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Author Topic: Recommended computers for Ham  (Read 13382 times)
N6SBN
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« on: November 20, 2013, 03:33:27 PM »

  Had an Apple IMac.   Worked okay, but wanted to run some of the programs on windows.   Bought a Dell XPS and I sounded like a chainsaw running next to my radio. Lots of RFI.

  Aside from laptops, is there a desktop that is radio quiet???
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KE4DRN
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« Reply #1 on: November 20, 2013, 08:36:02 PM »

hi Craig,

I use IBM desktops (used off lease) all over my home and no problems,
for field day IBM Thinkpads and Lenovo Thinkpads again no problems.

http://www-304.ibm.com/shop/americas/content/home/store_IBMPublicUSA/en_US/icpepcs.html

Work great and don't cost a bundle of money and no RF problems,
also have the OS installed and warranty too.

73 james
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N6SBN
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« Reply #2 on: November 21, 2013, 08:26:22 AM »

  The Imac is silent compared to the Dell.   Would like to find that in a Win machine
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KE7TMA
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« Reply #3 on: November 21, 2013, 03:41:11 PM »

  The Imac is silent compared to the Dell.   Would like to find that in a Win machine

Why don't you just run Windows on the Macintosh you already have?  It's officially supported with a program called Boot Camp and has been for years.
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W8JX
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« Reply #4 on: November 21, 2013, 07:35:05 PM »

  The Imac is silent compared to the Dell.   Would like to find that in a Win machine

Why don't you just run Windows on the Macintosh you already have?  It's officially supported with a program called Boot Camp and has been for years.

So you pay 3x as much just to run Windows? Just by a Windoze machine to begin with.
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All posted wireless using Win 8.1 RT, a Android tablet using 4G/LTE/WiFi or Sprint Note 3.
KG4NEL
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« Reply #5 on: November 21, 2013, 08:40:22 PM »

I haven't bought one yet, but I'm giving the Gigabyte Brix some looks Smiley

Was thinking about the Intel NUC, but the Brix seems to get better reviews...
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KE7TMA
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« Reply #6 on: November 23, 2013, 11:44:49 AM »

  The Imac is silent compared to the Dell.   Would like to find that in a Win machine

Why don't you just run Windows on the Macintosh you already have?  It's officially supported with a program called Boot Camp and has been for years.

So you pay 3x as much just to run Windows? Just by a Windoze machine to begin with.

No, you pay about the same if you want a quality machine.  Of course a Mac costs 3x as much as a creaky hunk of junk cheapest Wal-mart laptop but a high quality notebook costs the same as a Mac Pro or substantially more.  Spec'em out if you want, I know lots of people who run Windows on Macs simply because they are the best hardware.
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W4KYR
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« Reply #7 on: November 23, 2013, 02:04:51 PM »

I would recommend getting a second computer with a serial port and running Windows 98SE, with Windows 98 you can run in DOS mode. Some cloning and programming programs run on DOS only and require serial ports.

 A good example is the EX 1726 clone program for changing the Icom M710 from a Marine Band Only Radio to a Marine Band and Ham Band, it requires DOS and a serial port. Many of the earlier packet programs run on DOS or Win 95, 98 only.  

I think the program for the Kenwood VC-H1 only runs on Windows 95 and 98. Also in addition, all Windows Computers from XP and below automatically come with "Hyperterminal". It is not available in Windows Vista, 7 and 8 but can supposedly be added by copying the four Hyperterminal files from System 32 under I-386.

Get a computer with an all steel case not plastic. The Dell Dimension (built in 1999) is still running, but it has a plastic case. It might not be good for ham radio purposes. Your results may vary, void where prohibited..etc, etc....
« Last Edit: November 23, 2013, 02:08:51 PM by W4KYR » Logged

Still using Windows XP Pro.
AF5FH
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« Reply #8 on: November 24, 2013, 11:42:44 AM »

hi Craig,

I use IBM desktops (used off lease) all over my home and no problems,
for field day IBM Thinkpads and Lenovo Thinkpads again no problems.

http://www-304.ibm.com/shop/americas/content/home/store_IBMPublicUSA/en_US/icpepcs.html

Work great and don't cost a bundle of money and no RF problems,
also have the OS installed and warranty too.

73 james

James,

Thanks for advice. My five year old HP desktop that I use to run my home station is failing again, already replaced motherboard last year, and it is locking up again with same symptoms. The motherboard is a PITA to find and to replace on this model, and I have decided I am not fixing it again. The HP laptop I now use for portable operations is also unreliable (replaced LCD panel twice, and DVD/CD once). Although I admit my college age children were using the laptop when it broke all those times. And HP does not stock replacement parts, I have ended up buying parts for most of these repairs on eBay because HP tells me they don't have the parts.  I have decided that HP is not reliable enough for me. I went to the web site you referenced and ordered a desktop computer. Hopefully the IBM/Lenovo computer will be more reliable than HP for me.

Jim, AF5FH
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W8JX
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« Reply #9 on: November 24, 2013, 02:13:21 PM »

It is really kinda silly to repair a old laptop as new ones are cheap, much faster and much cooler running too.
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All posted wireless using Win 8.1 RT, a Android tablet using 4G/LTE/WiFi or Sprint Note 3.
AF5FH
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Posts: 31




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« Reply #10 on: November 24, 2013, 08:23:42 PM »

It is really kinda silly to repair a old laptop as new ones are cheap, much faster and much cooler running too.
If you are talking about young people who are taking the laptop to class every day at high school or college, and breaking something on it every twelve months, then I say it is cheaper to fix it for what the parts cost on eBay. My experience with three children, and talking with other parents has convinced me that students are "tough" on laptops. I'm glad that I was able to get extended warranty for the laptops that my children have used for school. At least for the first few years on each laptop I didn't pay for broken parts.

If an adult is using it and it breaks after five years, then I would agree to toss it and get a newer one.

Jim
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NA4IT
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« Reply #11 on: November 25, 2013, 04:17:56 AM »

You can buy good Windows XP refurbished machines from Dell or TigerDirect.

If you are looking to resurrect an older computer, try a Live CD of Puppy Linux with FLDigi on it for sound card modes.... if you like it, install it to the hard drive...
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W8JX
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« Reply #12 on: November 25, 2013, 04:58:03 AM »

It is really kinda silly to repair a old laptop as new ones are cheap, much faster and much cooler running too.
If you are talking about young people who are taking the laptop to class every day at high school or college, and breaking something on it every twelve months, then I say it is cheaper to fix it for what the parts cost on eBay. My experience with three children, and talking with other parents has convinced me that students are "tough" on laptops. I'm glad that I was able to get extended warranty for the laptops that my children have used for school. At least for the first few years on each laptop I didn't pay for broken parts.

If an adult is using it and it breaks after five years, then I would agree to toss it and get a newer one.

Jim

Put two daughters thru 6 years of college each and no repairs. Bought 2 HPs at start and replaced/upgraded them 3 years later. Original ones still work and I use one with ham radio. 
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All posted wireless using Win 8.1 RT, a Android tablet using 4G/LTE/WiFi or Sprint Note 3.
KE4DRN
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Posts: 3721




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« Reply #13 on: November 25, 2013, 04:13:50 PM »

hi

I have several older T series Thinkpads for my own use,
rest of family has the R series, also several desktops I use
for work, all used from IBM off lease.

IBM has the manuals in pdf on the Lenovo site, should you
ever have to open one up and repair or replace a part.

73 james
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W3ML
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Posts: 166




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« Reply #14 on: November 27, 2013, 06:35:02 AM »

I went to PC Direct when my old one was giving out.  I bought a floor model that runs quiet and works great on digital modes as well as controlling the rig.

Cost me around 390.00.

Looking to get another one for the other station set-up.

John, W3ML
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