No, not that bomb. I've set out to build what I consider the ideal field computer for Amateur Radio use. I guess in this case I shouldn't use the term 'the bomb', but instead, 'da. bomb', as in 'this computer is gonna' be da' bomb!' When the grid goes down, this bomb needs to keep on ticking.
The next step was to test it in the real world. That started with loading common productivity apps like Microsoft Office and LibreOffice, followed by ham radio apps. The list of ham radio apps I wanted to have available on the 7220 was extensive:
- Ham Radio Deluxe
- Ion2G ALE
- RTSystems programming apps for the IC-7300, IC-705 and the ID-52 and the Yaesu FT-3DR
- Black Cat WEFAX and SSTV apps
- VSPE - virtual serial port emulator
- uBlox GPS management software
This grid down setup still needs some hardware add-ons. The Dell detachable water resistant keyboard is one of the best of its genre for typing, but the trackpad leaves something to be desired. A good Bluetooth mouse is in order. The attached stylus that Dell provides (it stores in the carrying handle) is quite good, but it's a bit cramped for regular use. A larger stylus helps for pointing duties when you are not using the mouse. Like most tablets, the 7220 is 'port challenged', so you'll need a USB-C based port extender. For headphones I toss in a set of C.Crane's excellent earbuds. I also bring along my ZumSpot USB DSTAR dongle, a USB isolation dongle, a u-Blox GPS/GLONASS dongle and a small handful of USB thumb drives for data exchange with other operators. And don't forget spare batteries for your mouse, pen and any other battery powered devices. And then you've got to schlepp all this stuff around. A good quality, rugged computer bag is an absolute necessity.