Go Back   WorldwideDX Amateur Radio Forums > Amateur Radio Related > Product Reviews


Amateur Callsign Lookup
Enter Callsign:

Ameritron RCS-8V coax switch & AR-35 Rotator additions to the shack

Reply
 
LinkBack Thread Tools Display Modes
  #1  
Old 04-12-2010, 09:05 PM
iTrader: (11)
 
Join Date: Apr 2002
Posts: 8,110
Moleculo has disabled reputation
Default Ameritron RCS-8V coax switch & AR-35 Rotator additions to the shack


Here are a couple of new additions that went up as a result of my Gizmotchy antenna review: an Ameritron RCS-8v remote coax switch and an AR-35 rotator.

First, here is a pic of the remote coax switch. This part goes on the tower and run your feed line to the center connector. You can hook up to 5 antennas to this remote switch.



Here is the inside of the switch, wired up with CAT 5 cable:



You can see that it's basically just 5 heavy duty relays controlling the coax ports.

You install this upside down on your tower or mast and seal up the coax like this:



Here is the coax switch installed just below the AR-35 rotator. This rotator will work just fine for any antenna up to the size of a large TV or 2 meter antenna:



Here are the controls for both devices. Small, simple, and without much footprint.



So far, everything is working just as described!


Reply With Quote
  #2  
Old 04-13-2010, 03:57 AM
airplane1's Avatar
W9WDX Amateur Radio Club Member
iTrader: (2)
 
Join Date: Apr 2005
Location: PA
Posts: 1,131
airplane1 is on a distinguished road
Default

I would like to see you do a review on this coax switch as I want to put one up so I can run my PDL-2, Maco 5/8, Buckmaster OCF and X50A. I see the Ameritrons and also DX engineering and Rat Pak switches but dont know which to get.

AP

Reply With Quote
  #3  
Old 04-13-2010, 07:34 AM
Senior Member
iTrader: (8)
 
Join Date: Nov 2006
Posts: 777
dxhound is on a distinguished road
Default

I wonder how much more efficient the switch would be if you lifted the copper foil traces and removed them and replaced them with RG213 jumpers all tied to a common ground? Also its ashame the center "feedline" feeds all the relays regardless of which port passes the RF. You think they would have chose a 5 way rotory switch so the RF would only be applied to the selected port. This would also eliminate having 5 relays and there would only be 1.

Reply With Quote
  #4  
Old 04-13-2010, 02:53 PM
iTrader: (11)
 
Join Date: Apr 2002
Posts: 8,110
Moleculo has disabled reputation
Default

Quote:
I wonder how much more efficient the switch would be if you lifted the copper foil traces and removed them and replaced them with RG213 jumpers all tied to a common ground?
I don't think you could fit the RG213 for 5 ports into this little box. I doubt it would make any difference anyway with as short as the traces are.

Quote:
Also its ashame the center "feedline" feeds all the relays regardless of which port passes the RF. You think they would have chose a 5 way rotory switch so the RF would only be applied to the selected port. This would also eliminate having 5 relays and there would only be 1.
I once saw a pic of a coax switch that worked exactly like this. My guess is that it's a lot cheaper to use 5 relays than one rotary switch?

Reply With Quote
  #5  
Old 04-13-2010, 03:04 PM
Senior Member
iTrader: (0)
 
Join Date: Aug 2008
Posts: 543
HiDef is on a distinguished road
Default

You can fatten the existing traces with more solder. The relay setup works OK and is a lot cheaper and easier than a remote rotary in terms of control and wear.

These units aren't bad. Drake made something similar years ago as a 4-line accessory.

Weatherproofing is the weakness.

Reply With Quote
  #6  
Old 04-14-2010, 03:56 AM
airplane1's Avatar
W9WDX Amateur Radio Club Member
iTrader: (2)
 
Join Date: Apr 2005
Location: PA
Posts: 1,131
airplane1 is on a distinguished road
Default

I went on eham and see they are rated very low on the reviews.

AP

Reply With Quote
  #7  
Old 04-14-2010, 05:50 AM
Crotchety Old Bastard
iTrader: (0)
 
Join Date: Apr 2005
Location: Oklahoma
Posts: 6,799
W5LZ is on a distinguished road
Default

While not this particular coax switch, I have used the 5 position MFJ switch for a number of years. It's working just as it should. Weathering is a problem, but after something like 15 - 20 years, -anything- will have the same problem. Mine is mounted fairly low to the ground and more moisture will be present doing things that way. Mounting it higher at the beginning would have been better, but wasn't an option. Since it's worked as it is, I just haven't paid any/enough attention to it. (Oh well, I'm good at that!)
All things considered it's certainly a viable option to several feed lines. The best in the world? I doubt it, but it works.
- 'Doc

Reply With Quote
  #8  
Old 04-14-2010, 06:59 AM
Captain Kilowatt's Avatar
Professional Amateur
iTrader: (1)
 
Join Date: Apr 2005
Location: Nova Scotia,Canada
Posts: 10,536
Captain Kilowatt is on a distinguished road
Default

Interesting that the RCS-8 has open frame relays with exposed contacts. That would at least make it easier to clean the relay contacts. My newly purchased and yet to be installed RCS-10 has sealed relays similar in appearance to the type used on PC boards.
__________________
Marriage is like a deck of cards. In the beginning all you need is two hearts and a diamond. By the end you wish you had a club and a spade.

Reply With Quote
Reply

Bookmarks

Tags
ameritron ar-35, ameritron rcs-8v, coax switch, rotator
Worldwide Radio Forum


Thread Tools
Display Modes

Posting Rules
You may not post new threads
You may not post replies
You may not post attachments
You may not edit your posts

BB code is On
Smilies are On
[IMG] code is On
HTML code is Off
Trackbacks are On
Pingbacks are On
Refbacks are On


Similar Threads
Thread Thread Starter Forum Replies Last Post
Need ideas for a remote coax switch Moleculo Tuners, Mics, Meters & other Accessories 3 02-09-2010 09:48 AM
Coming soon from W2IHY - 3x3 Station Switch Moleculo Tuners, Mics, Meters & other Accessories 2 01-18-2010 12:28 PM
Common Mode Currents Sonwatcher General CB Services Discussion 3 07-30-2008 08:45 PM
Adjusting SWR with amp T-bone CB Antennas 59 03-27-2008 06:48 PM
coax at Radio Shack pacetronics CB Band and CB Radios 13 02-19-2003 08:19 AM


All times are GMT -7. The time now is 08:10 PM.


Powered by vBulletin®
Copyright ©2000 - 2014, Jelsoft Enterprises Ltd.
Search Engine Optimization by vBSEO 3.6.0
Worldwide Radio Forum