[ct-user] Idiom Press - reprise

Gene W. Sochor Gene W. Sochor" <gsochor@interaccess.com
Tue, 17 Dec 1996 13:17:17 -0600

The proprietor of Idiom Press is a friend of mine, and not on the
DX, Contest, or CT-user reflectors, so I sent him copies of the messages
dealing with Idiom Press.

He had some comments, and I am putting them up here.

Regarding the keyer kit sold to KB2HUN, the gentleman's version of the
story is not quite the same as that of Idiom Press. Idiom Press does not
claim to not make mistakes. What Idiom Press does claim is that all CPU
chips are 100% tested before shipping. This testing is a part of the
programming process necessary for the chip. The CPU chip is a CMOS chip,
and as noted in the manual requires proper handling to avoid damage to
the chip. Idiom Press does not see that it should assume responsibility
for customer's mishandling of chips that tested good before they went

Idiom Press does offer to test customer chips to insure that they are
not the cause of a kit that is not working. They charge $5 for testing
and postpaid return of the chips. This seems reasonable to me - testing
and repackaging must take at least half an hour. Anyhow, if a CPU is
bad, Idiom will replace it for $10 additional on an exchange basis to
the original customer.

In any case, of the perhaps 30 chip sets that Idiom has tested on this
basis, only two CPU's were actually bad, and one of those was from a
customer who admitted up front that he had probably damaged it himself.
In some cases the EEPROM showed corrupted data in testing, but Idiom erased
that. Newer kits now include a software command to erase the EEPROM
should that be a problem, and KB2HUN's kit was one such.

KB2HUN seemed to expect Idiom Press to overnight a replacement CPU chip
to him gratis in hopes that that would solve whatever problem his keyer
kit has. Idiom simply does not do that.

Idiom remains willing to test KB2HUN's chip set if he cares to send it
to them.

Regarding NI6T's comments about his Logikey, my friend at Idiom
confessed that NI6T was entirely correct in his message. NI6T has one of
the first Logikey units out, and unfortunately was apparently the first
to experience the key bounce problem. My friend at Idiom asked ITT
Schadow, the push-button supplier, and they told him that such a problem
was extremely unlikely as long as there was a keybounce routine in the
program. My friend then asked the software designers if there was indeed
such a routine programmed into the chip, and they assured him there was.
That lead my friend to make an inadequate response to NI6T, which he
readily acknowleges and regrets. Once he realized that the problem was
genuine, he did send out new switches at no charge - the unit was under
warranty - and had the software modified to extend the keybounce routine
timing well past the switch manufacturer's spec, and that has largely
resolved that problem.

Idiom has sold thousands of Super CMOS keyer kits and Logikeys and only
a very small percentage of customers have had problems getting them to
work properly. Idiom remains willing to support all keyers and kits
sold by Idiom.

The original messages should never have been posted on reflectors designated
for their specific topics; since they were, Idiom Press deserves to have
their side presented.  Let's get back to the business at hand, please!

Gene Sochor

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