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MacBook Air Question

Neil Friedman
Neil Friedman Member
edited June 2020 in SmartSDR for Windows
Can I use my MacBook Air, with Windows 10 using Bootcamp or Parallels, to operate FT8 remotely through my 6600M?  Would loading Slicemaster make this easier?  Thanks.  

Answers

  • NA0B
    NA0B Member ✭✭
    edited June 2020
    Yes, assuming your MacBook Air has enough resources to run Windows 10. You would do exactly as in a Windows 10 computer. I use Parallels 15 in  Shared Network mode (this is the default) on a MacPro without problems.
  • Alan
    Alan Member ✭✭✭
    edited May 2020
    I use the Mac / Windows 10 via Parallels configuration to run Smart SDR, DAX, CAT and WSJT-X using a MacBook Pro.

    I would note, that this configuration uses up a lot of processing power and the Mac Pro handles it well....However, I would caution that the MacBook Air would probably struggle with the same CPU load.   This will show up as poor decoding on WSJT-X.

    May I suggest two other alternatives for using a MacBook Air:

    Use your Mac/Windows / Parallels configuration on the Macbook to only run DAX, CAT and WSJT-X.  I assume you are an "Apple Person", so run the IOS version of smart SDR on your iPhone or iPad.  This splits up the CPU load between the MacBook Air and the iPad/iPhone.

    Another option is to run IOS SDR as above, but run the Mac version of WSJT-X on your MacBook Air, along with xDAX and xCAT.  I have been running this configuration for some time now and find the Mac CPU is working much less, compared to running the same in Windows/Parallels.  I also prefer the graphics.

    There are a number of good strings on this community on setting up WSJT-X on a Mac.  Also, be sure to follow the "read me" file in the Mac WSJT-X download for the Mac as there are several additional steps you must complete.

    Alan
    WA9WUD
  • Bill N3HQB
    Bill N3HQB Member ✭✭
    edited May 2020
    Have you looked into running  the FT8 Tool in SmartSDR for iOS on an iPad?
    It's plug and play, with nice logging tool integration; no need to install WSJT-X.  Marcus does all that for you.  The ultimate remote FT8 portable iteration of the Flex.
  • Neil Friedman
    Neil Friedman Member
    edited May 2020
    I have a two year old iPad Pro.  I will give this a try.  Thanks.
  • henrylance
    henrylance Member ✭✭
    edited May 2020
    I have used both Parallels and BootCamp.  I prefer using bootcamp ( Windows 10 ).  A pain having to boot into it but not a big deal.  You didn't say how big your HD was on the MacBook Air, and how much of the drive space you need for other things.  I also use my Ipad as a second monitor using the program "Duet".  Using the IOS Ipad is nice for some, but when using an actual computer for running the programs, it has a more natural feel and quickness.  MacBook Air is a nice machine.
  • Dave - N6XVZ
    Dave - N6XVZ Member ✭✭
    edited May 2020
    I run Parallels and SmartSDR and pretty much a full suite of Ham apps including FT8 within a WIndows10 instance.  I do have a beefy device and thus prefer to run parallels vs Bootcamp.  I have also run same on Bootcamp on a 2014 MBP flawlessly.  

    About the only problem I still have running in Parallels is my USB Microphone (Heil PR-781 into Shure X2u into USB - the audio level is constantly reset when I start/stop windows or SmartSDR.  SO my gain is far too low and I have to go into Device settings to fix.  I've done the Peace fix for gain but this is just something that I haven't solved yet.  

    With the updates some months back to let Dax survive through Windows driver upgrades, I am very stable and leave my MacMini running 24x7, usually with radio running 24x7 as well.

    I run Parallels 14- no need to constantly upgrade. but might do so every other year.  I can understand some views of using Bootcamp but I like much of my Mac world and would probably just get a NUC to run Windows on rather than lock my Mac into Bootcamp.  Different strokes for different folks!
    Good luck!

  • Alan
    Alan Member ✭✭✭
    edited May 2020
    Dave

    I have the same configuration for some time also struggled with losing microphone gain through the Mac-Parallels-Widows-Smart SDR path. tt I was losing microphone gain going through the Mac OS first.

    I am also using a Shure USB microphone.

    I solved the problem by bypassing the Apple Audio side of the audio-in path.  Parallels allows you to configure USB inputs to either the Mac or the Windows virtual machine.  I changed my Shure microphone USB input to be directed to the Windows machine.  I accessed the microphone properties page, in Windows, to set up the desired gain.   All as been good since.

    Alan
    WA9WUD
  • Dave - N6XVZ
    Dave - N6XVZ Member ✭✭
    edited May 2020
    Ah Alan - you may be my new hero!  Let me try that.  Thank you so much!
  • Alan
    Alan Member ✭✭✭
    edited May 2020
    Go to Devices/USB & Bluetooth/USB Connection Preferences.  


     Here is a screenshot of mine.  You can see the Shure Digital connected to Windows.  Also, the USB Serial Controller is the Flex Knob.

    Alan


    image
  • Bob G   W1GLV
    Bob G W1GLV Member ✭✭
    edited May 2020
    Parallels is the best. Some of the problems u have with the Windows app are masked in Parallels because of the super programmers.
  • DaveTX
    DaveTX Member
    Alan-
    I've done exactly as you suggest (had it that way) but still no luck. Now I will say I have a USB headset that doesn't give me grieve but Heil via USB into Parallels (dedicated to VM) has Windows constantly overriding my mic gain.

    Now I have some extra stuff running that I'm starting to suspect. Do you run this as well or just stock Windows:
    Equalizer APO
    PEACE (APO configuration)

    I run these as I found a tip in this community some time back about using these to increase Gain. However I'm starting to wonder if they are mucking it up. Can you confirm if you run same or just stock Windows 10 USB Mic.

    Thanks!
  • Alan
    Alan Member ✭✭✭

    Dave

    No extra audio processing. I use this Shure Mic and USB adapter:

    I am sure any reasonable XLR to usb convertor with a good mic will do fine.

    I do find from time to time that Parallels has moved my Shure Mic USB connection back to the Mac, and I have to again move it to the Windows virtual machine.

    Alan. WA9WUD

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