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Minimum computer or tablet requirements for remote operation

Mike Member ✭✭

Is there a minimum requirement spec for tablets and pc to use as remote with a flex? A friend of mine in Germany wants to know. I said get as fast as you can afford but I'm sure they are looking for a "cost effective" option.


  • KD0RC
    KD0RC Member, Super Elmer Moderator

    HI Mike, there are published specs somewhere, but the real question is what do they want to do?

    SmartSDR does not take a great deal of compute power by itself, but other programs do. So if you want to run CW Skimmer, especially on multiple slices, it can take a lot of compute power. Add in digital modes, loggers, antenna rotator software, tuner and amp control, etc etc and the demands on the processor start to add up.

    I am not an Apple fan so I use all Windows equipment. The downside is that the latency through a Windows computer is quite high. Apple devices have significantly less latency. This could be a factor for remote operation. If this is for contesting, the latency could be a deciding factor. If this is for casual operation, the latency is probably not a consideration.

    I have read that tablets are a poor choice, but that was a while ago. I don't know if a modern tablet is now a viable choice or not.

  • Bill AB7AA
    Bill AB7AA Member ✭✭✭

    I've been using Microsoft Surface 3 for years with no problem. This is an older device so anything newer should work. Only issue will be with wifi connections being jittery at times depending on hot spot. I prefer a tracker ball which allows precise tuning without having to have a mouse pad area.

    Bill AB7AA

  • John KB4DU
    John KB4DU Member ✭✭✭✭

    I use an iPad v7 with iOSsdr. It works well with the 6400 for remote ops. With the flex architecture, the radio does most of the work, and the computer is just the display. I have also used minimal pc’s, like a win 7 i3 laptop.

  • KD0RC
    KD0RC Member, Super Elmer Moderator

    I found this in the SmartSDR User Guide:


    The minimum required CPU for SmartSDR is an Intel i3 2100T or an AMD Athlon Phenom II or greater. Lesser processors may not perform adequately when displaying multiple or full screen spectrum displays. However, for the optimal user experience, as most users run multiple applications along with SmartSDR for Windows such as loggers and digital mode programs, a quad-core CPU or greater is highly recommended. 

    In today's world, the i3 is not much compute power! It is the last sentence (emphasis added by me) that should really drive the computer decision.

    In my case, my old Dell Inspiron Core i5 handles SmartSDR very well, but cannot keep up with CW Skimmer so I got a Dell G7 with a Core i9 and a fast SSD. CW Skimmer runs easily on multiple slices on this machine.

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