"Al, FWIW, I agree that TT has work to do for their original Orion and Orion
II customers. If they do not plan any additional revisions or upgrades,
they should clearly state so.
I have lost some confidence in their advertising claims and commitment to
customers. I view the firmware issues as part of their whole customer
Probably the hallmark reason that I have stayed with Ten-Tec for over 30 years
has been their tradition of exemplary service to the customer. And although
they still support the older analog equipment probably far better than the
competition... what is their stance on the newer gear? The equipment they
advertised would never get old.... keep improving... blah, blah, blah, due to
their ability to update the firmware.... just what is their level of
commitment? To me it borders on disgraceful. The darling product of the moment
gets the support but as soon as sales flatten out they are on to something
else. Now I can understand moving a large portion of your support resources to
the newer money making products as you have to maintain a profit to stay in
business.... but that doesn't mean you let large groups of users languish in
growing disappointment. Frankly we are seeing far too much evidence of Orion
owners jumping ship (so to speak). That has to be apparent to those shopping
for a new transceiver as well.
About three years ago I bought a new RX-350 and found it to be a promising
design but with some annoyances.... it had some serious flaws... I could work
around them... so I waiting for the fulfillment of the 'promise'... but... then
I was informed that as far as Ten-Tec was concerned the RX-350 was a mature
product (sales had diminished... any wonder why?) and therefore as a product it
would not see any more firmware fixes. Sadly I sold it why it sill held its
apparent value. I also had a new Jupiter at that time too... the same 'mature'
product dialog started to filter from Ten-Tec on that rig.... sadly I sold it
too. My life long loyalty to Ten-Tec was beginning to show some serious cracks.
Nevertheless two years back I bought an Orion 565.... last year a used Pegasus.
Now I don't expect the Pegasus to have any further improvements from Ten-Tec
but it is good enough for a $500 used transeiver... so no issues there. The
Orion is another issue. Sine buying my Orion I have exc
hanged so many emails and phone calls to service regarding my Orion 'issues'
only to receive minimum useful assistance.... oftentimes replies that they
could not 'identify' or duplicate my concerns. Aaauurrrggghhhh! I am a pretty
knowledgeable engineer with 30 plus years in RF, amateur equipment design, and
computers/software and firmware programming so I felt pretty confident in what
I was experiencing.
Today I tolerate my Orion because of what it nearly is... what it could be....
and frankly because of the money I have invested in it. And I suppose I must
account for the several hundred dollars in ferrite beads that drape ever signal
cable in the shack to protect the Orion from local RF! Having resolved the RF
daemons pretty much.... and solved the scratchy transmit audio (almost forgot)
I now contend with the underlying issue... I don't enjoy listening to this
transceiver. It is fatiguing. It is noisy. It clicks with every dit and dah I
transmit. In order to deal with its receive quirkiness I find I must
continually ride the RF Gain control in order to keep the background noise from
nearly overwhelming most weaker signals... to minimize AGC derived compression
mushiness.... to keep the keying clicks when transmitting in CW from wearing me
down.... but even so there always remains an underlying raspy quality to the
audio that is just plain fatiguing... to the extent where h
alf way into contests I switch to my twenty-year-old Corsair II or my Pegasus
to maintain my sanity!
Honestly I don't watch the reflector all that much these days as it tends to
depress me rather quickly. From my vantage point it appears that today's
Ten-Tec decision makers listen primarily to comments/suggestions from the field
(us) that support their own... agenda(?) and the rest of us.... well we must be
on the 'fringe' so not taken to seriously.
I don't want to give up on my Orion but I can see the day coming soon when the
K3 is available with a second receiver and then I am afraid all bets are off.
73 to all Orion owners,
Ralph Jerald "Jerry" Volpe
Amateur Radio Operator KG6TT
788 Chestnut Drive
Fairfield, CA 94533
707 399-8838 FAX
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