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Best Version of Windows (XP,Vista,7,8) for Radio Programming

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BlueDevil

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What would you suggest the best version of Windows (i.e. XP, Vista, 7, 8) is for Radio Programming? I have always enjoyed Windows XP but have started to consider a newer operating platform due to the upcoming discontinued support for Windows XP.

What say you?
 

davenlr

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Windows 7 is solid. I am using windows 8,1, but having trouble finding a USB to Serial adapter to hook my scanner up to the computer, that has drivers that will work with 8.1. I ended up ordering an old fashioned serial card to install in the computer. Hopefully that will work. If you have a serial port on your computer, Windows 8.1 is fast, and efficient, but Windows 7 drivers are more mature and available at this point.

If you have more than 3GB of memory, make sure you get the 64 bit version of either, as I believe the 32 bit version limits your memory to 3GB regardless of how much is installed in the computer.
The "home" versions of both also have some limitations. I would go with the Pro or Ultimate version.
 

teufler

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If what you have works, keep using. In fact for programming motorolas and vertex, commercial radios, an old 386 running dos works fine. I've got an early windows to but dos works great. I nornally use windows xp for the uniden radios. But the hassle to get it to work, if it works i keeo using it. If it working, you don't need support.
 

cdknapp

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I have found Windows 7 very good all the way around for all my radio needs (two way, pager and scanner), both via USB and/or serial to USB adapter (but USB adapters themselves can be problematic at times; another total different discussion that has been being hashed out for a long time here).
Windows XP comes in at a very close second, probably neck and neck with 7.
Windows 8 on the other hand is a totally different story, and NOT a good one. Even with the 8.1 update/overlay, to me it is a disaster. Not only in consideration of this discussion, there are many more problems in addition to the radio stuff.
I am looking new laptops right now, and if I can't find one that I want with Windows 7 and have to settle for another Windows 8 machine, I will be buying and installing a legal Windows 7 OS on it before I do anything else with it. Simply put, this will just save a lot of aggravation, and I know I can do what I need to do with it.
I fully agree, if you already have something that's working for you, stick with it (the old farmer's adage - if it ain't broke, don't fix it).
 

BlueDevil

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I like the "If it ain't broke, don't fix it" mindset. My problem is that mine IS broke. My Toughbook CF-18 running Windows XP is having troubles with the serial port and I cannot figure it out. I am looking to replace and/or upgrade with another Toughbook, just trying to figure out which operating system I want.
 

abear27

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I would agree Win7 is the best right now and Win8.1 is the worst.

My main machine is Win 8.1 and I was having a tricky time getting drivers and software to work. I finally just broke down and bought a used laptop off eBay to be my "radio programming" machine. That hardware is running Windows Vista (which has all its own annoyances), but I can plug in any of my radios/scanners/RTL dongles and use the software seamlessly.
 

swstow

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in my opinion XP, but guess it all depends on what your programming , all scanner programs work good on all platforms but if your going to do any commerical radio programming or other stuff like pagers i found the XT is best , i do a lot of programming for local city and countys here and have found that most programming software works only/best with XT
 

w2xq

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Wirelessly posted (Moto Droid Bionic: Mozilla/5.0 (Linux; U; Android 2.2; en-us; UPC300-2.2 Build/FRF91) AppleWebKit/533.1 (KHTML, like Gecko) Version/4.0 Mobile Safari/533.1)

I agree that Win7 is stable.

Win8 isn't very popular with government and business customers. I saw a business news item within the last week that H-P has a purchase option of Win7 being shipped on new PCs. Maybe worth investigating.

What gives me pause is that Windows 9 has been announced for 1Q 2015. Power PC desktop touchy-feeley hardware IMHO is version not quite there when it comes to Win8. And now the OS is changing its innards again. We running specialized radio software will be up the creek again, looking for drivers and ports.

HTH a bit.
 

mm

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win 8.1 and dell venue 8 pro tablet runs everything I had on a old desktop running XP. This includes old Arrl design/schematic capture software from 2000 timeframe, numerous Motorola cps, icom radio programming software, vertex radio programming software, scanner control programs, scanner programming software, sdr programs. In my case win 8.1 is better than win 7 for all my old XP programs.
 

Jay911

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I have just recently successfully programmed XTS and MTS portables (which require software which runs in XP) in an XP virtual machine on my Win7 Ultimate laptop, and then turned around and used the native Win7 OS to program an APX mobile. The XP VM communicated through a USB to serial adapter to my Motorola RIB to the radios; the APX uses a USB cable.

I use Oracle VirtualBox (free program, virtualbox.org) to run various virtual machines. Getting XP to run in VBox wasn't at all difficult, and letting it see the USB to serial adapter was only minimally tricky once I figured out how to pass through ports and USB functionality from the "host" (Win7) to the "guest" (XP).

If you have a newer laptop (or desktop computer) and an install disk for XP, you may want to try this. Keep the Toughbook, to use its XP certificate of authenticity code for the XP install in your virtual machine (it still needs a code). Install XP before April 8 so you can download all the service packs and stuff from Windows Update before it shuts down - then save an image of that install somewhere so that you have a "base" machine you can always "reinstall" if necessary.

My Kenwood mobiles and portables will read and write just fine in Win7 natively (KPG89D)

My crowning glory will be if I can read/write one of my old Maxtracs with the USB/Serial on a FreeDOS VM this weekend.
 

MTS2000des

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FWIW, I use a Toughbook CF-29mk 5 with XP Pro SP3, and also boot to DOS by swapping in my floppy drive to program newer DOS RSS based radios (HT1000s, MT2000s, etc) using a small FAT16 partition I made on the HD when I installed XP on it. DOS RSS of that era runs perfectly on the 1.6GHz CPU. Never bricked a radio or had a problem.

However, when I installed the latest APX CPS V11.01 I freshly downloaded off my MOL account, got a message that this would be the LAST version of APX CPS to support XP/Vista. Wonder if the next gen of TRBO CPS will no longer support XP either. With MS killing XP on April 8, the next best option is Windows 7 32 bit. My backup programming laptop (and main everyday machine) is a Dell Latitude D630 running Windows 7 Pro SP1 32 bit. That machine has a real serial port and has no problem running "legacy" CPS like MTS2000/MCS2000, Astro Saber/Spectra, etc just fine.

I think Windows 7 32 bit is about the best bet unless you want to go the route of virtual machines and all that stuff.
 

PACNWDude

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DOS,WinXP and Windows7 work well.

Here is the following that I have used for over 20 years now:
This is just the commercial equipment.

DOS 3.1 on an older Toshiba Satellite with a floppy drive:
Motorola: HT1250, Saber, Astro Saber, Maxtrac, Spectra,and Spectra Consolletes
Yaesu FTH-2070/Vertex Duo
Icom IC-400U mobiles

Windows XP Pro with a serial port and USB programming cables: (Dell D810,Panasonic CF-53/72/29/30 GoBook VR2)
Motorola XTS and XTL radios, CDM series,HT1250,Visar, Astro Saber III, DTR series and MotoTrbo
Icom IC-F1020/2020 mobiles, IC-F43GS,PCR-1000
Yaesu VX series handheld radios.

Windows 7 on a GoBook VR2 has programmed all of the previous mentioned radios with serial and USB cables, some in a virtual environment though.
Pretty much any computer made the time the radio was made will be able to work. But it is usually easier for the Pre Windows 7 computer to have a serial port. And slower is better for the older radios. Sometimes the virtual environment doesn't work so well. And some USB to serial adapter do not work. I have had good luck with Keyspan adapters.
 

Thayne

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One thing that is going on now is that most of the new computers coming with Win 8 or 8.1 you can't use win 7 or anything older on them because the UEFI bios doesn't have any option to boot from a bootfile on a hard drive; so I guess no more buying win 8 computers cheap and putting win 7 or Ubuntu on em--- Some of them now even have soldered in memory.
 

BirkenVogt

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We try to use Win7 32 bit for everything. 64 bit will simply not run much of the old XP and earlier designed software but 32 bit seems to run most of it just fine. Dox Box is another good solution but hard to set up. We have found that "plugable" serial USB adapters work good if you are forced to run win8.
 

PACNWDude

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A good deal for Win7 32 bit machines.

With my work consolidating all radio equipment to Motorola, and Motorola rewriting CPS software for. Erred Windows 7 compatibility, I have been buying surplus General Dynamics GoBook VR2 laptops. On auction sites there are many semi rugged VR2 laptops with serial ports, daylight readable displays and 32 bit Windows 7 OS laptops available for a little over $200. These are military surplus laptops that usually have 2GHz plus processors, 2Gb RAM and work well for everything we used XP for. These also are properly licensed and come with the Win7 disk, so as a corporation you are not violating any licensing issues with either big "M".
 

photoguy2

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My vote is for 7. 8 is just a pain, while it works great for touch screens, it really doesn't work with a keyboard and mouse. I'm currently running 64 bit on 12 cores with 64 gb of ram. The most important thing if you get 7 is to get pro or higher. With a pro or higher license you get something called xp mode. It's basically a xp vm, running 32bit, and it's specifically been designed to run older software.

The keys to programing older radios are xp mode and dosbox. Below is a list of what I have been able to do. Please note that with some (Jedi and Sabers) I got lucky, it just happens to work for me. I would not suggest trying, and if you do, try reading many times before trying a write.

Analog Sabers - In Dosbox, with their slowing option turned on.
HT1000, MT2000 - the same.
Spectra - the same.
Tk-840, tk-760 - in Dosbox, no slowing option.
XTS3000 - in xp mode.

Could not get a GM300 to work, no matter what I did.

Matt
 

PACNWDude

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Win7 Pro, I second that.

Windows 7 Pro has been the best for me with Motorola updating their CPS software.
There were some initial issues with their Entitlement ID's and CPS version compatibility, but that was not OS related.
I still keep an older XP Pro Computer that can run DOS for my: Icom F2020's, GR300 repeater and Saber radios, but use Windows 7 Pro for everything newer.
 

mkewman

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I use Windows 7 Home Premium on a Dell Latitude E5500 Laptop. 2.40 GHz Intel Core 2 Duo and 4 GB of RAM. It's (to my knowledge) the last laptop dell made with an actual Serial Port. It has 4 USB ports, 2 of which are USB2.0

I love this laptop for programming. I've Programmed APXs, CP200s, MTR2000s, MotoTrbos, you name it, I've programmed it. I haven't tried any of the DOS RSS programs yet, but I don't think it'll have too many issues.

The only thing I don't like about 7 is the interface. I loved how simple it was with XP... but Windows 7 is super reliable and very fast. I can't say enough about my laptop. We got it for a couple hundred bucks on ebay from Vertex PC. My coworkers all seem to be looking to get one to replace their aging XP machines.
 

PACNWDude

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VertexPC and Windows 7

Very nice, mine have come from VertexPC as well. Just got a Dell Latitude D810 from them as well. This one has XP on it though as we still have some GM300 and Radius equipment in use. Some of us still have a need for 25kHz channel spacing.

XP or 7 Pro is the best ways to program older and newer Motorola equipment. We also use Icom and older Vertex (pre-Motorola Vertex) gear. Have had very good luck with Dells, Panasonics and the VR-2 GoBooks I bought are doing well.

DOS computers are only used now for Motorola Radius M1225 radios and a Vertex VXR-7000 repeater. But that may come to an end soon.
 
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