[CQ-Contest] If you were buying a new contest radio today...
pa5mw at home.nl
Thu May 17 04:43:31 EDT 2007
Without a blink of an eye.
Have tried this rig for 2 yrs now, both at home and in heavy contest
situations (PI4TUE , with ALL antennas raised above 220ft AGL).
Have had several different operators using the Orion at the contest
station PI4TUE, who all have long lasting experiences at super MM
stations like OTxA, DF0CG etc..
Differences with competition (IC756ProI/II, TS950SDX, FT1000MP+Inrad
filters/roofing, MKV-Field +Inrad filters/roofing) are:
FINDING FREE FREQUENCY, BANDFIGHT, QRM ETC
Usually the bands are loaded with wall-to-wall signals, continuous key
clicks, unwanted AGC actions in your rig etc. When finally a frequency
is found you hear lots of garbage from left and right, again making it
impossible to hear the weak ones.
ORION: no problems here. There are quiet gaps between most contesting
stations. We now can work the weak mults between the big ones. Our
running freq is often below 025 on the bands between the big ones for
the first time ever!!!!!! No fights, no QRM.
Due to restricted IM/dynamic range specs at close range, it is
impossible to operate without 20dB att. switched in with the antenneas
being all above 220ft AGL. Some recent rigs even suffered from pin-diode
attenuator overload, which made the use of att even worse (IC756 ProI
and ProII are bad examples and proved useless on 40m)
ORION: NON-existent. We switched off the preamp on the low bands, but
never had to use the attenuators at any time.
WORKING THE WEAK ONES ON 20 &15 MTRS
Usually they were all buried in the garbage; no features or mods ever
helped to make the heard signals copy able. Where other local hams
always *did* hear the weak ones calling us, we could not translate it
into qso’s whatever rig we used. This was our most frustrating issue for
ORION: like removing a thick noise curtain, all clean and very easy to
IF FILTERING, DSP ETC.
Usually the smaller the IF filtering, the more attenuation, ringing and
other negative effects are heard, hence no s/n improvement when you need
it the most.
ORION: with the very weak ones going from 300-400Hz to below 200Hz down
to 140Hz DSP filtering or so, makes the signals simply copy able. True
S/N enhancement according mathematical theory. Technical experienced
operators were astounded.
COMPATABILITY WITH CONTEST SW AND AMPLIFER
This is usually not too difficult but requires some attention up-front
ORION: no issues with N1MM (thanks guys) and the amplifier setup. Not
one glitch during 48 hours.
OPERATOR FIRST IMPRESSION& USER INTERFACE EXPERIENCES
Usually every new rig you drag in requires lots of explanation and ops
still have problems to tweak it for best rx results due to many knobs
and new options.
ORION: no troubles at all; operators only used RF gain dial to tailor
gain with band propagation between 60-85, Bandwidth dial between
400-100Hz, RIT dial and click to clear function, no more. Operators
found the interface unconventional but very intuitive.
Bottom point: all ops have seen the boost in contest results at PI4TUE
and now want the Orion for permanent.
I have my dream rig and find it great operating/listening to this rig.
The human interface (and analogue S-meter) is a warm companion (we are
in the soft-area now). Current fancy coloured new kids on the block
cannot touch this by a mile.
'73 Mark , PA5MW
> which one would you buy? What makes it better than its competitors?
More information about the CQ-Contest