On Fri, 2007-12-14 at 10:34 -0700, Dave White wrote:
> Al W5IZ said in part: Let me understand that I bought 2 TenTec Orions, an
> Orion and an Orion II, and paid for them in full. The firmware has bugs
> years after the purchase. TenTec is aware of the bugs and I should wait for
> them to do other things before fixing the bugs. Sorry, companies lose
> customers by ignoring them in this manner. I am certain that former TenTec
> customers have moved to the K3 and will continue to do so. Perhaps that is a
> business strategy of TenTec to get the complainers to change loyalties to
> another supplier and whine on their reflectors instead. There is certainly a
> lot of moaning about deliveries on the Elecraft site, so if it is TenTec's
> strategy it is working. 73 de Al, W5IZ
> There is this perception that the K3 and Elecraft is the nirvana of HF radio
> performance and customer service - and that Elecraft have the upper hand in
> responding to customer needs. In reality, BOTH TenTec and Elecraft do a
> superb job of customer support, but not a perfect job. Witness the Elecraft
> reflector where customers have been waiting for K2 enhancements and fixes for
> a number of years without success (albeit small or insignificant items).
> Regarding the K3, I'm sure its going to be a stellar radio, but if I had
> purchased one back in May, and had it delivered in late fall, and was waiting
> for the DVR or 2nd Receiver option, I might be a little upset that the ship
> date on the options has slipped again.
> To think that TenTec (or Elecraft) are deliberately adopting a strategy of
> driving whiners to a competitor through (perceived) poor customer service is
> For my part, I have owned (excellent) product from both of these companies
> and have been very (not completely) satisfied. I will continue to purchase
> their wares and enjoy the fruits of their development labours.
> Dave White, VE6DRW
While I don't have inside information, I get the feeling that the
engineering staff at TT is not much more that twice the size of that at
Elecraft which makes TT maybe 4 or 5 total, 4 or 5 times the staff in my
company (just me).
Switching thinking from one product to another several times a day I
find tends to cause all the projects to go backwards. Yet its difficult
in the tiny company to hire a specialist for each immature product,
harder to find such a specialist with both hardware, software, and
contesting experience. And unless the software is documented very well
(more comments than code, many saying why particular logic or parameters
were chosen) its hard for the new hire or the programmer who wrote the
code last year to come up to speed to find bugs, and to make forward
progress. Over the last three decades I've created several megabytes of
source code and I believe it IS well documented, but when I have to do a
fix or upgrade, there's a lot of wheel spinning time figuring out why I
did it that way and what the heck chunks of code are supposed to do.
That coupled with the vagaries of world wide weather data makes the code
far more complex and makes getting up to speed a real pain.
That would say that the staffing at TT and Elecraft is really too small
for the number of products in their lines, yet its the new feature laden
products that get the paying customers. You know, when you build the
perfect radio that can't be improved on, you hardly ever get to sell a
replacement to those who buy it.
Probably the German phantom radio is that way because there are few or
no hams in management and engineering and so they think hams will accept
something not nearly as great as their military but find their less
capable ham priced products don't work as well as those already on the
market, yet being derived from cost plus military designs aren't price
competitive. Working a DX pileup takes better equipment than handling
point to point data on a private frequency that never has QRM where
propagation studies are followed so that the minimum S/N is never worse
than 10 dB requiring no operator skills in copying with too little S/N.
73, Jerry, K0CQ
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