I did not get very different results from the last
go-round on this topic, so I'll just include
the last summary, plus W3ZZ's surplus-
conversion ideas afterward. Thanks
to all that sent me
comments and to KA9FOX for sending
me the summary from the last time.
>Subj: Remote antenna switches
>X-From: firstname.lastname@example.org (Peter G. Smith)
>Reply-to: email@example.com (Peter G. Smith)
>In response to my query about experience with remote antenna switches, I
>received about 20 comments. The most surprising thing about them is that
>VERY few people had problems with their antenna switches, and all of them
>were generally satisfied with the ones they had chosen. To the extent
>there were negatives, they had to do with deficiencies in design "seen
>from afar." Generally, where people were using a given unit, they
>acknowledged the shortcomings but had successfully worked around them and
>felt that the units worked well regardless.
>The largest number were using the Ameritron RCS-8V. They acknowledged the
>relatively poor quality enclosures, but reported long trouble-free
>service. Several people were using the RCS-4, which does not require a
>control cable - the clear low-cost winner overall.
>Next was DX Engineering -- high marks on both electrical and mechanical
>construction, but acknowledged to be a little more expensive than the
>A number of people praised Top Ten Devices, particularly for their
>flexibility, while noting the need for a weatherproof enclosure because
>the relay boxes are designed for indoor use. They also got loud applause
>for their customer service.
>Two liked the switches from Antenna Mart of Iowa.
>And finally, a couple of different solutions -- one urged the use of
>something called a "globe" - a multi-position motorized coax switch,
>available surplus-- while two encouraged me to build my own.
>So that's the story - I hope you find it useful.
>"Better, faster,cheaper -- choose any two"
>"No no no -- it's WEST Virginia"
And from W3ZZ:
>I feel for you because I got hit about a month ago and still my FT990
>(which was plugged in but not connected to anything) is not working right
>IMO the best antenna switch is a multiposition motor driven surplus
>switch usualy made by Transco, TRW or the like. They often are called
>"globes" because of their shape. Usually a cylinder (containing the
>motor) with the connectors (usually N's) at one end and a military type
>connector to take power. You need to make a 28v (or so) power supply
>with a switch to apply voltage to the right port to make the motor step
>but this is not difficult to do. These switches should handle any
>reasonable amateur power at HF, are essentially lossless (they work some
>of them to several GHz) and very rugged. I have left them outside in the
>weather and that is o.k. but I would rather put them in some kind of
>enclosure. These switches are surplus and readily available at any flea
>market almost always for less than $50 and sometimes half that. They
>have anywhere from 2 to 8 ports.
>If you don't have a 28v supply (at about 1-2 amps peak to start the
>motor), you can get 23v from an Astron 13.8v supply by tapping off the
>unregulated DC output at the filter before it goes into the regulator.
>These relays will turn readily at less than 20v.
>This is an alternative to an expensive ham type remote switch. Those are
>fine but cost plenty of dough.
>Good luck es 73
>Who is about to install one of these switches to go between a 1296 loop
>yagi and a triband feed dish at 2.3, 3.4 and 5.6 GHz
Thanks again to all who sent me info
73, Tom -- N1MM
>From Cain, Jim, K1TN" <firstname.lastname@example.org Tue Aug 8 13:52:00 1995
From: Cain, Jim, K1TN" <email@example.com (Cain, Jim, K1TN)
Subject: K1TN NAQP CW
Figured I'd better hook up the TS-850 somebody loaned
to me and see what all those little tiny buttons and knobs
do. First time on the radio since December 2, 1994
(you don't want to know). Ancient 8088 laptop somewhat
recalcitrant, its A drive taking a couple of hours
to decide to let me load NA onto the massive 20-meg
hard disk. Nice to hear a few familiar calls. Sorry I
was so slow to change bands--balanced feed and
a Johnson Matchbox don't lend themselves to '90s
contesting! See you in the next contest unless
something more interesting to do comes along.
Jim Cain, K1TN
band qsos points mults
160 0 0 0
80 25 25 14
40 15 15 12
20 44 44 24
15 17 17 10
10 6 6 4
total: 107 107 64
final score = 6848
(About two hours, I suppose)
>From David Robbins KY1H <firstname.lastname@example.org> Tue Aug 8 13:55:29 1995
From: David Robbins KY1H <email@example.com> (David Robbins KY1H)
Subject: more cw stuff
Well, how about the other side of the coin... I have a friend who is interested
in contesting(see, i got the 'c' word in! actually he is very interested and
has helped fabricate replacement parts for some of this summer's antenna
projects) and hf, but is presently just a 'shack on the belt' type. he has a
cw trainer that uses the pc speaker, but because the audio is bad and the pc is
in a family room it is very hard for him to hear. he is looking for a cw
trainer that uses a soundblaster board for output. (pls not ped or some other
contest trainer, he has to start at the beginning!) anything out there on ftp
sites?? i tried the arrl bbs, but nothing in the file search says it works
with soundblaster... maybe some of them do, but i don't have the time or
hardware to check them all out.
73, Dave KY1H Robbins@guid2.dnet.lmco.com
>From Swanson, Glenn, KB1GW" <firstname.lastname@example.org Tue Aug 8 15:49:00 1995
From: Swanson, Glenn, KB1GW" <email@example.com (Swanson, Glenn, KB1GW)
Subject: more cw stuff
Hi Dave, and fellow contesters,
See "New Products" in the August issue of QST, page 54: "NuMORSE for
In part, it says:
"With full support for Sound Blaster and 100% compatible sound cards, you
can adjust the sound of Morse code to suit your ears. In addition, the
program can play ".WAV" files through the sound card or the "Microsoft
Windows PC Speaker Driver" if you have that installed. (No, the sounds are
not as good with the speaker driver.)"
And, "NuMorse is a shareware program. The registration fee is $25, payable
to Tony Lacy, G4AUD. Registration can also be handled through the
CompuServe Registration Forum (GO SWREG). The US shareware vendor for
NuMorse is Donald B. Bell, KI5YT..." (Wichita Falls, TX.)
Finally, "NuMorse will generate practice Morse code tests,... and answer
sheets! Now you can really tell when you're ready to pass that code exam."
Hope this help in turning your friend into a contester some day! (Got the
"C" word in!)
Disclaimer: Nope, I don't endorse this program, or any other! I'm just
trying to be helpful in reply to Dave's note (below). There are lots of
other packages available.
See the New Product blurb (referenced above) for more details on this
73, Glenn, KB1GW
>From: David Robbins KY1H
>Subject: more cw stuff
>Well, how about the other side of the coin... I have a friend who is
>in contesting(see, i got the 'c' word in! actually he is very interested
>has helped fabricate replacement parts for some of this summer's antenna
>projects) and hf, but is presently just a 'shack on the belt' type. he has
>cw trainer that uses the pc speaker, but because the audio is bad and the
>in a family room it is very hard for him to hear. he is looking for a cw
>trainer that uses a soundblaster board for output. (pls not ped or some
>contest trainer, he has to start at the beginning!) anything out there on
>sites?? i tried the arrl bbs, but nothing in the file search says it works
>with soundblaster... maybe some of them do, but i don't have the time or
>hardware to check them all out.
>73, Dave KY1H Robbins@guid2.dnet.lmco.com
>From milewski@OREGON.UOREGON.EDU (Steve Milewski) Tue Aug 8 19:05:54 1995
From: milewski@OREGON.UOREGON.EDU (Steve Milewski) (Steve Milewski)
Subject: Texas geographical advantage?
>Noting the Texas DX Society's NAQP scores and knowing how SS usually
>goes, I wonder, is it unanimous that Texas is the
>place to be for domestic contests? 73
>Rich Boyd KE3Q
Texas seems to be the place to be for ANY contest or DXpedition.
For example, I have heard the following scenario MANY times:
DX Station: "CQ West Coast. West Coast Only please"
>From the pileup: "K5***"
DX Station: "K5***, 59 "
K5***: "Yer fahv nahn, Texas"
By exercising "creative geographic location" it appears that Texas
satisfies all the criteria for West Coast, East Coast and Central U.S.
Yes, definitely, Texas is where you should go to operate your contests :-)
*** Stumps don't lie! ***
>From firstname.lastname@example.org (James B. Wolf) Tue Aug 8 18:43:41 1995
From: email@example.com (James B. Wolf) (James B. Wolf)
Subject: TopBand: Type of wire for...
>I am not sure of the RF resistance of the wire you are using, but if it is
>substantial (at RF) it will certainly hurt. Losses are more important as the
>wire length is increased. I have had poor results with cad plated electric
>fence wire, so I use copperweld or copper.
Don't forget that as the frequency decreases the skin effect also decreases.
Steel wire (electric fence wire) has poor conductivity.
And since the coating may or may not last on a steel coated wire, along with
the fact that skin effect is poor at 160 meters, I would dismiss any kind of
steel wire for beverages.
James B. Wolf Phone:219-429-4638
Mail Stop:25-71 Fax:8215 Email: firstname.lastname@example.org
MESC, 1313 Production Road, Fort Wayne, IN 46808
>From John-Warren@easy.com (John Warren, NT5C) Tue Aug 8 20:02:17 1995
From: John-Warren@easy.com (John Warren, NT5C) (John Warren, NT5C)
Subject: Texas geographical advantage?
|From: milewski@OREGON.UOREGON.EDU (Steve Milewski)
|Subject: Re: Texas geographical advantage?
|Texas seems to be the place to be for ANY contest or DXpedition.
|For example, I have heard the following scenario MANY times:
|DX Station: "CQ West Coast. West Coast Only please"
|From the pileup: "K5***"
|DX Station: "K5***, 59 "
|K5***: "Yer fahv nahn, Texas"
|By exercising "creative geographic location" it appears that Texas
|satisfies all the criteria for West Coast, East Coast and Central U.S.
|Yes, definitely, Texas is where you should go to operate your contests :-)
Texas sure is the place! However, some of us can even understand and speak
REAL English (as in England). Which interesting provincial accent do you
73, John, NT5C.