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Re: [CQ-Contest] SO2R Two Keyboard

To: "Mike DeChristopher" <mfdechristopher@gmail.com>, "Stephen Bloom" <sbloom@acsalaska.net>
Subject: Re: [CQ-Contest] SO2R Two Keyboard
From: "Bob Shohet, KQ2M" <kq2m@kq2m.com>
Date: Fri, 15 Sep 2017 10:50:39 -0400
List-post: <mailto:cq-contest@contesting.com>
Hi Steve,

2 Radios, 2 Keyboards, 2 Computers – ALWAYS! since I started SO2R 30 years ago 
in the 1987 ARRLDXCW.

The value of the 2nd keyboard to the opr. depends on what the op. is going to 
do with it and how proficient he/she is going to become with it  Here are some 
of the questions that you want to consider:

How fast do you want to be able to work guys?  100 /hr?, 200/hr? 300/hr?

Do you want to be able to cq and run on BOTH radios simultaneously?  I do – you 
can’t do this with one keyboard.

How easy do you want to make the “thinking” behind SO2R?  The more switching 
that you have to do the more you have to think – which can get very hard at 
times after you have been up for 40 hours and can barely remember your name.

WHEN your computer crashes (it will at some point), do you still want to be 
able to work and log guys?  A 2nd computer and 2nd keyboard allows continuous 
operating – if all you have is 1 keyboard attached to the computer that 
crashed, you are OFF THE AIR!  And if you DON’T use a paddle but are sending 
only with the keyboard, then you are absolutely off the air while you reboot 
your computer.  (I ALWAYS have a paddle attached and operate with it.)

Do you want to potentially lose your log in a hard drive crash if you are using 
only one keyboard/computer?  I know people that have lost their entire log.  If 
you use 2 computers/2 keyboards, then you automatically have a real-time 
“backup” log.  I realize that some people may employ servers, “the cloud” 
and/or other tech to create real-time backups, but I like to have a computer in 
my shack do it for me.

Are you actively looking at the log while you operate?  I often check back on 
one keyboard/computer while I am logging on the other.  I also like to check 
propagation sites and review past years logs on the 2nd computer as I operate.  
I can’t do this with one computer.

Do you want to be able to read email or do other tasks on the 2nd computer 
while you operate?  I do – and I can’t do that with one computer.

I am only scratching the surface here – but as cumbersome as it may be to use 2 
computer with 2 keyboards, using 2 as opposed to 1 is essential for me and for 
many other serious ops.

As a rule, when operating, I like to keep all of my options open – and I can do 
that better with 2 of everything rather than 1 of everything.

73 and GL!

Bob  KQ2M

From: Mike DeChristopher 
Sent: Friday, September 15, 2017 9:40 AM
To: Stephen Bloom 
Cc: cq-contest@contesting.com 
Subject: Re: [CQ-Contest] SO2R Two Keyboard

Hi Steve,

I think it's entirely a preference thing. I like two keyboards because at
4am it becomes a spatial thing: left ear, left keyboard. No worrying about
hitting the ~ or the \ key. Some of us first learned so2r with two
computers, so that's a factor. Other guys like this as well -- N6MJ comes
to mind, and there are videos of him using this setup on YouTube.

N1MM+ will handle one or two keyboards. So you can configure things based
on the operator's preference before the contest. Play around with it in a
minor contest; you might love it, you might hate it.

Mike N1TA

On Sep 15, 2017 9:14 AM, "Stephen Bloom" <sbloom@acsalaska.net> wrote:

Hey all:

One of the things we plan to do @ KL7RA in the near future is set up a
dedicated SO2R position.  I was about to order computer, monitors etc. for
that position when I remembered (I think it was Andy N2NT) discussing the
advantages of dual keyboard vs. Single Keyboard SO2R at Contest U a couple
of years back.  Question for the folks on this list who do that, how have
you set things up hardware-wise, ergonomics, (our plan was to standardize
the layout of all operating positions, but perhaps we might want different
dimensions for this) etc.  N1MM+ and WinTest both support it, so I imagine
that part is easy, and we'll be using a MK2R+ as a SO2R


Steve KL7SB
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