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Author Topic: DZ Company -- Sienna transceiver?  (Read 8277 times)
W1BR
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« on: November 18, 2015, 09:46:01 AM »

There is a lot of chatter on here about American companies... but other than Elecraft or Ten Tec you'd expect than none other exist.  Yet, there's DZkit.com, a small company that produces a very high-end transceiver kit.

I've noticed they have flown under the radar (despite excellent eHam reviews, albeit too few) and for some odd reason, have been ignored by the folks at QST, who have never done a product review on this fine radio, or the American company behind the product.  I am a bit mystified by this.

Pete 
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W3WN
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« Reply #1 on: November 18, 2015, 11:18:50 AM »

Why don't you ask the Product Review manager QST or CQ to do a product review?  

There are a lot of small companies making kits of one sort or another.  Most of these are what could be considered "garage operations" -- a handful of employees, part time, evenings & weekends -- that make great products (and some not so great, to be fair).  

Few get major publicity, few get QST or CQ product reviews.  Why?  Sometimes for no other reason than no one brought them to the attention of the right person.

(What, you're expecting the magazines to go looking for products to review?  Don't. )

I only see a handful of mentions of DZ Kits here on eHam.  Have you done a review of their products?  Why not?

... BTW, the handful of reviews of the Sienna can be found here:
http://www.eham.net/reviews/detail/8766

[ And... At $3200 for the Sienna transceiver kit, I think we can safely consider this a bit of a niche product.  Not that it makes it unworthy of a review or of consideration, but at that price, to be honest, you have to be a pretty dedicated kit builder to consider it. ]
« Last Edit: November 18, 2015, 11:24:10 AM by W3WN » Logged
W1BR
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« Reply #2 on: November 18, 2015, 11:22:05 AM »

Quite simply--I don't own one!  But, they are NOT simple radios, and are probably more complex than the typical Elecraft product. I just found it to be odd that no magazine has bothered to evaluate their product.  I will contact QST and ask why they have been ignored for the past several years. You have a good point!  And the QST review manager is the place to start.

Pete
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W3WN
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« Reply #3 on: November 18, 2015, 11:25:55 AM »

Good!

Less my tone be misunderstood... I was not trying to be critical.  Simply trying to point out that if you sit back and wait, it won't happen.  

No one is familiar with everything out there.  So if you don't ask, how can you be sure that they're aware of it in the first place?

Glad you're taking a proactive step.  Hope you get a good answer!
« Last Edit: November 19, 2015, 06:52:58 AM by W3WN » Logged
W8MLS
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« Reply #4 on: December 03, 2015, 12:26:24 PM »

I was interested in a Sienna as well and sent Brian Wood, W0DZ an email asking the very question regarding ARRL testing and Sherwood.   He advised that testing with Rob Sherwood required funding and did indicate that he was going to have the Sienna tested eventually.  As I remember he was still tweaking the Sienna.   I suspect he wanted to see what the other big players numbers were before he sent the Sienna in for testing.   It does look like a nice radio. 

Mike
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ZENKI
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« Reply #5 on: December 04, 2015, 03:42:47 AM »

Give hams what they want, DZkits  have gone off on a tangent even though they have some good specifications.

Repackage the Sienna as a K3 on steroids.  200 watts, clean TX, calibrated S meter,  tons of knobs like the FT5000 and benchmark performance numbers and they will have a winner. Thats all it takes. Specifications, ergonomics, large panel and knobs  is what  hams want. Hams dont want a cell phone ham radio with 10,000 menus and knobs delivered via the computer.

The ICOM 7300 will be a hit. The first company that produces a true SDR/DUC radio with front panel and knobs  with excellent performance with the ergonomics and layout of the FT5000 or Icom7800 will have a hit.

Elecraft is only a success while there is this void in the market. Even Icom with its 7850 cant match the success of the K3 because its too expensive and lacks performance right across the board. You cant claim you the best with a transmitter with crap TX IMD, ALC compression faults and a radio without a calibrated S-meter that is not much better than a IC718. Thats like  a T model Ford beating a Ferrari and Ferrari still asking a Ferrari like price. It never happens in any other ham radio market except the ham radio market. Crap sold at expensive prices that does not perform like expensive goods!

DZKITS have lots niches that they could take,, but its there for the taking  if they were bold   and deliver what hams really want.  Companies like Elecraft and DXKITS deliver what their owners think is good and  most hams dont agree with their visions thats why other products with crap performance continue to outsell these brands. What more is there  to say!

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N8YX
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« Reply #6 on: December 04, 2015, 06:00:21 AM »

Repackage the Sienna as a K3 on steroids.  200 watts, clean TX, calibrated S meter,  tons of knobs like the FT5000 and benchmark performance numbers and they will have a winner. Thats all it takes. Specifications, ergonomics, large panel and knobs  is what  hams want. Hams dont want a cell phone ham radio with 10,000 menus and knobs delivered via the computer.
I'd settle for an RX-functions-only front panel for running a pair of the radios as TRX/RX twins, and have talked to them every year at Dayton regarding such. Closest offering thus far (as of this year) is to allow the main transceiver to control an attached receiver-only DZKit chassis. Close, but no cigar.

I DON'T want to computer-control a secondary black box. There's Flex, WinRadio and a bazillion others to fill that niche and they do so rather well.

Give me a package consisting of the Sienna, a Sedona accessory and whatever you want to call the dedicated receiver unit, with the receiver allowing full frequency and mode control of the Sienna if desired. The onboard computer is nice but shouldn't be required to run ANY part of the radio subsystem.
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W1BR
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« Reply #7 on: December 04, 2015, 09:57:16 AM »

I am impressed with DZkits, since it seems to be a one man show. It must have taken a supreme amount of talent and persistence to bring that product to bear. 

Improving the Sienna's lineage to incorporate the suggestions made by Zenki may be well beyond the financial ability of this small company. But, Zenki has good ideas.  I think most of us would like to see Elecraft expand their line. I'd like a bigger radio, with large knobs and a simple one layer menu. To further improve what is becoming an aging design requires capital... hence, the lack of recognition by the ARRL lab to test an outstanding American made product remains baffling?  I have to wonder if advertising dollars are determining who gets a review and who doesn't?  I really doubt the man behind DZkits is making a fortune with this venture, but my hat is off to him for showing what a dedicated individual can do.
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KE6EE
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« Reply #8 on: December 10, 2015, 11:40:35 AM »

I am impressed with DZkits, since it seems to be a one man show. It must have taken a supreme amount of talent and persistence to bring that product to bear. 

 I really doubt the man behind DZkits is making a fortune with this venture, but my hat is off to him for showing what a dedicated individual can do.

Amen. I bought a DZ Sienna over 2 1/2 years ago and it took me, for various reasons, two years to get it put together including RX, TX and 100W PA and then on the air.

Brian Wood, the owner and designer, was always available via email for technical help usually within a few hours.

I've built many kits over the years from a Viking Adventurer and a DX 100B when I was 13 and 14 years old in the late 1950s through a K2 about five years ago in my dotage. I previously never had any problem with kit assembly or radio function and never required any customer service.

With the DZ Sienna I had a problem getting the receiver to work. After much back-and-forth via email I returned the receiver to Brian who said it worked fine. It turned out that I had not set up the filters properly in software so the receiver was deaf. Once I figured out the protocol, all was fine.

I next had a problem with no transmitter output and after some back-and-forth returned that board to Brian. The problem was incorrect assembly of a board modification at DZ. For both returns I had only to pay for shipping one way, which was trivial, and the total turnaround was only a few days.

I bought the DZ Sienna because I'm not up to designing my own gear (other than antennas). I like building kits and knowing exactly what's inside the box. I prefer a larger radio with straightforward ergonomics. I liked the filter options--they are outstanding--and I was interested in exploring the range of voice modes which the DZ offers including ESSB and AM.

In use I really appreciate the ergonomics (including and perhaps especially the easy selection of well-chosen tuning rates), the brick wall filter setup and the receiver quietness and sensitivity. I mostly operate CW but I have made a few SSB QSOs with good audio reports.

As mentioned above in the quote, for what is essentially a one-man operation, the product and service for the DZ Sienna is exceptional. Brian Wood has come up with an excellent transceiver and he supports it very well indeed.
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N0FR
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« Reply #9 on: August 23, 2018, 01:06:08 PM »

I came to this forum/topic to say that Brian at DZkit offers the best customer service in the business. 

My experience: I followed DZkit's Sienna transceiver for a couple of years hoping to eventually purchase one.  One day a local ham put his unit up for sale, so I bought it.  It was advertised as a low power, 10 W, version.  I later learned that the original 100W amplifier had actually been removed.  Since DZkit offers that internal amplifier as a separate kit I planned to buy one and install it.  Other things got in the way until last month when I contacted Brian about the amplifier.  He said "that is our older model and I only have one PCB left".  He also suggested that I just send him the Sienna and that he could assemble and install the amplifier and generally check over the radio.  I did that and Brian did as he said, plus he found several problems with my used radio and corrected them.  He loaded the latest firmware, aligned the radio and tested all bands at 100W!  He returned the radio in a nice new box, complete with a full set of the manuals, (all for the price of the kit, $399, plus $200).  He paid the return shipping too!  So, I now have a "factory spec" radio that I am very proud to own. 

Incidentally, most folks don't realize that the Sienna differs from the majority of transceivers in that it contains a completely separate transmitter and receiver...no shared RF chain circuitry.  That means the TX and the RX are individually optimized without any compromises that may occur when RF circuits are designed to be shared.

I believe that DZkit's Sienna is worth considering.  You can find performance data at the following link:
http://www.dzkit.com/receiver_performance.htm
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