RCA connector for RX only.
I spent a lot of time studying the receiver performance of available rigs on the market, and as a result chose the TenTec Orion 2 DSP receiver which is extraordinary, it's ability to brick-wall the front end against close-in stations is quite remarkable. You need to know what you are doing, because with so many variable parameters at your fingertips, you can spoil the performance if the balance of the settings is incorrect, indeed this is where other rigs fall down because they compromise over fixed ranges to cope with a wide variety of signals,and then the performance just doesn't happen. With the Orion the operator is able to adjust the controls auch as agc parameters and many others for themselves, hence delivering the best performance possible when copying a very weak station, or a station that is being bombarded with close-in interference. The set is actually very easy to use, the menus are straight forward, this pensioner can tell you that!! The instruction manual is very clear and easy to understand with great explanations as to what a topic function or adjustment is actually doing. I am having great fun and doing great radio with my newly acquired Ten-Tec Orion 2 DSP transceiver, and finally, great value for money. There is one final thing, for those who criticize TenTec's build quality, think again, the controls run free because they are encoders, they are not heavy duty pots of the conventional sense and the specimen that I have is built like a tank.It is big rig with a very spacious front panel, with a large easy to see display, and I am absolutely delighted.
There's far more to a transceiver than performance specs and the Orion II drives this point home. While the Orion II's performance is well documented, little is said about the design from an operator standpoint, and it's outstanding in that respect. Control layout and menus are intuitive and logical. The operator can save current parameters as a "profile" and return to them later by restoring the profile. So, I can have one set of menu parameters for using my 6M transverter with the Orion II and quickly switch to another profile that holds the parameters for weak signal CW work on 160M. The built-in spectrum scope is very poor compared to, say, the Icom IC-756 Pro III. It will show you that there are some strong signals on the band (or not) and that's about it. But, it's a a fairly simple matter to install a tap on the first IF (9 MHz) and use that signal to drive an SDR-IQ or LP-Pan with associated software for a superb panadaptor. The CW waveform is flawless and far superior to the majority of the Japanese rigs, including the Yaesu FTDX-5000. No overshoot, no shortened dits and dahs, no clicks. I've owned two new Elecraft K3s and find the Orion II to be a much more user-friendly rig that is easier to operate but with equal performance. There are some deficiencies compared to other high-end rigs: The Orion II is BIG, with lots of wasted space inside. Not a problem as long as you can handle the very deep box on your desktop. The scope function is terrible as mentioned above. The optional antenna tuner has NO MEMORIES! Almost unthinkable considering my 20 years old Icoms with built-in tuners had memories. I'm always puzzled when I hear someone talking about the build-quality of the Orion II. Compared to the Elecraft K3, the finish and component quality are far better. Extensive use of aluminum in the construction means it's much less expensive to ship than the very heavy Japanese rigs. While the manufacturer's service department is very good indeed, TenTec's record of delivering on promised new features for the Orion II is poor indeed. They've been promising an enhanced scope function for years, always promising it "soon", but not delivering. On the other hand, I recall that Elecraft is well known for that as well. If you are a K3 owner, think you have the best, and have never tried an Orion II, you are really missing something.
Estimating the value of a rig can be challenging. The graph below shows historical prices paid by hams over the years. May it guide you to good fortune...
|GBP 4000.00||Mint / Used||2010||semmenspublishing|
|USD 3100.00||Mint / Used||2011||K8AC|
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