[CQ-Contest] Size of Dual Monitors

Ron Notarius W3WN wn3vaw at verizon.net
Mon Mar 17 13:55:23 EDT 2014

One correction... I should have said "DVI" not "HDMI" when referring to the video types.
Sorry, was trying to do three things at once!
73, RON W3WN

On 03/17/14, Ron Notarius W3WN wrote:

Good morning Dick,

Well, I'm far from ever being a Master at anything, but FWIW...

I run dual monitors at work, have for years. I've used both "square" and "rectangular/landscape" ("long & skinny"); at the moment, I have a pair of 22" diagonal monitors on my desk at work. (Part of my job in the IT department is to evaluate new hardware, so we often get things to try out)

First and foremost... how much room do you have? You don't want to buy monitors that simply won't fit.

Secondly, consider where you are sitting when you will be looking at them. You don't want to be straining your neck, or constantly moving your head around, to look at monitors. I've found that my best vantage point is to have them right in front of my eyes, when I'm sitting straight in the chair. I've also found that if I put the monitors in a corner, I can angle them slightly to both conserve "real estate" and to maximize viewing area. 

Also, while my shack computer at home is under the desk, my work machine, a test Dell Ultra Small Form Factor, actually fits right under the monitors... this may be of concern depending on what computer or computers you end up with, and where you plan on putting them.
Although this may appear trivial, it?s not. If you don?t have the monitors in a convenient place, and make it relatively easy to look at, they will give you more aggravation than they are worth. And while ergonomics ARE important, remember that what is comfortable for me is not necessarily comfortable for you.
Third, make sure the PC of choice supports dual monitors. If it does not, you should invest in a good quality card (doesn?t have to be TOP quality, good by today?s standards is still VERY good), which you ought to be able to get for under $100, possibly under $50.
Fourth? a small point, but most monitors & graphics cards today are HDMI, not VGA. Many monitors support both; most graphic cards (but not all) come with appropriate cables or adapters. I?ve found that the HDMI outputs are easier on my eyes, for a large variety of reasons.
Fifth: Before investing in any monitor, go to a local electronics retailer (such as a Best Buy, HH Gregg, or similar retailer) and see what?s actually there. Bring a tape measure. Measure, measure, measure ? screen size, footprint on the desk (ie stand) , whether or not you can wall mount if you want. Ask questions. If you?re buying two, see if they?ll cut you a break; they might, they might not. Even if you decide to buy elsewhere, at least you?ll actually know what you?re getting, or what you should be getting. Takes the guesswork out.
Now: Is one particular screen size better than another? Only you can answer that question ? which is why you need to go look. Some of our users prefer the older ?square? monitors, but most others prefer the ?landscape? ones. I?m in the later camp, since I can put more ?stuff? on screen. My personal preference is to have both monitors the same; some may do otherwise.
My long-term plan for the shack is to have a single computer, dual monitors, so that I can run logging software in one, cluster in another (obviously not when I?m running in a non-Assisted mode, the cluster would be off!).
That said, one thing I?m looking into is setting up a tiny computer (such as the Raspberry Pi) with its own monitor. The idea will be to have a ?dedicated? system to routine tasks like monitoring the DX cluster, rather than have a full blown system running 24/7 for just that one small task; the main shack computer would only be on when I?m actually logging or contesting, or (once I get the Omni VII set up correctly) for remote operation. In short, automating what processes I can.
Good luck!
73, ron w3wn

On 03/17/14, Dick Flanagan wrote:

I need help from the Masters.

I am in the planning stages of a SO2R station. The center piece will be 
the two radios and two LED computer displays above the radios. The 
displays will be side-by-side and supporting all of the 
contesting/logging/propagation windows driven by one central contesting 
computer. I could be talked into having two computers--one for each 
display--but I would appreciate if that discussion were held another day.

Today I am looking for assistance in choosing the proper LED display 
terminals. What is the optimal size of these monitors? They can be long 
and skinny or basically square. Has experience shown that one 
particular screen size and/or aspect radio to be better than another in 
this application? I am partial to Samsung, but I can be talked out of 
that too if appropriate.

The displays will be mounted above the radios slightly above eye level 
with their fronts basically even with the front panel of the radios. No 
wall-mounted monitors here.

Once the displays are chosen, then possible we can wander off into the 
one vs. two computer forest.

So those of you with two terminals displays, let us know what you hate 
about them, what you love, what you would do different. Help me avoid 
the mistakes I am destined to make without your help.

Needless to say, Thank YOU!

Dick Flanagan K7VC
dick at k7vc.com

CQ-Contest mailing list
CQ-Contest at contesting.com
CQ-Contest mailing list
CQ-Contest at contesting.com

More information about the CQ-Contest mailing list