Hello (HAM)world…again!

Well well well.. I think we have seen each other somewhere here before, haven’t we? Yep. It was around 2016 when I told you that it has been a while. Well.. little did we know back then. I had just started my studies (again) in the university and things were picking up the speed. Fast forward from there to august 2018, I sold my Icom IC-7300 among other radios. I was done. Time was just flying by too quickly with all that: day job, family and studying. Familiar story, isn’t it?

Fast forward again to February 8th 2021. That was the tipping point when I finally submitted my order of the new Icom IC-7300 to my trusted local radio dealer. Again! History must be repeating itself!? Well..I really liked the radio, back in the day, and the price/feature ratio of it is very nice. However, I seriously considered also some QRP rigs like IC-705, Elecraft KX3 and Yeasu FT-818ND, but.. “Life is too short for QRP”, right? Well not really, but I wanted an allrounder 100w rig and as I had good experience with IC-7300 I decided to get it back to my shack again (no..no..it’s a new one, not the same I sold few years ago). The QRP might follow some time in the future. I’m honing my CW skills as we speak (sounds familiar..eh?).

So here we are. Day job and family are both doing great. I graduated last spring from the university and now I’m ready to be back with the radio again. Feels great! Looking forward on that new rig and hunting DX. I’m in a process of re-building my shack (mostly with already existing components). Need to fix the antenna feed line and check how my Windom is doing there in the tree. It has been hanging there since 2011. Still going strong..I hope. And the computer.. It’s funny how many updates you receive for the Windows 10 when you turn the computer on after 6 years of shutdown. #lol

For all my Mac friends out there..yes..I’m using Windows 10 machine for the HAM Radio now..can you believe.. 🙂 It’s interesting to see how the Windows has evolved. So far it looks actually pretty good. Allthough software isn’t as pretty as it is in the Mac, but the Windows itself looks promising (and functions also..quite ok). The HAM-software in general has always been more versatile on Windows. That’s also nice (HRD integrates to JS8Call and all weird modes, N1MM is killer contesting app..and so forth..ugly as hell, but functional). Maybe more on that later. Now take care! Leave a comment if you wish. It will be highly appreciated. Finnish language works fine too.

73, Hessu

HamShack Update and the platform wars

OH6FXL - HamShack 2012

Once again I have updated my shack, or at least the computer system of it. As you might remember I have been switching between Linux, Mac and Windows in the shack within a year. I would say that I have “tested” quite a bunch of the possibilities in Ham Radio Logging and station control on those platforms. For some reason I would always come back to the conclusion that I need to use Windows for my HAM radio. As some you readers know, I’m an Apple “fanboy” so this “coming back to Windows” theme is quite interesting. The reason is just that Windows has it. All the best software (like HRD, DxLabs…) or contest software (N1MM etc) are written on Windows. No matter how much I like to use Mac in the shack, I always come back to that conclusion.

One disclaimer must be stated here: Regular Hamming (and even a bit more than that) can be done fine with Mac. Just download RumLog and/or Rumped for contesting / peditions, or purchase MacLoggerDX (even toghther with MacLoggerHD for iPad) and you are set. And yes … I have done that..purchased both of MacLoggers and used also Rumlog. Digimodes in the Mac work fine with FLDigi or CocoaModem from which the CocoaModem is Apple Scriptable, but something is always missing. It is either log/qsl upload to some service (like eQSL or Clublog) or lack of fancy internet features (like QSY info or QSO info to web / twitter via HRDLog.net) or something else. No software suite in the “Mac world” has all the capabilities of the HRD (in the same application suite atleast). For example the GREAT feature set of digi mode software DM780 is lacking. CocoaModem is nice, but Fldigi has all the needed features…interaction between logging and Digimodes is nowhere near the interoperability of DM780 and HRD Log…phew… 🙂

Long story short: I’m back with the windows in the shack. Running Ham Radio Deluxe (and yes..purchased even the license for support subscription for the upcoming version 6 … and waiting anxiously … er.. patiently on that!) 🙂 If I some time have some time (heh) I would write more on those different platforms as we didn’t tackle for example the wonderful world of Linux here at all. I just say briefly this time that the CQRlog is the weapon of choice there. Highly recommended!!