August 31 – Ham Shack PC upgrades complete (for now;) – To round out the configuration I was going for in the shack, while keeping the costs down, I added a Nvidia triple monitor capable video card (GForce 710GT chipset – not good for gaming but that’s not what I was going for) and another 24″ ASUS display. I wanted more screen real estate for all the software and webapps I like to have open while operating radio contests, and this will do. All told, the cost of the PC, video card, wirless card, and 2 more monitors came in right at $550 bucks. Works for me! Snapped a pic.
August 19 – Computer Upgrade! – I decided it was time to introduce a desktop PC to my shack. It was primarily driven by the fact that I moved into a new role at work that requires me to do much more security controls validation than I had previously been doing. What this mean is that I need to be able to run several virtual machines (VMs) at the same time without worrying about poor system performance. I also wanted to have a PC that I could run all the Ham radio software and CAT controls stuff that I have been doing on my laptop (I will keep the laptop for going remote with my Ham gear, such as the park and camping and such).
So, after googling and thinking about what I wanted to get and the budget I wanted to stay within, I decided to go for a refurbished tower PC from Amazon. I was able to get a decent Intel Core i5, with 16GB Ram, a 160GB SSD HD + a 2TB data drive, and with tons of USB 2 and 3 ports in front and back of the tower. The price was right at only $320. I added a PCI-e wireless card and some high gain bunny ears, and I was in business. It took me a few days to get all of my VMs loaded and all my documentation and other tools for the cyber security stuff, and then took me a few hours to get all the Ham stuff loaded… RT systems, WSJTx, JTAlert, ACLog, Netlogger, etc, etc, etc. all is up and running now and I am very happy with the performance and stability (was a little bit of a crap shoot going with a referb, but this one played out well). I also grabbed a very nice Dell 22″ display so I can run dual displays (this was a must)
Probably the thing I have been enjoying most is the fact that I can be practicing hacking into several VMs at the same time as making some Ft-8 contacts. Such as nice improvement from what I was doing before switching between PCs and being limited by power and space. A game changer for me really. Loving it!
August 1 – All work and no playing with the FH-2 – Its been a crazy work week on top of some personal / family things that have me pretty much tapped out and zero time left for the hobby. I can feel it taking a toll on me as I would love some more down time in front of the radio. My Yaesu FH-2 remote keypad came in from HRO yesterday, and after work and the only amount only time I had was to unbox it, find a spot for it in the shack and plug it in. I did crack open the FT-991 manual this morning before work and make my way to page 68 for programming voice memories. This is probably going to have to wait till Friday afternoon or Saturday morning.