[TenTec] Re: [Ten-Tec516] (unknown)

Ten-Tec Inc. Amateur Radio Sales sales@tentec.com
Wed, 04 Dec 2002 17:47:54 -0500

At 02:49 PM 12/4/02 -0600, you wrote:
 >Well Scott, contrary to what you might think of me I am a  fan of Ten Tec
 >products and have owned at one time or another most of what TT has produced
 >through the years. I also have been subscribed to this reflector for many
 >years and it's not hard to remember the problems the Pegasus and the Jupiter
 >had when first released. It seems many TT radios through the years have one
 >problem or another that the factory doesn't address in public even though it
 >becomes common knowledge and discussed in length on this reflector.


Think about this for a moment - when I read a message, not addressed
to us, regarding a problem with a particular piece of our equipment - what
is the logical course of action to take?   There is a whole flow chart of
possibilities - but I can assure you that a message regarding a problem a
user of one of our rigs is experiencing is not necessarily going to stop
everything that is going on here to address.


First, anything that is let out of here goes through lots and lots of testing
before we ever release it.  Our assumption is for anything that leaves
here as a new product, that it is operating and engineered properly.

In the case of the Argonaut V - think back to earlier this year when we
kept delaying the release.  We were testing the rig.  Working on the
rig, wanting to make it as good as possible in every respect before
we released it.  We were (are) satisfied that that's the case with this
radio.  Now, two months after we've been shipping, when hundreds of
units are out the door - one user indicates he has an issue with the
rig, and another user indicated he has a different issue, both messages
posted a public forum.  Other messages, posted as well, indicate
other users are NOT experiencing the same problem.

The problem we have here is that any time a problem with a specific
piece of gear, whether it is ours or one of the Japanese companies'
is posted to the Internet - two things immediately happen.  The first
is that a number of people immediately assume that there is an
ENDEMIC problem with this piece of equipment - the second is
the question of 'why don't they (the manufacturer) do something to
fix this problem that is common knowledge and everyone is talking
about and has been circulating the Internet for the past [insert
time frame between 5 minutes and several years]'? comes up.

Now, when I see public messages that indicate some users are having
a problem and others are not, my immediate reaction is 'is there a
problem, or not?' - it most certainly is not 'we have a problem' - and
the difference between those two reactions is miles wide.  A report
of a problem has to be investigated - and investigated carefully to
make sure there is one, and to have it addressed properly.  A problem
an individual user may have with one unit does not mean the alarm
should immediately be sounded that 'every' unit has the problem.
Sure, it could lead to that assessment, but it isn't going to happen until
some careful investigating is done - and that doesn't always occur in
a short time frame for any number of possible reasons.

As far as addressing problems publicly there are countless examples
of us doing so.  Any updating we've done to the Pegasus and Jupiter
is a first example.  The whole issue we went through years ago with the
2nd order intercept point receiver performance with the original Omni-VI
- there are many examples of this.  Just because we don't make a general
announcement of something doesn't mean it's not public information -
call us, email us, ask us - we'll provide answers if you want them.
And if we find there is no problem - we don't put up an announcement
that says "by the way, this problem, doesn't exist" (see below).

 >You seem
> >to have plenty of time to address me on the reflector, but find it hard to
> >find the time to talk about the "quirks" of your products.

I can't even begin to address this - we've talked about this kind of stuff
(forgive the cliche) ad nauseum about our equipment.  It comes
back to what is an endemic problem vs. what is not.  There are lots
of examples of things people claim are endemic problems that are
completely baseless when we check them out.   Others turn out to
be non-performance related issues that we feel have no benefit to
fix - and we fix them anyway.

What response should Ten-Tec have in a case like this:

Customer:  "You have a problem with X"

Ten-Tec:  "We investigated that and found no problem"

Who wins this discussion?  Let's say we find there isn't an endemic
problem with a specific piece of gear and we say we've found no problem.
What happens (news flash)?  Ten-Tec must be wrong.  "I know it's a
problem because I know someone who had that particular problem
with the radio."   It's like the discussion that's occuring on the 516
reflector right now about the 516 and PSK31 performance.    Some
users have reported the radio being off frequency.....

Two Hz.

Others have indicated - hey this is a soundcard issue, not an issue with
the radio (which, I see, has apparently not been noted by some
of those posting to the group).  Is it the radio or is it the soundcard?
Personally, I don't know.

Let's pretend the radio is off frequency on 20 meters by 2 Hz.  Instead
of being 14.070.000, it's 14.070.002.  Lessee, the factory specs for the
516 with the TCXO installed are +/- 3 PPM at 14 MHz.   That means an
error of +/- 42 Hz is within spec at 14 MHz.   +/- 2 Hz is great.

Is there a problem with the rig, then?  See what I mean?

> >If you say
> >nothing do these problems go away?? If something is a software
> >glitch..fine..say so and we'll all wait for TT or more than likely a third
> >party to fix the problem, but to ignore what is written by what are
> >obviously knowledgeable hams making very detailed observations,

Certainly, you're not insinuating that hams at Ten-Tec are
a) not knowledgeable and b) not making detailed observations, right?

Tim, again, we're not ignoring anything.  You're not reading all of the
traffic on the 516 reflector or you are choosing to interpret in a manner
that does not accurately reflect what's going on there.  To recap:
Someone reported hearing a chirp on 40 meters in SPLIT mode
operating CW on their TX signal.  Others, trying the same thing, have
reported no chirp.  A couple of users reported losing their memory
channels with a given power supply.  Many others reported they did
not.  What possible response would you like from us regarding
these issues?   I posted a message to the 516 group on Monday
indicating we were looking into it.  Considering the original message
was posted there on Friday of a holiday weekend, and that I
had responded to this BEFORE the original poster W9VNE had
even called us on the phone to discuss it, I'd say we're being
pretty responsive to investigating if there is an issue.

Promise:  If it's an endemic problem to the rig, we'll make it known
and come up with an answer and a fix.  We don't know that it is,
or is not.  If it's not an endemic problem, then we'll just leave it be,
and address the issue on a case-by-case basis.  This is how we
always do this with our equipment.

> > and then
> >taking offence to a comment I make with tongue in cheek is a bit much in my
> >book.  I understand you are the big cheese at Ten Tec and I but a small fry
> >in the ether...but the truth is still the truth.
>Respectfully Submitted
>Tim Randa  KFL

I'm the little cheese here - I'm just responsible for making sure that
commentary about our equipment is accurate and to point out when
I feel we are being treated unfairly.  To insinuate that a new product
our ours has fundamental flaws and that we are unresponsive to this
requires a response from me.

My attitude - always and consistently - is that if you hate our gear or
don't like our company that I'm not going to argue that.  We live in
a capitalist society and Ten-Tec lives and dies by it.  I think (we,
Ten-Tec) think we're doing a great job on our equipment and our
service reputation compared to our competitiors.

Geez, Tim, can't we at least get the benefit of the doubt here?

Still smiling,
Scott Robbins, W4PA

>----- Original Message -----
>From: "w4pa" <w4pa@yahoo.com>
>To: <Ten-Tec516@yahoogroups.com>
>Sent: Wednesday, December 04, 2002 2:22 PM
>Subject: [Ten-Tec516] (unknown)
>Yes, Tim, I can.  To refer to the rig disparagingly in a public
>forum after one or two reports of individual problems with a
>unit is uncalled for, period.  Particularly when reports of the
>inability to repeat the same have been posted by other users of the
>transceiver.  You were waiting for the "real" (read: anything,
>no matter how small, negative) reports about the Argonaut V to
>come in - and now you've seen them.  The rig is an unqualified
>success, and we couldn't be more pleased with the results.
>I won't even address the rest of your message - you're either
>fixated on being negative and contrary, unfamiliar with how
>Ten-Tec conducts ourselves, or both.
>Scott Robbins, W4PA
>--- In Ten-Tec516@y..., "Tim Randa" <tranda@c...> wrote:
> > Geezzz...
> >
> > Can you blame me???  Maybe instead of taking a poke at me like you
>did you
> > could take the time and start addressing the concerns of very
> > operators.
> >
> > Sometimes the true hurts.
> >
> > de KFL
> >
> > ----- Original Message -----
> > From: "Ten-Tec Inc. Amateur Radio Sales" <sales@t...>
> > To: "Tim Randa" <tranda@c...>
> > Sent: Tuesday, December 03, 2002 9:08 AM
> > Subject: Re: [TenTec] Re: [Ten-Tec516] Losing Memories
> >
> >
> > Thanks Tim.
> >
> > 73
> > Scott Robbins
> >
> > At 06:49 PM 11/29/02 -0600, you wrote:
> > >Glad I waited to buy what turned out to be the Argobug V till
>after the
> > real
> > >reports started coming in. I knew the oooohs  and ahhhh's would
>end sooner
> > >or later.
> > >de KFL
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