Sunday, December 16, 2018

New computer

Well, not new but used, it is new to me anyway. Remember my post from 2011 about hardware that fails due to a mechanism build in by manufacturers. I still believe in that. My old desktop had been in use since 2008 (10 years) !! I upgraded it with more RAM and even W10 this year. W10 worked better as Vista but lately I get more and more problems. First again with the videocard resulting in BSODs. Problem was solved. But the computer sometimes locks as well. Sometimes means, sometimes not for 24 hours, sometimes every hour. This happens especially when I use WSJT-X and JS8Call. The only thing that can be done is pressing the switch to start again which is taking at least 4 minutes. Most annoying especially when experimenting with digimode software. Besides that the computer seems to be slow with decoding especially FT8 and doesn't even decode when for instance I'm on internet with a browser at the same time. Another problem occured when N1MM+ (contestsoftware) was installed, communication between my computer and radio was lost every 5 minutes and only works reasonable when I set the baudrate to 4800bd. Time for another computer I though for the last couple of weeks. I bought a used HP laptop last year for my birthday from a internet shop that sells used professional computers. The laptop does well and so I decided to buy a desktop as well this time at the same shop.  So I sold some things and scraped some money together to  buy a HP Elitedesk 800 G1 with 8Gb RAM, i5 quad core processor up to 3,6Ghz and 256Gb SSD, the OS is W10 Pro 64bit again. It is a huge box with big low noise fans so cooling will be not a problem at all I suspect, very important when you want to enjoy electronics for a long time. The only thing that is not inside is a Wifi trx, luckely I already got a good one that can be connected trough a USB port. Hopefully this computer will last for another 10 years....

Specs...
Our wireless hobby...
What I wrote above has happened a while ago. I wanted to test the computer first before I could finally tell something about how it is performing. It was a hell of a job to install all the software back from what I had on the old desktop. And after installing there is the configuration. Luckely I had back-ups but still there was enough to configure manually like all the paths in the WSJT-X.ini and JS8Call.ini. Finally everything is working...The startup time has been descreased a lot, from 4 minutes on my old computer to less as 15 seconds on this new one. Actually the OS is already loaded before the videocard gives signal to the screen so 15 sec. is inlcuding me typing the password. The cooling fans are much quieter, actually it is at least 6dB less noise I think, I can barely hear the computer is on. Decoding FT8 in WSJT-X is in a blink of an eye, were the old computer was still decoding after the TX went in sometimes. And it still decodes when I'm doing other things with the computer like viewing a website. A lot of improvement. The most interesting thing is that it features a old serial port, COM1. It gave me the possebility to create a very simple automatic CW keyer like I wrote before. I made a final endurance tests before and during the ARRL 10m contest, the computer was on from wednesday till sundayevening that week without any lock up or error. I'm happy this part of the station is finally working well right now.

5 comments:

  1. Ah yes computers meant to give us more leisure time and allow tasks to be much more simple........computers are great when they are working and when they are not.....well not so great.
    73,
    Mike

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    1. Indeed Mike, as long as a computer is working like it should it gives pleasure. If not.....it takes a lot of time to fix it. And with an old computer it costs even more time. 73, Bas

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  2. Hallo Bas, dit is wel een fijne computer die lekker snel is. Ik heb ook altijd een desktop voor mijn hobby's ook vanwege de koeling wanneer die lang aanstaat. Laptops worden vaak te warm. 73 Paul PAØK

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    1. Hallo Paul, ik heb ooit een laptop gekocht speciaal voor de hobby. Die gebruik ik nog steeds alleen voor WSPR. Van het draaien van HRD + DM780 ging het ding al volledig in de stress. HRD + WSPR-X of JTDX gaat wel. Maar op de desktop gebeurd vaak meer, vooral tegenwoordig met meerdere beeldschermen. Die oude van mij ging altijd goed maar sinds de komt van de snelle FT8 mode gaf het steeds meer problemen en daarbij kreeg ik steeds meer te maken met vastlopers zelfs na een frisse installatie van W10. Dan word het echt tijd voor een nieuwe. Ik ben erg blij met deze nieuwe 2e hands pro computer, hoop er weer jaren plezier van te hebben. Heel belangrijk is het geluid van de ventilatoren in de shack. Deze hoor ik eigenlijk nauwelijks. Heel fijn. 73, Bas

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  3. Hallo Bas, fijn dat je nu weer een computer heb die het goed doet en vooral lekker snel is. Al die problemen geeft alleen maar stress en ergernis, wat niet goed is voor je gezondheid en de hobby. Heel veel plezier met de nieuwe pc. 73 Hans, PE1BVQ

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Thanks for your comment. Bedankt voor je reactie. 73, Bas