Radio equipment lends itself ideally to multimedia presentation. Manufacturers seem not to have noticed this.
Back when contemplating the purchase of a K3, I posted a brief note to the Elecraft reflector inquiring whether anyone in my local area would be willing to let me have a look-see of their K3. The two hands-on demos that resulted allowed me to see & hear how the K3 performs and was an eye opener and resulted in the K3 now sitting front and center on my desk.
Two options now have my interest: the P3 panadapter and the sub-receiver.
I know a lot of folks contemplating the purchase of a radio-related item look first to eHam product reviews (because they’re conveniently available), then to opinions of owners via various YahooGroups. Then it’s on to write-ups and reviews from QST and other magazines.
But with radio being a hobby that is better heard (and now “seen” with various panadapter displays) than read about, YouTube offers a far better method for evaluating certain aspects of equipment available within our hobby – a huge step closer to being there than any other method short of a touchy-feely session.
With that in mind, a YouTube exploratory of panadapter videos yields exactly what you would expect – signal and noise.
By far the best multimedia presentation of this topic is from WU2X/WW2DX who use a K3 to demo features of PowerSDR/IF (should really be watched full-screen here).
I found this video only after wading through numerous poorly focused, jittery camera-produced videos posted by 7wrkc and was glad not to have been dissuaded by that headache-inducing noisefest. Yep, just like eHam but multimedia…
But my point here isn’t really the P3, Elecraft or PowerSDR – first, it’s the capability that a product video allows a potential buyer.
And secondly, I found the WU2X/WW2DX video by searching for info on the P3. In other words, a keyword search can lead a buyer to the competition or a related product. That’s both good and bad, depending on your perspective. A prior search several months ago on “Elecraft QSK” led me to videos on Ten Tec products.
I’m surprised at the lack of good-quality videos that show specific capabilities of various products, particularly the new P3 or, say, the K3′s selectivity under demanding conditions. I’m sure they’ll eventually emerge but in the meantime, we seem happy to settle for the written word when so much more real-world info could be conveyed with a well-produced video.
Ten Tec does have videos on their own website but I know of no other major manufacturer who does.
And no good videos yet of the P3…
YouTube or not, videos can be a useful tool for product evaluation by potential buyers. Plus, they’re fun for window shopping as well.
If they’re done right…