eHam Forums => Digital => Topic started by: AD5IU on December 21, 2002, 08:52:27 AM

Title: Recommended Laptop
Post by: AD5IU on December 21, 2002, 08:52:27 AM
I'm in the market to 'swap' my desktop computer for a laptop. Right now my server sized desktop & 21" monitor is just too big to locate next to my operating position.

So I'm looking for a physically small laptop to totally dedicate to ham apps such as logging, digital modes, callsign lookup, etc. I plan to put it right at my operating station (next to my rigs).

Can anyone recommend a particular laptop vendor that makes laptops that is free of RFI? What is the minimum CPU speed I should expect to run apps at a reasonable clip?

Conversely, can anyone offer any advice as to what to watch out for, what to avoid? (e.g. particular types of displays, clock freqs, etc.)

Title: Recommended Laptop
Post by: AD5IU on December 21, 2002, 09:44:37 AM
With a under $500 budget I forgot to mention I'm obviously looking for a used and/or older model to keep the price way down (I'll probably pick something up off eBay)

Title: Recommended Laptop
Post by: NB6Z on December 23, 2002, 11:06:18 AM
I recently solved my desktop space problem and reduced eye strain by switching to an 18 inch LCD flat screen. I highly recommend them because there is no RFI emissions and they are very low power. The prices are way down on the 15-17 inch models now. Otherwise it seems that folks do well with laptops on the sound card digi modes. Make sure you find a used one that has a Sound Blaster compatible chip! Get one with a CPU of 500 Mhz if you can and nothing slower than 166. You will need a floppy drive at least, and a modem card is nice because you can get real time band condx and QSO info from QRZ.COM. You may also need a second comport (PCMCI card) for CAT, rotor or other hardware. I would look in the local want-ads after xmas so you can look at what you are buying used. Good luck and CU on the digi bands.

Title: Recommended Laptop
Post by: KG4LDZ on December 24, 2002, 01:47:58 AM
I got my HP Laptop from Paid around $500.00 and it a Celeron 766. I recommend that you make sure that the laptop has at least one serial and one usb port. The new laptops only come with usb ports. I recently bought a usb to serial adapter from radio shack for $39.00 (it was the cheapest adapter I could find). This allowed my laptop to have two serial connections. I use one to control my ICOM 706 and the second one to be used by my sound card digital software (ie psk31, rtty etc). As mentioned before, make sure the laptop has a built in sound blaster compatiable sound card. Any laptop built in the past 2 years should have a compatiable sound card.

Title: Recommended Laptop
Post by: OZ2M on December 30, 2002, 05:52:39 AM
I have a Dell Inspirion 4000 which in itself is OK, RFI wise. But the switch mode power supply, 230 VAC type at least, is noisy on 50 MHz. 144 MHz is OK. I am not sure about HF as I do not operate much on those bands.
A similar situation might occur with other laptop brands. My solution is either to disconnect the swithc mode power supply or connect the laptop to a DC power supply already at hand.

Title: Recommended Laptop
Post by: N4MJG on April 09, 2003, 11:15:54 PM
dell has for $799.00 u can go to and check it out.that what i'm getting one too