Computer To Used With An ELAD


Jack Fletcher
 

What type of computer is best used with an ELAD radio?  Laptop or desktop? What are the minimum requirements for the computer?  What version of windows works best with an ELAD radio?


All replies are appreciated!


Neil Smith G4DBN
 

Hi Jack, I use a Win10 desktop most of the time because I can run 8 or more high speed USB ports. CPU usage for SW2 is under 2% on this machine with a Core i7-3770 3.40GHz CPU and 16GB RAM. When I operate /P, I use a cheap Toshiba Win8 laptop with a 2GHz processor and 1GB, with an external USB hub. CPU usage on that is around 40%. The laptop creates more noise and more spurs on HF, and the single, small screen feels very restrictive.

On the desktop, I run a USB CW keyer, GPIB instrument interfaces, a couple of Arduino controllers, a rotator controller, a GPS-disciplined oscillator and a Woodbox Tmate. The laptop can't manage all of those, it runs out of memory and CPU performance very quickly.

For home station use, I think a desktop is by far the most economic solution in terms of the performance per dollar, but if you want to do /P work then the additional cost of a laptop could make it sensible to go for a high-end laptop to do both jobs. Just beware of noisy PSUs and noise from the USB ports on the laptop.
Neil G4DBN


Jacek Radzikowski
 

Jack,

I've got a cheap windows tablet for use with my DUO. It's not a very powerful computer, but has enough steam to run SW2 and other applications, like fldigi or logger. The biggest complain I have about it is too small screen resolution, sufficient only to show main window of SW2 but, on the upside, it's small and light, perfect for portable work.
I wrote about my first impressions from using the setup on my blog, but my opinion has not changed much since that time: http://rroeng.blogspot.com/2015/06/fdm-sw2-and-winbook-tw100-first.html

Regards,
Jacek


On Sun, May 8, 2016 at 3:56 PM, jack.fletcher14@... [elad_sdr_en] <elad_sdr_en@...> wrote:
 

What type of computer is best used with an ELAD radio?  Laptop or desktop? What are the minimum requirements for the computer?  What version of windows works best with an ELAD radio?


All replies are appreciated!




--
Given a choice between two theories, take the one which is funnier


Bob Towers
 

Both desktops and laptops have switched mode power supplies. These are potentially very noisy in the RF spectrum because of the way they work.

Desktop power supplies are generally much quieter (RF-wise) than laptop ones because they have input and output filters. Laptop power supplies - because they are small - often have little or no filtering and can be very noisy indeed. For this reason alone, I prefer to use a desktop. Additionally, desktops have slots for add-on cards ie powered USB ports, which laptops generally don't have.

You can check how noisy your laptop power supply is by switching it off and watching the noise floor on the SW2 display. You may be lucky and have a quiet power supply. I don't!

73

Bob
MM0RKT


hth999
 

I just checked my noise floor running my Lenovo laptop with Win 7. I was just curious, but I must be one of the lucky ones. I removed my power supply and checked the noise floor. I found no difference whatsoever.

Maybe the Lenovo power supply that runs this laptop is a good one. I did check the noise floor in the AM BCB, where noise should be at a high point.

Just my 2 cents worth. For those that have a laptop, try pulling the power cord, and make the laptop run on battery power, then see if your noise floor drops.

Have a FDM-S2, with Wellbrook Loop, on a Lenovo E550

HTH


Bill Nollman
 

The Lenovo laptops seem to be good. My W540 is perfection (with an added 7200 RPM 1TB internal SATA drive in the DVD slot and 3 batteries for remote operations).

An older T410 is horrible. The T400 was quiet but underpowered for ELAD recording at 6MHz.

Bill

 

From: elad_sdr_en@... [mailto:elad_sdr_en@...]
Sent: Monday, May 09, 2016 10:26 AM
To: elad_sdr_en@...
Subject: [elad_sdr_en] Re: Computer To Used With An ELAD

 

 

I just checked my noise floor running my Lenovo laptop with Win 7. I was just curious, but I must be one of the lucky ones. I removed my power supply and checked the noise floor. I found no difference whatsoever.

 

Maybe the Lenovo power supply that runs this laptop is a good one. I did check the noise floor in the AM BCB, where noise should be at a high point.

 

Just my 2 cents worth. For those that have a laptop, try pulling the power cord, and make the laptop run on battery power, then see if your noise floor drops.

 

Have a FDM-S2, with Wellbrook Loop, on a Lenovo E550

 

HTH


ks4ju@...
 

My recent experience is that all computers generate a good bit of RFI. Unfortunately most new desktops come with a plastic case so a lot of RFI leaks out due to the CPU radiating. So it's best to find a system with a solid metal case which may be hard to find unless you roll your own case. However, the biggest RFI offender are external monitors. I have a late model Samsung 27 inch model that just wipes out the waterfall with noise. I also have a smaller HP model that is not nearly as dramatic but is still noisy. The quietest computer I have as far as RFI goes is a 27" iMac. It generates virtually almost no RFI. I suspect this is due to the fully enclosed aluminum case and since the display and motherboard are so close I suspect there is some additional shielding going on. I run Windows 10 either under bootcamp or Parallels and both methods work pretty well. Sometimes I prefer Parallels because I can run the SDR software and OS X at the same time. However for lots of "heavy lifting" the SDR software is going to work better under Bootcamp. The iMac can support two additional HDMI monitors, but I usually have to shut them down if I need absolutely no RFI for weak signal work. The iMac solution is definitely pricer, but it beats the aggravation of having all that RFI everywhere. I haven not tried the MacBooks which are also fully encased in aluminum.


Jack Fletcher
 

Thanks to all who replied to my questions.  I appreciate your answers. 


On Monday, May 9, 2016 10:32 AM, "ks4ju@... [elad_sdr_en]" wrote:


 
My recent experience is that all computers generate a good bit of RFI. Unfortunately most new desktops come with a plastic case so a lot of RFI leaks out due to the CPU radiating. So it's best to find a system with a solid metal case which may be hard to find unless you roll your own case. However, the biggest RFI offender are external monitors. I have a late model Samsung 27 inch model that just wipes out the waterfall with noise. I also have a smaller HP model that is not nearly as dramatic but is still noisy. The quietest computer I have as far as RFI goes is a 27" iMac. It generates virtually almost no RFI. I suspect this is due to the fully enclosed aluminum case and since the display and motherboard are so close I suspect there is some additional shielding going on. I run Windows 10 either under bootcamp or Parallels and both methods work pretty well. Sometimes I prefer Parallels because I can run the SDR software and OS X at the same time. However for lots of "heavy lifting" the SDR software is going to work better under Bootcamp. The iMac can support two additional HDMI monitors, but I usually have to shut them down if I need absolutely no RFI for weak signal work. The iMac solution is definitely pricer, but it beats the aggravation of having all that RFI everywhere. I haven not tried the MacBooks which are also fully encased in aluminum.