How often to read in some forum about station XYZ’s problem with device ABC, usually with a strong negative opinion following?
Read further and often you find they have NEVER contacted the manufacturer. Really, they never asked the people who built the equipment!
They never went to the primary source for help!
Many say it is to “preserve the right to complain.” For some amateurs that seems to be much the case.
Some don’t want to be caught “reading the directions” and feel that asking the builder is some sort of defeat.
Others simply are so accustomed to working things out, that they simply have forgotten to go to a primary source.
And of course in many instances with older or less common gear, the builder may be defunct, gone, SK or otherwise unavailable. Sometimes there is an obvious successor or expert resource, but in some cases it simply isn’t obvious to who a person would look to for product support.
There also was a day when support costed. Not too many years back several transceiver manufacturers charged significantly for reprints of user manuals, for service manuals and for support documentation. For the most part these things are now available on the web at low or no cost, but a few holdouts are out there.
Before posting questions to forums, using up Radio Net time or bringing up a question at a club meeting, I’ve learned to do at least some basic research. Sometimes I find the answer right away, sometimes in more in depth research, but most of all I learn enough to phase the question precisely, which helps those helping me.