[SECC] Ham Shack Computers - Results

Michael Almeter mike.k4ld at gmail.com
Sat Jan 17 08:02:30 EST 2015

Good Evening Everyone,
    On Thursday night, I asked what criteria to use when purchasing a new
shack computer. I also asked for input as to what operating system everyone
around town was using. The responses were overwhelming and I'd like to
thank everyone who took the time to tell me what they were running or share
advice. I really can't thank everyone enough.

     An overwhelming majority of the respondents were using Windows 7 and
had formerly run Windows XP. There were some folks running Windows 7 who
indicated they had skipped XP and upgraded from an earlier version of
Windows. None of the respondents indicated they had had any trouble
upgrading from any Windows product to Windows 7, but some did warn of
making sure to properly configure the system to meet the users preferences.

   A lot of folks talked about Windows 8 and how they had no plans to
upgrade - I received several emails from guys using Windows 8 who indicated
they had no issues with ham radio programs but did imply a steep learning

    My Needs: My needs from a computer are extraordinarily simple. My shack
computer is a completely dedicated shack machine - it's only used for
radio. I need something able to run AC Log, N1MM, Digipan, and VE7CC. This
is truly a case where a basic model is probably over kill. I do run Single
Operator 2 Radio at my station, and it creates a need for multiple Serial
Ports - however, within the last 2 years, I've gone through and switched
all my radio data and control to be USB driven.

    What did I end up with? After looking at all the great advice, I
realized I really didn't need a fancy top of the line machine. I ended up
with a new unit in my shack running a fresh copy of Windows 7. Integration
into my station was flawless, as many others have indicated.

    Doing things better: For the first time ever, I'm running internet on
my main station computer. In years prior, I had always used my laptop to
look at the DX spots while it sat on the side of the radio desk. Interfaced
with my logging program, I'm now able to look at the cluster and get
immediate alerts as to if I have the country worked, confirmed, or it's
new. This is great! Uploading my logs to LOTW is also a breeze and can be
done with one click of the mouse.

    Room for improvement: Next project around here is going to be dual
screens. Not quite sure I need them, but everyone who I've spoken with who
has them - love them.

    Thanks again to everyone who responded.
Best Regards,
Michael Almeter
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