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[aprssig] Re: TM-D710A Control Program - New Goodies on D710. or not?

Dave Baxter dave at emv.co.uk
Mon Aug 6 08:50:31 UTC 2007


Having done some work actually in Japan, the comments about accepting
ideas from outside, or not, maybe part of the problem, but from a highly
frustrating personal experience, it's probably more down to the
corporate culture there.

No matter what the problem or situation that needs some change to
resolve (I was there at their request to repair some 5kW VHF amplifiers
used in a medical Cyclotron)  I found that no one would make a decision
about doing anything however trivial, unless they had reported back up
the chain of command and had the go-ahead to do what they wanted.  That
in turn, often meant multiple delays, just to get a decision to do
something relatively simple.  Like get some test gear sent down from
head office, so I could work on the problems in hand.

It was all explained to me at the time, but did not reduce the
frustration, just trying to get some RF test gear that we had been
promised would be on site. (or I woulnt have been allowed to travel by
my office)  In truth, they had to get it freighted from Tokyo, all the
way to Osaka.  Doing it wasn't the problem, getting the decision made to
do it took THREE DAYS!   At least I got some time to walkabout and get
rid of the worst of the Jet Lag...  (And visit some ham stores, very

If anyone has seen the film "Black Rain", the place is genuinely like
that at night, a total assault on the senses from the moment you step
off the plane...   However, MacDonald's is the same as anywhere else!
Not sure if that's a good or bad thing...

So, they are probably still trying to decide what to do about Smart
Beaconing if anything, or if it's a good idea to make their own version,
or even to do anything else for that matter..

But when they do decide to do something, they pile in all the resources
needed to do it.   During that visit to repair the amps, we went from no
test gear (I had traveled with less than 12 hours notice) to more than
we could physically get down into the plant room.  Spoilt for choice in

When we did get it all working (two days, one 5kW triode and some RF
FET's for the drivers) the Hospital Director was the first person to get
plumbed up to the thing, so they could in turn test the PET scanner it
was designed to work with.  (PET = Positron Emission Tomography, to save
anyone looking it up)

Another trait of the Japanese culture:  They don't expect someone to do
something, if that persons immediate superior isn't prepared to do it as
well.  (Subject to not crossing any social or cast boundaries!)

All in all a fascinating if frustrating trip for me.  The highlight was
watching the results from the PET scan of the directors brain light up,
each time someone shouted down the intercom to wake him up, as he kept
falling asleep in the machine.  The Cyclotron made a continuous stream
of short lived radio active Oxygen (or whatever is needed), that goes to
the patient.  When the substance is metabolised it releases two
Positrons that the scanner and it's software can use to locate where in
the body it was metabolised.   The closest thing to true magic I've had
the privilege to see.

For all I know (we never heard anything) that facility is no more after
the last earthquake.   The smaller quake some years back damaged the
cavities in the Cyclotron, and we were told they physically couldn't
remove it as it was put in the "hole in the ground" then the rest of the
building was built on top of that.  It also irreparably damaged the
amplifiers used at that time.

Of course, they may have just have run out of code space in the
microcontroller.   Anyone know what they use yet, is it flashable or???


Dave G0WBX
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