Ideas for a laptop for digital mode

Discussion in 'Ham Radio Discussions' started by K6BBC, Sep 13, 2018.

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  1. K6BBC

    K6BBC Senior Moderator Volunteer Moderator QRZ Page

    I'm going to be in Greece for about 3 weeks and want to operate digital modes. I need a laptop to set up with my K3S. As always, I want to invest as little as possible as this will be the computers sole use. I'd love to pick up something at Best Buy or Frys - CHEAP! Does any body have any experience or ideas? Help always appreciated!

  2. W4NNF

    W4NNF XML Subscriber QRZ Page

    Really doesn't matter which. DM780...WSJT-X, FLdigi and the rest don't really require a lot of horsepower. I would stay away from the bottom feeders like HP, natch...get something with a keyboard and a display you like that isn't too heavy.
    K2WH likes this.
  3. KC8VWM

    KC8VWM Moderator Volunteer Moderator QRZ Page

    Use a cheap Windows 10 tablet.

    (Click to enlarge)


    I see them on eBay for under 50 bucks.

    Don't worry if they include a keyboard or not. You can buy a Bluetooth keyboard and tablet carry case separately for $14.

    For digital work you interface the radio to the tablet using a $3 OTG cable like this:

    The OTG cable basically converts the micro-usb port on a phone or a tablet to a regular USB port similar to a laptop.

    Then the OTG USB port connects to a cheap USB sound card like this one:

    The digital interface you have plugs into this USB sound card.

    In terms of the CAT port for serial port communications you can get a bluetooth adapter that connects directly to the back of the rig and communicates to the tablet via bluetooth.

    Look ma - no wires! :)

    Not sure what kind of rig you have, but they make wireless CAT adapters for different rigs. Most Yaesu CAT ports are universally compatible with one another.

    You can probably get an OTG cable and external USB sound card at Best Buy but it might cost a little more to get these items there.
    Last edited: Sep 14, 2018
    K9ASE and N3AWS like this.
  4. WA5KMH

    WA5KMH XML Subscriber QRZ Page

    Tony, I use an HP G71 running Win7. The 15.6 inch screen is great for having more than one window open. I would recommend at least something with 14" screen. I have also had great luck with refurbs. Not only are they less expensive, but seem to have most of the bugs worked out.
  5. KN4CQB

    KN4CQB XML Subscriber QRZ Page

    Check - always good deals and factory refurbs.
    Bought a bunch from them including the one i am using right now
    N1DQQ likes this.
  6. N1DQQ

    N1DQQ Ham Member QRZ Page

    I recommend and Lenovo. I have 6 Lenovo computers, 1 tower, 2 SFF desktops from TigerDirect, 1 laptop, brand new, 2 used. Lenovo used to be IBM. I've had very good luck with Lenovo. Three were replacements because the originals got too old (14 years or more), running XP, and got the Lenovos cheap with Windows 10 Pro installed from Tiger. The refurbs will be a few years old, but you really can't tell except from the serial/model number. My opinion only;no ties.
    N3AWS likes this.
  7. N5PAR

    N5PAR Ham Member QRZ Page

    1884C66B-0958-440F-9D12-4D251E7BCF5A.jpeg 82BBF4B7-D1AC-4A0E-8598-181A384EB7A7.jpeg I have an older Acer for sale. Fifty bucks and it’s yours. I’ll even throw in an old Minolta film camera for free. You can stop by on your way to Greece.
  8. K6BBC

    K6BBC Senior Moderator Volunteer Moderator QRZ Page

    How about this? Think it will do the job?
  9. KP4SX

    KP4SX XML Subscriber QRZ Page

  10. KN4CQB

    KN4CQB XML Subscriber QRZ Page

    get something with at least 8GB RAM. You can always add storage later. Windows is a memory hog. FWIW I took an old notebook, put Ubuntu Linux on it and use it for QRZ and basic web browsing while on the radio.

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