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Author Topic: Station automation  (Read 617 times)
K3MQ
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« on: May 28, 2008, 09:25:39 AM »

Life was simpler when i just had my rig (IC-756 ProII) with its autotuner and a G5RV. You saw a spot on packet, clicked the call and worked them - maybe.

But now I've added multiple antennas and an amplifier which caused me to also add an antenna switchbox (SixPak) and external tuner (Palstar AT1KM).


Everytime I switch bands, I have to select the antenna, tune the amp, and tune the tuner (I know, life is tough!).

I'm interested in automating the station, but I'm having difficulty finding info on what all is involved.

From what I gather, I would need a band decoder to control the SixPak, an auto-tuning tuner, and an auto tuning amp. Since I'm not Bill Gates, I have been looking at the Top Ten Devices band decoder, an Ameritron ALS-600 amp, and an MFJ-998 auto-tuner.

Is that everything I need, or am I totally missing something.

Comments/suggestions are appreciated. Before anyone syas it, I understand I will have quite as bit of money in this just to save 20-30 seconds of switching & tuning. But for us techno-geeks, its worth it.

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K8GU
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« Reply #1 on: May 28, 2008, 10:32:01 AM »

The band decoder is the linchpin in any automation setup.  A lot of vendors sell these for a range of prices.  For instance, W9XT's band-decoders are not packaged; but, they only cost $20.

You might want to look around on this page to see how people have configured their automated stations:

http://www.k8nd.com/Radio/SO2R/K8ND_SO2R.htm

The usefulness of the autotuner depends mostly on how you intend to use it.  
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WB2WIK
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« Reply #2 on: May 28, 2008, 12:56:31 PM »

In lieu of the ALS600 and MFJ auto-tuner which have a high combined cost, may not be all that reliable and still only runs 600W PEP, you might consider the Icom PW-1, which automatically bandswitches with your rig (simple serial interface cable required) and runs 1kW PEP and has a built-in tuner.  It's not much more than what you proposed and runs more power.  It also covers six meters, which the ALS doesn't. It's been found pretty reliable.

WB2WIK/6

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