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Re: [RFI] RF Quiet Laptop for Mobile Console?

To: RFI List <rfi@contesting.com>
Subject: Re: [RFI] RF Quiet Laptop for Mobile Console?
From: Fred Stevens K2FRD <k2frd@mac.com>
Date: Thu, 18 May 2006 16:46:58 -0700
List-post: <mailto:rfi@contesting.com>
Doc, I have two laptops I use for ham radio purposes: a Mac iBook 900 and an 
older Dell Latitude 300 (runs Windows 98). Although my Mac is online via a 
portable satellite internet system (Hughes ne Direcway), both it and the 
satellite modem can be RF noisy on some HF bands, so I often have to put the 
Mac to sleep and turn the modem off although my Mac's primary ham radio purpose 
is to watch for DX spots. The Dell, however is RF quiet (it is never online, so 
the modem may be disregarded), is used exclusively for HF digital modes 
(PSK-31, WinLink 2000) and DX logging.

Both laptops are within 6" of my Kenwood TS-2000 and 18" from my Kenwood 
TM-261. I hear absolutely no RFI/EMI from either laptop on the 2m rig. My 
TS-2000 while transmitting does not seem to affect either computer.

I do not know if newer Dells or Macs generate RFI/EMI. I suppose the use to 
which the computer will be applied will matter to a significant degree and 
whether or not it will be connected to a transceiver for digital or control 
purposes or will be used for non-ham activities (e.g., standard email or web 
browsing). Given my druthers, I greatly prefer Macs, but Mac ham radio 
applications are more costly than Windows and there's the occasional EMI factor.

Both laptops operate directly off 12vdc sources via DC to DC converters 
(respective DC power supplies; no inverters involved which themselves are RF 
noisy), plug into cigarette lighter-type plugs.

73 de Fred K2FRD

At 1:12 PM -0500 5/18/06, doc wrote:
>Can anyone recommend a laptop for this context?
>1.  Sitting on top of a metal box that will house
>     HF & VHF-UHF gear as well as a scanner.
>     (must not radiate tons of RF noise)
>2.  Mobile in a van that will be on some rough roads.
>     (needs to handle dust and vibration well)
>3.  Runs natively from 12vdc.
>Thanks! & 73, doc kd4e  http://bibleseven.com
>Ham Links: http://bibleseven.com/hl.html
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