- Menus, sub-menus and sub-sub-sub menus. I love radios which don’t have endless menus which often are a pain to navigate and hard to remember. Even something simple like power output is sometimes hidden in a menu (Yaesu FT-950). Not all designs are bad though. Many Kenwood models do have menus, but only for options you set once and can forget about afterwards.
- RJ-style connectors for microphones. These suck. They break easily, are notoriously unreliable and hard to repair/replace. I love the 8-pin style connectors found on many radios.
- Programming, software and related computer problems. Ever been in one of the Yahoo groups which discuss modern (often Chinese) radios? I would love to have $1 for every programming-related question I find there. USB was once advertised as ‘Plug & Play’, but ‘Plug & Pray’ seems more appropriate.
- Lies, lies and more lies in factory specifications. Factory specs always look great on paper until you hook up the thing and start measuring. Please be more honest.
- User manuals which aren’t. “Do not charge high might radio will cook meals”. Huh? Say what?
- Bad SDR and DSP implementations. Unusable S-meters, meaningless squelch- and VOX settings are just a few problems I associate with poor design.
- Lack of firmware updates. Most chips are programmed at the factory and can’t be changed. If the firmware is faulty, you need to buy a new radio. I’ll gladly pay a few $ more if I can keep the radio up-to-date.