Saturday, June 27, 2015

2015 FD on a Stick Computer

I recently bought a Iview stick computer which I described in a previous post.

The computer isom 1.3ghz quadcore Intel Atom computer in a 1.5 x 4 inch form factor that plugs into the HDMI port on a monitor or TV.  It is a re-branded version of the Intel stick computer

and runs a version of win 8.1 called win 8.1 with bing.  It is a full version of win 8.1 minus all the crapola generally included on the hard drive.  I chose the Iview version because it was cheapest, around $130.  I decided to give this little computer a whirl running SmartSDR remote/base for field day.  I fully updated window before proceeding.

The Setup

I was going to try to find a light weight contest logger but since I generally use WriteLog with SDR-Bridge so I decided to see how that combo with SSDR would work on this stick computer.  SDR-Bridge and WriteLog are well integrated into the Flex 6000 radios and use the DAX channel and IP to connect to the radio, no CAT necessary.  I wanted a very light foot print since this computer doesn't have tons of processing power basically logging and duping and band/mode data.  I opened WriteLog with only the logging aspect, no band map data or other modules, and SDR-Bridge and was pleasantly surprised the programs didn't use too many CPU clicks

so I connected to my 6500 

and saw this

This may just work!!

I hooked up a pair of Logictech USB headphones and my FlexControl to the USB port expander plus my logitech K400 wireless keyboard and a Logitech M185 wireless mouse and set things up.  Here was my final setup

I had turned on FocusHelper and set it to a very fast 100ms

and proceeded to work some field day using CWX.   To work a station I enter his call and hit F1 with the mouse the contents of F1 are sent while the logger comes back into focus automatically.  I enter the remaining data and hit F2 to send my data.  The rest are for fills and calling CQ.  Not perfect in terms of contest workflow, but much fun.  Once everything stabilized there was nothing to slow me down.  Wifi was typically <1 ms so the wifi in this stick computer runs pretty well.  

One could possibly use this for a fly-in dx-pedition.  The 6300 is about 8 pounds, a Samlex 1223 is about 3 lbs, this computer keyboard and headphones are probably a pound so you could easily stuff some coax and a antenna and the above in a backpack PLUS a code key and have a blast at probably less than 25 lbs.  All you need is a TV with a HDMI at your destination.  You should be able to run the radio from a USB to ethernet converter.  I have one of those on order to see how it plays.  I'm also going to check out some kind of blutooth headset to use with this setup

Aruba anybody?

73  W9OY


Just for grins I signed in on my windows 8.1 i3 box with the same setup, a much more robust experience.

The setup was identical

I made a quick video of remote ops.  

This is a QSO on 20M using my Flex 6500 remote base on my LAN. My setup is the 6500 connected to a little i3 wintel box with on board video. The transmit seems distorted but in reality it is not. The distortion is due to my video capture software In reality without the video capture operation is just the same as being next to the transmitter in the shack.  If you watch the title bar of writelog closely you can see the focus change to SSDR when I press F1 and F3 and nearly immediately switch focus back to writelog so I can enter the data.  A very nifty feature