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Author Topic: Beware Idiom Press!!  (Read 71540 times)
K4KOR
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Posts: 8




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« on: December 09, 2004, 02:19:28 PM »

I ordered a logikey K3 and had nothing but trouble with it right out of the box. I had to send it back the first day I got it. It had a bad eeprom chip. It worked for a short while. Then it started making a strange noise and wouldn't work. We let Bob listen to it over the phone. He said it was a bad CPU. He said he used cheap CPU'S and many of them did that. We had to send it back again. This time the little guy who makes these (Bob)was very rude. I've talked to other people who got the same treatment. Well he sent it back without putting in a new CPU. He said there was nothing wrong with it even though we let him listen to the problem over the phone. He told me on the phone he was going to put in a new CPU no matter what the problem was because all of his CPU'S had problems. But He didn't put one in.  
Well now we're stuck with a $150.00 piece of junk that won't work. From what he told us and other clues he uses the cheapest parts he can find. When they go bad he charges people to test them or replace them. He also makes the holes in the back for the key, etc. fit only his plugs making you pay an extra $15 on top of an already overpriced piece of junk. Other plugs will not fit right and they will pop out in the middle of QSO'S. I've had about every keyer known to man in my 45 years as a cw op and never had trouble with any of them. I have found many complaints about this company on line. Beware. The guy who makes these is nice until he gets your money. Then look out. If people would stop putting up with people like this or making excuses for them they would be forced to run a good business or get out.
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W9KNI
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Posts: 3




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« Reply #1 on: December 12, 2004, 01:39:00 PM »

I am Bob Locher, W9KNI, and Idiom Press is my business.

KI4DTV did play his monitor over the phone. I suggested he try a reset, as described on page 2 of the manual, or he could send it to me and I would check it out.

He returned it to me. I checked it out - everything worked fine except for the monitor note. I did a reset - that cured the monitor problem and the keyer worked perfectly. I returned it to him by priority mail the day after I received it. By the way it might interest the reader to know that I personally do all final assembly and testing of every K3 keyer ever made, as well as the occasional repair, not to mention that I have personally operated with one for years. So I know these keyers very well.

That said, let me address some of the other issues he raises. I do use the least expensive parts I can find - as does any manufacturer - but I specify and demand quality parts - I simply buy them at the best price I can. However I never discussed this on the phone with KI4DTV - does anyone really think that if I did use junk parts - which I don't - I would admit to it over the phone with a customer?

I did comment on the phone that I had had a few problems with one production lot of EEPROMS that had caused out of the box infant mortality, even though they tested fine in production. And indeed it did turn out that I had already replaced the one in his keyer from a different lot that has been bulletproof and which are the only ones I use now.  When I checked out his keyer it was perfectly clear that his problem was not an EEPROM issue.  I suspect it was caused by static electricity, something easily cured by a reset. I have never had any significant manufacturing problems with the Motorola CPU that is used in the keyer.

His further gratuitious comments make me wonder if his real issue is the cables used to hook up the keyer?  I can not understand why he seems so insulted. The power plug is a 2.5 mm coaxial plug, as used by hundreds of entertainment electronics suppliers as well as most ham accessory manufacturers. The paddle input is a 1/8" stereo jack, the same size that Yeaesu, Kenwood and Elecraft use for the same function in many of their radios. Most 1/8 stereo plugs fit into the K3 very reliably. A few are too fat to do so but when this occurs it should be obvious to the user. We do offer our HK-3 hook up kit as a convenience for people who don't want to make their own. We do not include it automatically to help buyers save money if they want to make their own. With his 45 years experience as a CW operator I can not understand why this approach offends KI4DTV.

In any case, in the letter accompanying his keyer KI4DTV promised to trash me on eHam if I did not jump through his hoops. Call me strange - I don't respond well to threats and attempted extortion. But KI4DTV did keep his word as promised.

I value Idiom Press's reputation, and stand behind my products. In fact Idiom Press still offers support for every product we have ever sold in our 23 years in business, something very rare in any industry. On the rare occasions that a customer has a problem we always try to work with him or her and resolve the problem.

73

Bob Locher, W9KNI
President, Idiom Press


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WD0M
Member

Posts: 25


WWW

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« Reply #2 on: December 14, 2004, 07:50:24 AM »

Everyone can have a bad day.  However, check the following, if you want to see what the general ham populace thinks of Idiom Press.  

Go to the product review page on eHam, and in the search block, type in "Idiom".  Look at the summaries of the reviews you will see and then judge for yourself what kind of business Bob runs.

Having worked with many of the Fortune 500 companies in the US, I can confirm that they too use the lowest priced, high quality items that they can buy so they can provide their customers with the best product for the buck.  That Bob does the same is no surprise and would be inconsistent with good business practices, if you want to stay in business.

I've purchased products from Bob in the past, and found that he is extremely quick to provide excellent customer service.  Response to e-mailed questions has been within an hour or two, even on weekends.  Can't ask for more.

Choosing to trash someone/business on eHam doesn't make you right.

Joe WDØM
Colonel, USAF (Ret)
CW op for 44 years
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AB7R
Member

Posts: 132




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« Reply #3 on: December 14, 2004, 03:16:52 PM »

Beware of nothing!  I've built Idiom press kits and they're top notch, good instructions and work great.  My favorite is the Rotor EZ card.  If you do have an issue and email or phone call gets a quick reply.

73
Greg
AB7R
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AA4PB
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Posts: 12899




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« Reply #4 on: December 15, 2004, 08:00:25 AM »

I've built a number of projects from Idiom Press over the years and never had a problem of any kind.

I'm glad that Bob was able to catch this and present his side of the story. There's always to sides to every story :-)
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AC0H
Member

Posts: 16




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« Reply #5 on: December 15, 2004, 09:08:12 PM »

<<"The guy who makes these is nice until he gets your money. Then look out. If people would stop putting up with people like this or making excuses for them they would be forced to run a good business or get out.">>

What a load of crap.
I have and use a K3. I've built and used the CMOS Super KeyerIII.

The K3 uses standard power, 1/8" key, and RCA output jacks. PERIOD! If the original author has trouble hooking up the keyer maybe he should look in the mirror as to the cause.

If you run this keyer off of a cheap 12V DC wall wart or in an "RF Rich" environment don't surprised if you have trouble. Both situations are explicitly spelled out in the manual. You did read the manual didn't you?
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N4GI
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Posts: 56


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« Reply #6 on: December 16, 2004, 01:04:17 PM »

Idiom Press = top notch!

It's a shame that honest innovators in the hobby have to defend their honor against goofballs with an ISP and too much time on their hands...

N4GI
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VE3YF
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Posts: 195


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« Reply #7 on: December 27, 2004, 10:57:32 AM »

Hi:
   I can't vouch for the originator of this topic. I purchased a Rotor-Ez and it had a couple of problems and unfortunatly it was while Bob was relocating. After emails    back and forth trying out some tests with the VOM the problem was rectified. I am completely satisfied with the product and support that Bob gives to his products. Top Notch, so much so I plan on buying the SCAF Filter from him once I return from my oversea's tour.

73 De Mike
VE3YF
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WA4DOU
Member

Posts: 436




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« Reply #8 on: January 10, 2005, 09:49:02 AM »

The problem with posts of this nature is that they're often made by folks that don't have the maturity, experience or good judgement to be able to recognize the nature of the problem, the beginning of their own responsibility, the end of the manufacturers responsibility and the root causes of their own dissatisfaction. They lash out in their frustration and often times can't remember accurately, the "flow of events" and what was said and/or promised by the manufacturer to "resolve" their situation. Every single manufacturer and vendor has complaints and with hams it is not at all unlikely that some of them are the cause of their own problems. This is a technical avocation and sometimes the problems cause isn't as obvious as you think. A cool head, an analytical mind and sometimes advice from others, before action,may be dictated. A rush to judgement can later prove to be an embarassment.
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WX0B
Member

Posts: 37




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« Reply #9 on: January 23, 2005, 07:55:33 AM »

I have used a CMOS keyer from Idiom press for 20 years, no problems! Also the new SCKII ZS4TX keyer uses the CPUs provided by Idiom Press for a reason. Bob's keyer CPU is well known to have every preference a good CW op would want!  Low price does not mean cheap. I seriously doubt Bob would tell this guy he used "cheap floor sweepings" for parts.  That is beyond believe.  After many years of using Bob's products and knowing Bob personally I can assure any ham considering any of Bob's products that he will not let you down.  We need to support guys like Bob, what other "sane" company would go into the ham business and make low volume products?   You have to love the hobby and the people in it to be making ham radio equipement.
Thanks Bob, from one insane company owner to another!

Jay Terleski
President, Array Solutions  
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N5RP
Member

Posts: 2


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« Reply #10 on: November 06, 2007, 02:49:37 PM »

I am of the opinion that my little CMOS-4 keyer is one of the finest station components that I have ever bought in my 40+ years of hamdom. Idiom Press, on a scale of 1-10, rates an 11.
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W9GB
Member

Posts: 2626




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« Reply #11 on: January 05, 2008, 06:42:15 AM »

Vanity HQ reports that Mr. James Martin, KI4DTV who posted this review changed his call sign twice, since this posting.  First to AI4IK and then to K4KOR when he moved to Tennessee from Alabama in 2006.
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NS1Z
Member

Posts: 12




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« Reply #12 on: March 18, 2008, 03:27:25 PM »

Has anyone had contact with Bob/K9KNI in the past two weeks? I ordered a Rotor-EZ (built and tested) that arrived missing many parts. Several phone calls and e-mails have not resulted in any contact from him or the receipt of the missing items. Is there a problem??
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NS1Z
Member

Posts: 12




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« Reply #13 on: March 20, 2008, 04:31:13 PM »

I tried calling the numbers listed for builders of the Rotor EZ kits. The first one has had no association with Idiom Press for over a year (according to the XYL I spoke with on 18 March, 2008) and the second number has been disconnected. I can see from the website that they are still accepting orders (AND MONEY!!!) but I have not had any of my calls or e-mails responded to. This is looking very bad. These are great products but not if they are not delivered after accepting the money...
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NS1Z
Member

Posts: 12




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« Reply #14 on: March 21, 2008, 06:35:52 PM »

I received a call from Bob/Idiom Press this evening at 630 p.m.  He explained he had been having difficulties and was behind on deliveries and attempting to catch up. He also apologized for the error in shipping the Rotor-EZ without the remaining accessories and assured me that he was shipping them out via Priority Mail. More to follow...
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