Amateur Radio Station: W5EHS - FCC Licensed Owner/Operator: Dan Kautz

DSC05867I found out how to do a Windows 10 registry edit so I can see the entire panel of the PowerSDR display. Super simple and the computer doesn’t complain at all. The native resolution of the netbook was set at 1024 x 600 which is quite too short for the 1024x768 display of the SDR panel. The bottom 2 inches were cut off and the display would not scroll. The bottom was unreachable and not viewable.

Now I have 1024 x 768 available as well as 1152 x 864. WIN10 actually says the 1152 x 864 is “recommended” resolution but it does make things a bit “squished”

I am still running at 1024 x 600 normal screen but the screen will now automatically expand for the 1024 x 768 of the radio panel display. You can see the example in the picture. I see the entire panel. I don’t need to scroll around. It’s a pretty wonderful improvement on this skimpy screened netbook.

As you can see the video quality is excellent.

That’s about the end of the good news. The SDR definitely will run on this netbook and looks good doing it. However radio performance sucks. Take a good look at the very bottom left corner of the screen. That is a display of the CPU activity.

When I first powered on the SDR it was at 100% for about ten minutes. I did some buffer enlarging and other adjustments that spoils the radio performance and probably is the cause of the response issues other authors have commented on. It is not the FLEX radio, it is a computer issue.

In the picture you should be able to realize I am monitoring WWV at 10 MHz. I have left it just set on the frequency for over an hour and you can see the CPU is running at 77%. It swings between 70% and 80%. The radio and computer is doing nothing but listening to WWV. The swings are probably background computer housekeeping going on. I can only guess.

When I am actively tuning and making adjustments CPU activity sometimes is back up to 100% I tried brief SSB transmissions and the CPU activity didn’t change much for the 70-80 range. So perhaps it is useable, but the netbook and the Atom processor is working very hard. Netbook battery life is probably horrible.

So as the Myth Busters say, I rate it as a plausible combination, but not highly recommended.

As I have said previously the CPU activity with the FLEX-1500 running on “office”, my big quad processor machine, the CPU activity is 5 to 10%, just loafing along. That means the is a lot of processor overhead available for multitasking with Feldigi and log books and all sorts of nice-to-have things going on.