Decent laptop for digital work

Discussion in 'Working Different Modes' started by W2KS, Jul 4, 2020.

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  1. W2KS

    W2KS Ham Member QRZ Page

    I'm looking to get involved with digital format, such as JT8, etc. What would be a decent and inexpensive laptop that I can use to download programs, such as HRD, etc. I'm an Apple computer person, but research suggests that HRD, etc, aren't compatible with Apple. My operating equipment will probably be a Xiegu G90 and a Signalink as an interface.
  2. KC2RGW

    KC2RGW Premium Subscriber QRZ Page

    A cheap or older laptop with Linux on it will work nicely. Fldigi, wsjtx, js8call all run natively on Linux. Signalink is just plug and play on Linux too. Linux will run very well on older hardware too. It will require some patience to learn to install and configure it. They are fairly low horsepower apps to run, you can run them all on a Raspberry Pi I believe too.
  3. AF5FH

    AF5FH Ham Member QRZ Page

    You mentioned HRD. Ham Radio Deluxe is a Windows program. A new or refurbished laptop with Windows 10 on it will work nicely. HRD, Fldigi, WSJT-X, js8call all run natively on Windows 10. I just looked on, and see refurbished laptops running Windows 10 for $159 and up. The models with a SSD (solid state drive) and minimum 8 GB RAM are $204 and up. Other suppliers may be less expensive. Linux will run on older laptops which will cost you less money, but you won't be able to run HRD.
    N4FZ likes this.
  4. W2KS

    W2KS Ham Member QRZ Page

    Appreciate the advice, folks
  5. MM0LQF

    MM0LQF Premium Subscriber QRZ Page

    You can find old thinkpads cheap on EBay from corporate decommissioning firms.

    I got my x220 for under £100, it gets a 8 hour battery life and runs Linux flawlessly. Robust build quality and its small.

    I use it with my SCU-17 interface to run WSJT-X for FT-8 digimode work.

    You could install Windows if you wanted to run HRD.
  6. WS9K

    WS9K Ham Member QRZ Page

    when my PC died, I went to Microcenter and bought a $220 lease turn in desktop.

    Added a better video card, and swappable hard drive bay, so i can use a win10 hard drive when I'm playing radio, or Linux Mint for general surfing.

    I've used Linux for ham software, but tend to have better luck with [cough] win10. I still use HRD, and it runs on windows.

    when you run win10 and Linux on the same machine, it's very noticeable how BLOATED window10 is.
  7. KG5THG

    KG5THG Platinum Subscriber Platinum Subscriber QRZ Page

    The main thing to consider is memory. Processor speed only really becomes an issue with msk144 if you are doing deep decoding. My current laptop I picked up on sale at Walmart. I have not had any issues with the chargers from dell or hp as far as rf noise goes. I've heard that some of the off brands can be rf noisy. I use windows 10, hrd, wsjt, jtalert and have windows open for slack etc.. but have not had any issues and I have 8 gb ram. As others have said windows will use 7.99 gb and leave you the rest.
  8. K3UJ

    K3UJ Ham Member QRZ Page

    Running Fldigi on an 10+ year old Toshiba using Windows XP. You don't need much.
    NL7P likes this.
  9. KI4ZUQ

    KI4ZUQ Ham Member QRZ Page

    Maybe this is the thread to ask what I am doing wrong with WSJT-X to work WSPR and FT8.
    The 'puter is hooked to the top radio which has a mini-usb port that will handle audio and keying supposedly. The radio is a RS-918 china clone of the mcHF from M0NKA but has more features. The ten-year old Dell with Windows 10 and decodes on receive well both WSPR and FT8. But configuring for transmit gets Test Tx turning red every time. Even loaded flrig as an interface to WSJT-X to no avail.

    Tell if this post needs to go elsewhere, please.
  10. KP4SX

    KP4SX Premium Subscriber QRZ Page

    What is this 'Test TX'? Where do you see that?

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