[CQ-Contest] Has RF attacked you contest PC?

R.S.Hradilek ids at nol.net
Sun Feb 29 19:17:36 EST 2004

I operated from a well known and well built contest station for the 
ARRL CW - my first SOAB effort apart from my tri-banders at home.

Prior to the contest, we upgraded his shack 486-33 to an HP Pavilion, 
which sported a 350 or so MHz K6-3 processor that would do Windows, 
Ethernet to his in-house network, etc. 

This PC proved to have a very serious RFI problem on 10 Meters. The 
video display was jolted by every dit and dah, and the rig interface 
switched the software to 160 and locked it there. I didn't do much 10 

All normal RFI precautions were taken - there were chokes on all 
inputs to the PC and to most other devices in the station. This PC 
has got to go, and we are thinking of replacing it with something 
with around a 2 Gig CPU. 

It has been a long time since I have had any problems with contest 
RFI at the home QTH, and all I do is ground the PC chassis to station 
ground. The last problem I had was in the early 80's with a CP/M 
machine - well before the release of even CT (I do believe I was the 
first to log, score and compute contest rates in real time - 
beginning with the ARRL CW in 1981).

Since I believe in using my slowest PC in the shack, contesting with 
the latest CPU's and motherboards is uncharted territory to me. My 
host wishes to upgrade to a more powerful PC because on most days the 
shack is used in his business. 

I am sure others here have already tried the latest PC's in their 
shacks. Can we safely upgrade to the new, faster machines - or would 
we be safer with a rebuilt socket 7 system?

Roy - AD5Q
Programming since 1967

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