Laptop suggestion FDM-S2


James Witt
 

I really know very little about shortwave or SDR. I purchased a  Elad FDM SW2 at an Estate sale a few weeks ago. It came with a huge antenna (DX Engineering RF-PRO-1B) and coaxial cable.  I would like to get it up and running on a laptop or another device (not a desktop computer). So, I am looking for suggestions from 'those in the know' that will allow my Elad to run on all band widths efficiently with no issues. The last thing I would want is to purchase a new laptop, then find out the graphics card. O/S or something else isn't compatible. 


Regards ...



Bill Nollman
 

I like my laptop although you’ll get 100 different answers on this list. For just listening you can get away with any reasonably powered laptop. It’s recording that can cause some challenges. For 6MHz FM recording I use a Lenovo W540. I like this laptop because you can swap the external battery for DXing where there is no AC power. Each battery can run about 2.5-3 hours recording and 10 or more hours when not. I also like that you can pull out the DVD drive and install a caddy and 2TB SATA harddrive for extra recording space. Of course external USB3 HDD also works just fine. The only downside to this laptop is the g-d awful trackpad. Using a USB mouse is one way to avoid this. another is a kit you can buy to upgrade it to an old style trackpad with mouse buttons. I think the W541 has that fix built in so that might be a better option overall. I just put together a second laptop/S2 to match my first. The W540 (used on eBay with W10), trackpad, caddy and 2TB SATA drive ran me about $1000. For a new S3 I am not confident this laptop is going to work as is and I’ll need an SSD upgrade on my 2nd drive. Hopefully that can go in the caddy. I’m not sure yet.

 

Bill

 

From: elad_sdr_en@... [mailto:elad_sdr_en@...]
Sent: Sunday, May 21, 2017 12:26 PM
To: elad_sdr_en@...
Subject: [elad_sdr_en] Laptop suggestion FDM-S2

 

 

I really know very little about shortwave or SDR. I purchased a  Elad FDM SW2 at an Estate sale a few weeks ago. It came with a huge antenna (DX Engineering RF-PRO-1B) and coaxial cable.  I would like to get it up and running on a laptop or another device (not a desktop computer). So, I am looking for suggestions from 'those in the know' that will allow my Elad to run on all band widths efficiently with no issues. The last thing I would want is to purchase a new laptop, then find out the graphics card. O/S or something else isn't compatible. 

 

Regards ...

 


James Witt
 

Thanks for the input. I'm open to any suggestion from anyone that is actually using a laptop (or another device) successfully with the Elad I have.



Bill Nollman
 

What laptop do you have?

 

From: elad_sdr_en@... [mailto:elad_sdr_en@...]
Sent: Monday, May 22, 2017 3:30 PM
To: elad_sdr_en@...
Subject: [elad_sdr_en] Re: Laptop suggestion FDM-S2

 

 

Thanks for the input. I'm open to any suggestion from anyone that is actually using a laptop (or another device) successfully with the Elad I have.

 

 


James Witt
 

I don't have a laptop, nor a tablet.  I don't want to use my desktop and want something portable that will handle whatever the Elad will throw at it. Naturally I don't want to spend 2 or 3 grand for a laptop either. <g> If that's what it takes, then I won't buy a laptop. I read elsewhere that some laptops have issues. If there is a tablet that will handle the Elad, that's fine too.


Bill Nollman
 

My suggestion is to do what I did for a friend. Buy the FDM-S2. Buy a laptop at your favorite local box store that allows returns with no questions asked. Test it for a few days. The problems that I’ve seen most people run into include:

- laptop or PSU generated noise (Lenovo T410 is useless for example)

- poor hard drive specs causing 6MHz recordings to skip (internal SSD might be fine but is it enough space for recordings? At 6MHz you need 120GB/hour).

- lousy battery life (if remote DX is important to you).

- not enough USB3 ports for the SDR and any peripherals.

 

You might also like touchscreen. The S2 does work nicely with that!

What we’ll need for FMD-S3 and 24MHz recordings is TBD.

 

I already told you my recommendation for the perfect laptop W540 with options. Search the forum and you should find this discussed plenty of times. If all you want to do is listen (no record) at 1.5MHz bandwidth you can probably get away with just about any decent laptop $400 and up.

 

Bill

 

From: elad_sdr_en@... [mailto:elad_sdr_en@...]
Sent: Tuesday, May 23, 2017 5:41 PM
To: elad_sdr_en@...
Subject: [elad_sdr_en] Re: Laptop suggestion FDM-S2

 

 

I don't have a laptop, nor a tablet.  I don't want to use my desktop and want something portable that will handle whatever the Elad will throw at it. Naturally I don't want to spend 2 or 3 grand for a laptop either. If that's what it takes, then I won't buy a laptop. I read elsewhere that some laptops have issues. If there is a tablet that will handle the Elad, that's fine too.


Jan Barendrecht
 

I could run all SDR radios on my old Asus A7J (~2006) laptop, the G31DDC even with demodulator filter length set to maximum (5,000).
It's fitted with a dual processor, CPU clock didn't exceed 1.8 GHz and memory clock was just 400 MHz. Even the most modest laptop
today has better specs. I used it with external monitor, keyboard and mouse and while one of the radios was playing I also was running
circuit simulations with Microcap and / or browsing / downloading pdf. If you use the laptop only for radio, about anything goes. With
internet connectivity disabled, you can even run a slimmed-down version of Windows XP or 7, without security issues. Try to get a laptop
with SSD and as many USB ports as possible.

Jan

On 5/23/2017 4:41 PM, w5mono@... [elad_sdr_en] wrote:

 

I don't have a laptop, nor a tablet.  I don't want to use my desktop and want something portable that will handle whatever the Elad will throw at it. Naturally I don't want to spend 2 or 3 grand for a laptop either. If that's what it takes, then I won't buy a laptop. I read elsewhere that some laptops have issues. If there is a tablet that will handle the Elad, that's fine too.


Posted by: w5mono@...