locked Buying a New Computer #Yaesu #NewUser #windows11


Robert44
 

Hello everyone. I am new to digital modes and WSJT-X. I have used FT8 a bit on a MacBook laptop and have had A LOT of problems. It's time to buy a new computer and I think I want a desk top rather than a laptop. One problem I had with the laptop (with a 16 inch screen) is that my 62 year old eyes had trouble seeing much of the waterfall if I fit most of it on the screen.

I have heard that the newest release of WSJT-X has issues with Macs. Is this true (that would fit with my experiences)? I'm thinking I want a PC this time. Does Windows 11 works good with the various modes in WSJT-X, especially FT8? Also, do most of you use a desk top computer rather than a laptop? Many thanks.

Robert KI5TPC


Robert44
 

I forgot to add I have a Yaesu ft-991A. Thanks.

Robert KI5TPC


Pierre FK8IH <jb.gallauziaux@...>
 

Instead of Windows 11, why not use Linux Debian?
73 - Pierre - FK8IH


Jim Nuytens
 

😂😂

On 5/10/2022 03:04, Pierre FK8IH wrote:
Instead of Windows 11, why not use Linux Debian?
73 - Pierre - FK8IH


William Smith
 

Indeed. I have a Raspberry Pi and it works fine.

73, Willie N1JBJ


On May 9, 2022, at 11:22 PM, Jim Nuytens via groups.io <jim.kj3n@...> wrote:

😂😂

On 5/10/2022 03:04, Pierre FK8IH wrote:
Instead of Windows 11, why not use Linux Debian?
73 - Pierre - FK8IH




Jim Nuytens
 

If you go PC, don't make the mistake of buying bottom of the barrel. If you're not paying at least $500 for the machine, it's likely going to be under-powered.

My recommendation is:

A minimum of an i5 (Intel), or Ryzen 5 (AMD).
16GB of RAM
1TB NVMe SSD

I have always used desktop machines for my ham activities, and I always build my own. Most OEM systems (Dell, HP, etc) are full of bloatware that needs to be scrubbed off.

YMMV

On 5/10/2022 01:04, Robert44 via groups.io wrote:
Hello everyone. I am new to digital modes and WSJT-X. I have used FT8 a bit on a MacBook laptop and have had A LOT of problems. It's time to buy a new computer and I think I want a desk top rather than a laptop. One problem I had with the laptop (with a 16 inch screen) is that my 62 year old eyes had trouble seeing much of the waterfall if I fit most of it on the screen.

I have heard that the newest release of WSJT-X has issues with Macs. Is this true (that would fit with my experiences)? I'm thinking I want a PC this time. Does Windows 11 works good with the various modes in WSJT-X, especially FT8? Also, do most of you use a desk top computer rather than a laptop? Many thanks.

Robert KI5TPC


jbozell
 

Hi Robert,

I have a MacBook pro and have coupled it with my 7610. It was basically seamless and has remained so. It's also well sync'd with GridTracker, JT-Bridge and 9RUMlog. That said, it seems like the interface between WSJT and Yaesu is a little fussy for reasons I don't understand. But there also seems to be a lot of complaining about Linux and Windows interfaces. That's a non statistical, personal observation and the experts with those 9platforms will obviously have different opinions.

My feeling is that the Mac will work with your setup...it might just take a little more messing around. I just don't see as many problems with Mac compared to the other platforms.

And i really don't want to start a computer holy war. To each his/her own. 😁😁

Good luck!

Joe/WB0CDY


Jason Mathews <w2jdm@...>
 

I run WSJTX on a Macbook Pro and don't have any issues. I do run 3 monitors, which helps with being able to spread out all the windows you need. I'm using it with a Yaesu 991A.



On 5/9/22, 9:05 PM, "main@WSJTX.groups.io on behalf of Robert44 via groups.io" <main@WSJTX.groups.io on behalf of robert44henry@...> wrote:

Hello everyone. I am new to digital modes and WSJT-X. I have used FT8 a bit on a MacBook laptop and have had A LOT of problems. It's time to buy a new computer and I think I want a desk top rather than a laptop. One problem I had with the laptop (with a 16 inch screen) is that my 62 year old eyes had trouble seeing much of the waterfall if I fit most of it on the screen.

I have heard that the newest release of WSJT-X has issues with Macs. Is this true (that would fit with my experiences)? I'm thinking I want a PC this time. Does Windows 11 works good with the various modes in WSJT-X, especially FT8? Also, do most of you use a desk top computer rather than a laptop? Many thanks.

Robert KI5TPC


Robert Bower
 

Robert,

I am also new to digital modes but have worked many years with computers. I am a dedicated Linux user so the following is going to pain me to say. Windows holds the market share so most Ham software is targeted towards windows. So the majority of Ham software has a Windows version and may or may not have a Mac or Linux version.

In terms of laptop vs desktop. Are you going to do remote digital, for example, POTA? If yes you need a laptop. If you are just doing digital modes always from your shack, get a desktop. Desktops will always give you more bang for the buck. Plus it is easier to add extra monitors. You could just have one monitor for the waterfall.

On 2022-05-09 18:04, Robert44 via groups.io wrote:
Hello everyone. I am new to digital modes and WSJT-X. I have used
FT8 a bit on a MacBook laptop and have had A LOT of problems. It's
time to buy a new computer and I think I want a desk top rather than a
laptop. One problem I had with the laptop (with a 16 inch screen) is
that my 62 year old eyes had trouble seeing much of the waterfall if I
fit most of it on the screen.
I have heard that the newest release of WSJT-X has issues with Macs.
Is this true (that would fit with my experiences)? I'm thinking I
want a PC this time. Does Windows 11 works good with the various
modes in WSJT-X, especially FT8? Also, do most of you use a desk top
computer rather than a laptop? Many thanks.
Robert KI5TPC
--
Thanks,

Robert Bower
W9RWB
WRPH745


Robert44
 

Thank you all very much. All of this info really helps! Now I have a lot to think about and research before making any purchase.

Robert KI5TPC


Chuck Moore <wd4hxg@...>
 

Laugh if you may, but Microsoft with their updates have done more to drive this unhappy camper away from their product in the last 12 monthsthen all their previous years.  I have automatic updates blocked but everytime I turn around they have pushed down their new update and their Nag Window starts popping up.  While the auto update on the surfacelooks like a good idea,  I have lost count the number of times they havedecided the drivers I have loaded for proprietary hardware needs to be replaced by their latest greatest bloatware driver.  Suddenly things arebroke and I have to go back and redirect the box to the hardwaremanufacturer's drivers.What would be great is to be able to have the Apple MAC graphics withthe Linux OS's.  Of course Apple would never consider that.  <sigh>On May 9, 2022, at 11:22 PM, Jim Nuytens via groups.io <jim.kj3n@...> wrote:😂😂On 5/10/2022 03:04, Pierre FK8IH wrote:Instead of Windows 11, why not use Linux Debian?73 - Pierre - FK8IH


Jim Shepherd
 

Windows 10 and 11 work well. The problem with Linux is that there are a
lot of other ham radio programs that do not work on it... There is a whole
lot more ham radio software for windows...

Laptops or desktops should be able to use dual monitors, which will allow
you to have the 'big picture' with multiple windows open. They should have
at least 3 usb ports for radio connections & accessories, and 2 hdmi ports
for monitors.

73
Jim W6US


Roger
 

On 10/05/2022 02:04, Robert44 via groups.io wrote:
Hello everyone. I am new to digital modes and WSJT-X. I have used FT8 a bit on a MacBook laptop and have had A LOT of problems. It's time to buy a new computer and I think I want a desk top rather than a laptop. One problem I had with the laptop (with a 16 inch screen) is that my 62 year old eyes had trouble seeing much of the waterfall if I fit most of it on the screen.
I have heard that the newest release of WSJT-X has issues with Macs. Is this true (that would fit with my experiences)? I'm thinking I want a PC this time. Does Windows 11 works good with the various modes in WSJT-X, especially FT8? Also, do most of you use a desk top computer rather than a laptop? Many thanks.
Robert KI5TPC
It seems to me that windows has major problems with USB audio which would preclude me purchasing a windows computers.

All laptops I've come across have a video output so you could use one with an external monitor and have a dual screen. system.

As far as I know macs just need a change relating to the memory allocation. Perhaps a mac person could confirm this?

I use Linux and have no problems with WSJTX or any other amateur radio software.

73
Roger
G4HZA


Alan G4ZFQ
 

It seems to me that windows has major problems with USB audio which would preclude me purchasing a windows computers.
Roger,

The same sort of difficulties that I have trying to understand Linux audio?
I reckon all systems have problems until the user understands how to use them.

73 Alan G4ZFQ


William Smith
 

What Jim said, I’m in the middle of a move, and using a laptop has really made me appreciate my desktop (Mac) with multiple large screens, especially with my aging eyes.

At the end of the day, you can make WSJT-x work on any major system, Ive used Mac, Windows, Linux (Raspberry Pi OS nee Debian), and a real Frankenstein kludge [Mac mini, running Windows 10 under BootCamp, with WSL (Windows Subsystem, for Linux) running under Windows, and Debian running in WSL]. Don’t ask, but it worked.

If you are familiar with the Mac and it’s your preferred platform, I’d use that. There’s a fiddly thing you have to do _once_ to get the memory working right, but that’s an RTFM moment, and isn’t any harder than telling Windows 11 that you want to release the security locks on the microphone, for instance.

Enjoy!

73, Willie N1JBJ

On May 10, 2022, at 2:07 AM, Jim Shepherd <nvjims@...> wrote:

Laptops or desktops should be able to use dual monitors, which will allow
you to have the 'big picture' with multiple windows open.


Bill Ahillen
 

Make sure you have a video card because you don’t want to use CPU for processing display. Make sure monitors run off the video card, none plugged into the main processor board.

73
Bill W9JJB

On May 10, 2022, at 5:14 AM, William Smith <w_smith@...> wrote:

What Jim said, I’m in the middle of a move, and using a laptop has really made me appreciate my desktop (Mac) with multiple large screens, especially with my aging eyes.

At the end of the day, you can make WSJT-x work on any major system, Ive used Mac, Windows, Linux (Raspberry Pi OS nee Debian), and a real Frankenstein kludge [Mac mini, running Windows 10 under BootCamp, with WSL (Windows Subsystem, for Linux) running under Windows, and Debian running in WSL]. Don’t ask, but it worked.

If you are familiar with the Mac and it’s your preferred platform, I’d use that. There’s a fiddly thing you have to do _once_ to get the memory working right, but that’s an RTFM moment, and isn’t any harder than telling Windows 11 that you want to release the security locks on the microphone, for instance.

Enjoy!

73, Willie N1JBJ

On May 10, 2022, at 2:07 AM, Jim Shepherd <nvjims@...> wrote:

Laptops or desktops should be able to use dual monitors, which will allow
you to have the 'big picture' with multiple windows open.





Loren McCullough - WA3WZR
 

blocking updates is not easy. Do a google search for "Windows Update Blocker". I have used this program for quite a while and I only get updates when I want them (by running WUB again to re-enable updates). The down-side is that it also blocks searching for drivers for new USB devices being plugged in,

Loren WA3WR


The Greene Family
 

I'll toss in my results. YMMV, etc...

I changed over from using an Asus Chromebook. The BIOS was reflashed in order to run GalliumOS. That worked pretty well, but was underpowered. Slow, in other words. Great solution otherwise.

About a year ago, I switched to an M1 MacBook Air. This computer is entirely dedicated to ham radio use. For logging, I use RUMlogNG. The latest version of WSJT-X is used primarily for FT8 and FT4 operation.

Yes, you have to run a terminal command to set the memory allocation properly. That is really a cut and paste job from the documentation provided in the WSJT-X bundle that you download. But, once that's done, it's done until the next operating system upgrade.

There's basically three bugs in WSJT-X for the Mac that I've encountered.

One is that the buttons for actions like "Erase" aren't properly scaled when you turn off Menus. That's a cosmetic thing. I leave the Menus button clicked.

A second is that the "OK" button in the Log QSO window intermittently is grayed out. No idea why. But, the button still works properly.

The third is that the Pwr slider is flaky. Sometimes it works backwards. Sometimes it jumps from one extreme to the other. But, this only happens for me when I try to adjust the slider. Once it's set and saved, that doesn't matter.

Keep in mind that WSJT-X currently isn't a native Apple Silicon application. Instead, it runs using Rosetta 2 Intel emulation. In practice, you won't notice this.

The results have been magnificent. Decoding is really, really fast. As Apple used to say about things before they screwed it up some, "It just works." No random audio problems as found in some other systems. (Same for GalliumOS, I'd add).

One other note: I don't use the internal audio converters for WSJT-X use. I found quite a while back, as others have, that almost all internal A/D and D/A converters in computers work pretty well for what they are intended, but not for WSJT-X on a crowded band. For weak signal operation and few stations in the passband, the internal converters work perfectly fine. But, they usually introduce way too much intermodulation distortion to perform well when the FT8 bands are full. It's hard to make good measurements on this without having a real exotic test set-up that emulates a band with 60+ FT8 signals, but my comparison of on-air signals has found that I can decode roughly double the number of FT8 signals using a higher quality external D/A-A/D compared to the internal converters. That's based on a couple computers - admittedly not a thorough test. So, I found a really good converter that was on sale for about $60. It interfaces perfectly through the computer USB port - comes right up in WSJT-X. Since I'd already invested over a thousand dollars on the computer, another $60 for better performance seemed totally appropriate.


The Greene Family
 

Arrgh! Forgot to sign my message. My apologies.

Clarke K1JX


Jeff Townsend
 

And what is the $60 A/D converter you found?
Where did you get it?

Jeff Townsend
WB8LYJ

On May 10, 2022, at 9:19 AM, The Greene Family <cvgreene@...> wrote:

I'll toss in my results. YMMV, etc...

I changed over from using an Asus Chromebook. The BIOS was reflashed in order to run GalliumOS. That worked pretty well, but was underpowered. Slow, in other words. Great solution otherwise.

About a year ago, I switched to an M1 MacBook Air. This computer is entirely dedicated to ham radio use. For logging, I use RUMlogNG. The latest version of WSJT-X is used primarily for FT8 and FT4 operation.

Yes, you have to run a terminal command to set the memory allocation properly. That is really a cut and paste job from the documentation provided in the WSJT-X bundle that you download. But, once that's done, it's done until the next operating system upgrade.

There's basically three bugs in WSJT-X for the Mac that I've encountered.

One is that the buttons for actions like "Erase" aren't properly scaled when you turn off Menus. That's a cosmetic thing. I leave the Menus button clicked.

A second is that the "OK" button in the Log QSO window intermittently is grayed out. No idea why. But, the button still works properly.

The third is that the Pwr slider is flaky. Sometimes it works backwards. Sometimes it jumps from one extreme to the other. But, this only happens for me when I try to adjust the slider. Once it's set and saved, that doesn't matter.

Keep in mind that WSJT-X currently isn't a native Apple Silicon application. Instead, it runs using Rosetta 2 Intel emulation. In practice, you won't notice this.

The results have been magnificent. Decoding is really, really fast. As Apple used to say about things before they screwed it up some, "It just works." No random audio problems as found in some other systems. (Same for GalliumOS, I'd add).

One other note: I don't use the internal audio converters for WSJT-X use. I found quite a while back, as others have, that almost all internal A/D and D/A converters in computers work pretty well for what they are intended, but not for WSJT-X on a crowded band. For weak signal operation and few stations in the passband, the internal converters work perfectly fine. But, they usually introduce way too much intermodulation distortion to perform well when the FT8 bands are full. It's hard to make good measurements on this without having a real exotic test set-up that emulates a band with 60+ FT8 signals, but my comparison of on-air signals has found that I can decode roughly double the number of FT8 signals using a higher quality external D/A-A/D compared to the internal converters. That's based on a couple computers - admittedly not a thorough test. So, I found a really good converter that was on sale for about $60. It interfaces perfectly through the computer USB port - comes right up in WSJT-X. Since I'd already invested over a thousand dollars on the computer, another $60 for better performance seemed totally appropriate.