Friday, 20 February 2015

Going digital in the shack

I recently decided to spend some time working on the computer in the shack. Normally I use my Macbook Pro laptop computer to run my log and link to the radios here in the M0TEF shack but have had a number of issues with the interfaces and drivers since using newer OS versions.
It was time to find a solution and the result came in the form of a windows PC my father was not using any more. I very quickly asked if I could use it and put together a simple shack only PC. My children have started to make use of my laptop computer more and more for their fun and educational needs which prevents me form using it for radio at the same time.

I had an old version of HRD on a memory stick and very quickly set up a basic setup, this wasn't enough for me and I just had to make it look like my FT-1000MP Mrk V. When visited by M0SIY he made fun of me but ten went home to do the same on his HRD screen setup to look like his FTDX-5000.

The second stage was to set up for RTTY. It was CQWW WPX RTTY contest weekend and I just had to have a go with a new mode for me. It was a great experience and I was pleased at what I could work at modest QRP power levels to a vertical antenna.

I am finding it odd after being an Apple fan for son long but I like the way this system is well supported and have been able to make use of some software not available for the Mac. So far I have experimented with N1MM, HRD, MMTTY, Fldigi and S-Meter Light. I am enjoying the experience of experimenting with something new to me and radio.

The next stage will be to try some QRPp work with PSK and JT65 although I still prefer CW over these modes.

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