[TenTec] CQ Magazine review of Omni-VI+

Joseph Koppi jkoppi@pclink.com
Thu, 5 Mar 1998 15:54:41 -0600

>>Charles D. Shinn writes:
>>I agree. It would appear that virtually all equipment reviews are
>>tainted by the inability of the reviewer to express themselves because
>of real >or imaginary "Loss of Advertising Revenue". Business is poor
>these days.
>>Cutting out those advert bux to an unfriendly rag might be a good move
>>for some that might be on the edge.....Chuck
>I couldn't agree more. Reviews by CQ are not worth the expenditure of
>time. I've found QST to be much more thorough in evaluations of
>Loren W7BWI

I've always thought "Owners' Reports" would be useful to the amateur
community.  An Owners' Report (notice the plural possessive) is a review of
a piece of equipment based on solicited comments from people who own the
rigs.  Basically, a publication sends a questionnaire to owners of the rig.
The editor identifies owners by getting the registration list from the
manufacturer, or by soliciting users in another way.  (How the
questionnaire is developed is another debatable matter.)  The resulting,
gathered information--together with a QST-style technical review--is an
opportunity to provide really useful information to the amateur community.

Ain't gonna happen, Folks!  Too much money at stake.

Having been trained as a reporter and having worked on daily newspapers,
trade press publications, a consumer magazine, and in corporate marketing
communications, I somehow found the audacity to suggest an Owners' Report
section to none other than Wayne Green and 73 Magazine.  (Good grief!  I
must have been on drugs.)  This was sometime in the mid-80s when I had
already notched 15 or 16 years as a writer, and I thought it would be a
worthy pursuit to try freelancing a few articles to a magazine that serves
the world's greatest hobby.

That's when I found out how stupid I was.

First of all, I should have never gone directly to Mt. Olympus.  W2NSD
could not muddy his fingrtips by personally replying to my query.  Instead,
in a most condescending fashion, I was taken to task by a young staffer
whose last Pampers were still in his parent's trash can.  He proceeded to
lecture me on the relationship of advertising to publishing, taking
particular time to point out that owners might say something the
manufacturer didn't like, and the manufacturer might be unduly injured
before a fix could be implemented.  This, of course, would have possible
adverse ramifications on future advertising revenues.

Alas, my thinking was flawed.  All along I had thought that manufacturers
wanted to get user feedback as a means of improving their products.  All
along I had thought that a manufacturer that fixes a bug only serves to
enhance its reputation, not diminish it.  All along I had thought that a
publication had some obligation to be responisble to its readers.

Not so.  Such was the way things were at 73; I suspect it is similar at CQ.

But we're lucky.  We can get owners' reports on demand.  All we have to do
is drop a note to the reflector (actually, any appropriate reflector
depending on the subject), and say:  "Hey, Guys, what do you think of the
Omni VI's SSB filters?"  And an Owners' Report will follow!  That's what I
will do when I am able to once again acquire an Omni VI.

I've taken too much space.  I'll be quiet for a long time, now.  73,

Joe Koppi, W0SU
St. Paul, MN

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