HTX-202 for Packet

Paul Mackanos k2db at
Thu Nov 28 15:23:30 EST 1996

Anyone have the spec's to get this critter on packet ???		

 Thanks in advance de Paul K2DB

>From N6NT at (Bruce Sawyer)  Thu Nov 28 15:47:47 1996
From: N6NT at (Bruce Sawyer) (Bruce Sawyer)
Date: Thu, 28 Nov 1996 15:47:47 +0000
Subject: 160 M DX window
Message-ID: <19961128154740.AAB13071 at LOCALNAME>

At 02:07 AM 11/28/96 +0000, you wrote:

>If you have any regard for the attempt of the ARRL and others to make the 
>DX Window a viable possibility, I fail to understand your callous
>There are several flagrant violators who wreck the "window" for others who
>are not fortunate enough to be well-positioned with geography,
>equipment, antennas, or even superior operating skill.  I personally feel
>that asking U.S. amateurs to preserve a tiny 5 khz window in the 2000 khz
>band for DX stations to call CQ is not tantamount to placing a burdon on

Well, I'll add my own 2 cents worth in on this one, and I hope I can do it
without enjoining major warfare.

First off, I do not support the concept of a "DX window" (whatever that is)
at all; I am absolutely opposed to it.  I understand this is a matter of
religious fervor to a lot of people, even though I doubt that any three
people have the same understanding of what constitutes "DX window", so I
just stay away from 1830-1835 completely.  Even when I'm outside of the
U.S., I treat that as a forbidden zone which might as well be taken over by
the SSTV gang.  The on-the-air courtesy, or lack thereof, that I see used in
trying to enforce the private notions of "DX window" isn't a whole lot
different from what I see coming out of the SSTVers anyway.  

First off, everybody is DX to somebody else.  As hard as it is to believe,
there are people on the other side of the globe who consider it exciting to
make contact with places like Ohio, Illinois, and California.  Beats me why,
but they do.  To them, we are the quarry.  I think it's a very U.S.-centric
view of the world to say that non-US (or non-US/VE) is DX and can/should
have that slot and everybody else should stay out of it.

Secondly, I find there is very little consensus about what constitutes the
DX window or what the restrictions on it are.  The ARRL has stated 1830-1835
should be "used only for intercontinental QSLs".  (Quote taken directly from
QST.)  My dictionary says that means "carried on between different
continents".  In other words, that does NOT allow for Caribbean-to-US
contacts, and yet that what you will see during the 160 contests is
primarily Caribbean stations CQing in the so-called "DX window" with answers
coming from the US.  So if we want diligently to follow the ARRL definition,
then who is allowed to CQ in the "DX window"?  Everybody is DX to somebody,
and also distinctly not DX to somebody else.  If we're trying to dump on
US/VE operators, which seems to be the intent of this whole thing, then
since the "intercontinental" phrase in the wording seems to imply that
stations in the same continent as US/VE are not DX, I would guess it means
only non-North American stations are allowed to CQ in the range 1830-1835.
Thus any American who answers a V2 CQ is abusing the window, but it's OK to
answer a P4 CQ, since that's a different continent.  Excuse me, but I think
this is rediculous.  Also, get six different people in a room and they will
all tell you six different ideas about what the frequency limits of the
purported window are.  I've heard a lot of people try to claim all the way
down to 1820!  

Another big problem with this idea of defining "DX Window", supposing we
could get some degree of agreement on frequency limits and permissible
utilization, is that there is too much variation from country to country in
the 160 frequency limits for that to work.  I hate to think of how many
HOURS I have spent calling CQ from my station in the Cayman Islands (ZF8BS)
in the only range I am allowed to operate:  1800-1825.  Everybody is up
listening 1830+, because that's where somebody told them the DX was supposed
to be.  Only the bright guys--and there aren't many--know to listen down
below 1825 for people like me.

Furthermore, promoting this idea of "DX Window" on 160 is causing the notion
to spread to the other bands as well.  I have had people come back and
chastise me for being chatty on 7005 because, in their words, this was the
"DX Window".  Bulls**t!  See the above!  It's bad enough that we're all
fighting over the concept of a "DX Window" on 160 without this spreading to
the other HF bands.

Every year about this time we see the same discussions erupt about the "DX
window" on 160.  There are challenges and accusations hurled around freely,
and everybody seems to want to be purer than the next guy in denouncing
those "abusers".  If you stand back and look at this whole situation, it
surely seems to me like the idea of "DX window" is being used as a rallying
cry to fight, argue, and divide us.  Is that what this is all about?   I'll
stay out of the range 1830-1835 entirely, just because I don't feel like
fighting.  But I think we would all be a lot better off if we would junk
this idea of "DX window" entirely.  And I'm sure not going to criticize
KC1XX or anybody else for whatever they do in that range.  I might even look
upon it as a laudable act of civil disobedience!

Bruce, N6NT

  I humbly submit that this is nonsense and we would all be vastly better
off if we would junk this idea of "DX Window".  It is being used only as a
rallying cry to start fights, and that is not what this whole game is
supposed to be about.  

>From jbmitch at (John Mitchell)  Thu Nov 28 15:47:49 1996
From: jbmitch at (John Mitchell) (John Mitchell)
Date: Thu, 28 Nov 1996 10:47:49 -0500
Subject: Remote Coax Switch Redux
Message-ID: <199611281548.KAA10043 at>

Many thanks to all who responded to my request for experience with remote
coax switching.  Below are the responses received.
>I've used the RCS-8v for several years with no problems (actually use 3 of
>them).  Cable run of up to 500 ft, in my case.  Have used scraped spools of
>cable that I got for free.  I'd be interested in hearing the comments about
>how well the rsc-4 works at a 1000 ft.  Gee, 1000 ft of coax-sure hope that
>isn't to the 10 meter antenna (hi-hi).
>73 WA0ETC
>I realize you said you don't want control cable, John, but the Top
>Ten Devices boxes are great and totally automate antenna switching. 
>They do have a web site
>Beryl D. Simonson  K3AR  (formerly KE3GA) Frankford Radio Club
>Hi John,
>Yes please summarize.
>I am going to install a remote coax switch myself but my problem is not
>the distance. I need a switch to be reliable at very low winter
>temperatures (about -40F).
>Thank you.
>73! Vitaly (VE6JO)
>I use the RCS-4 at a distance of about 200 ft. It works ok
>but the box itself affects the antenna's SWR and resonant freq.
>(I assume because of the inductance at the remote box needed
>to extract the control voltage). You may want to consider
>this. I plan on replacing it with a unit that uses a separate
>control line.
>Kris N5KM 
>I can only provide an anecdotal response.
>When I planned my treetop Force 12 installation in early 1994, I needed
>to switch between the two feedpoints of a F12 DXer, a 30m rotary dipole,
>and, ultimately, a 160m wire dipole whose center was near the same tree.
>Tom Schiller, N6BT recommended the Ameritron unit with the external
>control cable. Since that meant another expense and hassle, I asked him
>why he would not recommend the RCS-4. Tom, in his typical laconic
>response, said "because it won't blow up." He had lunched an RCS-4.
>Garry Shapiro, NI6T
>Editor, The DXer
>newsletter of the Northern California DX Club
>John,  mine is not a "long distance" but maybe of interest:
>I use the FCS-8V, which requires the additional run of cable.
>I feel that is worth not putting a cap. in the middle of my coax line.
>The other point is:  I've modified my 8V.  I added 3 micro switches
>from radio shack just right of the selector knob.  These are 
>connected to 1,2,3.  I can turn those relays on via the switch.
>Hence it is possible to feed four antennas at once.  The fourth
>being selectable between 4 or 5 via the front control.  Well you
>can figure out the combinations, but it does open up the possiblity.
>In reality two at once is proably all we'll use.
>73 Robert  W5AJ  w5robert at   
>I just built a control box for an 80-meter wire array, which I'm controlling
>through 350 feet of 4-wire telephone cable.  My box uses the same basic
>scheme as the RCS-4 and the Heathkit equivalent, and has no trouble
>switching through those #20 or #22 conductors, so I'm pretty sure you'll
>have no trouble using your hardline (which I do with my Heath switch on 200
>feet of hardline and 50 feet of RG-213).  See the copper wire table in the
>Handbook for further reassurance.
>73, Pete Smith N4ZR
>n4zr at 
>West (bigawd) Virginia
>I use an RCS-4 for switching my slopers and have had no problems.  It's
>about 200' out from the shack.  
>Power-wise: I've shoved 1.5kW threw it for years. 
>Temperature-wise:  Worked at -42 and +117. 
>Distance problem:  I don't know what the power requirements are so I can't
>really say if 1000' will be problem....but think of it this way - The center
>conductor and shield are equivalent to pretty large wire.  The voltage drop
>shouldn't be too great since the switch current can't be all that high.
>Have fun.
>Gary K7FR
>     I have a similar situation although with several verticals.  If
>you could share your findings it would be greatly appreciated.
>73 - Doug - W2DR
>Check out the Dunestar and will operate reliably at 9 VDc if
>you have that much drop.
>Jay WX0B
>I designed the RCS-4 and 8V, as well as some switches for other companies.
>The RCS-4 will work with up to 30 ohms or more of loop resistance in the
>cable, the RCS-8V with 60 ohms or more. But the RCS-8 requires a seperate
>control cable but it can be cheap multiwire telephone cable.
>The RCS-8V will handle 8-10 kW for long periods of time ( the weakest link is
>the connectors, not the relays), has excellent return loss and port to port
>isolation up to 350 MHz, and a great service history.
>The RCS-4 is only safe to 2 kW and good to 30 MHz.
>73 W8JITom
>John, I am using the RCS-4 and have been for 4 1/2 years.  I am extremely
>pleased with it.  My tower is located 250 feet from the shack.  I buried
>RG-9B, originally, for the full length of the 250 feet to the tower.  I
>later buried 7/8" hardline.  In both cases, the RCS-4 worked beautifully.
>I am using an Ameritron AL-1500 with the 8877 in the final.  It puts out
>as much power as it is legally possible to do.  (In fact, I have to watch
>the input closely because it can produce 2500 watts with no real problem).
>The RCS-4 has stood up to that legal output very nicely.  I do make a
>concession at the tower.  I put a plastic electrical connection box (it
>has a particular name and is about 12 inches wide, 6 inches deep, and
>16-18 inches high.  It is completely waterproof.  I cut two holes (about
>2" in diameter) for the incoming cable and the outgoing cables.  This
>serves to keep the RCS-4 relay box out of the weather and it does not
>rust, as a result.
>My personal opinion is that it is the only way to go.  My antennas are
>400 feet from the shack (tower is 140 feet) and 4 separate lines of
>hardline of 400 feet in length is unthinkable.  It is my opinion that
>you will be pleased.  73, Rod. W5HVV
>       Just wonder if your aware of the Dx Engineering swithch box.
There at 618 Spaulding, Brownsville, Or., 97327 . Its heavy duty and
uses rotor cable for control of the 5 positions on the switch. Their
phone number is: 503-466-3138. This switch has sealed relays and a metal
cover over the outside unit. The Ameritron does not ! I used the RCS-8
for about 4-5 years but think I was getting RFI thru the plastic relay
cover. I just bought the Dx box this Aug and it sure beats the
Ameritron. The Dx box sells with shipping for less than $200.00 . Its
well worth the extra $. Rotor cable lists in their catalog for .18 per
foot. (#22) It says you can use that cable on runs 1000 feet away.
>Carl KF8VW
>At my old QTH I had a half mile of hardline to a woods where I installed
>three beverage antennas. I "piggybacked" DC on the hardline so I could
>select any of the 3 beverages. On this and other long runs I first tried
>using 12 VDC relays but occasionally the voltage drop through the isolation
>RFC was great enough to cause problems. So I switched to 24VDC relays. On
>the long runs I will actually feed about 40 volts into the line and then
>there is plenty at the other end-- 25 or 30 volts or so. Also, surplus 24V
>relays tend to be cheaper since they are in less demand.
>All my relay boxes are homebrew. I use the same basic technique for beverage
>switching and for transmit antenna switching. The relays are mostly Potter
>and Brumfield, open face, with 10 amp contacts. These handle 1.5 KW without
>any problem (no hot switching, please!). At the feed end there is an RFC
>(typically 1mh or 2.5 mh) to isolate the feedline from the power supply, and
>a capacitor (typically .01 mf or .001 mf) in series with the feedline to the
>RX, for isolation. At the antenna end, another capacitor isolates the
>feedline from the antenna. And another RFC isolates the feedline 
>from the relay coil.
>For Beverage antennas the capacitors are usually disc ceramics. For
>transmitting I usually use big old Mica capacitors from WWII, picked up at
>If you use the Ameritron you might have to raise the conrol voltage to allow
>for the voltage drop in the feedline. 
>My homebrew relay boxes have worked for 10-15 years with few problems. The
>boxes I put them in are "weatherproofed" but not water tight; in fact I put
>a small drain hole in to allow moisture to escape. If not used for extended
>periods -- such as over the summer -- the contacts may oxidize a bit and I
>have to switch them on/off a few times to restore normal operation.
>73/Jon AA1K
>I've used an RCS-4 for several years now.  It always switched reliably, even
>when cold.  The problem I had was that it crispy-crittered on 160.  Not
>enough choke or something.  The antenna had about a 2:1 SWR and I was
>running legal when it overheated.  I rebuilt it to separate the relay feed
>from the main coax.  I used a piece of old RG-58 to carry the switch
>voltages and it works fine.  I do know of several people who use the other
>model and use dirt cheap telephone wire (3 or 4 pair) to feed it and they
>switch just fine.  In short, if you don't have the 160 meter problem, it
>should work just fine, even over 1000'.
>                                        Dan KL7Y
>I have no experience at runs over 200' but have some input into remote 
>switches.  I am presently using a DX Engineering 6 position remote switch.  I 
>have used a Heathkit remote switch that is identical to the RCS4 in the past.
>1.  The DX Eng unit is electrically sound and has had several years of use 
>with no problems.  The enclosure (a NEMA 3 box with a 2" knockout in the 
>bottom with a bushing for coax) leaves a lot to be desired.  I actually had a 
>squirrel's nest in the bottom of the switch complete with acorns.  The switch 
>requires a 7 conductor cable which I recommend (later).
>2.  The Heathkit switch was reliable but after awhile I could hear a slight AC 
>hum in the receiver directly traced to the switch.  No good!
>3.  I sometimes regret using a remote switch due to the fact that it precludes 
>the use of these antennas with more than one rig at a time.  If I redesigned 
>my station at least I would mount the switch at the bottom of the tower.
>4.  The cable that I am using is regular rotor cable (#22 & #18).  No heavy 
>gage wire is necessary due to the light load of the relays.  You can use 
>multi-pair telephone cable if you like, even at 1000 ft.  A voltage drop calc 
>may be necessary depending on the relays in the switch.  I did have a problem 
>with cable.  Squirrel's again.  They ate though the jacket and two of the 
>conductors about 15 ft up the tower.
>5.  One last thought.  I have bought several products from Top Ten devices.  I 
>don't have one of their remote switches but have seen pictures. Taking the 
>above comments into consideration I would recommend their switch.  If I have 
>to buy another switch, it will be a Top Ten!
--------------------------End of  Response

Final Comments de IQ:  Nothing like this group to come forward with
excellent experience on any topic related to the hobby!  Many thanks again,
and I will take some time to digest all this and check out the Top Ten and
Dunestar sites. 

John K4IQ  

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