Your comments are all valid except that we are all in this together and
should understand who we are buying from. If this
specialized end of the ham radio market wasn't so small, a study of
Ten-Tec, Elecraft and Hiberling would make a classic
and predictable Harvard Business School study.
Ten-Tec is a tin-bending shop with a circuit designer talent pool that loved
and supported thier products until they became a
software company and started to struggle. They lost procuct focus and may have
a shot at survival with the OMNI VII if they have a
chance to refine it and make it a bit more appealing, finished and less
expensive to create the volume they need.
Elecraft are a couple of Silicon Valley guys who have the broad engineering,
software and design skills to create the right product now,
and the marketing savvy to give it a lot of appeal. I hope they keep on doing
Hiberling is a commercial enterprise that delivers sophisticated custom
solutions to specialized customers and could only have delivered
a Mercedes level product that is unaffordable by 99% of thier target hobby
I know I'm an expert at the obvious but early adopters of experimental boxes
described as products have to accept them for what they are
and help out where we can.
BTW...doesn't the K3 already have an independent 2nd Rcvr as part of the
----- Original Message ----
From: Jerry Volpe <firstname.lastname@example.org>
Sent: Thursday, December 13, 2007 9:36:45 PM
Subject: [TenTec] Ten-Tec commitment to customers...
"Al, FWIW, I agree that TT has work to do for their original Orion and
II customers. If they do not plan any additional revisions or
they should clearly state so.
I have lost some confidence in their advertising claims and commitment
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
And although they still support the older analog equipment probably
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
just what is their level of commitment? To me it borders on
The darling product of the moment gets the support but as soon as
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
doesn't mean you let large groups of users languish in growing
disappointment. Frankly we are seeing far too much evidence of Orion
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
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
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
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
loyalty to Ten-Tec was beginning to show some serious cracks.
Nevertheless two years back I bought an Orion 565.... last year a used
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
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
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
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
that drape ever signal cable in the shack to protect the Orion from
local RF! Having resolved the RF daemons pretty much.... and solved
scratchy transmit audio (almost forgot) I now contend with the
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
mushiness.... to keep the keying clicks when transmitting in CW from
me down.... but even so there always remains an underlying raspy
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
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
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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