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[Articles Home]  [Add Article]  

Beverage Hub Box

from George Dowell, K0FF on September 4, 2008
View comments about this article!

Beverage Hub Box

After being out in the elements for about 5 years now, it still looks pretty good. Visible in View1 are the homebrew Derlin feedthoughs, which are a two-piece telescoping arrangement, made by yours truly on a lathe for this type use. The long overlapping arc path insures directed control in case of a lightning strike. Also on the connector bulkhead are mounted three SO-239's. Two of them receive the signal from remote Bev Hubs, similar to this one, where further switching is done on other 1000' wires. Because of the remote location (up to 1000' away), the signal is converted to 75 Ohms and brought in on the double-shielded Triax cable seen on one of the SO-239s. In the corner is a "FAT" connector; it's the output feeding the preamp. It's odd shape is because it is also a lightning arrestor.

Before going into the main coax to the shack (also Triax), we pass through a BCB filter and preamp designed for 75 I/O and powerfed up the feedline. From the output, the cable travels about 300 feet into the shack areas and is terminated at the main Bulkhead/Patchpanel. A MIL E rated connector allows quick disconnect of the control wiring, in case of service. Of course the short groundwire is attached directly to a brass stud on the box.

View2 is an inside shot showing the other side of the Derlin feedthroughs, and their brass screws. An appreciable gap is left between the panel and the relays. This gap is bridged on each circuit by a 4" piece of #30 ga, wirewrap wire, bent into a U. That wire is a fuse, and would melt in case of a direct hit, saving a lot of energy from entering the house. Once the fuse melts, the arcpath is shortest directly to the box, and hopefully then to the local groundrod.

A lot of switching goes on with those few relays, and when power is switched off, all external connections go to ground. In the case if incoming Beverage wires, they are individually selected, and transformed to 75 Ohms before filtering and preamplification. In the case of 75 Ohm signals, they are merely selected, and passed along/ A further function is when the E-W Bev SELected by this box, it is terminated at the far end and fed from this end. When it is DEselected by this box, it is terminated at this end and fed from the other end, ironically via one of the 1000' coax runs that comes right back here for selection. You can see the little hb un-un mounted on the terminal strip.

In View3 the diode logic part of the switching circuit is apparent. Multiple and combination functions can often be accomplished on one conductor by a careful selection and application of polarity and voltages.

Thanks to Price Smith, a good friend in time of need who did the metal work on this project according to my designs.

73 and Happy Building, Geo, K0FF

Member Comments:
This article has expired. No more comments may be added.
 
Beverage Hub Box  
by W8ZNX on September 4, 2008 Mail this to a friend!
well and good
but this

THIS

is the article of the day

a remote switch box
 
RE: Beverage Hub Box  
by KG4RUL on September 4, 2008 Mail this to a friend!
This is a really nice piece of engineering and workmanship.
 
RE: Beverage Hub Box  
by K0BG on September 4, 2008 Mail this to a friend!
One of the hidden aspects of this article is simply this; home brewing of hardware is becoming a lost art.

There was a time when all amateur equipment was home brewed. Nowadays, far too many amateurs are so remiss, they won't even tackle a simple wire antenna. So, it's nice to see there are a few brave souls out there who still make what they need.

Alan, KBG
www.k0bg.com
 
RE: Beverage Hub Box  
by KG6WLS on September 4, 2008 Mail this to a friend!
This is what I like about amateur radio. Projects- projects - projects. The bug really bit me when I constructed K0FF's design of the 2M & 6M loops.

Thanks George and keep them coming. eHam needs more articles like this.

73
KG6WLS
 
RE: Beverage Hub Box  
by K0FF on September 4, 2008 Mail this to a friend!
What would you like to see an article on, in the realm of home construction and electronics?

I have a lot of articles on nuclear radiation detection equipment. QST has recently run an article on Geiger Counters. Would the group be interested min such material?

By the way, I will be posting an article on BEYOND LASER LIGHT. This is a method for using X-Rays and Gamma rays for communications. The ARRL has already approved them as multipliers for VHF-UHF contesting, since they are electromagnetic radiation, like radio and laser light, but of much higher frequencies.

What you won't see from me are printed circuit board mass produced projects. When I homebrew, I like to do the whole project from scratch. In my mind, a PCB project is soldering practice, not hombrew electronics.



Thanks

George Dowell
K0FF
 
RE: Beverage Hub Box  
by K0FF on September 4, 2008 Mail this to a friend!
This rather simple but robust Beverage Hub, plus some 500 foot rolls of electric wire has allowed me to quickly achieve DXCC on 160Meters, plus pull off some pretty cool single QSO's like Peter the First Island.

It may be interesting to note that my transmitting antennas for 160 and for 80M have NO RADIALS at all. They were designed not to need them.

If I may be im-modest for a moment, it allowed me to be the first and only person to ever acheive 160 through 6M DXCC from the zero district.

George Dowell >K0FF
Original issue, not vanity
6M DXCC, WAS, WAC, WAZ
Only 160-6M DXCC in the Zero district
VUCC 6-2-222-432
1 W0 6M DXCC
#1 W0 to reach 336 countries
2M WAS, WAC, 35 countries
First Class FCC Radiotelephone/Radar
Life Member ARRL, AMSAT, NRA
SETI Honor Roll#1
DXCC Honor Roll #1 @352
 
RE: Beverage Hub Box  
by W3JKS on September 4, 2008 Mail this to a friend!
I'd love to see an 8K gamma spectrometer project. With the low cost of DSP and processors, it's probably a lot easier than it was when I used an old Canberra unit resembling a refrigerator...

73,
john
W3JKS/AAT3BF/AAA9SL
 
RE: Beverage Hub Box  
by KA4KOE on September 4, 2008 Mail this to a friend!
This is QST caliber material.
 
RE: Beverage Hub Box  
by W1ITT on September 4, 2008 Mail this to a friend!

George..
The interior looks pretty spiffy after 5 years outdoors. How did you deal with box sealing, condensation, etc?
Norm W1ITT
 
RE: Beverage Hub Box  
by K0FF on September 4, 2008 Mail this to a friend!
Personally I've found that outdoor boxes must be left to breathe. A 1/4"
hole covered with metal screen is fine for a small box like this. There are hole plugs made as such. Sealing
them 100% will cause moisture to accumulate inside. George>K0FF
 
RE: Beverage Hub Box  
by K5FH on September 4, 2008 Mail this to a friend!
Nobody has said the magic word yet -

SCHEMATIC.

As in, "Where is the...?"
 
RE: Beverage Hub Box  
by N6HPO on September 4, 2008 Mail this to a friend!
Hi George!

Since your asking, I would very much like to hear lots more about your Beverage antenna. You said it was designed to make radials unnecessary.

As a rookie in this wonderful hobby, I would be very interested in hearing your Beverage "story".

Many thanks for considering my request!

Alan
 
RE: Beverage Hub Box  
by K0FF on September 4, 2008 Mail this to a friend!
Will be most happy to post construction details of the beverage Hub, the various matching transformers and the transmit antennas for 160 and 80. We use Beverages for receive only. We use transmit antennas for.......well...transmitting only. Trying to receive on a vertical on MF is a losing proposition. Likewise one does not attempt to transmit on a Beverage. Much more to come,in related articles.

Beverages excell on the lower frequencies. I have used them as high as 40 meters, but by 30 meters, they stop working. For mr anyway.

George K0FF
 
RE: Beverage Hub Box  
by WB2WIK on September 4, 2008 Mail this to a friend!
Nice work. It does look good after 5 years.

Is that a NEMA enclosure? That would be a great choice, although they can be pricey. Let us know where it came from...

WB2WIK/6
 
RE: Beverage Hub Box  
by K0FF on September 4, 2008 Mail this to a friend!
Yes NEMA rated outdoor box. Steel. get them at electrical supply houses or WW Grainger's.

Smaller BELL Boxes are good for single relays, switches, transformers etc. used out doors. These come from the electrical aisle at LOWES and HOME DEPOT.

PS this project is near 15 years old now, still holding up fine.

George>K0FF
 
RE: Beverage Hub Box  
by K0BG on September 4, 2008 Mail this to a friend!
Promise not to laugh!

The last all-weather box I used wasn't a box at all, but a round, plastic container with a spring-loaded top seal. I bought it at Big Lots for $1. It's about 8 inches in diameter, and holds two relays and a small balun.

It is still up there 2 years later, and although the outside has a lot of bird droppings on it, the inside looks brand new. By the way, I sealed the wiring with silicon aquarium cement which seams to weather very well even in the bright sun light we get here in Roswell.

Alan, KBG
www.k0bg.com
 
RE: Beverage Hub Box  
by W0FM on September 4, 2008 Mail this to a friend!
Hi George! Great piece once again. Didn't know about your setback. You sound like you're doing well considering.

Take care! Be well!

73 from St. Louis.

Terry, WFM
 
RE: Beverage Hub Box  
by N3JBH on September 4, 2008 Mail this to a friend!
Now that be subject i enoy reading. The switch box was a great primer to it. Thanks George
 
RE: Beverage Hub Box  
by QRZDXR2 on September 4, 2008 Mail this to a friend!
George...

Would have been nice if you also showed the antenna and how the switching box hooks up to it/ its condition after those years.. etc.

For the others here is the orginal patent on the antenna as found at the PO on beverage antenna
http://www.pentodepress.com/receiving/patents/1381089.pdf

I have been playing around with the 4 squair after seeing the one up in oregon. Of course my idea is to also use the loops and phase them to get directivity.

K0BG...
antennas are about all that one has left to play with. Radios are now almost all manufactured with discontenued parts and dates assigned after 5 years of manufacture.

Other parts to make them are getting harder by the day as no us manufacture is in business anymore.

Computer control is the norm also. Thus I think you will see ham radio go through another phase where the radio will be in a box behind the desk. It won't have dials or meters--matter of fact it won't look like a radio at all. The computer will do all the controls with digital coming in to replace SSB as a power saving/bandwidth mandate.

Instead of changing radios boxes you will only change cards in the box to update it. Want another band, buy another card and plug it in.

With the EPA going after lead now... I guess the only other option we have is to epxoy the parts togeather or else use friction welding.
 
RE: Beverage Hub Box  
by N9FE on September 4, 2008 Mail this to a friend!
George: Kitchen faucet aerators make perfect vent ports. Just drill the right size hole,and screw them in the box. Keeps the air flowing and the bugs out .. :)
 
Beverage Hub Box  
by N6JN on September 4, 2008 Mail this to a friend!
Please tell us how you run your 80 and 160 M verticals
without radials and have efficent transmitting antennas.
Thank you,
Jerry, N6JN
 
Beverage Hub Box  
by K1QX on September 5, 2008 Mail this to a friend!
Nice Job! I built something similar years ago using relays I bought from JJ Meshna in Lynn Mass. They were SPDT and normally grounded and came from pinball machines. I installed them inside a 5 gallon plastic container I got from our custodial department.

The biggest problem I had was from summer lightning storms catastrophicly frying the relays. More than once in the fall, I'd go out and find relays...........gone. I tried all sorts of schemes to protect them but none really worked.

I didn't see (or missed on my quick read) matching networks. Were they at the antenna as Beverages need a 500-600 ohm to 50 ohm network? I used a 9-1 transformer at the relay output yet was told this is not the best way to do it.

I currently use an Ameritron RCS8 for my KD9SV two wire antennas and while it is not home brew, I had one kicking around and it saved time.

Craig K1QX

 
Beverage Hub Box  
by N3QT on September 5, 2008 Mail this to a friend!
Mr. Dowell:

Thank you for your article. I appreciate your time, efforts, and sharing of information.

It is a remarkable kindred spirit that can generate enthusiasm by demonstrating that ones own creativity can solve a problem without referencing a catalog page number or URL for an online shopping web page.

TKS ES 73, John de N3QT
 
RE: Beverage Hub Box  
by K1CJS on September 5, 2008 Mail this to a friend!
"This is QST caliber material."

After seeing some of the articles lately in QST, I'm wondering if this was meant as a complement....or a dig. ;-)

I'd say this article is somewhat above the standards that QST seems to be following currently, (probably because of the lack of quality writing) but it would be nice to see it included there, since this IS a worthwhile and helpful article. Maybe if there were more articles like this in QST about all ham related subjects, there wouldn't be as many complaints about that magazine not being as worthwhile as it should be.
 
RE: Beverage Hub Box  
by K0FF on September 5, 2008 Mail this to a friend!
ha ha ha................=OH=, sorry.



Good idea!

George > K0FF
 
RE: Beverage Hub Box  
by K0FF on September 5, 2008 Mail this to a friend!
K1QX saqid:The biggest problem I had was from summer lightning storms catastrophicly frying the relays. More than once in the fall, I'd go out and find relays...........gone. I tried all sorts of schemes to protect them but none really worked.

K0FF says: Take them down in the summner. No DX on 160 in summer.

Geo>K0FF
 
RE: Beverage Hub Box  
by K0FF on September 5, 2008 Mail this to a friend!
K1QX said:didn't see (or missed on my quick read) matching networks. Were they at the antenna as Beverages need a 500-600 ohm to 50 ohm network? I used a 9-1 transformer at the relay output yet was told this is not the best way to do it.


K0FF says: This system controls 7 Beverage receive antennas. Some are fed from the opposite end (looking backwards) and therefore the 900 to 75 Ohm transformer is at the distant end, fed back on triaxial 75 Ohm cable. The local wires feed in on the large home made insulators and are converted to 75 Ohms by the transformer shown in the picture(toroid).
The due south beverage runs down the face of the cliff, 500' of #10 electric wire. Not quite a vertical Beverage, but very steep. It is terminated at the far end with a power resistor and doubles as a transmit longwire sometimes.
 
RE: Beverage Hub Box  
by WB2WIK on September 5, 2008 Mail this to a friend!
>RE: Beverage Hub Box Reply
by K0BG on September 4, 2008 Mail this to a friend!
Promise not to laugh!

The last all-weather box I used wasn't a box at all, but a round, plastic container with a spring-loaded top seal. I bought it at Big Lots for $1. It's about 8 inches in diameter, and holds two relays and a small balun.<

::Not laughing. Back in 1993 I put up a "remote base" with a simplex autopatch at the top end of my back yard, which was a high spot for the city so it would serve a pretty big area and let locals make phone calls if they didn't have cell phones or in case the cellular system went out. It was up for five years and the whole system was contained in an "Igloo" (brand) cooler sitting on the ground at the base of the tower holding the VHF antenna. It contained a transceiver, controller, 120W amplifier, Astron 35A power supply, two cooling fans (one pushing in, one blowing out on opposite sides of the cooler) and was pretty "full."

I used Home Depot clothes dryer vents (louvered, with screening inside) for the air inlet and exhaust, two 120mm fans inside those, and a 3" PVC elbow mounted low on the cooler for the power and coax cables. Stuffed the PVC elbow full of foam rubber to seal it against insects after running the cables, and "tacked" the cooler lid shut with RTV applied in the corners, just to keep it from blowing open in the wind.

Darned thing lasted five years without degrading at all -- in the direct sunlight! In the heaviest winter rainstorms, it never leaked a drop. When I opened it up to take the whole system down, the inside was "dusty," but that's all -- everything was dry and still working fine.

Ran a 250' "temporary" outdoor 120Vac #12-3 extension cord from the patio up the hill to that cooler and it never failed, either. (Don't tell the authorities, this was very against code...shhhh.) I figured the squirrels would eventually get it, but they never did.

This whole system was written up as an article in CQ Magazine, and published with photos.

Lots of stuff makes good outdoor enclosures, but the NEMA enclosures are actually made for it and a great choice.

WB2WIK/6
 
RE: Beverage Hub Box  
by K0FF on September 5, 2008 Mail this to a friend!
K0BG said:Promise not to laugh!

The last all-weather box I used wasn't a box at all, but a round, plastic container with a spring-loaded top seal. I bought it at Big Lots for $1. It's about 8 inches in diameter, and holds two relays and a small balun.


K0FF says:
ha ha ha................=OH=, sorry.



Good idea!

George > K0FF

 
Beverage Hub Box  
by K1QX on September 5, 2008 Mail this to a friend!
"Take'm down in the summer"

Nay nay ixnay. It's winter in the southern hemisphere and there is DX to work in the summer.

If QRN is low, you'd be surprised at what you can working during the Northern Hemisphere's summer months.

Years ago, the 1813 group worked VK and ZL almost every morning during the summer. I miss those guys.
 
Beverage Hub Box  
by N0AH on September 5, 2008 Mail this to a friend!
Oh great Geo, share a great device that MFJ will now box and ship for $39.99. Ugghhh!!! My guess Martin is already in China going over the plans. (-:
 
Beverage Hub Box  
by KE4ZHN on September 8, 2008 Mail this to a friend!
This is a nice project. Unfortunately, I have no room for beverage antennas so this is of no use to me. But, I applaud the authors home brew effort and the nice article. This is the true spirit of amateur radio.
 
RE: Beverage Hub Box  
by K0FF on September 8, 2008 Mail this to a friend!
Don't despair, there is always room for a shielded loop receiving antenna. Search archives of 'how to articles" for SLOOP project.

George >K0FF
 
RE: Beverage Hub Box  
by NG3J on September 16, 2008 Mail this to a friend!
Not sure if mentioned it or not but what do you use for transmitt antennas? You said earlier that you did not have any ground radials for the transmit anteenna.

Fred NG3J
 
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