April 19, 2013

Now this takes real BALLS!

Courtesy of Lieutenant Rick:


April 17, 2013

File this under "Shorts in a knot.."

Over on my hyper-geek blog, Right Hand of Zod, I posted this about some clown who has taken my money and basically started playing dead. It is chock full of amateur radio, but maybe of modest enjoyment for some. I thought I'd make my point to a somewhat larger audience..

I would love to review the Idiom Press SCAF-1 but...
..I placed an order a little over two weeks ago and have not received it nor have I heard a peep out of this guy. Moreover, three e-mails and a phone call have gone unreturned. All I am looking for, fer crissakes, is some acknowledgement that the tool has received my money and will be shipping the kit -- whenever.

I mean, Midway, U.S.A. back ordered my turret-press reloader but at least have the courtesy to inform me of the status, etc.

The Idiom Press K-3 keyer is the best around but I don't remember there being any such delay with that. Oh yeah, that's because I bought it off-the-shelf at Ham Radio Outlet in Orange County, California.

You'd do well to heed this and read the eHam Net reviews on this product, particularly ones like this:

Caveat emptor, as they like to say.

UPDATE: Still nothing on this front. However, I put up a "me too" review on eHam.net echoing that K3JLS's experiences were my own. Basically one month after K3JLS came up dry, I was too.

I went over to eHam.net today (04-17-2013) and found that both our reviews had been scrubbed. Another review was leading the list by some guy who bought the kit several years ago and experienced a delay in receiving his order but got an e-mail saying that he was dgetting the built product for the kit price.

With respect to eHam.net pulling K3JLS's and my reviews and, at the risk of sounding like I do not have a life, I cry BULLSHIT! Firstly, the eHam review editor may be on firm ground in redacting our reviews because, technically, neither of us had the product delivered and -- by some tortured logic -- relating our experiences to POTENTIAL CUSTOMERS of Idiom Press might be misleading.


But, were I a potential customer (who else reads reviews?), I would want to know if there was problems with the supply and availability of a product. Since -- at latest inspection -- there are no caveats on the Idiom Press site about delays or "we're running behind" then the guy is setting up customers for a big disappointment and certainly not creating any good will.

All this said, I want to be clear on one point: I am not one of those piss-and-moan types who gets mad and demands legal recourse because a kit maker has my precious $80-100. Some time ago, Steve, K1EL, was producing a follow-on edition to his K-40 CW keyboard device -- the K-42 -- and my order was not filled for a longish time. I e-mailed Steve and he said he was running behind because he had been in a terrible car crash and was recovering but I could have my money back if I wanted.

I would hear nothing of the sort! I told him not to sweat the small stuff, get better, and when the K-42 was ready to ship, it was ready to ship. PERIOD. I even offered to help him test/debug some of the firmware and/or a prototype device. Point here was that the man was honest and responsive and was in a real bind. Having the unit on the market was far more important to me that having my grubby loot returned. It is even the case with Idiom Press. I am looking forward -- someday -- to receiving and building the kit.

And, as for Idiom Press, I have spoken with the gentleman before several years ago when I was contemplating the purchase of a new version of his K-3 keyer. He was pleasant and accommodating and, I believe, he is still so.

It's just that we -- K3JLS and I -- would appreciate hearing something -- anything -- about our orders.

As for eHam.net, well, I am buying a built SCAF-1 from my good bud, Dick, WB6JDH. (He has two of everything.) After I get it, I will post a review of it on Eham.net and relate that the reason I bought a unit was because I got bupkis out of Idiom Press.

Let's see if that review sticks. 


April 9, 2013

Out of town..

..for CAP's Region Staff College held at Nellis AFB near Las Vegas. It was a week of interesting programs, tours of the Red Flag facility (with concomitant demos and briefing), and, of course, a tour of the Thunderbirds home there.

While an exhilarating display of one of the USAF's finer installations and the service's capabilities, some of the lectures nonetheless were "Death by Powerpoint" as narrated below.