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Posted: 11/29/2016 2:40:10 PM EST
[Last Edit: 11/29/2016 2:46:04 PM EST by BroncoGlenn]
Just brought home a used Panasonic Toughbook CF-31A that work was getting rid of. It's a i5 2.4GHz w/ 8G RAM, 13" touchscreen, and reasonable condition. Downside is that it doesn't have a HDD or caddy that I will need to procure myself. But for $120 it should make for a good field ops computer. Also has GPS and WiFi built in and a real serial port.

Some casual poking around I can get a caddy w/ 120G SSD for $121, or a 240G SSD for $147 (higher cap more than I care to spend and I like to stick w/ SSD). Can also get Win7 Pro 64 preloaded on it for an extra $30. Machine has a license key for Win7 Pro on it so I'm guessing in theory I could locate a Win7 .ISO and install myself. Although $30 with all the drivers ready to go is tempting.

For now I'm going to try putting Linux Mint (Cinnamon) on a USB stick and see if I can get it to work with that.

Fingers crossed.
Link Posted: 11/29/2016 3:24:39 PM EST
So it booted up the Linux Mint that I put on the USB stick. On it as we speak, no problem getting the USB stick image to hop on my local WiFi network and go. Except that when it comes to installing apps I forgot how non-plug and play Linux is since I last used it about a decade ago. Downloaded fldigi and it states I need to install various libraries to make it work. I remember from years gone by Redhat had RPM modules that were relatively easy to work with, does not appear to be the case here.

Meh. I just want to plug and play so I'm guessing I'll go with Windows 7 on the device. While Mint appears fast and all I prefer the convenience of Windows.

Or am I missing something?
Link Posted: 11/29/2016 3:32:49 PM EST
On the bottom of the FLdigi page is info that is distribution specific. The Ubuntu repository makes it as plug and play as possible. I don't know what's up for mint.
Link Posted: 11/29/2016 4:44:48 PM EST
Ok so looks like I might need to try another distro. Either way, needed the HDD so I went ahead and ordered the 260G SSD with Windows 7 preloaded. Figure when I get it I'll adjust the partition to add space for a Linux distro to play with.
Link Posted: 11/29/2016 6:07:59 PM EST
[Last Edit: 11/29/2016 6:18:43 PM EST by austinrob]
mint is debian based.

try: 'apt-get install <package>'

that should go get prerequisites for you.

(I'm downloading the mint ISO right now and am going to start it in a VM to double check command-lines to install fldigi for you)
Link Posted: 11/29/2016 6:28:22 PM EST
yeah, what you want to do to install fldigi is just

sudo apt-get install fldigi



I did that on a fresh booted mint live ISO and it installed fldigi for me.

It'll prompt you for a Yes/no
Link Posted: 11/29/2016 8:16:16 PM EST
[Last Edit: 11/29/2016 8:17:54 PM EST by BroncoGlenn]
Ok, got it to install fldigi from what you described. Will try some more with it later.

Does I still need to install any dependent packages or does it install those automagically when it sees they are not present?

Also, found out the machine has a GOBI2000 card in it too for WWAN. Just need to decide if I want to spend the money on a service for it.

The touch screen doesn't seen to work properly under Linux. The location is off and it's non-responsive around the outer edge of the display. Oh well, for the price I can't complain, and it still has a track pad.
Link Posted: 11/29/2016 8:31:16 PM EST
I am intrigued in where to find the hard drives you talked about for those prices......My 31 is in need of a hard drive so it can be my radio computer....programming and such.
Link Posted: 11/29/2016 9:25:32 PM EST
apt-get will go pull all the missing prereqs and install them for you.
Link Posted: 11/29/2016 9:25:34 PM EST
Discussion ForumsJump to Quoted PostQuote History
Originally Posted By WING25C:
I am intrigued in where to find the hard drives you talked about for those prices......My 31 is in need of a hard drive so it can be my radio computer....programming and such.
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Outdoor Laptoops
Link Posted: 11/29/2016 9:39:29 PM EST
Thank you for that link
Link Posted: 11/29/2016 10:42:06 PM EST
Discussion ForumsJump to Quoted PostQuote History
Originally Posted By BroncoGlenn:
Ok, got it to install fldigi from what you described. Will try some more with it later.

Does I still need to install any dependent packages or does it install those automagically when it sees they are not present?

Also, found out the machine has a GOBI2000 card in it too for WWAN. Just need to decide if I want to spend the money on a service for it.

The touch screen doesn't seen to work properly under Linux. The location is off and it's non-responsive around the outer edge of the display. Oh well, for the price I can't complain, and it still has a track pad.
View Quote

Apt-get resolves dependencies for you automagically.

Apt-get has been the reason I've used Debian based distros forever. Redhat copied the concept for RPMs from Debian's apt-get. You can do an apt-get upgrade to upgrade the OS to the latest version, and apt-get update to grab the newest version of your packages.

There's also a Debian based distro specifically for amateur radio use that comes with all of the ham radio packages already installed. It's called Debian Hamradio Pure Blend.
Link Posted: 11/30/2016 4:16:36 AM EST
Ok, so the last few hours of playing around with Linux and the IC-7200 and it seems to work fairly well. Was able to get a fldigi QSO down and I think I got wsjtx working but the battery was about to die before I could try a QSO with it.

I started running some of the packages for the Debian ham radio but then found I was running out of space on the USB memory stick I had setup. For whatever reasons the installer I used for the memory stick image only allowed me a 4G persistent "casper" storage location on top of whatever it installed to OS to. Started to have some stability issues with Firefox and the terminal not launching, but I wonder if that has to do with being run from the memory stick. Looks to have about 256M on it is all. Made the mistake of doing an update through the apt program and it updated all kinds of core items on the Casper drive. Oh well. This is just temporary anyway.

Once I get the HDD installed I'm hoping I'll be able to easily adjust the partitioning so I can keep a partition with Linux on it as it has some appeal for tinkering in. While it may not have the apps I like, HRD, N7XG Logger, N1MM logger, and whatnot, I'm sure I can find a use for it. Don't know if this machine can VM those Windows apps but it might be worth checking out.


Link Posted: 11/30/2016 4:23:38 AM EST
Discussion ForumsJump to Quoted PostQuote History
Originally Posted By WING25C:
Thank you for that link
View Quote


Ordered the 260G SSD with Windows earlier this evening. I'll let you know how long it took to get to me. They are in Toronto so I don't know if it'll add much time coming across the border. It was $190 shipped. I spent the $30 extra for the Windows 7 pre-load since I wasn't able to get the original disk from Panasonic in download form and it was $35 (plus shipping I'm sure) to order a replacement CD from Panasonic. Then I'd still have to get it on other media since this machine doesn't have a CD/DVD drive. Tried to download the Windows 7 install disk but the product key is an OEM key and it refers me back to Panasonic for the original disk.
Link Posted: 11/30/2016 4:27:45 AM EST
Discussion ForumsJump to Quoted PostQuote History
Originally Posted By BroncoGlenn:
So it booted up the Linux Mint that I put on the USB stick. On it as we speak, no problem getting the USB stick image to hop on my local WiFi network and go. Except that when it comes to installing apps I forgot how non-plug and play Linux is since I last used it about a decade ago. Downloaded fldigi and it states I need to install various libraries to make it work. I remember from years gone by Redhat had RPM modules that were relatively easy to work with, does not appear to be the case here.

Meh. I just want to plug and play so I'm guessing I'll go with Windows 7 on the device. While Mint appears fast and all I prefer the convenience of Windows.

Or am I missing something?
View Quote


You're not missing anything. Linux is still a piece of shit, as it always has been.

Just go with Win 7, or upgrade to 10, if you're actually going to be on the internet with it you should do the upgrade to ten but you may have an issue with some of your older ham software. One way to get around that is to run Windows 7 in a virtual machine with virtualbox, that way you can separate the older software (that shouldn't be on the internet anyway) from your real windows install.

You can actually do that with Linux too if you're the kind of guy that thinks hitting yourself in the head with a tire iron is fun. But it will work -- Linux as the main OS and Windows running in virtualbox will let you run your software.
Link Posted: 11/30/2016 9:44:10 AM EST
Discussion ForumsJump to Quoted PostQuote History
Originally Posted By Josh:


You're not missing anything. Linux is still a piece of shit, as it always has been.

Just go with Win 7, or upgrade to 10, if you're actually going to be on the internet with it you should do the upgrade to ten but you may have an issue with some of your older ham software. One way to get around that is to run Windows 7 in a virtual machine with virtualbox, that way you can separate the older software (that shouldn't be on the internet anyway) from your real windows install.

You can actually do that with Linux too if you're the kind of guy that thinks hitting yourself in the head with a tire iron is fun. But it will work -- Linux as the main OS and Windows running in virtualbox will let you run your software.
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Originally Posted By Josh:
Originally Posted By BroncoGlenn:
So it booted up the Linux Mint that I put on the USB stick. On it as we speak, no problem getting the USB stick image to hop on my local WiFi network and go. Except that when it comes to installing apps I forgot how non-plug and play Linux is since I last used it about a decade ago. Downloaded fldigi and it states I need to install various libraries to make it work. I remember from years gone by Redhat had RPM modules that were relatively easy to work with, does not appear to be the case here.

Meh. I just want to plug and play so I'm guessing I'll go with Windows 7 on the device. While Mint appears fast and all I prefer the convenience of Windows.

Or am I missing something?


You're not missing anything. Linux is still a piece of shit, as it always has been.

Just go with Win 7, or upgrade to 10, if you're actually going to be on the internet with it you should do the upgrade to ten but you may have an issue with some of your older ham software. One way to get around that is to run Windows 7 in a virtual machine with virtualbox, that way you can separate the older software (that shouldn't be on the internet anyway) from your real windows install.

You can actually do that with Linux too if you're the kind of guy that thinks hitting yourself in the head with a tire iron is fun. But it will work -- Linux as the main OS and Windows running in virtualbox will let you run your software.


No one's in here bashing your religion (Windows) so why do you have to come in here with an attitude and derail the man's thread? This isn't GD.

You have a different opinion, great! Surely you can express it politely.
Link Posted: 11/30/2016 9:50:14 AM EST
[Last Edit: 11/30/2016 9:56:27 AM EST by Josh]
Discussion ForumsJump to Quoted PostQuote History
Originally Posted By MCSquared:


No one's in here bashing your religion (Windows) so why do you have to come in here with an attitude and derail the man's thread? This isn't GD.

You have a different opinion, great! Surely you can express it politely.
View Quote View All Quotes
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Originally Posted By MCSquared:
Originally Posted By Josh:
Originally Posted By BroncoGlenn:
So it booted up the Linux Mint that I put on the USB stick. On it as we speak, no problem getting the USB stick image to hop on my local WiFi network and go. Except that when it comes to installing apps I forgot how non-plug and play Linux is since I last used it about a decade ago. Downloaded fldigi and it states I need to install various libraries to make it work. I remember from years gone by Redhat had RPM modules that were relatively easy to work with, does not appear to be the case here.

Meh. I just want to plug and play so I'm guessing I'll go with Windows 7 on the device. While Mint appears fast and all I prefer the convenience of Windows.

Or am I missing something?


You're not missing anything. Linux is still a piece of shit, as it always has been.

Just go with Win 7, or upgrade to 10, if you're actually going to be on the internet with it you should do the upgrade to ten but you may have an issue with some of your older ham software. One way to get around that is to run Windows 7 in a virtual machine with virtualbox, that way you can separate the older software (that shouldn't be on the internet anyway) from your real windows install.

You can actually do that with Linux too if you're the kind of guy that thinks hitting yourself in the head with a tire iron is fun. But it will work -- Linux as the main OS and Windows running in virtualbox will let you run your software.


No one's in here bashing your religion (Windows) so why do you have to come in here with an attitude and derail the man's thread? This isn't GD.

You have a different opinion, great! Surely you can express it politely.



Windows isn't my religion. No operating system is my "religion", none should be. I want something that works. Linux doesn't work, it isn't meant to. It's a graduate student's teaching tool and toy of people who don't know any better and think it makes them a cool hipster to say they run what they think is Linux.

He asked a question, I answered. Stop crying about your religion and trying to derail the thread into something it isn't by arguing comments that don't have anything to do with you.

If you want to run something on the internet and want it to be somewhat secure, you run OpenBSD, OSX, or Windows 10. Those are the choices, outside niche things that aren't developed for the desktop. What you call "Linux" isn't, btw.
Link Posted: 11/30/2016 10:58:41 AM EST

Batteries.

This is SO gonna end up batteries.
Link Posted: 11/30/2016 12:02:49 PM EST
I'm glad that gnuradio runs so well on windows. I also see that all the good software for just about any SDR on GitHub is written in that great C# language.

Oh wait neither of those are true.

Windows has some great software especially for radio, but so does Linux. OP dual boot and enjoy the best of both worlds.
Link Posted: 11/30/2016 12:25:42 PM EST
I have a dual boot Ubuntu/Windows 8.1 laptop that I am playing with radio software on. Ubuntu might be a distro to look at OP.
Link Posted: 11/30/2016 12:29:12 PM EST
Discussion ForumsJump to Quoted PostQuote History
Originally Posted By stimpsonjcat:

Batteries.

This is SO gonna end up batteries.
View Quote


Actually, funny you should mention that... One of the reasons I wasn't concerned about not having an internal CD drive on this machine is that I was looking at getting the second battery that installs in its place. Also hit up our IT guy to keep an eye out for a broken power supply cord that I can throw some power poles on and try to use for connecting to an external battery. While it is spec'ed for 15.6V in I'm curious to see if I can make it work on 13.8, perhaps if the internal battery is removed.

And that reminds me, I should put a BioEnno Power LiFePO4 battery on the Christmas list.


Link Posted: 11/30/2016 5:30:05 PM EST
Discussion ForumsJump to Quoted PostQuote History
Originally Posted By BroncoGlenn:


Actually, funny you should mention that... One of the reasons I wasn't concerned about not having an internal CD drive on this machine is that I was looking at getting the second battery that installs in its place. Also hit up our IT guy to keep an eye out for a broken power supply cord that I can throw some power poles on and try to use for connecting to an external battery. While it is spec'ed for 15.6V in I'm curious to see if I can make it work on 13.8, perhaps if the internal battery is removed.

And that reminds me, I should put a BioEnno Power LiFePO4 battery on the Christmas list.


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Originally Posted By BroncoGlenn:
Originally Posted By stimpsonjcat:

Batteries.

This is SO gonna end up batteries.


Actually, funny you should mention that... One of the reasons I wasn't concerned about not having an internal CD drive on this machine is that I was looking at getting the second battery that installs in its place. Also hit up our IT guy to keep an eye out for a broken power supply cord that I can throw some power poles on and try to use for connecting to an external battery. While it is spec'ed for 15.6V in I'm curious to see if I can make it work on 13.8, perhaps if the internal battery is removed.

And that reminds me, I should put a BioEnno Power LiFePO4 battery on the Christmas list.



I wonder if a DC-DC boost converter would work without killing your battery life?
Link Posted: 11/30/2016 5:42:17 PM EST
[Last Edit: 11/30/2016 6:11:37 PM EST by WING25C]
Discussion ForumsJump to Quoted PostQuote History
Originally Posted By BroncoGlenn:


Ordered the 260G SSD with Windows earlier this evening. I'll let you know how long it took to get to me. They are in Toronto so I don't know if it'll add much time coming across the border. It was $190 shipped. I spent the $30 extra for the Windows 7 pre-load since I wasn't able to get the original disk from Panasonic in download form and it was $35 (plus shipping I'm sure) to order a replacement CD from Panasonic. Then I'd still have to get it on other media since this machine doesn't have a CD/DVD drive. Tried to download the Windows 7 install disk but the product key is an OEM key and it refers me back to Panasonic for the original disk.
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Originally Posted By BroncoGlenn:
Originally Posted By WING25C:
Thank you for that link


Ordered the 260G SSD with Windows earlier this evening. I'll let you know how long it took to get to me. They are in Toronto so I don't know if it'll add much time coming across the border. It was $190 shipped. I spent the $30 extra for the Windows 7 pre-load since I wasn't able to get the original disk from Panasonic in download form and it was $35 (plus shipping I'm sure) to order a replacement CD from Panasonic. Then I'd still have to get it on other media since this machine doesn't have a CD/DVD drive. Tried to download the Windows 7 install disk but the product key is an OEM key and it refers me back to Panasonic for the original disk.


Please do let me know when you get the drive, granted I am in WI so if I order one it hopefully wont take that long to get here but the border will probably add some time to it. I was looking at the 260 as well just need to get my laptop back from my buddy and figure out what MK unit I have so I can order right setup. Scratch that mine is CF-29 they only have stuff for 30 and 31 models.......dang it.
Link Posted: 11/30/2016 7:03:24 PM EST
Discussion ForumsJump to Quoted PostQuote History
Originally Posted By WING25C:
Scratch that mine is CF-29 they only have stuff for 30 and 31 models.......dang it.
View Quote


Call 'em. My understanding is they are a shop and do refurbishing. As such they may have something sitting on a shelf somewhere that they just didn't list on their site.
Link Posted: 11/30/2016 8:47:23 PM EST
Discussion ForumsJump to Quoted PostQuote History
Originally Posted By bd82001:
I wonder if a DC-DC boost converter would work without killing your battery life?
View Quote


How hard would it be to make one of these? The other option is just get a 12v car adapter and cut the cigarette lighter plug off and throw some Power Poles on it. Which while not as much fun would likely be cheaper given how my cost saving projects end up costing me twice as much.
Link Posted: 11/30/2016 9:07:11 PM EST
Discussion ForumsJump to Quoted PostQuote History
Originally Posted By BroncoGlenn:


Call 'em. My understanding is they are a shop and do refurbishing. As such they may have something sitting on a shelf somewhere that they just didn't list on their site.
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Originally Posted By BroncoGlenn:
Originally Posted By WING25C:
Scratch that mine is CF-29 they only have stuff for 30 and 31 models.......dang it.


Call 'em. My understanding is they are a shop and do refurbishing. As such they may have something sitting on a shelf somewhere that they just didn't list on their site.



Sent email off seeing as they still list CF-29s for sale refurbished on their site. If I hear nothing I will try to call Canada in the few days.
Link Posted: 12/2/2016 11:14:02 AM EST
Discussion ForumsJump to Quoted PostQuote History
Originally Posted By BroncoGlenn:


Actually, funny you should mention that... One of the reasons I wasn't concerned about not having an internal CD drive on this machine is that I was looking at getting the second battery that installs in its place. Also hit up our IT guy to keep an eye out for a broken power supply cord that I can throw some power poles on and try to use for connecting to an external battery. While it is spec'ed for 15.6V in I'm curious to see if I can make it work on 13.8, perhaps if the internal battery is removed.

And that reminds me, I should put a BioEnno Power LiFePO4 battery on the Christmas list.

View Quote


I was actually making a somewhat vague reference to a situation here a while back where a super-knowledgable individual came in here like a seagull making a ton of noise and crapping all over the place and eventually posted that batteries will protect your radio from lightning. This thread had some similarities, and I had had some bourbon.

But I am glad the post put more stuff on your Christmas list!
Link Posted: 12/3/2016 9:39:10 PM EST
Discussion ForumsJump to Quoted PostQuote History
Originally Posted By stimpsonjcat:


I was actually making a somewhat vague reference to a situation here a while back where a super-knowledgable individual came in here like a seagull making a ton of noise and crapping all over the place and eventually posted that batteries will protect your radio from lightning. This thread had some similarities, and I had had some bourbon.

But I am glad the post put more stuff on your Christmas list!
View Quote


If you can happen to find the thread in the archives I just so happen to have some Woodford Reserve on hand. Not that I need an excuse to drink it mind you, just the fact that it is there trapped in a bottle and needing liberation is reason enough.
Link Posted: 12/13/2016 3:27:54 AM EST
So I got the HDD in from OutdoorLaptops.com and it seems to be working well. Drive is a 240G in size, preloaded with Windows 7 so I'll shrink the partition some and make room for a Linux partition to play with. Currently it has 182G of 223G. So I'm thinking a 64G partition should give me plenty of room to install mint from the Live USB stick I'd been using before.
Link Posted: 12/16/2016 5:11:23 PM EST
I've had dual boot setups on laptops and desktops for ages. It was a little trickier to get a dual boot Win7/Mageia Linux set up, but it's been worth it to me.

Funny, though, the tricky parts weren't on the Linux side at all. That stuff "just works". YMMV.
Link Posted: 12/16/2016 10:56:02 PM EST
[Last Edit: 12/16/2016 10:57:05 PM EST by Harlikwin]
Speaking of hardened computers, i just picked up a Cf-C1 for 100 bucks, not too bad for a lightweight hardened i5 ham radio machine.

Link Posted: 12/17/2016 1:50:53 PM EST
Discussion ForumsJump to Quoted PostQuote History
Originally Posted By Harlikwin:
Speaking of hardened computers, i just picked up a Cf-C1 for 100 bucks, not too bad for a lightweight hardened i5 ham radio machine.

http://toughbook4you.com/wp-content/uploads/2016/02/panasonic_c1_convertible.jpg
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That is a great deal they touch pad looks crazy though.
Link Posted: 12/17/2016 2:31:03 PM EST
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Originally Posted By gcw:


That is a great deal they touch pad looks crazy though.
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Yeah, not really gonna tablet it much. I just wanted something with a real proc. My netbook is great in terms of size/weight/battery. But 2gb ram and an atom proc means HRD barely runs and i cant do any SDR stuff.
Link Posted: 12/19/2016 2:17:00 AM EST
Got the GPS working under Linux. Had to point gpsd to /dev/ttyS0 for it to come up.

Now as far as getting the GOBI-2000 Wireless WAN to work, I don't know if I'm ready to get into that. Looks like the system sees it*, but I need a provider account and a SIM card to plug into the system. Don't know if I want to spend the monthly money on it since I don't know of any low cost offers of unlimited data. If I really need to get WWAN I could just workaround by setting up a hotspot on my cellphone and attaching to that via WiFi.

The touch screen doesn't respond right under Linux. The top/bottom two inches and left/right-most inch of the screen do no respond and it is about a 1/4" off (or more) on placement of cursor to where the screen is touched. Works fine under Windows 7.

*Here's what it sees for the Gobi:
*-usb:2 UNCLAIMED
description: Generic USB device
product: Qualcomm Gobi 2000
vendor: Qualcomm Incorporated
physical id: 6
bus info: usb@1:1.6
version: 0.02
capabilities: usb-2.00
configuration: maxpower=500mA speed=480Mbit/s

So it's there, but unless I can get an unlimited data only account for something like $20/month I'll probably pass on it for now.
Link Posted: 12/19/2016 11:39:41 AM EST
xinput-calibrator is what I used on my CF19 to get it working
Link Posted: 12/19/2016 10:58:55 PM EST
[Last Edit: 12/20/2016 7:57:23 PM EST by BroncoGlenn]
Discussion ForumsJump to Quoted PostQuote History
Originally Posted By gcw:
xinput-calibrator is what I used on my CF19 to get it working
View Quote



Thank You!

It works perfect now.


Spoke too soon. After restarting and using it today the calibration is off and now it will not accept pen input on the calibration. I can calibrate it with my finger but not with the pen. If I calibrate it with my finger pen input is off and doesn't register on the bottom third of the screen while finger input works ok, but not to the bottom 1/2" of the screen. Was working just fine yesterday with the pen and finger input. Grrrr....
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