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Reviews Categories | Ham Software - Other than logging | N4PY Ten-Tec Orion Control Software Help


Reviews Summary for N4PY Ten-Tec Orion Control Software
N4PY Ten-Tec Orion Control Software Reviews: 16 Average rating: 5.0/5 MSRP: $65. USD
Description: PC control program for the Ten-Tec Orion Transceiver
Product is in production.
More info: http://www.n4py.com
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HB9CIP Rating: 5/5 Feb 22, 2005 04:19 Send this review to a friend
Make it very easy to manage !  Time owned: 0 to 3 months
After testing several control programs, which weren't really userfrendly, It was a real surprize to see how this software is simple and powerful for users. Helps during Contest operations and DX'ing a lot, simplifying the use of ORION. Using it with the remote POD makes all functions really easy.
Few words about the support. I newer saw such a "just in time" support. Carl answers quickly every question and brings true solutions ! Congratulations for this good product !
 
NA9F Rating: 5/5 Nov 9, 2004 17:51 Send this review to a friend
I was amazed what this control package did for me.  Time owned: 0 to 3 months
I have been reading about the different control programs being used on the Orion and wanted to share my opinion of the N4PY program. I chose to purchase this package after hearing from others about the shortcomings of the HRD package and listening to the CW sending part of the package on several occasions. I did not hear smooth and interrupted code sending. I attended Ten Tec's Ham Fest this year and managed to see a demo of the N4PY package. I have been using the program for about a month now and like the full range features it offers.

Some 34 Hot Keys, (Alt H) to bring up the list, is provided. These keys allows a person to use the keyboard instead of mouse clicking on the radio display for changing the Orion controls. Nice feature when you are at the keyboard already.

The memory files are a must if you are wanting to select your preset frequencies and recall them in a flash. I use this feature all the time. I particularly like seeing a reminder of the use of the frequency. Example I have one set for a SSB freq that I occasionally use and in the setup I stated "Sunday 8:00 SSB group"
this reminds me the freq is the group's place of
meeting and the time. When I call up that memory I will see the information on the program's display along with the frequency.

I like the Sweep function and use it a lot. It is a vivid display of frequencies being used/unused and allows me to just click on the one I want the Orion to tune to. I often am on one frequency, lets say 7.185 SSB but want to see when a frequency, say 7.040 becomes active. If it does, I just click on that freq and immediately my Orion is tuned to it. I use the various widths of sweeps and the different choices I have for centering the sweep.

K1EL's WinKey support is now offered in Version 1.12. This has really been a fine feature for me. I am a CW nut and I like switching from a paddle to a keyboard. I was using K1EL's K20 keyer and CwType for my CW generation. I
sometimes use CwGet when the code being received is out of my comfort range. The use of the three along with a home brew electronic logging program
required me to have three programs up and running along with my k20 keyer. With the added feature for WinKey I can now just have two programs up and running. N4PY's control program with the CW feature which also allows interface of a paddle and my logging program. I no longer need the K20 and keyboard. This means space for other things. By the way if you have not looked into the WinKey you owe it to yourself to
do so.

AGC control is a biggie for me. I change it as conditions change. One day it will be on prog1 and a few mins later it will be on prog2 with the AGC slider way up.

I remember the earlier talk about the Orion's display not having color. That is not a big issue with me but I can handle the color display in the program just fine. I particularly like the delectability of the various part of the screen. Seeing the frequency change colors at TX is just dandy.

Selectable step tuning for both VFO's is a big plus but I maintain the memory file is my most used. I am a frequency jumper. When I do use this
feature, I find it very handy and there are lots of choices for setting the steps up.

Well I will stop here. I will say that I no longer use the controls on the Orion unless my wife is using the computer to shop.
 
W9OY Rating: 5/5 Oct 10, 2004 12:19 Send this review to a friend
Good People, Good Software  Time owned: 3 to 6 months
I have been using some form of N4PY software for about 9 months. I started with the program for the Pegasus, which has been updated no less than 6 times since my original purchase. Each update has been primarily to improve the feature set, in other words each update has been an iterative improvement on the one before, and not because of bugginess in the software. I haven't found any bugginess thus far. I use a P3 900 MHz ThinkPad in the shack, with 128mb of RAM, and the program uses about 10% of my resources.

I purchased an Orion in June, and the N4PY software to go with it the same month. That piece of software has been upgraded no less than 3 times. Again each update was an iterative improvement in the program. I also have communicated with Carl on a couple of suggestions which have been included in the updates. Carl is very responsive to improving the feature set in ways that make sense to increasing the operability of your rig. It also gives you considerable leeway in customizing the rigs performance, to exactly the way you like it.

An example of his responsiveness is he recently updated the Keyboard program to give full support to the K1EL keyer. Another example is the release of a tightly integrated DX cluster/logging/tracking program (reviewed under the title "N4PY DX Spots") which turns your rig into a real DXing weapon. "DX spots" is available to all registered users of his other software for no additional fee.

The software is downloadable for a trial so you can see firsthand if it facilitates your operation. Overall I'm a believer. I don't know a thing about N4PY, except I like his software. It's American Entrepreneurialism at its finest. I have several thousand invested in my Orion and this 80 buck program in my mind doubles the functionality of my rig. This review is of his Orion program, however a program of similiar function is available for other Ten Tec, Elecraft, Icom, Yaesu and Kenwood rigs as well

Good people, good software.
 
K2TA Rating: 5/5 Jun 10, 2004 01:49 Send this review to a friend
Excellent software  Time owned: 6 to 12 months
This is a great program. Carl's Windows application is the closest thing to a user programmed interface for the Orion. I can sit with my laptop screen blocking the Orion front panel and not miss it at all.

The "annual fee" might be a bit misleading. The software never "expires". You are free to use the version you buy but the annual fee gives you free updates. New features and improvements in operation come often and the subscription concept of the annual fee is really a cheap way of keeping updated.


If Ten-Tec ever lets ALL parameters that can be set from the front panel of the Orion be available via the RS-232 port watch what Carl will do! I hope the day will come that you can click on "Favorite state QSO party" and have the frequencies associated with CW/RTTY and SSB on every band from 160 to 10M for that contest dumped into the band stacking registers. Armed forces day? Click on a button for "AFD" and have the radio's band stacking registers set for split operation for each of the branches of the military services on all MARS and amateur bands. It could happen. (to Ten-Tec: It should happen!)

Ten-Tec no longer provides optional support for the visually handicapped in its radios. My Omni-V had a talking voice frequency readout board installed. With Carl's software and screen scraping text-to-speech software the Orion can be set up and operated by those who cannot see the front panel display of the Orion.

I use DX-Base for my packet cluster spotting and logging. N4PY's software interacts perfectly. Click on a DX spot in DX-Base...the Orion jumps to the proper frequency. Excellent!

And if you are an SWL fan you'll appreciate N4PY's pre-set memories. It's like having a 100 button car radio that covers short-wave.

What's not to like?
 
N9SW Rating: 5/5 Oct 3, 2003 10:16 Send this review to a friend
Makes the Orion fly!!!  Time owned: 3 to 6 months
More than a few DXers have bought the Orion for its superb specs and operating flexibility, and have been fighting a learning curve and old habits from other rigs that have not had the programmability this one offers. To keep the number of buttons/knobs managable, there are lots of non-intuitive things to learn to maximize its operation. N4PY's Orion control software helps to simplify and actually enhance the features and flexibility of the rig itself, if a reasonably intuitive fashion.

How many times do you run across a station working on his own frequency who suddenly announces "UP3". With most rigs, including the Orion, you'll scramble to get both VFOs on the same band or frequency with A=B, than hit the Split button, and rapidly tune VFO B up 3 kHz, begin calling, and then occasionally hit the A/B switch to momentarily listen on your TX frequency. Hopefully you'll remember to hit A/B again to before transmitting so you're not TXing on the DX frequency and garnering the wrath of the kilocycle cops for your honest mistake. Wouldn't it be nice if you could do the same things in two button pushes, and gain the ability to listen to BOTH frequencies at once through Dual Receive, with DX on the Left and TX Freq. on the right in your headphones, with individually adjustable volumes and selectivity on each? If you own the TenTec 302 pod accessory, this program allows you to program the pod buttons with far more flexibility than the TenTec firmware itself does, so, following N4PY's guidelines, all you'll need to do is push Pod key #1 (SPLIT) followed by #2 through #9 to move TX up 2 to 9 kHz, and set all those other functions. What a blessing!

How about 60m? Simply mouse-click the 60M button switch everything to that band with the settings last used, and step through the proper 5 frequency channels (right-click up, left-click down.

There's lots more flexibility, but that's the idea. I'm not a keyboard control freak, but this is one program that makes me wish I could blank out the front panel display on the Orion to have less distraction and temptation to touch its panel controls, and concentrate on the computer screen. Carl is VERY responsive to suggestions and adjustments to his programs, and has a good dialogue with TenTec to keep up with firmware upgrades and changes. This program is well worth the investment!
 
W9XX Rating: 5/5 Jul 10, 2003 22:36 Send this review to a friend
Versatile Orion Control from your PC  Time owned: 0 to 3 months
N4PY carries on the tradition of excellent Ten-Tec control software he's shown with the Pegasus radio to the new Orion transceiver. One only has to read eHam reviews of his Pegasus software to appreciate the quality of Carl's work. Carl brings the Orion's front panel to the PC's screen and has added a number of extra control features as well. A trip to his web page discribing this program shows some of the added features too numerous to mention here. One unique feature is his "Smart VFO", that assigns the best receiver to the two VFOs essentually eliminating the ham and only limitation of the main receiver. The tradition of an extensive "Settings" menu allows custom Orion configurations in every mode. If the remote pod is in use, all the buttons but the "E" key have many functions that can be assigned to them. Some of the features of the Orion that require multiple button pushes now require only a single mouse click. CW ops will appreciate the ability to customize all of the AGC speeds, not just a single AGC selection. Control of transverters is incorporated. You like a CW keyboard? One's included. Want a whole flock of CW memories? There's many waiting for your programming.

While the initial software cost may seem high, remember this is a very sophisticated program that really brings extra features to the Orion. As with the Pegasus program, about every month expect a program update with new features suggested by users. Carl must be logged on to the internet 24/7 as a reply to a question seems instantaneous. His help file also leaves no stone unturned in describing every feature in detail. In short, you get more than your moneys worth and that's a sure sign of a quality product.

Visit Carl's web page to see a screen shot of the program and for more detailed information.
 
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