Call Search
     

New to Ham Radio?
My Profile

Community
Articles
Forums
News
Reviews
Friends Remembered
Strays
Survey Question

Operating
Contesting
DX Cluster Spots
Propagation

Resources
Calendar
Classifieds
Ham Exams
Ham Links
List Archives
News Articles
Product Reviews
QSL Managers

Site Info
eHam Help (FAQ)
Support the site
The eHam Team
Advertising Info
Vision Statement
About eHam.net

   Home   Help Search  
Pages: [1]   Go Down
  Print  
Author Topic: Desktop versus Laptop for digital modes on Field Day  (Read 5024 times)
AG5T
Member

Posts: 162


WWW

Ignore
« on: April 13, 2012, 04:20:24 PM »

I just ran a test with a very old laptop using Digipan and the signals were very weak plus the computer wouldn't transmit. I then switched back to the desktop and the waterfall was 100 times better with more signals and I could transmit. Anyone know why psk31 signals are so bad on laptops? I have told my club I would work some digital for field day but only on desktop. We spent 48 hours on digital last year trying to use a laptopp and made 1 whole contact.
Logged
KF6ABU
Member

Posts: 351




Ignore
« Reply #1 on: April 13, 2012, 04:43:17 PM »

becuase you dont have the laptop set up correctly, is why.

Its a computer, a sound card, input, output and levels to adjust.

They are the same base.
Logged
W8JX
Member

Posts: 5755




Ignore
« Reply #2 on: April 13, 2012, 06:04:35 PM »

I just ran a test with a very old laptop using Digipan and the signals were very weak plus the computer wouldn't transmit. I then switched back to the desktop and the waterfall was 100 times better with more signals and I could transmit. Anyone know why psk31 signals are so bad on laptops? I have told my club I would work some digital for field day but only on desktop. We spent 48 hours on digital last year trying to use a laptopp and made 1 whole contact.

Likely because your laptop has very limited resources (RAM and CPU speed). I switched to a 6 yr old laptop in my radio room that 18 months ago I installed fastest CPU I could find (a 1.7ghz Celeron M), new faster hard drive, and 1.5gig of ram with WIN XP and have had not problems with it for Digi or even digital SSTV. My guess was very old laptop was very lacking.
Logged

--------------------------------------
All posted wireless using Win 8.1 RT, a Android tablet using 4G/LTE/WiFi or Sprint Note 3.
VA7CPC
Member

Posts: 2386




Ignore
« Reply #3 on: April 14, 2012, 10:50:38 PM »

one more vote --

I don't have a desktop computer.  I've been using a Dell laptop for several years -- mostly PSK31 and RTTY (and last week JT65-HF).  That computer had Windows Vista when new, so it isn't _very_ old.

You need enough CPU power, it doesn't matter what shape the case is.

.           Charles

PS -- I also have a one-year-old Acer netbook computer.  It is perfectly capable of every digital mode I've tried. 
« Last Edit: April 14, 2012, 10:53:36 PM by VA7CPC » Logged
KX5JT
Member

Posts: 217




Ignore
« Reply #4 on: April 15, 2012, 05:55:04 AM »

Given the same speed/power/processor/sound card capability etc etc.  specs between a notebook and a desktop, the only real difference might be shielding.   Notebooks are often now much less shielded and often the motherboard has no real sheilding beyond the plastic case.  RF could cause more problems with the notebook.
Logged
KG8JF
Member

Posts: 298




Ignore
« Reply #5 on: April 15, 2012, 07:35:15 AM »

I agree with W8JX.  The old warhorse that you are trying to use has very limited resources and as such performs very poorly.
Logged
K3AN
Member

Posts: 787




Ignore
« Reply #6 on: April 16, 2012, 06:41:15 AM »

I started using PSK31 on laptops over 10 years ago. Never had a problem. There's probably something wrong with the sound card gain control settings in your laptop. Or, there's a ground loop or poorly shielded cable that's introducing hum or noise. Digipan does not require much in the way of processing speed or other resources. From the digipan.net web page: "Digipan 2.0 works best on a 266 MHz or faster Pentium processor and requires Windows 95 or greater."

Logged
W8JX
Member

Posts: 5755




Ignore
« Reply #7 on: April 16, 2012, 07:03:38 AM »

I started using PSK31 on laptops over 10 years ago. Never had a problem. There's probably something wrong with the sound card gain control settings in your laptop. Or, there's a ground loop or poorly shielded cable that's introducing hum or noise. Digipan does not require much in the way of processing speed or other resources. From the digipan.net web page: "Digipan 2.0 works best on a 266 MHz or faster Pentium processor and requires Windows 95 or greater."



The problem with this logic is that the code in operating system was much simpler 10+ years ago and unless you do a fresh install with a old OS and no updates, what worked then will not even remotely work today because code has gotten fat with hundreds of fixes, updates and patches and IE has got much fatter too and uses more memory even when not being used so what you did then, cannot be done today unless you roll OS and updates back 10+ years too.
Logged

--------------------------------------
All posted wireless using Win 8.1 RT, a Android tablet using 4G/LTE/WiFi or Sprint Note 3.
AG6WT
Member

Posts: 448




Ignore
« Reply #8 on: April 16, 2012, 07:53:25 AM »

I just ran a test with a very old laptop using Digipan and the signals were very weak plus the computer wouldn't transmit.

Are you even sure the sound card in the laptop is working?

I use a 2006 Toshiba laptop that was on the low end of the performance scale even when it was new (the cheapest Wal-mart sold when I bought it) and it worked fine with Digipan.
Logged
W8JX
Member

Posts: 5755




Ignore
« Reply #9 on: April 16, 2012, 09:20:55 AM »

I just ran a test with a very old laptop using Digipan and the signals were very weak plus the computer wouldn't transmit.

Are you even sure the sound card in the laptop is working?

I use a 2006 Toshiba laptop that was on the low end of the performance scale even when it was new (the cheapest Wal-mart sold when I bought it) and it worked fine with Digipan.

In 2006 the entry level CPU was well above top end CPU in a laptop 2 or 3 years sooner. Mobile CPU power was really starting to explode then. The laptop I use in shack now saw one of my daughters through first 3 years of college.
Logged

--------------------------------------
All posted wireless using Win 8.1 RT, a Android tablet using 4G/LTE/WiFi or Sprint Note 3.
K9JCS
Member

Posts: 37




Ignore
« Reply #10 on: April 16, 2012, 11:00:01 AM »

Learn from my mistake!

A long time ago in a galaxy far away... I was trying to set up for psk31 on an older, not very capable laptop. The waterfall display was very noisy and the copy of signals wasn't very good. I rechecked the cabling and discovered that I had not plugged the audio input into the correct jack on the laptop. The laptop's built in microphone was picking up PSK audio from the radio's speaker as well as every other noise in the room. I plugged it into the proper jack and the noise on the waterfall disappeared and I started to get 100 per cent copy.

Jim
K9JCS
Logged
KE4DRN
Member

Posts: 3722




Ignore
« Reply #11 on: April 17, 2012, 04:17:48 PM »

AG4T,

tell us what make, model, memory levels, etc and o/s on the laptop.

Are you using direct cabling or interface like signalink or other?

73 james
Logged
W5LZ
Member

Posts: 477




Ignore
« Reply #12 on: April 23, 2012, 08:02:56 AM »

I think the first post pretty well had it.  Of course there are 'minimums', but if your system meets or exceeds those minimums then the software should work.
 - 'Doc
Logged
STAYVERTICAL
Member

Posts: 864




Ignore
« Reply #13 on: April 23, 2012, 02:40:51 PM »

Since Alan Turing determined in the the 1930's that a universal Turing machine can describe any computing process, the difference between practical machines is simply one of features and quality.

Laptops, desktops, or tablet computers are all perfectly fine for use on field day, with the proviso that they support the programs desired.
I am using a low end budget laptop with windows 7 which is capable of running any digimodes program, doing 3D modelling and running video concurrently.
Modern low cost laptops are so powerful, it just does not make sense to put money into older units, unless you are a museum curator.

As many posters have already said, old hardware is going to give you poor results, but a modern low end laptop in my experience will perform very well.
When you factor in the lower power requirements, capability of running from 12V with an adaptor, simplicity of locking it away for security, and the ease of transportation, I would certainly use a laptop.

Good luck and 73s


Logged
Pages: [1]   Go Up
  Print  
 
Jump to:  

Powered by MySQL Powered by PHP Powered by SMF 1.1.11 | SMF © 2006-2009, Simple Machines LLC Valid XHTML 1.0! Valid CSS!