Here is a post on EHAM PRODUCT REVIEWS by W2DAP. Another terrible experience.
I genuinely wish I could report on how well (or not so
well) my Signal One Mil-Spec 1030CI operates at this time but since I still do
not have my radio, I must go way back to how it operated before being sent back
for updates and mods at the suggestion of Don Roehrs of Signal One.
In December of 1996, I sent Signal One, my beautiful and now greatly missed IC-781 for modification to their Mil Spec unit. I paid $7900.00 for these services and in a few months, I received the radio as a Mil Spec 1030CI. That was some time in 1997. It didn't work particularly well and had several problems including a hypersensitive turndown circuit and some popping in the audio, particularly in the wide bandwidth position. There were also some intermittents. Later a colleague of Don’s, Jim, who along with Don Roehrs had originally delivered the radio to me personally, revealed to me that there were several problems with the radios in the 1030 iteration, many of which related to faulty connector strips. Don solicited me to return the radio and I did so in October of 1998 for repairs and mods.
It was shipped at my expense, to Signal One in Arizona with the promise to correct defects and perform some needed mods. Later there were requests to finance “upgrades.” In January 1999, Mr. Roehrs stated that he had come across some additional needs and circuit mods and requested a check for $1500.00 and I mailed a payment of $1,000.00. Later in a letter on 27 February the radio was promised on the 14th May of that year. In that very letter he stated, "Jim and I will deliver it personally." This never occurred and in August of that year he said he needed the $500.00 balance plus an additional $500.00 and I mailed him another check, this time for $1,000.00.
Signal One at this time worked in conjunction with an individual who was developing software work for the radio in another state along with Jim in VA who, I understood was designing hardware and boards. Jim, whom I found to be most pleasant and seemingly very sincere, told me that he helped Don Roehrs purely as a courtesy and to be a part of a great radio, and was very sorry for the lengthy delays I was experiencing. When my modified radio was first delivered in 1997, it was by Don and Jim who flew into my local airport with my Mil Spec 1030CI, using Jim's private single engine airplane, for that purpose. Anyway, Jim continually told me over the years that Don would soon finish my radio and it would have many improvements as well as fixes for existing issues. I am sure he genuinely is concerned and wants me to have my radio as soon as possible.
I exchanged many phone calls and a lot of email with Jim wherein we discussed Don's written and oral promises to me to make good my huge investment, both in my original radio the IC 781 plus a great deal of cash; I continued to expect the latest and “greatest” version of the 1030, the model E with DSP. I sincerely believed Jim when he told me he was designing new boards etc. and that Don would definitely fulfill his responsibilities and build the improved and innovative radios.
In July 2000, Don phoned advising that they needed to add new components and a special Lambda power supply and requested yet more money, this time $1326.00. I asked him then, "Will that complete the project and updates?" He promised it would, so I sent that payment. Soon afterward his correspondence ended. I was later told that there remain, “Several brand new Lambda Supplies in the box.” The Lambda supply was to power the requirements for what was to be the “ultimate” radio, one with an onboard Sony computer.
It has been more than a year if I recall correctly, since Don finally did phone me after writing a letter promising the radio in "just a few months." I had so many hopes and dreams for this radio. I truly had envisioned having this state-of-the-art masterpiece of custom engineering on the air in a reasonable period of time and to be able to report on its performance to fellow hams worldwide.
Now we are in early 2005, more than six years since the radio was sent back to Signal One. All I can ask is where is my radio and my money? I want my My Mil Spec 1030CI or E with DSP.
Signal One once had a website; they advertised in QST too. I believed in the company and trusted their advertising and representations.
I am not generally a gullible person but I got caught up in this and just continued to pay thousands in the hope to finally get it right and now I am dismayed to see that with the value of the original radio and cash paid, my investment exceeds $17,000 and I have no radio, not even my original Icom 781. If I were rating that I would have given it a 5 at the time!
So I will have to rate the first Mil Spec 1030 CI by Signal One, at least from my brief experiences with it, at a 2. Now, with no radio, I cannot up or downgrade this report. If and when I do receive my radio I will post a review and hope that the once proud name of Signal One will shine brightly among those historically stellar pieces of equipment that are part of our hobby; nothing would make me happier than to follow this review up with a rating of a 5!
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June 15, 2013.
Updated: June 15, 2013
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