Friday, June 26, 2015

Stick Computer

I bought a Iview cyber  pc stick computer to use as a printer and file server on my windows network.

The PC runs a quadcore intel Atom Z3735F (1.33GHz) with 2gb onboard ram and a 32gb eMMC SSD.  The computer has both Win 8.1 and Android installed.  It has a couple of USB 2.0 ports and a 5v 2 amp PS.  It comes with a dinky keyboard which I could not make work, but I had no use for it anyway.  The stick plugs into a HDMI port on a TV or monitor and uses the HDMI monitor speakers for audio.  It's the real deal win 8.1 and will be upgradable to win 10 in July.  It has built in wifi and bluetooth.  It also has a micro memory card port capable of accepting up to 128gb additional storage.  THE BEST PART: IT'S TOTALLY SILENT!!  There is no fan and it does not get hot.

I plugged it into one of ther HDMI ports my Toshiba TV which I use as my monitor in my office.  It has multiple HDMI a VGA cable input and speakers so I find it very useful to run various computers as I can simply choose the video input.  I like to fool around with android sticks and  upgrading them to linux.  Most of those are ARM processors and while they do work they don't work very well.  

Instead of the keyboard that came with the PC I plugged a wireless K400 Logitech into the USB and hit the ON button.  After the usual setup rigmarole, and installing a couple of browsers, I got this pretty desktop

I decided to see how youtube plays and its flawless 1080p video, as good as my satellite feed.  This is Warren Haynes and Joe Bonamassa  

OK OK time to try SSDR remote!!

I installed the latest alpha version 1.4.16 and the latest DDUTIL 

Utilization with only SmartCAT open was 

way throttled back.  I started Smart SDR and set it to remote

I sent some code from CWX and it was flawless at 35 wpm.  The usage was still very reasonable and throttled back.  I had a Logitech USB headset plugged in and set to default audio.  I could send keyboard code all day long with this setup.  

Next I tried  SSB

As you can see I plugged in my Flex control and it worked perfectly.  The audio was the same as on my i7 full blown computer I use with the radio every day.

I tried 2 panadapters and things still worked but there was some choppiness in the audio, not bad but I could tell I was pushing things.

I tried some SSB transmitting and again things were a little choppy.  I am using a USB headset and there is basically one USB 2.0 controller in this computer and I had headset, FlexControl keyboard and mouse all running through one hub, so I am thinking I am asking a lot from the usb for transmit audio.  The computer has a bluetooth transceiver so I may try that for tx/rx and see how does using something dedicated for audio I/O.

If you open a browser it does cause some issues with the wifi,  On its own SSDR exhibited these network results on wifi

Pretty darned good!!  But if you added email checks etc in a open browser you could hear that in the SSDR audio stream.  I'm going to look around for a really light weight contest logger and see how this setup does in the field day contest.  

This stick computer running windows 8.1 for light duty or single task duty is pretty hard to beat.  It's cost is around $125-$130 from places like Walmart or Amazon and I've seen it on special for $110 at NewEgg.  It plays youtube as well as anything, so I may get one and plug it into the TV in my gym to rock out when working out.  My wife uses a subscription video service for workout routines  workout so this computer with a real keyboard for navigation is hard to beat.  IT IS NOT A FIRE BREATHER but I'm pretty impressed that a Atom 4 core running windows 8.1 can make this happen.  Best part with NO FAN and no radio in the room all you hear is audio.  

73  W9OY