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[TowerTalk] Alpha-Delta 1X4 Switch Problems

To: "Tower Talk List" <>
Subject: [TowerTalk] Alpha-Delta 1X4 Switch Problems
From: "Jim Brown" <>
Reply-to: "Tower and HF antenna construction topics." <>
Date: Mon, 29 Mar 2010 13:21:23 -0700
List-post: <">>

I own five of these switches purchased over a period of sevral years from 
various dealers, and have had at least two failures. In one, the #4 
position simply didn't work. I opened it up to find that it could not 
possibly work -- the wafer that was supposed to mate with the rotating part 
was too short! I discovered a problem this weekend in a second switch this 
weekend -- the #1 position doesn't make contact. When it was newer, I could 
fiddle with it and get it to mate. Now even that doesn't work. I opened it 
up and found no obvious problem, except that the two contacts didn't meet 
parallel to each other. Other positions in both switches work fine. 

These switches come with labels over the rear chassis screws warning you 
not to remove them, lest parts fly out and self destruct. And, of course, 
doing so voids the warranty. But, I ask, what good is a warranty on a 
product that costs a third of what you paid for it to ship back for repair, 
and is void if you bother to carefully open it up to check for obvious 
problems? After all, we are hams, not CBers. With both of the switches that 
have problems, the labels were intact, indicating that they had not been 

Two failures out of five is pretty bad, especially for such a simple 
product, and inexcusable when one of those failures HAD to have been found 
in final test (if there WAS final test). When a group of us were using 
switches like these on a California QSO Party county DXpedition to switch 
antennas and filters, our host, N6RNO indicated that at least one of his 
switches had a problem that he hadn't figured out yet. Is this isolated to 
us?  Anyone else seen these problems?   


Jim K9YC 


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