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[TowerTalk] Re: Rotor control line swithcing

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Subject: [TowerTalk] Re: Rotor control line swithcing
From: "Rick" <>
Date: Mon, 3 Nov 2003 11:09:04 -0700
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Subject: Re: [TowerTalk] Rotor control line switching

> sounds to me like trouble waiting to happen...
> A remote relay/switch box is one more thing outside to go wrong....
> I just replaced a control cable run with some house wiring this weekend
> - 250 feet of house wiring was less than 30 bucks....
> K4OJ

I sure fail to see the economics in your analysis.   It cost 30 bucks to
replace 250 ft of control line.  Let's see, if you have 5 antennas and you
are going to run in 5 coax lines instead of 1.  That is an extra 1000 ft of
coax.  Assume you use good  quality coax like Times Microwave LMR 900 at
about $2.50 a foot.  The "extra expense" of running four additional coax
lines would be $2500.   Of course you would have saved 60 bucks on control
line (original plus the new you just ran) plus the cost of the coax switches
(maybe 300 bucks on the high side).

In my case I have 5 towers and by using "remote relay switching" I used only
about 550 ft of LMR 900.   If I had run a single coax to each tower I would
have needed about 1600 ft. more of coax.   Obviously, the number of
additional feet required varies with the physical layout of the different
towers; where the distance from the shack to the first tower is where the
major expense (or savings) would come in.

Running coax does not eliminate all problems either;  I helped a buddy of
mine replace 150 ft of LMR 600 a couple years ago that had gone bad.

I have had very minimal trouble with my system and I have been using it at
my QTH for about 8 years.   I have used inline switching since the early
80's and the need to run only one coax and rotor cable into the shack, far
outweighs the need to run a coax line for each of the 10 HF amateur bands..
By merely pushing the "band select" button on my Orion (Yaseu Mark V
before), I am on the correct antenna and rotor (for the antennas with

Actually I run two rotor control lines because one of my towers has a M2
rotor.   The M2 and Hy-Gain rotors are not even remotely compatible and
running one additional rotor cable outweighed the headaches involved with
double switching rotors and control boxes on one rotor cable.


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