Changing Windows Laptop to IOs Mac-Pro, is it good for Flex User?

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  • Updated 3 months ago
Good week end for everyone!!!

I have been long time without posting any, although I try to keep myself
update with your posts my dear friends.

Time has flown and I'm close to leave my country definitely, leaving my home, cars, radios, work and :-(  my family. It's not easy

I'll try to keep my station on air  "via remote"
However my actual laptop need to be upgrade, and  I've seriously been evaluating a Mac-Pro (I'm Iphone user)

I would like to hear IOS users experience about operating remote their Flex radios, and opinions about are welcome

God bless all you my friends

Thanks


George,
YV5WZ / PY3ZZZ
 
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YV5WZ

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Posted 3 months ago

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Jim Gilliam

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I can't speak for Mac, but the newest Microsoft Surface Pro is hard to beat and I'd take a long, hard look at it. To me it is one of the most elegant portable computers I have ever seen or used. It has a magnetic attachable keyboard and when the keyboard is removed it is about the same as using an iPad except you have all the power of a PC.


Jim, k6QE
(Edited)
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Ken Hansen

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Just to clarify, since you mention Mac and iOS, I assume you are asking about Apple Mac laptops, not the iPhone, iPad, or similar devices, right?

To use an Apple Mac computer you have two choices, either run windows on the Mac laptop or run third-party software that runs natively on OS X, their laptop OS.

To use an iPhone/iPad device you will need To run a third-party 'app'.

To run Flex's radio software SSDR you can either boot into windows on your Mac computer (boot camp) or run a virtual machine (parallels).

Also, many people operate their radios remotely, you might want to break your question on two - one on using Mac, a second on remote operation.
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YV5WZ

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Thanks Ken!!! I will try to clarify


Just to clarify, since you mention Mac and iOS, I assume you are asking about Apple Mac laptops, not the iPhone, iPad, or similar devices, right?
Yes changing from windows operation system laptop to Apple Mac Pro Laptop.
To use an Apple Mac computer you have two choices, either run windows on the Mac laptop or run third-party software that runs natively on OS X, their laptop OS.
My idea is to run a software that runs natively on OS X, I guess Flex Radio System doesn't support software that runs on OS  Mohave

Also, many people operate their radios remotely, you might want to break your question on two - one on using Mac, a second on remote operation.

Remote is what I'm interesting, I wont be able to take my radios with me from Venezuela to Equator.


I appreciate all your comments!!!

Thanks


George,
YV5WZ / PY3ZZZ




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N5BE

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Doc
 I run dogparksdr and MacloggerDX on a dedicated mac-mini. Its pretty darn good. Check out my QRZ page for a picture of what it looks like. My email on QRZ is good. If you want a direct "QSO" drop me a line. Btw, I've spent some time in Caracas and Maracay back in the early 80's. Too many adventures!

Best regards,

Lee
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YV5WZ

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Thanks Lee!!!

I will  check your QRZ page...

Wow!!!  I'm glad you had a great time at Venezuela....at that time we had a democracy.....now we have been 20 years under socialism, and last 10 years under dictatorship, human rights violations, justice system corruption, everything has changed a lot.... Impossible to recognize it

back to our business, Thanks so much for your recommendation

George,
YV5WZ, PY3ZZZ

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Michael Walker, Employee

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Hi George

Before I started with Flex, I was a road warrior in the IT world.  I spent a lot of time in hotels, apartments, etc.   Over the past 15 years I have worked on a remote base for HF operation.  Beyond the usual goals of controlling amps, antennas, etc. I had the following goals.

  • It had to be stable
  • I have to deal with low upstream band width issues (about 1.5 mb/sec upload)
  • I needed to be able to access it from hotels where possible
  • I had to be able to do contests with it if I wanted to

Long story, but for years I used a Remote Rig set up on a TS480.  Great setup.  But, I was limited to operating from where the other end of the RemoteRig box was setup.  Usually my home.

Crappy radio where the radio RX swamped and died in contest conditions.  But, I was on the air.  If the receiver was swamped, I could hear so much more than I could at  my house.  For DXing is was great.

Years ago I moved the 6300 to the remote station.  Big improvement.   Now I had a contest grade radio running remotely.  And, all LAN based.  This was the way to do it and the Radio now becomes an RF server, something that no other radio can to today without a lot of extra effort.

Getting to the point of answering your question.  

I decided that having the radio and a remote Windows PC running Windows  7 and then Windows 10, both PRO on the same LAN as the radio was a great way to set this up.  To reword this, build a PC to stay  local to the radio.

  • All the ham radio software I needed (CW Skimmer, N1MM, HRD, SmartSDR, DAX and CAT) only needed to be set up once, not on multiple computers.  Doing this allowed me to build a Ham Radio dedicated PC that was easy to back up if needed.  This PC goes for about 5 months of a time (contest season/winter) where I don't physically touch it.  It also sees -30C and continues to work just fine.
  • When I wanted to get on the air, all I had to do was a remote desktop session to this PC.  I could be on a Work Windows PC or even a MAC running a Remote Desktop Client.  It is just like being there.
  • Doing this limited the amount of data I needed to upload from my station to my remote station to just RX Audio and then send TX audio and PTT.   By limiting my upload bandwidth I didn't stress my internet and didn't insert any latency.  Remember, running remote, you can't control what goes on between your Station Router and your end point Router.  You have zero control in "the cloud".  
  • If I needed to update the software on the Flex, I can run the SmartSDR installer on the local PC while connected to it remotely.  This is the only way to do a software update.
After doing it this way for years,  I have to say, it has made this very very stable and a dream to use.  What makes it even nicer is that if a friend wants to try my station, all they have to do is install SmartSDR, log into my SmartLink account and then RDP to the remote base.  They run SmartSDR locally to handle the audio.  Something it is designed to do.

So, to answer your question. Build your station on a Windows PC since that is the way it was designed to run and more 90% (or more) Ham Radio software is designed for Windows and do not try to 'make it work' on a systems that should be able to do it. 

Why introduce an extra layer of complexity when you don't need to.    After all, it needs to  just work when you want it to.

My 2 cents and I hope it gives you some ideas.  

Mike va3mw
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Justin - KL2D

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Hi George -

I run my entire station on MacOS, and I am currently using Mojave with no problems.

I use MacloggerDX, and DogprkSDR to run my flex natively in MacOS. I use Parallels to run SSDR in a Windows 10 VM, along with the Antenna Genius software and WSJT-X. However, you can easily run WSJT natively in MacOS.

I like MacOS, so that’s what I use. It’s easy to have the best if both worlds using a virtual machine. There isn’t any need to “make it work”, you can do both at the same time or whatever OS you want. These days it’s pretty easy. My QRZ page has a pretty good description of the shack if you are interested.

Overall I suppose my point is, use whichever OS you like, the Flex radios work just fine with either one and there are plenty of options a for native MacOS.

Best of luck!

73
Justin
KL2D
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George Molnar, KF2T, Elmer

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My Flex 6600 (and prior, 6500) have run using SSDR for iOS and Dogpark SDR nearly exclusively for years, locally and remotely. They work extremely well. If having a connection to your remote radio is what you need (say, for ssb on an iPad), you’ll be very pleased. You can even run fldigi, wsjt-x, etc., on the local laptop, and send the control and audio “home” to the Flex with ease. Helps with the bandwidth.


If you need/want access to the full in-the-shack experience, it is hard to beat VA3MW’s suggestion. That’s a great option. Can also be done with a Mac or PC.


One absolute NEED for a PC at this point - updating firmware in a non-M radio. Not necessary very often, but sure nice to have. I use a Parallels VM for that, and a few other Windows-only apps (CWSkimmer).


Good luck!


Geo/KF2T
(Edited)
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Michael Coslo

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Another data point - MacOS is apparently going to be able to run iOS applications soon, so we Mac users may be getting a real treat soon, with more options. Dogpark is a good application, but as a dedicated computer weenie, I love having as many choices (and I happily pay for them) as possible. I suppose it sounds odd, but I choose whatever I feel like operating on any given day.