "Discussion of Ten-Tec Equipment" <tentec@contesting.com>
Subject: Re: [TenTec] Orion Repaired and Back to V1.373b5
From: "Bob McGraw - K4TAX" <RMcGraw@Blomand.net>
Reply-to: Discussion of Ten-Tec Equipment <tentec@contesting.com>
Date: Wed, 12 Dec 2007 10:23:13 -0600
List-post: <mailto:tentec@contesting.com>
On item that I've discovered with the current Omni  VII on the desk, thus I 
no longer have the Orion II available, is that the RF Gain must be run 
lower, actually much lower, than one would expect.  And to that end, I then 
don't use the NB or NR function.  Once I "re-trained" myself to this fact, I 
discovered that I didn't miss any weak signals and the weak signals just 
popped out.  Also, with no strong station around {10+ miles}the ATTN is not 
needed either.

I do notice some audio artifacts when using the NR and NB functions.  While 
they are effective in doing their respective jobs, it's a toss up for me to 
use or not to use.  Generally, my decision is not to use as my noise levels 
locally are limited only by atmospheric noises.  One specific benefit is 
found when using the radio as the IF for the VHF or UHF station.  With no 
signals present, the NR function does make for a bit more comfortable 
extended listening for the weak ones.

You mileage may vary.

Bob, K4TAX

----- Original Message ----- 
From: "Duane Calvin" <ac5aa1@gmail.com>
To: "'Discussion of Ten-Tec Equipment'" <tentec@contesting.com>
Sent: Wednesday, December 12, 2007 9:37 AM
Subject: Re: [TenTec] Orion Repaired and Back to V1.373b5

> Merle,
> I've been struggling with the "overdriven" audio sound ever since
> installing 2.062a.  I also hope they get to this soon.  The only solution
> I've found is to run both the NB and NR at between 1 and 3, which helps. 
> It
> is clearly inferior to the earlier levels of audio.  Also, I note that the
> fixed level audio at the accessory socket that I use to drive my digital
> controller was reduced considerably on the later level (or two?) of FW.
> Maybe it's time to go back to 1.37x version and remind myself how that
> worked.
> 73, Duane
> Duane Calvin, AC5AA
> Austin, Texas
> www.ac5aa.com
> -----Original Message-----
> From: tentec-bounces@contesting.com [mailto:tentec-bounces@contesting.com]
> On Behalf Of Merle Bone
> Sent: Wednesday, December 12, 2007 9:07 AM
> To: tentec@contesting.com
> Subject: [TenTec] Orion Repaired and Back to V1.373b5
> I recently sent my Orion back to Ten-Tec with a problem I had been chasing
> for over 6 months. I had been running V2.062a while trying to find the 
> cause
> of losing the main receiver and transmitter when the band was changed -
> first thru the computer control port and then  thru the front panel 
> buttons.
> The Service Department quickly isolated the problem to the digital board 
> and
> then to the EPROM chip - I should have sent it back earlier! Ten-Tec 
> Service
> group is great!
> While the Orion was at Ten-Tec, I was using my FT1000MP. I found the
> FT1000MP audio to be much less fatiguing when operating the radio for
> several hours (With the rain,ice and cold weather I am spending more hours
> on the radio!). When the Orion came back - with V2.062a - I noticed that 
> the
> audio sounded "overdriven and somewhat distorted." After a day of 
> operation
> I reloaded V1.373b5. To my ear, V1.373b5 audio sounds much smoother -
> regardless of the RF gain or audio gain setting. Of course I much prefer 
> the
> performance of the Manual Notch Filter in the V1 code (Removes the carrier
> from the IF bandpass as well as the audio tone so that nearby strong 
> signals
> do not "pump the AGC" - making it hard to copy weak signals). Additionally 
> I
> find the sidetone to be much  clearer on V1; the V1 Noise Reduction code 
> is
> much more effective - to my ear - on SSB; I much prefer the operation of 
> the
> S-Meter/RF Gain in that the S-Meter still correctly reads the signal
> strength even with the RF
>  gain reduced (I know that some prefer the V2 mode where the S-Meter 
> needle
> moves to the right side of the S-Meter as the RF gain is reduced). I don't
> know if the audio issues I observe on the Orion are due to the changes 
> that
> were made in the V2 AGC operation/take-off-point or because of the code
> changes made in an attempt to reduce the adverse effect of burst QRN, or
> something else.
> I hope that Ten-Tec will soon devote some  resources to continuing work to
> improve the V2.062a (May 2007) firmware. I remember early Orion 
> discussions,
> on this reflector, that discussed expectations that the Orion firmware 
> would
> be continuously upgraded to add new features and functions to the radio.
> There have been very few functional improvements to the Orion/Orion II
> (Letters for the stack memories; a strange "sloped AGC" function; etc.),
> while numerous performance issues have emerged as artifacts of the V2
> firmware re-write. Certainly those early expectations have, thus far, gone
> unfulfilled. What would be most welcome would be Ten-Tec releasing a new
> digital board for the Orion and Orion II with the much faster - with 
> larger
> memories - follow on processors to the current Orion SHARC (Which are code
> compatible with the current Orion/Orion II DSPs). That would allow new 
> code
> to add new features to the Orion/Orion II. However, it doesn't look much
> like that is in the works.
>   Hopefully this isn't the end for the Orion firmware.
> Merle - W0EWM
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