suggested PC???

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suggested PC???

Jerry-3
Now that I have had my k3s on the air for a couple of months I'm ready to interface it to a computer. I am planning on a dedicated PC just for use in the shack. My only uses (that I can think of now) are logging and control of the k3s, perhaps remotely at some point.


It seems to me an I7 processor of any speed would be adequate with a 500gb SSD and wifi capability to my LAN (I guess I could hard wire this). What else do I need in the box in the way of interconnectivity? Any need for a large amount of memory (>8gb)?


Any suggestions would be appreciated


Jerry, k1tgx
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Re: suggested PC???

Lynn W. Taylor, WB6UUT
You probably can't get a PC that's too small.

For logging and control, an Intel Atom (or the equivalent AMD ultra-low
power CPU) would likely be an order of magnitude more than you need.

If you want to do digital (soundcard) modes, the slowest i3 would be lots.

Under Windows, I think more memory is always better than a faster CPU.  
8 gigabytes is probably a ton, however.

73 -- Lynn

On 1/5/2016 9:53 AM, Jerry wrote:
> It seems to me an I7 processor of any speed would be adequate with a 500gb SSD and wifi capability to my LAN (I guess I could hard wire this). What else do I need in the box in the way of interconnectivity? Any need for a large amount of memory (>8gb)?

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Re: suggested PC???

Gordon LaPoint
In reply to this post by Jerry-3
Jerry,
    An I7 is more than enough processor.   You will want a video card
that can driver at least 2 monitors.  You should consider adding real
RS232 ports, at least 2 or 4 if you will ever run two radios, and even
more if you want to control rotors, amps (KPA-500) or other accessories.
     I use an FX-6300 3.5Ghz processor with 16Gb of ram and a 250Gb SSD
for the boot drive.
I find that the SSD speeds the system up, I get from a cold boot to
ready to run my software in about 10-15 seconds from power on.

Gordon - N1MGO

On 01/05/2016 12:53 PM, Jerry wrote:

> Now that I have had my k3s on the air for a couple of months I'm ready to interface it to a computer. I am planning on a dedicated PC just for use in the shack. My only uses (that I can think of now) are logging and control of the k3s, perhaps remotely at some point.
>
>
> It seems to me an I7 processor of any speed would be adequate with a 500gb SSD and wifi capability to my LAN (I guess I could hard wire this). What else do I need in the box in the way of interconnectivity? Any need for a large amount of memory (>8gb)?
>
>
> Any suggestions would be appreciated
>
>
> Jerry, k1tgx
> ______________________________________________________________
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--
Gordon - N1MGO

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Re: suggested PC???

Tim Tucker
I haven't had used a "real" (old fashioned) serial port on any PC that
controls radio equipment in probably 10 years.  It's really not necessary
if you purchase quality USB/Serial adapters (no fake chipsets) where
needed.  The only PC I have with a old-fashioned serial port is an ancient
Toshiba laptop I keep around that runs DOS so I can program old Motorola
radios.

On Tue, Jan 5, 2016 at 10:19 AM, Gordon LaPoint <[hidden email]>
wrote:

> You should consider adding real RS232 ports, at least 2 or 4 if you will
> ever run two radios, and even more if you want to control rotors, amps
> (KPA-500) or other accessories.
>
>>
>>
>
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Re: suggested PC???

Rick WA6NHC-2
In reply to this post by Gordon LaPoint
Last year I decided that the dual core desktop was not enough to run the
station so I built a new computer, something I hadn't done in over a
decade (because pre-assembled is cheaper).

I didn't want the bleeding edge, but I wanted something quick that would
run without much intervention for ten years.  What I assembled was:

I-7 clocked at 4 GHz (actually now overclocked at 4.3 GHz) on an Asus
mobo, PLENTY of USB 2 and 3 ports
32 GB memory (maxes the mobo; too much memory is not possible, OS keeps
growing)
M.2 SSD (Google this, VERY fast transfer rates, connected onto the mobo)
2 TB spinning drive (D:, data storage)
4 port serial card, 4 REAL serial ports
Card reader (I do photo work too, this is USB 3))
Tower cooler for the CPU, keep it icy
Tower case with multiple fans...

The results are that Win7/64 from power switch flipped on to fully up
and running (POST included) in under 20 seconds.  It runs the entire
station (K3, KAT500, KPA500) via HRD 24/7 plus the weather data
collection, web site production and a couple other chores and does this
with the clock idled down to 800 MHz on the CPU (it's bored) to save
energy.  The fans are nearly silent, more than enough cooling.  I can
also run the entire station remotely (have several times, if I want to
see the from panels, I turn on the Skype video).

Total cost was under $2,000 including a new copy of Win7 (you can buy an
assembled for much less, but not get serial ports or card reader or all
the memory or the M.2 SSD).  I applied Rick's Rule of purchases; "Buy
all you need, plus whatever you THINK you may need at the original time
of purchase, because the budget will never allow you to upgrade later."  
By using cheaper components (CPU and memory), one could cut this cost
nearly in half, but once you're in, why not go all the way in (without
water cooled grossly overclocked speed monsters, stability is critical)?

At some point, I will add a non-mobo video card (the only thing limiting
this system to less than a perfect OS "score") to run multiple monitors,
but for now I'm good (have the second monitor on the P3 'scope).

Most folks want Windows as the OS (more choices in software).  The Atom
will run XP, but it gags early on with a real workload that a station
can require.  I use that for the IRLP node (Debian linux) which is
perfect for that (REALLY tiny) computer (have it doing other chores too).

Goals met, this will work for a long time.  When it comes to computing,
there is no kill like overkill; think big, buy bigger.

HNY, 73,
Rick wa6nhc

On 1/5/2016 10:19 AM, Gordon LaPoint wrote:

> Jerry,
>    An I7 is more than enough processor.   You will want a video card
> that can driver at least 2 monitors.  You should consider adding real
> RS232 ports, at least 2 or 4 if you will ever run two radios, and even
> more if you want to control rotors, amps (KPA-500) or other accessories.
>     I use an FX-6300 3.5Ghz processor with 16Gb of ram and a 250Gb SSD
> for the boot drive.
> I find that the SSD speeds the system up, I get from a cold boot to
> ready to run my software in about 10-15 seconds from power on.
>
> Gordon - N1MGO
>
> On 01/05/2016 12:53 PM, Jerry wrote:
>> Now that I have had my k3s on the air for a couple of months I'm
>> ready to interface it to a computer. I am planning on a dedicated PC
>> just for use in the shack. My only uses (that I can think of now) are
>> logging and control of the k3s, perhaps remotely at some point.
>>
>>
>> It seems to me an I7 processor of any speed would be adequate with a
>> 500gb SSD and wifi capability to my LAN (I guess I could hard wire
>> this). What else do I need in the box in the way of
>> interconnectivity? Any need for a large amount of memory (>8gb)?
>>
>>
>> Any suggestions would be appreciated
>>
>>
>> Jerry, k1tgx
>> ______________________________________________________________
>> Elecraft mailing list
>> Home: http://mailman.qth.net/mailman/listinfo/elecraft
>> Help: http://mailman.qth.net/mmfaq.htm
>> Post: mailto:[hidden email]
>>
>> This list hosted by: http://www.qsl.net
>> Please help support this email list: http://www.qsl.net/donate.html
>> Message delivered to [hidden email]
>
>

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Re: suggested PC??? Real RS-232 ports

Cliff Frescura
In reply to this post by Tim Tucker
I agree with N1MGO,

I've come full circle on this one and am in the process of removing all of
the USB/RS-232 converters in my setup and reinstalling a 4 port card that I
had in an old XP system (drivers work fine).

Determining what is a quality USB/RS-232 serial adapter is not always clear.
There are potential driver issues as well as suspect RF shielding.  Some of
these devices don't enable you to securely connect to both ends (no screw
connections, so the connector is not securely seated).  They are just
another (additional) point of failure.  Plus you are also now dealing with
limitations of USB (re: polling).

The FTDI chipset and drivers seem the most reliable and if you want to take
apart your newly purchased converter, you can determine if the chipset is
counterfeit.

http://hackaday.com/2014/02/19/ft232rl-real-or-fake/

If you need only 1 RS-232 port I would go with a converter, but once you get
above 2, then I think it is a good choice.


73,

Cliff K3LL



-----Original Message-----
From: Elecraft [mailto:[hidden email]] On Behalf Of Tim
Tucker
Sent: Tuesday, January 05, 2016 10:44 AM
To: Elecraft Reflector
Subject: Re: [Elecraft] suggested PC???

I haven't had used a "real" (old fashioned) serial port on any PC that
controls radio equipment in probably 10 years.  It's really not necessary if
you purchase quality USB/Serial adapters (no fake chipsets) where needed.
The only PC I have with a old-fashioned serial port is an ancient Toshiba
laptop I keep around that runs DOS so I can program old Motorola radios.

On Tue, Jan 5, 2016 at 10:19 AM, Gordon LaPoint <[hidden email]>
wrote:

> You should consider adding real RS232 ports, at least 2 or 4 if you
> will ever run two radios, and even more if you want to control rotors,
> amps
> (KPA-500) or other accessories.
>
>>
>>
>
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delivered to [hidden email]



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Re: suggested PC???

n6lrv
In reply to this post by Jerry-3

Jerry,
in contrast to some of the feedback RS-232 serial ports are
still readily available on many brand name computers today including
laptops, desktops, towers, and rack mount PCs. I regularly purchase and
set up many for my employer.

While many USB-to-serial converters
 and their drivers work well (especially FTDI) I still suggest including
 a native (built-in) serial port in your computer wish list. They are
hardware based, generally OS independent, and do not require
OS-compatible drivers.

And if you have any confusion over USB 2.0
 vs. 3.0, USB 3.0 is backwards compatible and should support any USB 2.0
 device. The 3.0 compliant ports can also supply a little more DC
current as well.
Gary

> From: [hidden email]
> To: [hidden email]
> Date: Tue, 5 Jan 2016 17:53:14 +0000
> Subject: [Elecraft] suggested PC???
>
> Now that I have had my k3s on the air for a couple of months I'm ready to interface it to a computer. I am planning on a dedicated PC just for use in the shack. My only uses (that I can think of now) are logging and control of the k3s, perhaps remotely at some point.
>
>
> It seems to me an I7 processor of any speed would be adequate with a 500gb SSD and wifi capability to my LAN (I guess I could hard wire this). What else do I need in the box in the way of interconnectivity? Any need for a large amount of memory (>8gb)?
>
>
> Any suggestions would be appreciated
>
>
> Jerry, k1tgx
> ______________________________________________________________
> Elecraft mailing list
> Home: http://mailman.qth.net/mailman/listinfo/elecraft
> Help: http://mailman.qth.net/mmfaq.htm
> Post: mailto:[hidden email]
>
> This list hosted by: http://www.qsl.net
> Please help support this email list: http://www.qsl.net/donate.html
> Message delivered to [hidden email]
     
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Re: suggested PC???

jeff stai-2
In reply to this post by Jerry-3
Only you can decide how much PC you need to do what you want to do. If you
are just control and logging you can get by with 2-4G of RAM and a fairly
modest 160 gig disk drive, and a dual core. Even though the K3s has the USB
port I would still get something that would allow you to add one or more
real serial port via some flavor of PCI. You never know...

A more economical approach is to get a refurbished PC. I currently use a
refurbished HP with an added 8 port serial card for my RTTY work (I like
hardware modems...). I think it cost me $200 for the PC at the time. And I
recently purchased another one for my company that came with Win7 64-bit
Pro, for just $75. I use tigerdirect.com but there are many such vendors to
choose from.

Have fun! 73 jeff wk6i

On Tue, Jan 5, 2016 at 9:53 AM, Jerry <[hidden email]> wrote:

> Now that I have had my k3s on the air for a couple of months I'm ready to
> interface it to a computer. I am planning on a dedicated PC just for use in
> the shack. My only uses (that I can think of now) are logging and control
> of the k3s, perhaps remotely at some point.
>
>
> It seems to me an I7 processor of any speed would be adequate with a 500gb
> SSD and wifi capability to my LAN (I guess I could hard wire this). What
> else do I need in the box in the way of interconnectivity? Any need for a
> large amount of memory (>8gb)?
>
>
> Any suggestions would be appreciated
>
>
> Jerry, k1tgx
> ______________________________________________________________
> Elecraft mailing list
> Home: http://mailman.qth.net/mailman/listinfo/elecraft
> Help: http://mailman.qth.net/mmfaq.htm
> Post: mailto:[hidden email]
>
> This list hosted by: http://www.qsl.net
> Please help support this email list: http://www.qsl.net/donate.html
> Message delivered to [hidden email]
>



--
Jeff Stai ~ [hidden email]
Twisted Oak Winery ~ http://www.twistedoak.com/
Facebook ~ http://www.facebook.com/twistedoak
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Re: suggested PC???

Don Wilhelm-4
In reply to this post by Jerry-3
Jerry,

Put some real RS-232 serial ports in it.  USB is fine for some things,
but there are times you want a serial port and USB to serial adapters
can sometimes be finicky.

I would limit the memory to 4 GB if it were mine, and yes, I have a
tower computer that I have dedicated to the hamshack.

73,
Don W3FPR

On 1/5/2016 12:53 PM, Jerry wrote:

> Now that I have had my k3s on the air for a couple of months I'm ready to interface it to a computer. I am planning on a dedicated PC just for use in the shack. My only uses (that I can think of now) are logging and control of the k3s, perhaps remotely at some point.
>
>
> It seems to me an I7 processor of any speed would be adequate with a 500gb SSD and wifi capability to my LAN (I guess I could hard wire this). What else do I need in the box in the way of interconnectivity? Any need for a large amount of memory (>8gb)?
>
>
> Any suggestions would be appreciated
>
>
> Jerry, k1tgx
> ______________________________________________________________
> Elecraft mailing list
> Home: http://mailman.qth.net/mailman/listinfo/elecraft
> Help: http://mailman.qth.net/mmfaq.htm
> Post: mailto:[hidden email]
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> This list hosted by: http://www.qsl.net
> Please help support this email list: http://www.qsl.net/donate.html
> Message delivered to [hidden email]
>

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Re: suggested PC???

tomb18
In reply to this post by Jerry-3
IMHO, I would suggest an it with 8gb of ram so your suggested system is quite adequate. Pretty well all systems come with 8gb or more these days and if you want to use a software Panadapter you will have better performance in the long run with more memory.As to the serial ports being real or not....I have about 14 serial ports on my system. I have an edgeport usb converter that has 8 rs232 connections. It generally considered that this is one of the better setups.However, I have never had ANY issues with USB to serial adapters on my systems. I have had issues with the edge port when I had rf  in the shack. It would effectively lock up and only a power cycle of the computer would fix it. It is a driver issue, blue screen...IMHO, and I have quite a bit of experience with serial ports, USB to serial adapters are fine. Just get some decent quality ones, based on the ftdi chip set.73 Tom


Sent from my Samsung Galaxy smartphone.-------- Original message --------From: Don Wilhelm <[hidden email]> Date: 2016-01-05  2:55 PM  (GMT-05:00) To: Jerry <[hidden email]>, [hidden email] Subject: Re: [Elecraft] suggested PC???
Jerry,

Put some real RS-232 serial ports in it.  USB is fine for some things,
but there are times you want a serial port and USB to serial adapters
can sometimes be finicky.

I would limit the memory to 4 GB if it were mine, and yes, I have a
tower computer that I have dedicated to the hamshack.

73,
Don W3FPR

On 1/5/2016 12:53 PM, Jerry wrote:

> Now that I have had my k3s on the air for a couple of months I'm ready to interface it to a computer. I am planning on a dedicated PC just for use in the shack. My only uses (that I can think of now) are logging and control of the k3s, perhaps remotely at some point.
>
>
> It seems to me an I7 processor of any speed would be adequate with a 500gb SSD and wifi capability to my LAN (I guess I could hard wire this). What else do I need in the box in the way of interconnectivity? Any need for a large amount of memory (>8gb)?
>
>
> Any suggestions would be appreciated
>
>
> Jerry, k1tgx
> ______________________________________________________________
> Elecraft mailing list
> Home: http://mailman.qth.net/mailman/listinfo/elecraft
> Help: http://mailman.qth.net/mmfaq.htm
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>
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> Please help support this email list: http://www.qsl.net/donate.html
> Message delivered to [hidden email]
>

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Re: suggested PC???

Victor Rosenthal 4X6GP
In reply to this post by Jerry-3
I put together a new Windows PC about 2 years ago. The single component
that seems to have made the biggest difference is a 250 GB solid-state
drive (SSD). The computer boots in about 20 seconds (OK, the I7
processor helps too), which is important to me since I don't like to
leave it on all the time. I also got a 1 TB conventional drive which I
use for backups.
One good thing about assembling a computer from components is that you
can install the OS without all the junk that the manufacturers like to
gum it up with.

73,
Vic, 4X6GP/K2VCO
Rehovot, Israel
http://www.qsl.net/k2vco/


Vic

On 5 Jan 2016 19:53, Jerry wrote:

> Now that I have had my k3s on the air for a couple of months I'm
> ready to interface it to a computer. I am planning on a dedicated PC
> just for use in the shack. My only uses (that I can think of now) are
> logging and control of the k3s, perhaps remotely at some point.
>
>
> It seems to me an I7 processor of any speed would be adequate with a
> 500gb SSD and wifi capability to my LAN (I guess I could hard wire
> this). What else do I need in the box in the way of
> interconnectivity? Any need for a large amount of memory (>8gb)?
>
>
> Any suggestions would be appreciated
>
>
> Jerry, k1tgx
> ______________________________________________________________
> Elecraft mailing list Home:
> http://mailman.qth.net/mailman/listinfo/elecraft Help:
> http://mailman.qth.net/mmfaq.htm Post:
> mailto:[hidden email]
>
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> email list: http://www.qsl.net/donate.html Message delivered to
> [hidden email]
>
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Re: suggested PC???

kevinr@coho.net
I built two new boxes last year.  One of them is an Ubuntu headless
server and the other an 8 core box running Win7.  The 8 core box only
has 16 GB of memory at present but I'll fill the board later this year.  
It is very nice to have serial ports available.  If the motherboard did
not have one installed I would just add a board to supply it.

However, the Win7 64 bit install gave me one problem: I could no longer
run my favorite CAD app on the machine.  So after a few months of trying
other (lesser) CAD apps I installed Virtual Box. Now I have six OSes
installed; I just pick which VM (virtual machine) to boot and run from
that.  With shared folders across the network I can use my 16 bit app
under a 64 bit OS to do part of my work.  By using the VMs I don't need
to install virus protection for those OSes because they all boot "as
new" when I instantiate them.

Virtual machines on a network of Samba servers makes for a system which
does all the things I need to do without a lot of hassle.  I can run a
Win7 VM with only the tools I need for any specific job then start
another Win7 VM with other tools to do another specific job.  The
installed VMs work across the network on my other Win7 system seamlessly.

The biggest problem with my system is remembering which window is
running which OS :) since I also administer the Linux boxes remotely
with putty.  Different background colors helps me keep them straight though.
     Good luck with your prospective build,
         Kevin.  KD5ONS

On 1/5/2016 12:38 PM, Vic Rosenthal 4X6GP/K2VCO wrote:

> I put together a new Windows PC about 2 years ago. The single
> component that seems to have made the biggest difference is a 250 GB
> solid-state drive (SSD). The computer boots in about 20 seconds (OK,
> the I7 processor helps too), which is important to me since I don't
> like to leave it on all the time. I also got a 1 TB conventional drive
> which I use for backups.
> One good thing about assembling a computer from components is that you
> can install the OS without all the junk that the manufacturers like to
> gum it up with.
>
> 73,
> Vic, 4X6GP/K2VCO
> Rehovot, Israel
> http://www.qsl.net/k2vco/
>
>
> Vic
>
> On 5 Jan 2016 19:53, Jerry wrote:
>> Now that I have had my k3s on the air for a couple of months I'm
>> ready to interface it to a computer. I am planning on a dedicated PC
>> just for use in the shack. My only uses (that I can think of now) are
>> logging and control of the k3s, perhaps remotely at some point.
>>
>>
>> It seems to me an I7 processor of any speed would be adequate with a
>> 500gb SSD and wifi capability to my LAN (I guess I could hard wire
>> this). What else do I need in the box in the way of
>> interconnectivity? Any need for a large amount of memory (>8gb)?
>>
>>
>> Any suggestions would be appreciated
>>
>>
>> Jerry, k1tgx
>> ______________________________________________________________
>> Elecraft mailing list Home:
>> http://mailman.qth.net/mailman/listinfo/elecraft Help:
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Re: suggested PC???

Elecraft mailing list
In reply to this post by n6lrv
FTDI USB to serial adapters work on ALL platforms - without exception.  
There simply is no reason to worry about "native" RS232 interfaces.

An i7 to run a computer for a station is massive overkill.  I use an
Intel i3 NUC (4"x4"x2") with an SSD drive and 8 gigs of ram. Everything
runs just fine, including dual monitors.  Unless you're planning on
running an SDR, there really isn't a lot of reason to have a lot of
computing power for your station computer.  Logging, computer control,
digital modes and just about everything else hardly even challenges the
most basic computer platform today.

Only specialized computers (like point of sale) come with built-in
RS-232 ports.  Most off-the-self boxes don't include them because they
are, at a consumer level, obsolete.

Even if you build your own, finding a motherboard with actual serial
ports will greatly limit your choice.

I have found the AMD FX-series processors to be an excellent value and
use them in a basic gaming box I build for people.  (For example, AMD
FX-6300 is a powerful 6-core processor for $100 from Amazon).

Could not find a single main-brand that comes with a serial port as
standard.  Wouldn't worry about it.

73, Doug -- K0DXV

On 1/5/2016 12:40 PM, [hidden email] wrote:

> Jerry,
> in contrast to some of the feedback RS-232 serial ports are
> still readily available on many brand name computers today including
> laptops, desktops, towers, and rack mount PCs. I regularly purchase and
> set up many for my employer.
>
> While many USB-to-serial converters
>   and their drivers work well (especially FTDI) I still suggest including
>   a native (built-in) serial port in your computer wish list. They are
> hardware based, generally OS independent, and do not require
> OS-compatible drivers.
>
> And if you have any confusion over USB 2.0
>   vs. 3.0, USB 3.0 is backwards compatible and should support any USB 2.0
>   device. The 3.0 compliant ports can also supply a little more DC
> current as well.
> Gary
>
>> From: [hidden email]
>> To: [hidden email]
>> Date: Tue, 5 Jan 2016 17:53:14 +0000
>> Subject: [Elecraft] suggested PC???
>>
>> Now that I have had my k3s on the air for a couple of months I'm ready to interface it to a computer. I am planning on a dedicated PC just for use in the shack. My only uses (that I can think of now) are logging and control of the k3s, perhaps remotely at some point.
>>
>>
>> It seems to me an I7 processor of any speed would be adequate with a 500gb SSD and wifi capability to my LAN (I guess I could hard wire this). What else do I need in the box in the way of interconnectivity? Any need for a large amount of memory (>8gb)?
>>
>>
>> Any suggestions would be appreciated
>>
>>
>> Jerry, k1tgx
>> ______________________________________________________________
>> Elecraft mailing list
>> Home: http://mailman.qth.net/mailman/listinfo/elecraft
>> Help: http://mailman.qth.net/mmfaq.htm
>> Post: mailto:[hidden email]
>>
>> This list hosted by: http://www.qsl.net
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>> Message delivered to [hidden email]
>    
> ______________________________________________________________
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>
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Re: suggested PC??? Real RS-232 ports

Elecraft mailing list
In reply to this post by Cliff Frescura
A 4-port card is NOT a native RS-232 port. PCI is just another bus add
on.  There no difference between running 1 or 4 USB to RS-232
converters.  You can buy a 4 port FTDI converter that runs off a single
USB port from Amazon that will run everything you could ever want.  I
run 80's vintage lab equipment off them and they don't know the difference.

Also, don't get Windows 7 or 8.  Windows 10 is the only choice for
Windows.  7 and 8 are obsolete and support will get lighter and lighter
and then vanish completely.

Doug -- K0DXV

On 1/5/2016 12:24 PM, Cliff Frescura wrote:

> I agree with N1MGO,
>
> I've come full circle on this one and am in the process of removing all of
> the USB/RS-232 converters in my setup and reinstalling a 4 port card that I
> had in an old XP system (drivers work fine).
>
> Determining what is a quality USB/RS-232 serial adapter is not always clear.
> There are potential driver issues as well as suspect RF shielding.  Some of
> these devices don't enable you to securely connect to both ends (no screw
> connections, so the connector is not securely seated).  They are just
> another (additional) point of failure.  Plus you are also now dealing with
> limitations of USB (re: polling).
>
> The FTDI chipset and drivers seem the most reliable and if you want to take
> apart your newly purchased converter, you can determine if the chipset is
> counterfeit.
>
> http://hackaday.com/2014/02/19/ft232rl-real-or-fake/
>
> If you need only 1 RS-232 port I would go with a converter, but once you get
> above 2, then I think it is a good choice.
>
>
> 73,
>
> Cliff K3LL
>
>
>
> -----Original Message-----
> From: Elecraft [mailto:[hidden email]] On Behalf Of Tim
> Tucker
> Sent: Tuesday, January 05, 2016 10:44 AM
> To: Elecraft Reflector
> Subject: Re: [Elecraft] suggested PC???
>
> I haven't had used a "real" (old fashioned) serial port on any PC that
> controls radio equipment in probably 10 years.  It's really not necessary if
> you purchase quality USB/Serial adapters (no fake chipsets) where needed.
> The only PC I have with a old-fashioned serial port is an ancient Toshiba
> laptop I keep around that runs DOS so I can program old Motorola radios.
>
> On Tue, Jan 5, 2016 at 10:19 AM, Gordon LaPoint <[hidden email]>
> wrote:
>
>> You should consider adding real RS232 ports, at least 2 or 4 if you
>> will ever run two radios, and even more if you want to control rotors,
>> amps
>> (KPA-500) or other accessories.
>>
>>>
> ______________________________________________________________
> Elecraft mailing list
> Home: http://mailman.qth.net/mailman/listinfo/elecraft
> Help: http://mailman.qth.net/mmfaq.htm
> Post: mailto:[hidden email]
>
> This list hosted by: http://www.qsl.net
> Please help support this email list: http://www.qsl.net/donate.html Message
> delivered to [hidden email]
>
>
>
> ______________________________________________________________
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> Home: http://mailman.qth.net/mailman/listinfo/elecraft
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> Post: mailto:[hidden email]
>
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Re: suggested PC???

Wes (N7WS)
In reply to this post by Elecraft mailing list
That's the way I see it. I have a Lenovo T400 laptop running Win 7 Home with a
core 2 duo P8400 @2.2 GHz with 4 GB of RAM. I slapped in a 128G SSD and put the
original HD in a caddy in the CD drive slot.  Runs everything, USB
keyboard/mouse, SDR-IQ, K3S, DXBase, MMTTY, external monitor, etc.  Don't see
what the fuss is about.

To run my SDR-Kits VNWA in the field I found an old HP Elitebook in a thrift
store for $100.  It had Win 7 Pro installed and a good battery.  I went all out
and put in a 256G SSD and reloaded 7 Pro.  It too will run everything.  After
getting nagged enough by Microsoft I figured I'd try Win 10 on it.  Installed
fine although the start menu was hosed (common problem apparently)   I don't
care as I still run the 10 year old "Classic Menu" using Classic Shell.

(I can remember running a whole room full of HP test equipment with HP-IB and a
HP9836 computer running HP Basic with 256 K of RAM, or in HP jargon, a "Quarter
Pounder".  A 1 MB card was a "Big Mac" and required a Division manager's
signature to buy)

On 1/5/2016 3:03 PM, Doug Person via Elecraft wrote:
> FTDI USB to serial adapters work on ALL platforms - without exception. There
> simply is no reason to worry about "native" RS232 interfaces.
>
> An i7 to run a computer for a station is massive overkill.  I use an Intel i3
> NUC (4"x4"x2") with an SSD drive and 8 gigs of ram. Everything runs just fine,
> including dual monitors.  Unless you're planning on running an SDR, there
> really isn't a lot of reason to have a lot of computing power for your station
> computer.  Logging, computer control, digital modes and just about everything
> else hardly even challenges the most basic computer platform today.

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Re: suggested PC??? Real RS-232 ports

Joe Subich, W4TV-4
In reply to this post by Elecraft mailing list

On 1/5/2016 5:32 PM, Doug Person via Elecraft wrote:
> A 4-port card is NOT a native RS-232 port. PCI is just another bus
> add on.

*Absolutely incorrect*.  A USB to serial converter *of any kind* -
other than the Edgeport products - can not do 45.45, 50, 75 or 100
baud RTTY.  All of the multi-port RS-232 PCI and PCIe cards handle
that task with no problem (although Windows will set 45.45 baud to
45 baud because the API is integer based).

PCI and PCIe based serial and parallel port cards are true memory
addressed ports like motherboard or (obsolete) ISA bus ports - not
USB devices that suffer from latency and driver buffer issues.

73,

   ... Joe, W4TV


On 1/5/2016 5:32 PM, Doug Person via Elecraft wrote:

> A 4-port card is NOT a native RS-232 port. PCI is just another bus add
> on.  There no difference between running 1 or 4 USB to RS-232
> converters.  You can buy a 4 port FTDI converter that runs off a single
> USB port from Amazon that will run everything you could ever want.  I
> run 80's vintage lab equipment off them and they don't know the difference.
>
> Also, don't get Windows 7 or 8.  Windows 10 is the only choice for
> Windows.  7 and 8 are obsolete and support will get lighter and lighter
> and then vanish completely.
>
> Doug -- K0DXV
>
> On 1/5/2016 12:24 PM, Cliff Frescura wrote:
>> I agree with N1MGO,
>>
>> I've come full circle on this one and am in the process of removing
>> all of
>> the USB/RS-232 converters in my setup and reinstalling a 4 port card
>> that I
>> had in an old XP system (drivers work fine).
>>
>> Determining what is a quality USB/RS-232 serial adapter is not always
>> clear.
>> There are potential driver issues as well as suspect RF shielding.
>> Some of
>> these devices don't enable you to securely connect to both ends (no screw
>> connections, so the connector is not securely seated).  They are just
>> another (additional) point of failure.  Plus you are also now dealing
>> with
>> limitations of USB (re: polling).
>>
>> The FTDI chipset and drivers seem the most reliable and if you want to
>> take
>> apart your newly purchased converter, you can determine if the chipset is
>> counterfeit.
>>
>> http://hackaday.com/2014/02/19/ft232rl-real-or-fake/
>>
>> If you need only 1 RS-232 port I would go with a converter, but once
>> you get
>> above 2, then I think it is a good choice.
>>
>>
>> 73,
>>
>> Cliff K3LL
>>
>>
>>
>> -----Original Message-----
>> From: Elecraft [mailto:[hidden email]] On Behalf Of Tim
>> Tucker
>> Sent: Tuesday, January 05, 2016 10:44 AM
>> To: Elecraft Reflector
>> Subject: Re: [Elecraft] suggested PC???
>>
>> I haven't had used a "real" (old fashioned) serial port on any PC that
>> controls radio equipment in probably 10 years.  It's really not
>> necessary if
>> you purchase quality USB/Serial adapters (no fake chipsets) where needed.
>> The only PC I have with a old-fashioned serial port is an ancient Toshiba
>> laptop I keep around that runs DOS so I can program old Motorola radios.
>>
>> On Tue, Jan 5, 2016 at 10:19 AM, Gordon LaPoint
>> <[hidden email]>
>> wrote:
>>
>>> You should consider adding real RS232 ports, at least 2 or 4 if you
>>> will ever run two radios, and even more if you want to control rotors,
>>> amps
>>> (KPA-500) or other accessories.
>>>
>>>>
>> ______________________________________________________________
>> Elecraft mailing list
>> Home: http://mailman.qth.net/mailman/listinfo/elecraft
>> Help: http://mailman.qth.net/mmfaq.htm
>> Post: mailto:[hidden email]
>>
>> This list hosted by: http://www.qsl.net
>> Please help support this email list: http://www.qsl.net/donate.html
>> Message
>> delivered to [hidden email]
>>
>>
>>
>> ______________________________________________________________
>> Elecraft mailing list
>> Home: http://mailman.qth.net/mailman/listinfo/elecraft
>> Help: http://mailman.qth.net/mmfaq.htm
>> Post: mailto:[hidden email]
>>
>> This list hosted by: http://www.qsl.net
>> Please help support this email list: http://www.qsl.net/donate.html
>> Message delivered to [hidden email]
>>
>
> ______________________________________________________________
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> Post: mailto:[hidden email]
>
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> Please help support this email list: http://www.qsl.net/donate.html
> Message delivered to [hidden email]
>
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Re: suggested PC??? Real RS-232 ports

Jim Brown-10
I agree with Joe. A 2-port Edgeport provides two good RS-232 ports for
SO2R operation with my very new T540 Thinkpad.  It, and another Thinkpad
bought around the same time, are the first I've ever owned that didn't
have a hardware serial port either on the chassis or on a port
replicator/docking station.  My older laptops have PCMCIA slots, which
accept excellent cards that provide 2 hardware  RS-232 ports. They've
been on a LOT of Field Days and California QSO Party county expeditions.

In today's world, 8 GB and an i7 processor is pretty much minimum; it
runs four RTTY decoders (two on each of two radios for SO2R)
simultaneously without any problem. I've added solid state drives to two
laptops, and it's really speeded them up nicely.  One, a T61 Thinkpad,
is 8 years old!

A local ham who makes his living doing IT for small biz, do  NOT
recommend Win10, because it has a nasty habit of uninstalling software
that it doesn't like. I'm sticking win Win7 until it dies.

73, Jim K9YC

On Tue,1/5/2016 2:54 PM, Joe Subich, W4TV wrote:

>
> On 1/5/2016 5:32 PM, Doug Person via Elecraft wrote:
>> A 4-port card is NOT a native RS-232 port. PCI is just another bus
>> add on.
>
> *Absolutely incorrect*.  A USB to serial converter *of any kind* -
> other than the Edgeport products - can not do 45.45, 50, 75 or 100
> baud RTTY.  All of the multi-port RS-232 PCI and PCIe cards handle
> that task with no problem (although Windows will set 45.45 baud to
> 45 baud because the API is integer based).
>
> PCI and PCIe based serial and parallel port cards are true memory
> addressed ports like motherboard or (obsolete) ISA bus ports - not
> USB devices that suffer from latency and driver buffer issues.

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Re: suggested PC??? Real RS-232 ports

Don Wilhelm-4
In reply to this post by Joe Subich, W4TV-4
I have to agree with Joe.

If you must use a USB to serial converter for serious all purpose use,
get an Edgeport product.
There is a difference between a 'converter' and an 'adapter'.  Most USB
to serial devices available in the consumer market are 'adapters' - the
Edgeport was directed at the commercial market where many different
terminal devices need to be supported.  It advertizes itself as a
'converter' rather than an adapter.  I have a 4 port model and it has
never failed to perform as expected, although I prefer to use real
serial ports if possible.

Whether the serial card is plugged into an ISA bus, a PCI bus, or
whatever kind of PC bus architecture, that bus is just a means of
getting addressing and data to the card.  It is not an "add-on".

USB to serial adapters may work fine for many applications, but some
have trouble with the slower data rate of the K2 (4800 bps). Usually the
FTDI adapters will work, but some have problems at lower data rates.

73,
Don W3FPR

On 1/5/2016 5:54 PM, Joe Subich, W4TV wrote:
>
> On 1/5/2016 5:32 PM, Doug Person via Elecraft wrote:
>> A 4-port card is NOT a native RS-232 port. PCI is just another bus
>> add on.
>
> *Absolutely incorrect*.  A USB to serial converter *of any kind* -
> other than the Edgeport products - can not do 45.45, 50, 75 or 100
> baud RTTY.

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Re: suggested PC??? Real RS-232 ports

wb4jfi
In reply to this post by Joe Subich, W4TV-4
Original serial and parallel ports on the original IBM backplane were I/O port mapped, not memory mapped.  There were discrepancies between port numbers between the true IBM I/O port numbers and "clones".  Ports 3F8 and 2F8 for COM1 and 2, 3E8 and 2E8 for COM3 and 4.   On a true original IBM, the first parallel port was 3BC, while most clones used 378 for the first parallel port.  Note that these are input/output mapped, NOT memory mapped.

I'm not sure that PCI and PCIe serial and parallel port devices are truly I/O mapped (probably not), or memory mapped, but in either case, they are not true serial or parallel hardware devices, but something that emulates them.  PCIe is itself a high-speed serial interface, so there must be some interpretation.    

Of course, even the older ISA cards ended up using ASIC devices to emulate serial and parallel ports, but that was hardware based.
73, Terry, N4TLF

Sent from tfox iPad

> On Jan 5, 2016, at 5:54 PM, Joe Subich, W4TV <[hidden email]> wrote:
>
>
>> On 1/5/2016 5:32 PM, Doug Person via Elecraft wrote:
>> A 4-port card is NOT a native RS-232 port. PCI is just another bus
>> add on.
>
> *Absolutely incorrect*.  A USB to serial converter *of any kind* -
> other than the Edgeport products - can not do 45.45, 50, 75 or 100
> baud RTTY.  All of the multi-port RS-232 PCI and PCIe cards handle
> that task with no problem (although Windows will set 45.45 baud to
> 45 baud because the API is integer based).
>
> PCI and PCIe based serial and parallel port cards are true memory
> addressed ports like motherboard or (obsolete) ISA bus ports - not
> USB devices that suffer from latency and driver buffer issues.
>
> 73,
>
>  ... Joe, W4TV
>
>
>> On 1/5/2016 5:32 PM, Doug Person via Elecraft wrote:
>> A 4-port card is NOT a native RS-232 port. PCI is just another bus add
>> on.  There no difference between running 1 or 4 USB to RS-232
>> converters.  You can buy a 4 port FTDI converter that runs off a single
>> USB port from Amazon that will run everything you could ever want.  I
>> run 80's vintage lab equipment off them and they don't know the difference.
>>
>> Also, don't get Windows 7 or 8.  Windows 10 is the only choice for
>> Windows.  7 and 8 are obsolete and support will get lighter and lighter
>> and then vanish completely.
>>
>> Doug -- K0DXV
>>
>>> On 1/5/2016 12:24 PM, Cliff Frescura wrote:
>>> I agree with N1MGO,
>>>
>>> I've come full circle on this one and am in the process of removing
>>> all of
>>> the USB/RS-232 converters in my setup and reinstalling a 4 port card
>>> that I
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Re: suggested PC??? Real RS-232 ports

Eric Swartz - WA6HHQ
Administrator
Folks - we're getting pretty OT. Lets wind this thread down at this time in the
interest of keeping the signal to noise level reasonable for other readers.

73,

Eric
/elecraft.com/

On 1/5/2016 4:07 PM, WB4JFI wrote:

> Original serial and parallel ports on the original IBM backplane were I/O port mapped, not memory mapped.  There were discrepancies between port numbers between the true IBM I/O port numbers and "clones".  Ports 3F8 and 2F8 for COM1 and 2, 3E8 and 2E8 for COM3 and 4.   On a true original IBM, the first parallel port was 3BC, while most clones used 378 for the first parallel port.  Note that these are input/output mapped, NOT memory mapped.
>
> I'm not sure that PCI and PCIe serial and parallel port devices are truly I/O mapped (probably not), or memory mapped, but in either case, they are not true serial or parallel hardware devices, but something that emulates them.  PCIe is itself a high-speed serial interface, so there must be some interpretation.
>
> Of course, even the older ISA cards ended up using ASIC devices to emulate serial and parallel ports, but that was hardware based.
> 73, Terry, N4TLF
>
> Sent from tfox iPad
>
>> On Jan 5, 2016, at 5:54 PM, Joe Subich, W4TV <[hidden email]> wrote:
>>
>>
>>> On 1/5/2016 5:32 PM, Doug Person via Elecraft wrote:
>>> A 4-port card is NOT a native RS-232 port. PCI is just another bus
>>> add on.
>> *Absolutely incorrect*.  A USB to serial converter *of any kind* -
>> other than the Edgeport products - can not do 45.45, 50, 75 or 100
>> baud RTTY.  All of the multi-port RS-232 PCI and PCIe cards handle
>> that task with no problem (although Windows will set 45.45 baud to
>> 45 baud because the API is integer based).
>>
>> PCI and PCIe based serial and parallel port cards are true memory
>> addressed ports like motherboard or (obsolete) ISA bus ports - not
>> USB devices that suffer from latency and driver buffer issues.
>>
>> 73,
>>
>>   ... Joe, W4TV
>>
>>
>>> On 1/5/2016 5:32 PM, Doug Person via Elecraft wrote:
>>> A 4-port card is NOT a native RS-232 port. PCI is just another bus add
>>> on.  There no difference between running 1 or 4 USB to RS-232
>>> converters.  You can buy a 4 port FTDI converter that runs off a single
>>> USB port from Amazon that will run everything you could ever want.  I
>>> run 80's vintage lab equipment off them and they don't know the difference.
>>>
>>> Also, don't get Windows 7 or 8.  Windows 10 is the only choice for
>>> Windows.  7 and 8 are obsolete and support will get lighter and lighter
>>> and then vanish completely.
>>>
>>> Doug -- K0DXV
>>>
>>>> On 1/5/2016 12:24 PM, Cliff Frescura wrote:
>>>> I agree with N1MGO,
>>>>
>>>> I've come full circle on this one and am in the process of removing
>>>> all of
>>>> the USB/RS-232 converters in my setup and reinstalling a 4 port card
>>>> that I
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