Things I hate about modern ham radios

<Rant>

  • OhNoMenus, 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.

</Rant>

8 comments on “Things I hate about modern ham radios

  1. > Most chips are programmed at the factory and can’t be changed

    Chinese arent always using OTP chips. They dont ship firmware updates out of fear of cloning

  2. Well roared Lion ….
    Such a device can sometimes bring you to despair …
    Or the computer again, the interface does not recognize …
    I drink 3 bottles of beer before.
    Then it goes on its own ….

  3. Things I love about modern ham radios…

    – Menus, sub-menus and sub-sub-sub menus. I love radios which don’t have endless dials for me to break.
    – RJ-style connectors for microphones. When they break, I can always grab another connector or two at the office.
    – Programming, software and related computer problems. I also (occasionally) like to beat my head against the wall for hours.
    – Mysteries and surprises in factory specifications. Live is like a box of chocolates – you never know what you are going to get!
    – Lack of firmware updates. Most chips are programmed at the factory and can’t be changed. This means I can’t try an update and brick my radio!

    I’m a half full (or is that fool?) kind of guy.

  4. I don’t agree about the RJ plugs – I actually find these much easier to fix.. Just crimp a new one and they’re dirt cheap. It took me much longer to fit one of these old screw-on style ones.

    I agree about everything else! I love my old Kenwood TH-22E for having almost no menus (although it does have many quadruple-function keys unfortunatley).

Comments are closed.