[CQ-Contest] Size of Dual Monitors

W0MU w0mu at w0mu.com
Mon Mar 17 17:00:23 EDT 2014

Decent video cards with dual DVI support are quite common.  There is no 
reason to skimp here especially if you are doing other graphically 
intense thing with the computer, like gaming or drafting etc.  Both AMD 
and NVIDIA have good chip sets pros and cons both ways.

24 inch monitors are not that expensive any more and 27's are coming 
down.  I used a 37 inch Vizio monitor for a long time on my desk and you 
can open lots of windows and still have lots of free space.

I am not convinced you really need dual monitors anymore.  When I was 
dual monitors one was dedicated to a gray line map.  N1MM on the other 
and nothing else to distract from contesting.

Mike W0MU

On 3/17/2014 2:14 PM, Michael Clarson wrote:
> There has been some discussion on the video interfaces. I've done some
> research on these. My info may not be 100%, but it will make one aware of
> the differences. There are four of concern. VGA, DVI, HDMI and Display
> Port. There is Thunderbolt also, but that is an Apple interface. VGA is on
> its way out. If purchasing new, I'd make sure my monitor has one of the
> digital interfaces if it has VGA. The other interfaces are all digital. DVI
> came first and is a video only interface. It can send VGA out the same
> connector, if necessary, but that is not done often. HDMI is big for TVs,
> and has the same signal lines ad DVI, but it can pass audio if the monitor
> and computer support it. A simple interseries adapter can change between
> DVI, HDMI and Mini-HDMI. 1920 x 1080 is highest HDMI resolution. Maximum
> frames per second is 30, but that will rise to 60 when HDMI2 becomes
> popular. 30 fps is just fine for what we normally do as well as HDTV. Now,
> if you build a computer with an HDMI port, you have to pay someone money to
> do that. Hence, the computer industry developed Display Port. The signal
> lines are different and, since most monitors do not yet have Display Port,
> a complex conversion adapter seems to be called for, HOWEVER, if you get an
> interseries adapter, the computers today recognize that an HDMI monitor is
> connected to the Display Port via an adapter, and send out HDMI signals
> instead of Display Port. Dispaly Port does do audio also, and can do 60
> frames per second. While the preceding may be somewhat confusing, just be
> wary of the interfaces.
> I discovered interfaces could be a problem. In my case, I hooked my laptop
> to a monitor via HDMI. Worked great. Then I got a docking station. Went to
> plug my HDMI cable into the back, and it wouldn't fit.The Dock had Display
> Port. Looks like HDMI, but has a slightly different shape.  After a "What
> the...." moment, I started my research.
> As to position of the monitor, I agree with others. Main one front and
> center, having to look down a bit. Radio off to the side so one does not
> have to reach over the keyboard to operate the radio. Putting the keyboard
> below the desk is a good idea also, with maybe a remote tuning knob near
> the keyboard. Hope you find a decent arrangement the first time. --Mike,
> On Mon, Mar 17, 2014 at 1:55 PM, Ron Notarius W3WN <wn3vaw at verizon.net>wrote:
>> 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
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