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remote switches for multiple antennas; quad spiders

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Subject: remote switches for multiple antennas; quad spiders
From: al511@freenet.uchsc.EDU (Robert Neece)
Date: Tue, 17 Dec 1996 17:53:23 -0700

Wendell, W5FL, wrote:

>Now I need to get antennas, rotator, and a switchbox on order.  Any =
>suggestions would be appreciated.  I probably will . . . homebrew the 
>switchbox if I use a quad =
>since I will need 8 positions (I have never seen one with more than 6 =
>positions)(5 for the quad, one for 40 mtr inv vee and 1 for 80 mtr inv =
>vee and something for 30 meters).
>I am presently planning to buy or build a 2 element cubical quad with 5 =
>bands (10,12,15,17,20) and feed each loop independently through a switch =

I use a 9-position remote coax switch made by Antenna Mart.  This is 
a rugged unit consisting of a Radio Switch Corp. ceramic switch wafer 
driven by a stepper motor.  At HF, this unit should handle 1.5 kW 
easily, even at high SWR.  

These switches were constructed from a stash of surplus parts that 
Dick had accumulated.  He had a sizeable, though finite, supply of 
the wafers which, I am told, are no longer manufactured.

I bought the switch (on the recommendation of none other than K6NA)
years ago when Antenna Mart was owned and operated by Dick McKercher,
W0MLY, of Rippey, Iowa.  A few years ago, Dick sold Antenna Mart and
its inventory of switch components to a fellow in the Atlanta area.  

Thinking of obtaining another 9-holer, I called the new owner on the
phone some years back.  He was in the process of selecting a new type
of weatherproof box to house the switches.  That, and his having tacked
on a $65 price increase, discouraged me from making a purchase at that

The new owner used to advertise in the usual magazines.  Wendell's
posting reminded me that I hadn't noticed an ad recently.  I don't
seem to have a name or telephone number for the new fellow.  I also
recall a rumor that Dick was going back into production on a *few*
of his historical products.

Does anyone know whether Antenna Mart, either under the new or the
orginal owner, is still in business?  If they are, do they still offer 
the W0MLY-style of remote coax switch?  If they do, what's the current
price and how does one place an order? 

Wendell also comments:

>I have not considered Lightning Bolt or others with Spider Hubs 
>because they seemed so flimsey to me.

I've not tried one myself.  My quad-loving friends here in the
86 PSF wind-load zone (yes, that's 147 MPH) of the Chinook-wind-prone 
areas on the eastern face of the Continental Divide, however, swear by 
the Lightning Bolt stuff.

73 de Bob, K0KR & K7KU

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