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Re: [TenTec] Obsolescence was: Omni 6 Logic Board Failure

To: tentec@contesting.com
Subject: Re: [TenTec] Obsolescence was: Omni 6 Logic Board Failure
From: Neal Laugman <neal.laugman@gmail.com>
Reply-to: Discussion of Ten-Tec Equipment <tentec@contesting.com>
Date: Fri, 14 Jan 2011 11:09:28 -0600
List-post: <tentec@contesting.com">mailto:tentec@contesting.com>
On Fri, 14 Jan 2011 10:40:52 -0600
"Dr. Gerald N. Johnson" <geraldj@weather.net> wrote:

> I was going to look at the Omni VI control board logic, but unless I 
> commit to doing a lot, the dozen or 16 schematics turned me off.

Uh - yeah. My solution to the problem is this: Barring any intellectual
property or licensing issues, release a version of the source code into
the public domain and let a 3rd party manufacture the solution. This
happens every so often in the software domain, usually creating quite a
bit of synergy the OEM can take advantage of in their future product

Neal, NL7VL

[This is a partial repost of a previous attempt that apparently did
not send properly from my system. Please forgive the duplication if you
have already seen this.]
On Fri, 14 Jan 2011 10:40:52 -0600 "Dr. Gerald N. Johnson"
<geraldj@weather.net> wrote:

> On 1/14/2011 9:15 AM, Ray Sills wrote:
> > Hi Barry:
> >
> > True... but those boat anchor rigs were designed to be repairable,
> > under the assumption that you could still get the parts/components
> > to repair them.  Or, at least find a viable substitute.
> >
> > But, over time, we hams as customers, have (requested, demanded,
> > voted with our dollars) new features (DSP, performance, etc.) that
> > were most economically done using digital and computer techniques.
> > Could a boat anchor transmitter be set to 1 Hz frequency accuracy?
> > And maintain that frequency for long periods of time?
> >
> > Today's radios are much like today's computers:  they are a -
> > subscription-.  Periodically, we "renew" the account by buying the
> > latest version.  Any day now, my computer is going to fail.  And, I
> > won't try to fix it (unless it's something -really- easy and simple
> > to repair).  I will then get a replacement for it, most likely the
> > latest version of machine and OS.  Same thing with my car.
> The computer makers have always believed in making their hardware 
> obsolete by new products so they can sell new. The latests versions
> of windoze tend to dislike old working software so they demand new
> software with new user interfaces which sets us all back a year.
> While computer drives do wear out, the CPU that appears to fail
> probably is only a victim of needing its heatsink fins and fan
> cleaned. The fan packs dust into the fins to the point that no air
> can flow to cool the CPU which then gets hot and the resistors change
> value and can't keep up with the clock and it messes up. Its often
> possible to gain another decade of computer use by cleaning the fans
> and fins every couple years. And far less expensive than changing to
> a "new" computer that lacks floppy drives and RS-232 serial ports to
> connect to existing software and radios.
> The computer industry started out 50 years ago leasing computers and 
> regularly updating them. Then the PC came along owned by individuals, 
> more productive from not being shared with a thousand other users and 
> the PC has evolved to be a great deal more powerful than the IBM
> 360/370 that were staples of commercial computation in the 60s and
> 70s. The makers still recall those great days of high rents and are
> trying to get back there by a concept they call cloud computing. In
> cloud computing you have a fairly dumb computer that rents their
> software for each time you use it, whether browser, CAD, word
> processing or whatever, and they get perpetual income rather than one
> time income. You get perpetual expense and twice yearly you get to
> have to learn new software that kills your productivity for a week or
> two each upgrade. And on the dozenth upgrade neglects the feature
> that you need because they didn't think you needed it.
> >
> > It might be possible for a company to manufacture a radio that could
> > be kept operating properly for decades.  But, I bet it would cost -a
> > lot- of money.  And, most hams will be quite unwilling to spend that
> > amount of money for such a radio.  We might lament the fact that
> > this is the case, but it -is- the case so we have to deal with it
> > on those terms.
> >
> > Perhaps, some radio company might consider engineering the design of
> > a radio to future-proof it by finding ways to replace components or
> > whole circuits with some generic part.  However, unless there is a
> > demand for that, I doubt it would happen, since it would be an added
> > cost.  And most companies stay in business by selling new gear, not
> > by keeping the old stuff running.  Those companies who support the
> > ham community by offering repair service at economically feasible
> > rates as long as they can, offer us the comfort of knowing that
> > radio we buy should serve us well for a good interval of time.
> > And, that disposes us toward buying their products.
> There are many chips still available from the first logic ICs, but 
> microprocessors from some companies have disappeared probably because 
> they never sold really well.
> I was going to look at the Omni VI control board logic, but unless I 
> commit to doing a lot, the dozen or 16 schematics turned me off.
> >
> > Hams are creative and inventive people, and I also suspect that
> > there will always be some of us who will enjoy keeping the old
> > clunkers running, and have much satisfaction in doing so.  It's
> > part of the hobby!
> I'd enjoy creating a new control board, if I could expect to make a 
> living selling it for a few years. I have plenty other projects I
> want to do for my fun that are easier.
> >
> > 73 de Ray
> > K2ULR
> > FN20kg
> > Warrington, PA
> >
> >
> >
> 73, Jerry, K0CQ
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