Topics

Choosing new computer

George W1EBI
 

My shack computer has suffered a catastophic failure, probably motherboard. I can reimage an identical spare from network attached backup drive. My question is:  should I acquire a new refurb pc with parallel port and Windows 7 Pro (I have been using parallel port CW keying), or is it time to go with Windows 10 and USB port for CW keying?

 

Opinions?  Offline might be best. 

 

George W1EBI

Tom Crowley
 

Win10 is a pretty solid release, may be worth the upgrade, currently  have 7 machines running Win10 with zero issues.  I also purchase refurbs and have had very good luck with them (no failures)

 

To KT4XN

 

Sent from Mail for Windows 10

 

From: George W1EBI
Sent: Tuesday, July 2, 2019 01:25 PM
To: N1MMLoggerPlus@groups.io
Subject: [N1MM+] Choosing new computer

 

My shack computer has suffered a catastophic failure, probably motherboard. I can reimage an identical spare from network attached backup drive. My question is:  should I acquire a new refurb pc with parallel port and Windows 7 Pro (I have been using parallel port CW keying), or is it time to go with Windows 10 and USB port for CW keying?

 

Opinions?  Offline might be best. 

 

George W1EBI

 

Tim Shoppa
 

IMHO you should go parallel-port-free and Windows 10.

Availability of refurbs with parallel ports is declining (but it is still an option at the moment if you shop especially the older refurb models.)

Windows 7 updates will only be available for a few more months. And N1MM works just fine with Windows 10.

I myself bought a second Winkeyer USB just a few weeks ago as a backup. A joy to assemble.

Tim N3QE

On Jul 2, 2019, at 3:25 PM, George W1EBI <w1ebi@...> wrote:

My shack computer has suffered a catastophic failure, probably motherboard. I can reimage an identical spare from network attached backup drive. My question is:  should I acquire a new refurb pc with parallel port and Windows 7 Pro (I have been using parallel port CW keying), or is it time to go with Windows 10 and USB port for CW keying?

 

Opinions?  Offline might be best. 

 

George W1EBI

Drew Vonada-Smith K3PA
 

George,

Go WinKey for CW keying.  If you don't have any Winkey hardware already, the MORTTY unit is cheap and works quite well.  Google will find it for you.

I also use all Win10 and refurb i5 PCs.  I've had very good luck with Lenovo ThinkPad business class refurbs.

73,
Drew K3PA

Tom LeClerc
 

I'd go with Windows 10, a refurb "WORKSTATION" not a refurb home computer.  I7 or better.  NewEgg and TigerDirect have them.  And order a MORTTY or two from Larry K8UT.  The can be wired as a winkeyer or a RTTY terminal...


73, Tom W1JL

-- 
 Tom LeClerc, Amateur Radio Station W1TJL
 Contest Station for N1MM, W1TJL, & others
    (past calls WB1CBY, /VE8,XL8,CI8,VO2)
      Yankee Clipper Contest Club (YCCC)
East Hartland, CT Weather: http://qsl.net/w1tjl
                    email: w1tjl@...
On 7/2/2019 3:46 PM, Tim Shoppa wrote:

IMHO you should go parallel-port-free and Windows 10.

Availability of refurbs with parallel ports is declining (but it is still an option at the moment if you shop especially the older refurb models.)

Windows 7 updates will only be available for a few more months. And N1MM works just fine with Windows 10.

I myself bought a second Winkeyer USB just a few weeks ago as a backup. A joy to assemble.

Tim N3QE

On Jul 2, 2019, at 3:25 PM, George W1EBI <w1ebi@...> wrote:

My shack computer has suffered a catastophic failure, probably motherboard. I can reimage an identical spare from network attached backup drive. My question is:  should I acquire a new refurb pc with parallel port and Windows 7 Pro (I have been using parallel port CW keying), or is it time to go with Windows 10 and USB port for CW keying?

 

Opinions?  Offline might be best. 

 

George W1EBI

mike watts
 

I would (and recently did) go for Win 10 to ensure support for longer time.  I'm not having any trouble with USB to serial adapter (Amazon for $7) for keying using a nice new I7 PC with Win 10.  

Mike WY6K


"... somewhere in the distance, there's a tower and a light, broadcastin' the resistance, through the rain and through the night..."


On Tuesday, July 2, 2019, 2:25:09 PM CDT, George W1EBI <w1ebi@...> wrote:


My shack computer has suffered a catastophic failure, probably motherboard. I can reimage an identical spare from network attached backup drive. My question is:  should I acquire a new refurb pc with parallel port and Windows 7 Pro (I have been using parallel port CW keying), or is it time to go with Windows 10 and USB port for CW keying?

 

Opinions?  Offline might be best. 

 

George W1EBI

Ed W2LCQ
 

George,

I migrated from Mac to refurbished Dell Latitude Windows 10 PC. Has 2 USB ports, one for rig polling and the other for WinKeyer. Use N1MM+ and N3FJP. Windows 10 very stable. No problems so far. 

73, Ed W2LCQ

“I am busy just now again on electro-magnetism, and think I have got hold of a good thing, but can’t say...”     —--Michael Faraday







On Jul 2, 2019, at 3:46 PM, Tim Shoppa <tshoppa@...> wrote:

IMHO you should go parallel-port-free and Windows 10.

Availability of refurbs with parallel ports is declining (but it is still an option at the moment if you shop especially the older refurb models.)

Windows 7 updates will only be available for a few more months. And N1MM works just fine with Windows 10.

I myself bought a second Winkeyer USB just a few weeks ago as a backup. A joy to assemble.

Tim N3QE

On Jul 2, 2019, at 3:25 PM, George W1EBI <w1ebi@...> wrote:

My shack computer has suffered a catastophic failure, probably motherboard. I can reimage an identical spare from network attached backup drive. My question is:  should I acquire a new refurb pc with parallel port and Windows 7 Pro (I have been using parallel port CW keying), or is it time to go with Windows 10 and USB port for CW keying?

 

Opinions?  Offline might be best. 

 

George W1EBI

jlangdon1@...
 

George,

 

I switched over to the intel NUC form factor with windows 10 and am very happy. The drivers are much more stable.

 

I use a local place (see https://simplynuc.com/6cayh-full/ for examples ) but they also sell online: pre-configured and installed.

 

73 John N5CQ

 

From: N1MMLoggerPlus@groups.io <N1MMLoggerPlus@groups.io> On Behalf Of George W1EBI
Sent: Tuesday, July 2, 2019 2:25 PM
To: N1MMLoggerPlus@groups.io
Subject: [N1MM+] Choosing new computer

 

My shack computer has suffered a catastophic failure, probably motherboard. I can reimage an identical spare from network attached backup drive. My question is:  should I acquire a new refurb pc with parallel port and Windows 7 Pro (I have been using parallel port CW keying), or is it time to go with Windows 10 and USB port for CW keying?

 

Opinions?  Offline might be best. 

 

George W1EBI

mike watts
 

What is NUC form factor?

Mike WY6K


"... somewhere in the distance, there's a tower and a light, broadcastin' the resistance, through the rain and through the night..."


On Tuesday, July 2, 2019, 3:27:17 PM CDT, <jlangdon1@...> wrote:


George,

 

I switched over to the intel NUC form factor with windows 10 and am very happy. The drivers are much more stable.

 

I use a local place (see https://simplynuc.com/6cayh-full/ for examples ) but they also sell online: pre-configured and installed.

 

73 John N5CQ

 

From: N1MMLoggerPlus@groups.io <N1MMLoggerPlus@groups.io> On Behalf Of George W1EBI
Sent: Tuesday, July 2, 2019 2:25 PM
To: N1MMLoggerPlus@groups.io
Subject: [N1MM+] Choosing new computer

 

My shack computer has suffered a catastophic failure, probably motherboard. I can reimage an identical spare from network attached backup drive. My question is:  should I acquire a new refurb pc with parallel port and Windows 7 Pro (I have been using parallel port CW keying), or is it time to go with Windows 10 and USB port for CW keying?

 

Opinions?  Offline might be best. 

 

George W1EBI

Jim W7RY
 

HP Has several.

The HP Z440 is a great machine! They are everywhere from corporate returns. I use a Z420, because I got it for free. Runs windows 10 with a SSD that I just installed.
Nice big case with lots of expansion slots, and LOTS of USB ports too. Both motherboard ports, and ports you can add cables to and mount on a bracket in an expansion slot.


Thanks
73
Jim W7RY
On 7/2/2019 2:52 PM, Tom LeClerc wrote:

I'd go with Windows 10, a refurb "WORKSTATION" not a refurb home computer.  I7 or better.  NewEgg and TigerDirect have them.  And order a MORTTY or two from Larry K8UT.  The can be wired as a winkeyer or a RTTY terminal...


73, Tom W1JL

-- 
 Tom LeClerc, Amateur Radio Station W1TJL
 Contest Station for N1MM, W1TJL, & others
    (past calls WB1CBY, /VE8,XL8,CI8,VO2)
      Yankee Clipper Contest Club (YCCC)
East Hartland, CT Weather: http://qsl.net/w1tjl
                    email: w1tjl@...
On 7/2/2019 3:46 PM, Tim Shoppa wrote:
IMHO you should go parallel-port-free and Windows 10.

Availability of refurbs with parallel ports is declining (but it is still an option at the moment if you shop especially the older refurb models.)

Windows 7 updates will only be available for a few more months. And N1MM works just fine with Windows 10.

I myself bought a second Winkeyer USB just a few weeks ago as a backup. A joy to assemble.

Tim N3QE

On Jul 2, 2019, at 3:25 PM, George W1EBI <w1ebi@...> wrote:

My shack computer has suffered a catastophic failure, probably motherboard. I can reimage an identical spare from network attached backup drive. My question is:  should I acquire a new refurb pc with parallel port and Windows 7 Pro (I have been using parallel port CW keying), or is it time to go with Windows 10 and USB port for CW keying?

 

Opinions?  Offline might be best. 

 

George W1EBI


John Nitzke
 

George,
 
            I’m now a big fan of refurbished computers, too.
 
            Gerry, W1VE, frequently recommends Renewable Technology Resources ( www.renewabletechnologyresources.com, renewabletech@...) in Lawrence, MA as a supplier of used PCs.  Gerry says “Talk to Wayne there.”  “Prices are rock bottom.”  They will e-mail you their huge inventory.
 
            Last December I needed a new laptop in a hurry and checked out their list, but at the time, they didn’t have exactly what I wanted:  a laptop with an SSD and a lighted keyboard.
 
            So, for kicks, I Googled “refurbished +laptop +ssd”.  One search result was Walmart, where I ended up buying a recent Lenovo ThinkPad T450s with an i7 processor and a 500 GB SSD and Windows 10 Pro.  They warranted it for 90 days, but I've had no problems.  I liked the idea of buying from Walmart, because returns and disputes are so easy to settle.

        The computer looked like it was brand new.  It was well-packed and had not a single blemish.  It’s blindingly fast.  Boots in 12 seconds.  It cost me just $450 plus sales tax.  Shipping to my home would have been free, but I chose to pick it up at my local Walmart in Northboro.  It was there in two days.
 
            I was reluctant to try Windows 10, but found it easy to get used to.  I also love that the fan almost never needs to run.
 
            73 de KF1KI
            -John
 

At 03:25 PM 7/2/2019, you wrote:

My shack computer has suffered a catastophic failure, probably motherboard. I can reimage an identical spare from network attached backup drive. My question is:  should I acquire a new refurb pc with parallel port and Windows 7 Pro (I have been using parallel port CW keying), or is it time to go with Windows 10 and USB port for CW keying?


Opinions? Â Offline might be best.


George W1EBI

George W1EBI
 

Well, the vote, not surprisingly, was unanimous--move to Windows 10.  We have several pc's at home, all the desktops and two laptops are Win7, but I got my wife a new Dell Latitude with Win 10.  She is using both, so we are weaning slowly away from Win7.  I suppose I can get used to Win10, since we all know that Win7 will no longer be supported by Microsoft very soon.  Thanks for all the feedback.  USB keying will be the next learning event.

George W1EBI

Terry Glagowski / AFA1DI
 

George,

I have been able to upgrade my old Win98, Win2K, WinXP computers from the late 1990s to Win10…

My oldest one is a duo core AMD processor with a pair of 250 GB disks and only 4 GB RAM…

Win10 is a winner, despite all the gripes I hear !

 

73, Terry / W1TR  :  )

 

From: N1MMLoggerPlus@groups.io [mailto:N1MMLoggerPlus@groups.io] On Behalf Of George W1EBI
Sent: Tuesday, July 02, 2019 19:31
To: N1MMLoggerPlus@groups.io
Subject: Re: [N1MM+] Choosing new computer

 

Well, the vote, not surprisingly, was unanimous--move to Windows 10.  We have several pc's at home, all the desktops and two laptops are Win7, but I got my wife a new Dell Latitude with Win 10.  She is using both, so we are weaning slowly away from Win7.  I suppose I can get used to Win10, since we all know that Win7 will no longer be supported by Microsoft very soon.  Thanks for all the feedback.  USB keying will be the next learning event.

George W1EBI

Dwight Bosselman
 

I just got one too - nice piece of hdwe indeed! They sold for over $2k back in their day!

73 Dwight NS9I

On 7/2/2019 3:39 PM, Jim W7RY wrote:
HP Has several.

The HP Z440 is a great machine! They are everywhere from corporate returns. I use a Z420, because I got it for free. Runs windows 10 with a SSD that I just installed.
Nice big case with lots of expansion slots, and LOTS of USB ports too. Both motherboard ports, and ports you can add cables to and mount on a bracket in an expansion slot.


Thanks
73
Jim W7RY
On 7/2/2019 2:52 PM, Tom LeClerc wrote:

I'd go with Windows 10, a refurb "WORKSTATION" not a refurb home computer.  I7 or better.  NewEgg and TigerDirect have them.  And order a MORTTY or two from Larry K8UT.  The can be wired as a winkeyer or a RTTY terminal...


73, Tom W1JL

-- 
 Tom LeClerc, Amateur Radio Station W1TJL
 Contest Station for N1MM, W1TJL, & others
    (past calls WB1CBY, /VE8,XL8,CI8,VO2)
      Yankee Clipper Contest Club (YCCC)
East Hartland, CT Weather: http://qsl.net/w1tjl
                    email: w1tjl@...
On 7/2/2019 3:46 PM, Tim Shoppa wrote:
IMHO you should go parallel-port-free and Windows 10.

Availability of refurbs with parallel ports is declining (but it is still an option at the moment if you shop especially the older refurb models.)

Windows 7 updates will only be available for a few more months. And N1MM works just fine with Windows 10.

I myself bought a second Winkeyer USB just a few weeks ago as a backup. A joy to assemble.

Tim N3QE

On Jul 2, 2019, at 3:25 PM, George W1EBI <w1ebi@...> wrote:

My shack computer has suffered a catastophic failure, probably motherboard. I can reimage an identical spare from network attached backup drive. My question is:  should I acquire a new refurb pc with parallel port and Windows 7 Pro (I have been using parallel port CW keying), or is it time to go with Windows 10 and USB port for CW keying?

 

Opinions?  Offline might be best. 

 

George W1EBI


Frank Maynard
 

Another source of refurbs that I've used is Discount Electronics in Texas. They have a large inventory and you can customize your machine (HD, CDRW, memory, OS, peripherals etc) so you can set it up the way you want it. I've purchased several computers, monitors and a projector from them. My current shack machine is a workstation-class Dell T1650 running Fedora Core Linux and it's fast. Even has a hardware serial port.

Whatever you get, go with a SSD instead of a spinning hard drive; you'll be amazed at the difference in performance, and stuff it with at least 8 GB and preferably 16 GB of memory.

Jon KM8V
 

Hi George,

I replaced my aging shack PC with one of these last year:

https://www.costco.com/HP-Pavilion-Power-Desktop---AMD-Ryzen-7---Radeon-RX-550.product.100416234.html

It's been pretty great. The only thing I changed was to add a 500G SSD for the main system drive.

73 de KM8V

Jim N7US
 

I got a new HP from Costco two years ago.  If you buy a computer with their Visa card you get a four year warranty.

 

Jim N7US

 

From: N1MMLoggerPlus@groups.io <N1MMLoggerPlus@groups.io> On Behalf Of Jon KM8V
Sent: Saturday, July 20, 2019 10:14
To: N1MMLoggerPlus@groups.io
Subject: Re: [N1MM+] Choosing new computer

 

Hi George,

I replaced my aging shack PC with one of these last year:

https://www.costco.com/HP-Pavilion-Power-Desktop---AMD-Ryzen-7---Radeon-RX-550.product.100416234.html

It's been pretty great. The only thing I changed was to add a 500G SSD for the main system drive.

73 de KM8V

Lu Romero - W4LT
 

Do you use a dedicated PC for Contesting? Do you have a large monitor (24 inch or better) capable of 2K resolution?  Does this monitor have a HDMI input?

I use the Azulle Quantum Access PC Stick. Bottom line: Its like buying a Win10 license and getting the hardware for free. It plugs in to any HDMI socket, turning any HDMI monitor/TV display into a fully capable Win10 (or Linux) computer. No fear of lightning damage through ethernet (common here in Florida), it has built in wireless ethernet. I use a 4 port USB3 hub from Anker that is roughly the same size as the stick, plugging it in to the USB3 port on the stick to give me 4 USB3 ports.

https://azulletech.com/product/quantum-access/

I use a Bluetooth connected keyboard and mouse, MicroHam CWKeyer (essentially a WinKey) for CW contests.  I use a MicroHam MicroKeyer2 for SSB contesting, since it does both rig control and DVK with its internal sound card. No issues with either CW or SSB DVK playout. I have even run RTTY SO2R via a MicroHam Micro2R controller and 2 instances of MMTTY and it works just fine. Haven't tried FT8/FT4 yet... But you know... FT8/FT4 contesting... hi hi 

What I find convenient is that since I am using my club's facilities more often for contesting now in the low part of the sun cycle due to my low band antenna challenged home station, it is SOOO nice to be able to carry everything I need in a small bag, plug *MY* machine into the club's HDMI monitors at the operating position and KNOW that my system is set up to work the way *I* want it to work, with everything preloaded and checked out beforehand. We all know how things work at club stations, right?

When I'm done, I simply unplug the computer and take my peripherals with me without lugging around lots of stuff.

The ONLY thing on this machine is N1MMLogger+ and needed contesting software and files. Any additional software plus DVK is stored in a 64GB MicroSD card that fits into the socket on the Stick. These little things run a 4 core Atom. I was skeptical at first, but I've never had a problem, even with heavy unfiltered spot feeds. They work as reliably and as well as my previous Ham PC, a workplace "hand me down" Lenovo i7 W530. The wall wart power supply is dead RF quiet (in contrast to the club's HP laptop PS' annoying RF buzzing).

I now have three of these, with two more coming for both our home TV sets, to say goodbye to the Spectrum Cable set top box rental. 

I've never had a problem with these in contesting applications (or anything else, for that matter). They are a solid block of silicon, no moving parts, not even a fan. Need a external spot server? Add another one on the network in headless configuration, accessed via VNC. Need an SDR server? Add another one, again, headless, or on a second monitor. Lose power?, when power returns, they can be set to automatically reboot into whatever you were running... And they boot fast, too! They are used a lot in Mall/Airport POP signage applications unattended, so they need to be rugged and foolproof.

I'm sold on these. If there are monitors with HDMI (and even good old VGA, using a $10 HDMI to VGA converter) where you contest, and you like to travel light, this is the answer. Your mileage may vary, but this has been a revolution for me here. 

Lu Romero - W4LT

Gary K9GS
 

Now if someone would make a fold up 22" monitor...









73,

Gary K9GS

-------- Original message --------
From: Lu Romero - W4LT <lromero56@...>
Date: 7/21/19 10:18 AM (GMT-06:00)
To: N1MMLoggerPlus@groups.io
Subject: Re: [N1MM+] Choosing new computer

Do you use a dedicated PC for Contesting? Do you have a large monitor (24 inch or better) capable of 2K resolution?  Does this monitor have a HDMI input?

I use the Azulle Quantum Access PC Stick. Bottom line: Its like buying a Win10 license and getting the hardware for free. It plugs in to any HDMI socket, turning any HDMI monitor/TV display into a fully capable Win10 (or Linux) computer. No fear of lightning damage through ethernet (common here in Florida), it has built in wireless ethernet. I use a 4 port USB3 hub from Anker that is roughly the same size as the stick, plugging it in to the USB3 port on the stick to give me 4 USB3 ports.

https://azulletech.com/product/quantum-access/

I use a Bluetooth connected keyboard and mouse, MicroHam CWKeyer (essentially a WinKey) for CW contests.  I use a MicroHam MicroKeyer2 for SSB contesting, since it does both rig control and DVK with its internal sound card. No issues with either CW or SSB DVK playout. I have even run RTTY SO2R via a MicroHam Micro2R controller and 2 instances of MMTTY and it works just fine. Haven't tried FT8/FT4 yet... But you know... FT8/FT4 contesting... hi hi 

What I find convenient is that since I am using my club's facilities more often for contesting now in the low part of the sun cycle due to my low band antenna challenged home station, it is SOOO nice to be able to carry everything I need in a small bag, plug *MY* machine into the club's HDMI monitors at the operating position and KNOW that my system is set up to work the way *I* want it to work, with everything preloaded and checked out beforehand. We all know how things work at club stations, right?

When I'm done, I simply unplug the computer and take my peripherals with me without lugging around lots of stuff.

The ONLY thing on this machine is N1MMLogger+ and needed contesting software and files. Any additional software plus DVK is stored in a 64GB MicroSD card that fits into the socket on the Stick. These little things run a 4 core Atom. I was skeptical at first, but I've never had a problem, even with heavy unfiltered spot feeds. They work as reliably and as well as my previous Ham PC, a workplace "hand me down" Lenovo i7 W530. The wall wart power supply is dead RF quiet (in contrast to the club's HP laptop PS' annoying RF buzzing).

I now have three of these, with two more coming for both our home TV sets, to say goodbye to the Spectrum Cable set top box rental. 

I've never had a problem with these in contesting applications (or anything else, for that matter). They are a solid block of silicon, no moving parts, not even a fan. Need a external spot server? Add another one on the network in headless configuration, accessed via VNC. Need an SDR server? Add another one, again, headless, or on a second monitor. Lose power?, when power returns, they can be set to automatically reboot into whatever you were running... And they boot fast, too! They are used a lot in Mall/Airport POP signage applications unattended, so they need to be rugged and foolproof.

I'm sold on these. If there are monitors with HDMI (and even good old VGA, using a $10 HDMI to VGA converter) where you contest, and you like to travel light, this is the answer. Your mileage may vary, but this has been a revolution for me here. 

Lu Romero - W4LT