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SmartSDR performance on $120 "Intel Stick" PC

Matt NQ6N
Matt NQ6N Member ✭✭
edited November 2019 in SmartSDR for Windows
I had been trying to figure out a good low-end PC to set up in my remote location. I ordered an "Intel Stick CS125" PC which cost $120 (including shipping). It plugs right into a monitor via HDMI.  The price includes a Windows 10 license. It is about the size of a medium-sized chocolate bar. 

I plan to install it at the remote location the next time I go there, but last night I decided to try using it in the operating position for the 0300Z CWT contest.  I set up the VPN client, installed SmartSDR, installed N1MM+ Logger, plugged in some headphones, etc. 

It worked quite well.  I could tell that its tiny CPU was straining a bit now and then, particularly when I would try to reposition a window on the desktop (it's driving a 4K monitor). But it was more than adequate for all but the most serious contest operation, using the 6600 in full duplex mode remotely. After the contest I installed WSJT-X and tested out FT8 using the DAX audio over the VPN, which also worked flawlessly.  

I used the built-in wifi to connect to my LAN and then to my remote station's VPN (which I set up using Ria's superb SoftEther install script). 

Congrats to the Flex team for building software that is efficient and performant enough to be fully usable on such low-end hardware! That is quite an accomplishment.

73,
Matt NQ6N


Comments

  • ctate243
    ctate243 Amateur radio contester Member ✭✭
    edited November 2019
    what one are you using?  STK1AW32SC?  I have one of these as well.  good for the basics.. I would not try and run too much on the ATOM.  but it is quite cool how well stuff does run..
  • Ria
    Ria Member ✭✭
    edited November 2019
    That is pretty interesting. Might be good for some remote control stuff at my upcoming remote site in 9Y.
  • Matt NQ6N
    Matt NQ6N Member ✭✭
    edited March 2018
    The model number seems to be BOXSTK1AW32SC so I suspect it's the same one you have. I totally agree, it's pushing it a bit to use it the way I did, but I was amazed how smoothly it all worked. 
  • ctate243
    ctate243 Amateur radio contester Member ✭✭
    edited March 2018
    I would see one of these being good for a softEther server, and perhaps integrate some rotor control or something.  but with the low cost of RasPi.. in particular  Pi3, they would be more **** for the buck.
  • Matt NQ6N
    Matt NQ6N Member ✭✭
    edited March 2018
    I agree. My goal is mainly to free up the much more powerful Windows PC I have in the shack now for other purposes. It also provides a redundant way to log into the remote LAN if there is a problem with the VPN.   But now that I know how fast the stick is, I will seriously consider getting the latest model stick next time I need a new PC.

  • ctate243
    ctate243 Amateur radio contester Member ✭✭
    edited March 2018
    I think I will take this one to the office today and see what I can do with it..  you have peaked my interest.
  • Ria
    Ria Member ✭✭
    edited March 2018
    For Softether, linux definitely rules. Easier to automate deployments than Windows. But this might be good for running DDUtil, PSTRotatorAZ, WSJT-X etc.
  • roger na4rr
    roger na4rr Member
    edited March 2018
    I have had one of these for a couple of years.  It runs my 6700 very well.  I run a couple of panadapters with a couple of slices.  I have a usb hub plugged in running ethernet adapter with flexknob and a logitect mouse and keyboard.  At the same time I run logging program, fldigi and surf internet (qrz.com, etc.)All work well.

    roger 

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