WSJT-X problems solved – with a Q-tip?

Over the past six months I have been experiencing some serious CPU load issues with WSJT-X. One documented (by me) problem is that I wasn’t even able to get FT8 decodes with the PSKreporter browser tab on the screen. For some reason, the CPU load was high enough out of Chrome that WSJTX’s timing wasn’t working right.

The machine in question is a Thinkpad T510 by the way, 6 GB memory, 250gb Samsung 840 SSD, i5 2.4 ghz processor. Should be able to handle it easily.

Anyways, I thought about it some and realized – I have cats.

The thing is probably dirty. Sure enough, hand over the laptop exhaust and it’s hair dryer hot!

Fortunately it’s easy to clean these – two screws and the keyboard comes out, which gives you enough room and access to the CPU heatsink/fan assembly to clean it. I went nuts with some orange cleaner on Q-tips, canned air, finishing with iso alcohol.


Sure enough, what was usually about 60-120% (yeah) CPU usage in WSJTX has now dropped to about 22-30%. And, since I power the laptop off of the shack 12v rail, my 12v PSU’s fan is cycling less!

In the new year, make a resolution – spend an afternoon cleaning your shack PC of dust, pet hair, grime, those old MFJ manuals you shredded a while back, so on. You’ll be so much happier, as will your digital software!


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