[TenTec] How to Choose an SDR RX for the Pan-Adapter?

Rick - DJ0IP / NJ0IP Rick at DJ0IP.de
Mon Dec 29 05:55:35 EST 2014


I fully agree with you on the PC front.
I deem the old IBM and later Lenovo ThinkPad line of business laptops to be
the best in the industry, but the DELL Latitude family is close enough for
government work.  

Of the 5 laptops in use here, 3 are Latitudes, one is a ThinkPad and only my
XYL's old Inspirion is a consumer product.
The first thing I do when I get a new (or used) laptop is max out its

I stopped buying the consumer products once I learned of the differences in
component quality and level of support between consumer and business lines
of products.  For example, Dell's consumer support is in India, and its
support for its business line is in Oklahoma City (I worked there in

All of our computers but the Inspirion were off-lease units.

Unfortunately, me buying an off-lease Laptop isn't quite as easy as you

ALL off-lease products here in Germany have German keyboards and German
software, which I can work with but refuse to. Reason: it is too difficult
to switch back and forth between different computers if they are in
different languages and have different keyboards.

CW Skimmer spots brought my single-core laptop to its knees two years ago,
but for this year I re-defined the priorities of the various processes,
giving WIN-TEST a higher priority than the Telnet stuff.  It worked OK after
that.  However if I were to add anything else (more software, especially a
band-scope), I'm sure my laptop wood roll over and play dead.


Young Kids:  In 2008 I moved from Dell to Seagate Technology, where I did
level three tech support for German customers.  One of the young men on my
team was a ham and he and I still have daily chats via google, so I still
have a very good source of latest greatest technical information.  

Have you noticed that while the price of high performing transceivers has
come down, the cost of the computer required to run them has gone up.  

Sometimes I just say to heck with it and sit out back behind my house with
my Scout, pen and paper and a cold 807.
Ah, the good ol' days!

73 - Rick, DJ0IP
(Nr. Frankfurt am Main)

-----Original Message-----
From: TenTec [mailto:tentec-bounces at contesting.com] On Behalf Of Jim Brown
Sent: Monday, December 29, 2014 2:13 AM
To: tentec at contesting.com
Subject: Re: [TenTec] How to Choose an SDR RX for the Pan-Adapter?

On Sat,12/27/2014 1:24 PM, Rick - DJ0IP / NJ0IP wrote:
> So I don't want to spend a lot of money on a faster computer which 
> will later be used to run AALog once or twice per week, plus 2 or 3 
> contests per year.

Hi Rick,

For about ten years, I've been quite happy with off-lease T4x-series
Thinkpads running XP Pro with all the updates. For most of that time, they
did everything I needed, including some VERY CPU and RAM demanding
scientific modeling software for sound systems. But the software world does
not stand still, and every year or so software becomes that much more
demanding of resources to do what we think it used to do. A couple of years
ago, I maxxed out my T4x machines and one T61 with 2GB. Memory is cheap.
Even then, one of the T4x machines was close to full CPU loading running
Skimmer with only the bandwidth of the built-in sound card, and doing
nothing else!

Attempting to give the shack the best of these, I made the T61 (dual-core, 2
GHz, 2GB) my shack computer, and dedicated it to logging during contests. In
some recent major contests (including CQWWCW), the
T61 bogged down with the spotting load, and CW got a bit slow (and this is
with WinKey). On advice from the N1MM guys and a few others, I brought the
RAM up to 4GB (although XP Pro can address only about 3GB of
that) and replaced the drive with an SSD (Solid State Drive). It's only been
running a week, for RAC and Stew Perry, no cluster permitted for either
contest, so no verdict on success or failure.

But computers are now a commodity, you can buy (or build) a lot for not a
lot of money. Don't be shy about asking your younger computer geek friends
for advice. I do. They tell me that Thinkpads are the best built of the
consumer laptops, and that the Thinkpad badged stuff is better than the
other Lenovo boxes.

73, Jim K9YC

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