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Author Topic: Ten Tec ORION  (Read 1409 times)
WB2WIK
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Posts: 20611




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« on: April 04, 2003, 12:46:30 PM »

Just wondering if anyone knows how to make the Orion "sound good" for SSB transmission?

I don't have one, and I've never used one (yet), but now that I've worked three guys using them over the past week, all three sounded anemic and much to "bassy," with no highs in the modulation and therefore sounded just plain muddy.

In all three cases, the new owners were going through the menus, setting up the modulation characteristics, and mentioned stuff like, "I have it at -15 dB, 200 Hz" and such comments, but in all three cases, no matter what they did, they all sounded very bad.

There must be a trick.  Anyone know what it is?

WB2WIK/6
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KA7GKN
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Posts: 147




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« Reply #1 on: April 14, 2003, 08:07:14 PM »

Hi Steven, I hope you accept this reply in the positive manner it is written:

I too have chatted with a few Orions and aside from poor audo they seemed unable to zero beat [an old AM thing], but in SSB you still need to tune in the station you're in qso with. +/- 20-100hz does make a big difference as to how you sound. in defense of those going huh? If your audio is say 300-2.5khz chances are you'll never know if you are on the same freq. The audio guys [me] we run 80-2.9khz [ic775dsp]
and I can hear a few hertz off...
ok, now to the Orion,
The Orion audio is fine "IF PROPERLY ADJUSTED"
turn off the speech processor/compressor it only well. does what it's designed to do it drops all lows squeezes the audio to the edge of distortion splatter and  minimal intelligence!
now, go the the radio's transmit eq. I think it goes   -20 to +20 plug in some headphones and monitor [listen] to your xmt audio then adjust it for clarity.

The other day I helped a fellow with the heil goldline pro and a W2IHY box adjust his audio and after some tweeking he sounded excellent. I recorded his audio 1.9khz, 2.8khz, and 6.0khz in the ear bleeding dx mode without his processor on his audio was crisp articulate and yeah the lows were cut even though he has some, in the other bandwidths his signal sounded better and better.
I will agree that the energy used in the 100hz or so area is wasted in the dx mode but for the appliance operator hams let's keep it simple...in fact he can get the dx sound by turning on the processor without changing any settings.

I am proud to be an audiophile for 3+ years and will chat with everyone. I try to help all hams improve their signals not just eq wise, but show them how to eliminate hum, buzz, ac hum, room noise, how to properly speak into a mic  [no huffing and puffing, no shouting, etc] I also agree the excessive bandwidth [6khz] that some audio guys use is another issue and not intended for this specific question. I run the Icom IC-775dsp 80-2.9 and no way am I 6khz wide!

I find in the relm of ham radio audio extremes from tinny to way too bassy. The best way to ensure a comfortable conversational friendly audio is to monitor your signal. You can't get an accurate report from the guy 50hz off your transmit frequency, his hearing aids batteries are low and he's using the 2" radio speaker. Well you get the idea.

Oh, I must add this, stop saying "BUTT-UM"!!!! if your mind goes blank say "OVER" if you use BUTT-UM to maintain your vox circuit, perhaps adjusting your vox properly would be appropriate.
People world wide listen to our signals and every time you use BUTT_UM yout IQ drops 1.2 points
by listening to yourself in the radio monitor you can hear yourself and just maybe improve your grammer and conversational speech

best regards, marty    ka7gkn


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WB2WIK
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Posts: 20611




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« Reply #2 on: April 15, 2003, 01:07:54 PM »

Marty, I don't even own an Orion, so I'm obviously not offended by anyone's comments about it.  I was just wondering if there's some way to make one sound "good" without external accessories, since the few I've worked on SSB thus far did not sound good at all.

If any Orion owners out there can advise on this, that would be great and I'd gladly pass the info along to Orion owners I meet on the air.

WB2WIK/6
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KA7GKN
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Posts: 147




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« Reply #3 on: April 16, 2003, 09:57:22 AM »

Let me be more succinct. The fellow I mentioned in my earlier reply was using an Orion with a Heil goldline and W2IHY box. I also helped a fellow using only a Heil goldline pro and an ORION.

Using only the Orion and its controls you can adjust the audio, however, using an outboard eq does allow a greater range of adjusting.

Finally the above Orion users both had their audio bandwidth set at 50-3khz.

Marty    ka7gkn

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AC5E
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Posts: 3585




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« Reply #4 on: April 16, 2003, 10:04:06 PM »

Well - personally I have a ham across town I talk to face to face very frequently and whose judgement I trust. With the stock TenTec mike, set according to the manual specs, my friend told me it's the most natural sound he's heard out of me on the air. And he's heard me on Kenwoods from '930's to 2000's; Icoms from 730's to Pro II's; and Yaesu's up to and including the FT1000D.

Of course, the Orion has a VERY wide range of built in adjustments. It's easy to crank in way too much bass and cut way too much treble; use an unsuitable mike; use far less transmit bandwidth than a particular voice calls for; or get the passband tuning off and get the transmit frequency off by an equal amount; and if you do any of those things you will sound horrible. Naturally.

And just like any other rig, it's easy to hook up with some malicious joker who will steer you way wrong. It takes care and common sense to make any rig sound good.

But those problems will eventually take care of themselves as the new owners familiarize themselves with the rigs. At least, the menus are reasonably accessable. You don't have to go through sixty six sub menus to get to the one you need.

73  Pete Allen  AC5E

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WB2WIK
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Posts: 20611




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« Reply #5 on: April 17, 2003, 12:44:26 PM »

Yep, one of the problems with having a wide range of adjustments available is that most will get them wrong.

I worked one Orion owner last week who asked me about his audio, and I finally said, "Why don't you just listen to yourself, using the MONITOR feature of the rig?"  He didn't even know it had that feature, and had never used it.

But, no matter what he did during the course of our 20-minute contact, he sounded awful -- tons of bass response, nothing above that, difficult to understand unless I really concentrated.

Manufacturers aren't doing themselves or their customers any favors by making the default factory settings less than optimum for the majority of users.  If I was selling a rig that could be adjusted a thousand different ways for its modulation characteristics, I would make the default one which sounds good for most users, and recommend all users just leave it alone unless they have specialized needs.

WB2WIK/6
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K4WH
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Posts: 26




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« Reply #6 on: April 24, 2003, 09:30:45 PM »

Steve,

I have had the opportunity over the last 6 months to listen to the Orion before it was released for sale.  The staff at Ten Tec had been taking a few of the prototypes home for use and on air testing.  Many mornings, on 75 meters, several of use would talk with one of the staff.  The rig did seem to have a few too many lows, but not bad, just not my cup of tea.  Over all, I would have to say that the rig sounded better than many.  I believe that Ten Tec is pushing a new Heil Mic, to use with the rig.  I would bet that the old tried and true Ten Tec 705 desk mic will sound the best.  To Ten Tec’s credit, they quite a bit of on air testing with no one even knowing that it was an Orion that they were talking or listening to.

Before helping someone out, I would ask him or her to go back to the default settings.  I believe that most people sound the best at the basic, base, factory settings.

I just hope that the Orion does not suffer from being off frequency.  Some the more recent Ten Tec radios have had a slight problem of being on a slightly different freq, as opposed to the digital display. It doesn’t take much to throw the sound of the human voice off.

I’m just wondering how the Orion would sound if listened though a 6 kc filter.  I recently was listening to a station ( not an Orion ),  that sounded right poor at 2.8 kc, worst than I thought they should.  I turned on a JRC 545 Receiver, and set it for 6 kc.  The station sounded great.  When we asked the station to go back to factory defaults, they sounded just fine at 2.8 kc.  All his added lows and highs were just wasted on a Plain Jane rig with a normal filter, but at 6 kc ( receive ), all the extras were quite nice.  How often can we leave the receiver band width set at 6 kc wide.

All in all, the Orion’s I have heard sounded acceptable.  Maybe the new users should slowly acclimate to the radio.  The Orion seems to have a bumper crop of adjustments.

Lance  L.  K4wh
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WB2WIK
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Posts: 20611




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« Reply #7 on: April 25, 2003, 01:30:44 PM »

I can listen to SSB signals with any bandwidth from 12 kHz (-6 dB points) to 1.8 kHz (-6 dB points).  Mt TS-850S/AT, for example, has eight IF filters, four in each of the last two IFs (at 8.83 MHz and 455 kHz) and the "widest" position in both is 12 kHz wide, fairly useful for AM BCB work.  It even allows me to bypass the second IF filter, altogether, for an even "broader" sound.

However, in listening to Orions or almost any other rig having too much bass response, widening up the receiver is not a very good solution.  This allows too much to get through, impacts the way the AGC operates, and even lacking QRM or activity, allows too much wideband "hiss" to make it to my earphones -- drives me nuts, very quickly.

I haven't heard a "good sounding" Orion yet, but I'm still listening and probably will.  I'm guessing everybody is fooling around with the adjustments, still.

WB2WIK/6
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WB2TPS
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Posts: 32




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« Reply #8 on: May 01, 2003, 09:27:01 AM »

I worked a fellow last week using the ORION with the Heil mike.  The audio was terrific, broadcast quality.  However,  there was a little too much bass for me and I commented.  The operator said that he adjusted it to emphasize the bass and many people liked it.  Several stations broke in and complemented him on the sound and how much they liked the bass characteristic.

I prefer more highs, even on music, it must be my hearing.

YMMV,
Jim
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