The Ten-Tec Orion held out the potential for diversity reception with its dual receivers flexibly assignable
to two tuning encoders and three antenna inputs. My main intention initially for diversity reception was
to listen on 160M/80M in two directions simultaneously with different Beverage antennas feeding
each receiver. I quickly began to appreciate the use of diversity on 40M/20M as well.
I was been pleasantly surprised with the results from early experiments and there are several soundclips linked
below. As hoped, I found it very enjoyable to listen in stereo diversity and found it particularly advantageous
in the following situations:
improving signal readability in the presence of noise (QRN), interference (QRM), or fading (QSB)
creating a sense of stereo depth to received signals and pileups and improving readability
with directional antennas, allows me to listen for callers from a desired direction in a pileup
It's true that the Orion subreceiver is equipped with a much less robust front-end than the fabulous main receiver and
the subreceiver will occasionally suffer from distortion products and images when s9+ signals are on the band. But the
Orion is still very usable as a stereo diversity platform. The announcement in Sept 2011 of the RX366 subreceiver
upgrade for the Orion is fantastic news for Orion and diversity fans. Initial testing indicates that the RX366 subrx
is essentially equal in performance to the main rx and the frequency lock between receivers is user adjustable to
attain precise zero beat. See my RX366 Web page reporting my experience with the RX366.
Below are several diversity recordings made with the original Orion subreceiver.
Any subreceiver flaws are not at all apparent in the soundclips here, which are mp3 encoded at a fairly low bitrate to
quicken downloads. The antenna source for the left (main rx) and right (sub rx) channels are indicated for each clip.
In the two clips with ssb pileups, G3WXX and Ten-Tec Net, notice the pronounced stereo effect and how distinct
signals remain in the pileup. The Orion's AGC does a fine job of not "homogenizing" multiple signals, unlike
many other modern transceivers (esp. FT-1000MP).
If you have difficulty clicking the links below and playing the audio in your browswer, please right click
the link and choose "save as" to download the clip and play locally. These clips must naturally be heard
with stereo headphones (recommended) or speakers connected to the computer soundcard.
SK7OA (1) on 20M usb 29Jan05, 2400hz bandwith Yagi-left NE Beverage-right
in this recording, I switch back and forth between stereo diversity and mono reception (Yagi) to allow you
to hear the difference - who said a Beverage antenna was only good for the low bands?!
SK7OA (2) on 20M usb 29Jan05, 2400hz bandwith Yagi-left NE Beverage-right
layers of stations on the same frequency are clearly heard in diversity
A61AJ on 80M cw 07Feb04 0120Z, 500hz bandwith NE-left SE-right
G3WXX on 75M lsb 07Feb04 0210Z, 2400hz bandwith NE-left SE-right
Ten-Tec Net 20M usb Check-In 08Feb04 2200Z, 3Khz bandwith S Yagi-left NW delta-right
HK1XX on 160M cw 29Jan05, 300hz bandwith SW-left SE-right
in this recording, I switch back and forth between stereo diversity and mono reception to allow you to
hear the difference
VQ9LA 160M cw 24Dec05 0115Z working W1FV, VE3ZI stereo diversity reception with NE Beverage-left vertical-right
VK3IO on 160M cw 07Feb04 1203Z (my sunrise), 190hz bandwith NW-left SW-right
FT5XO (N1EU) 160M cw 30Mar05 0141Z, SE Beverage-left NE Beverage-right
JH4UYB 160M cw 07Jan06 1201Z stereo diversity reception with NW Beverage-left vertical-right, fb condx
Also please check the Topband QSO Recordings Page