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Author Topic: Multiple Antennas w/Multiple Rigs  (Read 3841 times)
WB4IUY
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Posts: 136


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« on: July 28, 2012, 07:11:56 AM »

I've been a ham since 1974, and have collected a lot of boatanchors and 'stuff', hehehee. I would like to be able to operate (for events/contests, etc) multiple rigs simultaneously. I realize the interference issues that can arise and have dealt with that at field day an such in the past. I would like to resolve the switching issue first.

I currently have 17 runs of feedline coming in the shack, multiple antenna switches, etc. It works OK, but I am curious how those of you with multiple antennas/rigs manage switching between these. I would like to be able to have an antenna on each rig and switch the antenna/rig combinations around from time to time, but haven't come up with a reasonable way to do this yet.

Are any of you out there doing this sort of thing with sucess?

Dave WB4IUY
www.WB4IUY.net
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K1HC
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Posts: 52




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« Reply #1 on: August 01, 2012, 12:59:57 PM »

Hi Dave-

What about using multiple manual antenna switches?  You could then switch up to four antenna inputs to one of four radios (nearly everything in life is a compromise!).   I use two MFJ-1704 four-position switches joined by a double male connector to switch four HF antennas (KT-34A, 17 mtr yagi, 40 mtr dipole, phased 80 mtr verticals) among four HF rigs (IC-7700, TS-2000, TSB-2000, FT-817).  I do not power up the radios not being used.  I have not had any equipment damage so there is apparently sufficient isolation between the switch positions.  Daiwa makes a similar switch I think, but check the isolation rating between the switch positions.
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KJ4ADN
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« Reply #2 on: August 03, 2012, 03:44:43 AM »

We're a family of 9 HAMS, usually 3-4 of us will operate from 3 different parts of the house, with 2 of them in the same room, which can get annoying (hearing the other operator in the background).  During Field Day, we set up 3-4 stations and a GOTA in the same building, with 9-10 mono-band antennas to the same little area of tables in a "U" shape (everyone facing eachother).  All stations run on the SAME power supply / battery bank, same ground system - there is no chance of floating grounds, ground potential, etc.

Field Day, we just label the coax and move it around as needed to each other's antenna switches (usually each switch will have 2 or more coaxes on it).  We haven't figured out a "switch matrix" to bring all the antenna coaxes to and redirect them at will to the 4-5 radios.  Same goes for the QTH.  We've tried some of the cheaper switches and burnt them up if we run power.   Is there an multi-antenna x multi-radio switch that gives enough isolation between radios - the only thing I can think of is build your own with relays and the paths well shielded from eachother.

The other issue in the house, each radio & antenna is isolated from the other ones, own power supply, own grounding system, so in our case, it presents a whole another issue of grounding & bonding, ground potentials between antennas (it'd be impossible to run a heavy ground wire between each antenna, and anything loose could be a disaster or smoke a radio.)

We do operate 2 or3 radios on the same bands, as long as we're 5kHz apart, we don't know the other station is there - networking the computers REALLY helps - seeing the operating frequency of the other station.  The multi-station at the QTH has been a real learning experience - a NULL is a good thing to take advantage of, dipole or beam, and space between verticals and omni-directional antennas is paramount.   Mono-band, resonate antennas cut down on cross-band interference - multi-band & some-tuner-required have not worked well in our situation.

KJ4ADN - Bill
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AA4PB
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« Reply #3 on: August 03, 2012, 05:52:25 AM »

I have a 12"x12" electrical box with a bunch of SO239 connectors on the panel. Two rows for antennas and two rows for transceivers. With some short jumper cables I can patch any transceiver to any antenna. Good isolation and its easy to tell what is connected to what just by looking at it.
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KCJ9091
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« Reply #4 on: August 03, 2012, 01:33:37 PM »

Patch Panel.
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K5TR
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« Reply #5 on: September 05, 2012, 10:43:07 AM »

I will throw in with the patch panel suggestion.

It is simple, cheap and if you only have the antennas on the patch panel and coax coming
from each radio just about impossible to hook the radios to each other.

Here is an example:

http://www.w5kft.org/station/antenna-switch-85-big.jpg

and

http://www.w5kft.org/station/hf-table-87-big.jpg

This is just a plate with double female connectors for each antenna and then a coax from each radio - you can even use quick disconnect connectors if you want to be able to change antennas quickly.
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George
K5TR
K0JEG
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Posts: 653




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« Reply #6 on: September 05, 2012, 05:21:02 PM »


OT: Just wondering when the last time you used the 5.25" floppy on your PC  Wink
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