[CQ-Contest] RE: SO2R

Dave Hachadorian k6ll at juno.com
Fri Jan 24 18:11:18 EST 2003

On Fri, 24 Jan 2003 17:58:25 EST Cqtestk4xs at aol.com writes:

>  The 
> problem 
> with a SO2R can't be a matter of cost since one can borrow a second 
> rig or 
> pick up a cheap second rig like an old TS 930 or somehting like 
> that. 

I think Bill understates the cost requirement. If you are considering
a jump to SO2R, you probably have already come a long way in building
your SO1R station. If your going to do SO2R, you may as well do it
correctly right off the bat. Sooner or later, you are going to end
up with an equipment configuration that looks like this:

2nd Radio. It should be the same model as your first radio,
but let's say you can get by with a used TS-850. -  $800

2nd Amplifier. It should have 160, and be reliable. You won't
be happy for long doing S&P at low power, getting beat by
the high power boys. Let's assume you can find an amp for $1000.

Antenna Switch. You need an antenna switch that will distribute
several antennas to two radios. You won't often find these used.
Assume a new WX0B Six-Pak, or equiv. at $400.

Bandpass Filters. Unless you have a large amount of real estate,
with widely separated antennas, you are going to need bandpass
filters for each radio. You won't be happy switching individual
band filters every time you switch bands, so you really do need
two six-band boxes, such as the Dunestar 600's, or 
equiv. - $678 for two.

Band decoders. You won't be happy for long, switching the Bandpass
Filters manually, so you need two band decoders, such as the Top Ten
units, or equiv. $250 for two.

Two radio controller. You can build one yourself, but it is a pain
in the neck, and won't look as good as a commercial unit. It may
not work as well either. Bite the bullet, and buy a commercial one,
such as the WX0B unit, or equiv. - $362

More antennas. Chances are you will need more antennas to be able to
S&P and CQ on any combination of bands. Figure at least another small
tower, tribander, and rotor. Estate sale price - $1000.

The total of the above items is $4490.
Now, if you are an astute shopper, you may be able to beat those
prices, but not by much. That takes care of the major items. There
may be more, such as stubs and stub switching, if further RFI problems
surface. You may need a couple more comm or LPT ports, ten zillion
cables, etc. Small stuff, financially.

I'm an ex-yankee from New England. I tried to do it on the cheap, but
dragged myself, kicking and screaming into the above configuration,
except for the controller, and band decoders which are homebrew.

I don't want to enter the argument over whether SO2R ought to
be a separate category. I just want to point out that the investment
is sizeable. What does it buy you? In certain contests, such as
SSCW, and the NAQP CW and SSB, it is very significant. In RTTY contests,
the advantage of SO2R is overwhelming.

Dave Hachadorian, K6LL
Yuma, AZ

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