Ron’s Orion II Fix List:


Version 3.029 is stable and released for general use!

Many of the problems have been fixed and are noted below.

Most of the old problems that were resolved have been purged from the list.


1.   Fix S-meter discrepancy Some improvement noted in 2.043B that causes readings to be 2-3 S-Units low below S-9 and up to 22 dB high above S-9.  Make menu option to automatically reduce reading 12 dB when preamp is on, and to increase reading 6 dB when Main RX and Sub RX are sharing the same antenna. Basic inaccuracy could be fixed by silk-screening a new meter face with the correct calibrations, which would also be an opportunity to fix a frequent complaint that the meter “clanks” on the end-stop when keyed at 100% power.  By making full-scale power 120% on the meter and lowering the forward power calibration control in the radio, this would be fixed.  Also, the power calibrations could be drawn to how they really register on the meter and give a true forward power read-out.  Noted that in 2.043B S-1 to S-9 are substantially 3 dB/per S-Unit calibrations.  The generally agreed-on standard is 6 dB/per S-Unit, however this is not chiseled in stone and many radio use the 3-dB standard.  There is some non-linearity over S-9, but I need to to more careful testing to verify this.  At least the current version makes more sense.  In  v. 3.029, I'm not sure how the meter reacts since I now operate the Orion II by remote control.


2.  VFO Encode Rate:  Someone suggested this on the TT reflector: allow for the tuning rate to be “SLOW” for CW and “FAST” for all other modes!  I like it!


3.  Multi Encode Rate:  Various functions such as NR, NB, AN and SP have a 1-9 range.  When turning the Multi knob, 9 ‘clicks’ represents only about 25 degrees of turn of the knob for the whole range.  A slight re-programming of the encoder could spread that around over maybe 270 degrees, much like an analog ‘pot’ would work.


4.    Automatic Notch and Manual Notch:  Change from just eliminating the sound of the carrier to causing the AGC and S-meter to behave as if the carrier or other QRM was actually removed from the IF.  The original Orion with v 1 firmware works this way…v 2 broke it. Word filtering from folks who have talked to TT as of early August 2006 is that TT can’t fix the problem without introducing what they consider is unacceptable noise in the IF, but that they were still working on it.  Later reports from the factory as of early September, 2006 seem to indicate that they have given up hope of fixing this problem.  "Audio AGC" was introduced in later versions which addressed the problem, however the feature was "not ready for prime time and was withdrawn 2.043B.  Perhaps this will be looked at again in a later update. As of the 3.029 upgrade, this was still the same.


5. Funny sound in CW Sidetone:  It only happens when the Sub Receiver is routed to the headphones, and as best I can describe, it sounds like echo.  I have noticed that changing the Rise/Fall timing effects this, with longer times having more echo and what sounds like increased CW weighting.  NOTE this only happens when both MAIN and SUB are selected in both sides of the headphones.  Since I am running the radio now by remote, I don't know if this has been resolved in 3.029.


6.  FIXED in 2.043B!   Fix offset between Main RX and Sub RX.  Currently they are a constant at 6 Hz different regardless of band.  This may be a DSP issue that can be trimmed +- several Hz for synchronization in a menu item adjustment.  I believe this is caused by the clock crystal, Y3 on the A7 ‘SHARC’ board being slightly off frequency.  This crystal is the timing for the two CODEC chips. Adding a menu item to tweak the sub receiver frequency in DSP would fix this, I believe.  There was a problem in the firmware that caused this difference.  2.043B got rid of just about all of it.  The receivers are still not "phase locked", but they are now with less than 1 Hz different, which is fine for diversity RX. 


7.  Fixed in 2.037j! Add more clipping to higher levels of speech processorUpdate 4/28/06: V 2.033 has improved the processing, but the attack/release constants and compression ratios need to be more aggressive on the audio peaks so that the speech processor functions as a real RF “Clipper” not just a fast AGC.  The SP in the new version does what it’s supposed to do…increase average power output and intelligibility using clipping. My early tests show it can keep pace with my old Alpha Vomax, which is pretty good!  Another big one to get off the list….


8: Fixed by factory!  RF Feedback getting into headphone cable.  I used to need an external ferrite loop to keep RFI out of the headphone cable, but in January, 2007, I got an e-mail from Jack Burchfield at the factory about a hardware ‘fix’ in the form of a small board that plugs in series with the internal cable from the headphone jack to the audio board.  He sent me a prototype to install on my O2 and it worked!  Absolutely no RFI!  It takes about a half hour to install and requires dropping (but not disassembling) the front panel.  No soldering required.  All the new O2’s will have them when they leave the factory, and anyone else who encounters the problem can contact the factory and get the board free.


     9:  Fixed in v 3.029  Users report NR in V 2.043B still not right.  It works, and I don't have any really good digital NR to compare it to.  It's a 'work in progress'.  2.044A improves the function of NR be removing the "crackling" that had been reported.  The noise does not seem to be all that much reduced, but there is some action that should make copy of weak stations easier.  More work is being done on this.   V 3.029  is much improved!


    10:  Feature suggestion:  Allow adjustment by menu of power used in TUNE mode.  It's supposed to be 20 Watts, but it's actually (on mine) 21 Watts.  Doesn't sound like a big deal, but my ACOM 2000 amp wants 10 to 20 Watts of power in tune...but NOT 21 Watts!  Slows me down in contests....

Note:  Version 3.029 represents a major change from all of the previous versions.  One of the best new features is SAF (Software Audio Filter) that can narrow the audio passband down, and I think adds some DSP to really make weak CW signals pop out of the mud like nothing I've ever heard before!   There have been no noticeable new bugs that have cropped up that haven't been fixed, so I would highly recommend upgrading to this version if you haven't already.  There is a comparable upgrade that includes SAF for the "Original" Orions, and although I haven't had any experience with it, users report it's great.