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Re: [TowerTalk] More possible RCS8V problems

To: Kelly Johnson <>
Subject: Re: [TowerTalk] More possible RCS8V problems
From: Joe Giacobello <>
Date: Tue, 05 Dec 2006 11:33:58 -0500
List-post: <>
Some time ago, another correspondent on this or a similar list said that 
the relays in the RCS8 were self-cleaning.  Up until that time I had 
been doing an annual PM by using a burnishing tool on the contacts.  Are 
you guys saying that they are not self-cleaning and do require periodic 

73, Joe

Kelly Johnson wrote:
> Well, cleaning the relays is not something I'm up for right now since
> I'd have to climb the tower.  If/when I fix or replace this box I'll
> move it from its current position at the top of the tower to the
> bottom so I don't have to deal with this anymore :-)  In fact, I'd
> eliminate the remote switch entirely if it weren't for the fact that I
> don't want to drill more holes in my wall to get more coax lines into
> the house.
> I understand why the "tap with cw" thing happens, but what I didn't
> understand was the failure mode where it caused the receiver to
> receive S7 to S8 noise on all ports.  This doesn't sound like a
> problem with only one port.  It also isn't the same symptom as what I
> had before: signals dropped down to S0.  The behavior is "similar" but
> different.  Dropping to S0 makes sense to me.  Causing noise didn't
> make sense to me.
> On 12/4/06, Robert Carroll <> wrote:
>> I have two of these switches and they worked reliably for about 6 years.
>> Then, one prot at a time, they fell into the "tap with cw to bring to life"
>> mode.  I could also bring a position back to life for a while by turning the
>> box on and off or slipping through the positions.  A look at the relay
>> contacts showed they were bright, and the armature was not visibly
>> misaligned.  Checks with an ohmmeter showed the path through the contacts to
>> be close to a dead short. Cleaning, using Caig gold, and reseating the
>> armature would cure the problem for a few days, but it would reappear
>> eventually.  Like Kelly, I moved to another port.  Last year both switches
>> became erratic in this way on nearly all ports, and by spring I more or less
>> abandoned them in place and worked around them.  My guess is that nothing I
>> can do will salvage them, though the relays still look like new.  If anyone
>> has found a cure, I'd appreciate hearing about it.
>> Bob W2WG
>> -----Original Message-----
>> From:
>> [] On Behalf Of Kelly Johnson
>> Sent: Monday, December 04, 2006 7:38 PM
>> To:
>> Subject: [TowerTalk] More possible RCS8V problems
>> I think I resolved my issue of a few weeks ago whereby the signal
>> would just start dropping out and a tap on the CW key would bring it
>> back to life.  It was either a relay problem OR a bad PL-259 solder
>> joint.  I replaced the PL-259 and moved to another output port on my
>> RCS-8V and the antenna is working again.  Now, I have a new problem.
>> After sitting for an hour or two I start getting S7 or S8 noise.  This
>> is similar to the signal dropping out, but this time instead of having
>> the signal drop out I get S7 or S8 broadband noise.  The strange part
>> is that it affects ALL the antennas this time.  I can switch from
>> antenna to antenna and I see the same S7 or S8 noise, even on antenna
>> inputs that have no antenna connected to them.  A tap on the CW key
>> once again fixes the problem.  This time I'm thinking it is some relay
>> that is common to all of the antennas (ie. connected to the input) OR
>> it is yet another bad connection but this time on the feedline that
>> goes from the shack to the remote switch.  I don't understand what
>> would cause this noise.  Anyone have any thoughts on this?
>> I'm just about ready to junk this remote switch.  This is the second
>> one I've owned and it seems unreliable.
>> _______________________________________________
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