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Re: [TenTec] Orion 565 RIT XIT stopped working from front panel butworks

To: "'Discussion of Ten-Tec Equipment'" <tentec@contesting.com>
Subject: Re: [TenTec] Orion 565 RIT XIT stopped working from front panel butworks ok from POD.
From: "Robert Carroll" <w2wg@comcast.net>
Reply-to: Discussion of Ten-Tec Equipment <tentec@contesting.com>
Date: Sat, 5 Jul 2008 08:25:00 -0400
List-post: <tentec@contesting.com">mailto:tentec@contesting.com>
I had this problem in spades with my 565.  I first noticed it about a week
out of the box.  I used the "pull like heck on the knob" trick to cure it
for a month or so, but it came back.  This was a known problem to this
reflector, but TenTec was in total denial.  Over the course of several years
my 565 went back to TenTec several times, each time with increasingly
irritated notes asking them to fix the RIT problem in addition to the issue
which had caused the rig to go back.  Each time for the RIT the result
was--no trouble found, problem not observed.  I spoke to Paul more and more
frequently about the issue--a real one for me in contests.  He was
absolutely sure the problem was me or the environment in my shack.  He
continued to say TT had never observed the problem in any rig which had been
sent back for the issue. He thought I must have accidentally pressed this
button or that but, there was RF in my shack, the power supply did not have
minus connected to ground, I was located too close to broadcast stations,a
computer was connected to the 565 and interfering etc.  I was strongly
tempted to dump the 565--which I loved in all other aspects after the
firmware settled down a little--but I felt in good conscience I could not
sell it to someone else--and by then I was determined to get the problem
fixed.  As I gradually eliminated all Paul's reasons to feel I was causing
the problem--despite quite a few angry owners with the identical problem--he
decided it must be a firmware issue.  The firmware engineer wrote a special
version of the code--which I promised not to give to anyone else--which
looked at the RIT encoder output--and sure enough it showed that when the
RIT did not work, the encoder reading was not Gray code and in fact at most
was wiggling the least significant bit--until you did the big knob
tug--which restored things for a few hours (this had degraded with time).
It sure sounded like decent evidence there was a hardware problem, but Paul
was still not convinced.  So he made a special offer (I understand at least
a few others received the offer). He shipped me a different 565--one which
had come back to TT for one reason or another--in retrospect quite likely a
trade in on the Orion II, and I speculate by an owner who had given up on a
squirrely problem he could not get fixed.  Paul expected that this rig would
show the RIT problem, "proving" it was something in my environment or
operating technique--nope the RIT was fine and after more than a year the
RIT has never turned flaky.  But I did discover after a couple of weeks that
as I had suspected this Orion 565 also had a squirrel.  I came down one
morning, turned it on, the display looked normal during the boot, then lost
so much contrast you could not read it unless you got almost 90 degrees off
axis.  You could see just enough to try things--like varying the
contrast--which had no effect.  A few on/offs and things were fine--till a
few mornings later.  I was really disheartened by this.  Paul sent a new
power distribution board, the one with the caps that are the subject of
frequent discussion here.  Same problem.  Back to TT went this 565--problem
not observed, but they "re-soldered in suspected critical areas."  This
cured the problem and the rig has been flawless since.  But I am now bald.
I do know due to a comment on the billing invoice, that my old squirrely rig
went back into stock after I had agreed to keep the "new" one.  Perhaps it
is still there, or perhaps someone who has bought a used 565 for TenTec is
now also bald (actually many people never use the RIT and could care less).

I would really like to know if TT has finally gotten to the cause of this
problem.  I am SURE it is a hardware issue relating to bad plated through
holes, bad soldering, or something like that.  I'm sure Paul would say it is

So, in closing, God Bless You My Son--Abandon All Hope Ye Who Enter Here.  I
do have to credit TT for continuing to work with me over a period of several
years, but this was for sure the most frustrating ham experience I have had
since getting on the air in 1959.

If anyone has gone further with TT and actually found the root cause of the
problem, I would be very interested in hearing details.  I know resoldering
the encoder seems to cure it for a while, but my experience was that lots of
things that disturbed the encoder would cure it for a while.

Bob W2WG

-----Original Message-----
From: tentec-bounces@contesting.com [mailto:tentec-bounces@contesting.com]
On Behalf Of John T. Fleming
Sent: Saturday, July 05, 2008 6:56 AM
To: 'Discussion of Ten-Tec Equipment'
Subject: Re: [TenTec] Orion 565 RIT XIT stopped working from front panel
butworks ok from POD.


I have had this problem off and on since 2004.  I found that if I hit the
pins of the RIT/XIT encoder with some heat and a bit of solder, it cures the
problem.  But many times it has shown up again a year or so later.


-----Original Message-----
From: tentec-bounces@contesting.com [mailto:tentec-bounces@contesting.com]
On Behalf Of Jerry Volpe
Sent: Friday, July 04, 2008 11:04 PM
To: tentec@contesting.com
Subject: [TenTec] Orion 565 RIT XIT stopped working from front panel but
works ok from POD.

Remember a number of comments on this subject. Mine stopped working... 
sometimes it will bounce between 0 and -10 but that is about all. I can 
set up the remote POD for RIT XIT and it works great from there.... 
pressing the front panel RIT control causes the proper clear. The RIT 
XIT buttons come on as they should.  Running 2.062a. Reloaded firmware 
numerous times. Did RAM and Hardware RESETS numerous times as well.

For those who have experienced this.... what were your resolutions?

Jerry, KG6TT

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