Thanks to all those who offered me suggestions/advice on buying/making a
new rotary antenna switch. The most popular options suggested for
purchasing a remote antenna switch (i.e. switch box, plus remote
controller) were the Ameritron series (RCS-8V and RCS-4), with Array
Solutions' Ratpak also suggested.
On the score of an in-shack rotary switch, the most popular suggestion was
the Alpha Delta, with Transco #1460 and Sage #SAN660 also being suggested.
Here are some of the comments:
Jim N7US: "I have a couple of the Alpha Delta models with the (limited?)
lightning protection. They seem well made, with good isolation, and I've
had no problems."
Ron ND5S: "I use the RatPak from WX0B which can be seen at this URL:
http://www.arraysolutions.com/Products/ratpak.htm This product is rock
solid and smooth in operation. Very solidly built and worth the price.
I'm not affiliated with this company, just a very satisfied user."
Steve KK7UV: "I use a homemade switching device for selecting my 4
point-fed pennant RX antennas - consists of Omron 12volt/10 amp general
purposed relays - controlled from a simple cheap rotary switch in the
shack. Two winters of trouble-free operation. I also use an Ameritron
RCS8V coax switch that is still quite new but works fine."
Hardy N7RT: "I have used Transco #1460 rotary switches and Sage #SAN660
rotary switches for 20 years with good sucess. You can get about 10 years
out of a switch and the cost is $35 to $75 US depending on the person you
run across. The only drawback is they use type-N connectors but I'm
satisfied because the type-N is waterproof and is truely 50 ohms. They have
handled 1500 watts on 10 mtrs with no problems but keep your SWR fairly low."
Mark ON4WW: "Not sure if this is what you're looking for, but I've been
using it for 11 years now with only one small prob during this
period...This unit after 11 years still has the same price...You can
connect up to 5 antennas to it. The unit I'm talking about, is the RCS-8V
Bob VE3OSZ: "Have you thought about the alternative of a remote coax switch
? It eliminates most of the coax cables in the shack. I have both of the
Ameritron models: RCS-8V and RCS-4 and they have always worked flawlessly."
Craig NX1G: " HAVE HAD GOOD LUCK WITH BOTH AMERITRON SWITCHES. THE RCS4 AND
8. THE 4 USES THE COAX TO SEND THE VOLTAGES DOWN THE LINE. THE 8 USES A
SEPARATE CONTROL LINE. SAVES ME OVER 500' OF COAX. IF YOU ARE TALKING AN
IN SHACK SWITCH, IT'S HARD TO BEAT THE ALPHA-DELTA."
Greg W6IZT: "I use an Alpha Delta switch in the shack. Stripline
construction and absolutely no problem after over 10 yrs of use. For a
remote switch the Ameritron is hard to beat for price/performance."
As for what VK6VZ is going to do, bearing in mind the poor state of the
Australian $ versus the US $, I think I will take up KK7UV's suggestion and
look around to see if I can find some 12V relays with large amperage
contacts (maybe DPST relays, in which I can parallel the contacts) and
build myself remote-type switch but locate it in the shack, using a
12V-type plug pack, a handful of SO239 connectors and a cheap rotary switch.
For me, this is the cheapest option and with two kids and Christmas coming
up, the most appropriate one right now...
See you on the topband and merry Christmas!
"160 - the Twilight Zone"