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Author Topic: Remote Coax Switch for VHF/UHF  (Read 5251 times)
KQ6EA
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« on: June 19, 2001, 04:55:50 PM »

Hello, all.
   My 3" pipe going to roof is starting to get a bit full, and rather than try and stuff 4 or 5 more coaxes through it. I'm considering a remote coax switch. Does anybody know of one that's good through 500MHz, with Type-N connectors on it? I've looked at the available ones out there, and they all seem geared towards HF use. I really don't want to spend the money on a "Relay Box" that all they did was swap out the SO-239's for Type-N's.
Thanks, Jim  KQ6EA
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WB2WIK
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« Reply #1 on: June 19, 2001, 07:43:14 PM »

You're very observant!

The Ameritron hard-wired unit is good to 150 MHz, but I wouldn't trust it at 440 MHz.  Ditto goes for the (now obsolete, but still available "used") Heathkit remote antenna switch.

The WX0B Stack Match remote antenna relays: Ditto.  Handle lots of power, but only for HF.

What's a ham to do?

Try picking up a surplus Transco motorized coaxial switch!  They are readily available on the surplus market, last ones I purchased were from Fair Radio Sales in Ohio <http://www.fairradio.com>.  Transco made many varieties of true coaxial remote switches, good to way past 500 MHz -- in fact, some were good to 6 GHz.  They all have Type N connectors, but it's not "relays in a box," they are true machined coaxial switches that are motor driven.  Most, unfortunately, are set for operation on 26Vdc (and not the more convenient 12Vdc), but they will work with two 12Vdc power supplies wired up in series to provide 24V.

These were made mostly for avionic and military use and were horrendously expensive new...but can be found surplus in the $100 range, and very well worth it!

Good hunting & 73

Steve WB2WIK/6
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KQ6EA
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« Reply #2 on: June 19, 2001, 11:33:57 PM »

That's the direction I was starting to go in, and then I saw the prices! The only one I was able to find was a SP4T, 115VAC coil, power only to switch, maintained position, Type-N connectors.
They ONLY wanted $400 for it....."These are real hard to find, you know.....", and it was a pull with a "30 seconds or 30 feet" type of warranty.
Guess I'll have to keep looking, or put in a bigger pipe!
73, Jim
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NI6G
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« Reply #3 on: June 20, 2001, 02:59:29 AM »

Hello Jim,

Have a look at:

http://ssbusa.com/switches.html

The AS-204 is not inexpensive at $269.95 but the quality and craftsmanship is high.
_ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _

The AS-204 Mast Mounted Antenna Switch along with the supplied AC-204 controller alllows automatic antenna selection between a common feedline and 4 antennas.  No additional interface cables are required because all switching logic and control voltages are supplied by the AC-204 via the feedline.  Simply connect the AC-204 to your rig or linear amplifier, your coax between the AC-204 and the AS-204 and you have 4 port antenna selection at your finger tips.  
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KQ6EA
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« Reply #4 on: June 20, 2001, 08:50:01 AM »

BINGO! That's what I was looking for. For $170, it's worth pulling a control cable.
Thanks, Jim
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WB2WIK
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« Reply #5 on: June 20, 2001, 10:33:14 AM »

Yes, the European-made remote switches sold by SSB Electronic USA are pretty good, and I've used them.

However, again, the Transco mil-spec surplus motorized remote antenna switches need not cost $400!  I've bought them from Fair Radio Sales for $100, and found them at local swap meets (TRW Swap Meet, Redondo Beach, CA -- monthly!) for much less than that.  I think the last one I bought at the Swap Meet I got from Roger, K6SMF.  I don't have his phone # or e-mail address handy (don't really need them, he lives only two miles from me!), but he has an enormous stock of surplus items like this and might have some Transcos.  Try looking up Roger and see if he has one.

$400 is kind of ridiculous.  These products were manufactured locally (here in CA) and are abundant.

73 de Steve WB2WIK/6
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KG6CIQ
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« Reply #6 on: June 20, 2001, 04:30:40 PM »

Hi Jim,

Depending on what you are willing to accept in terms of losses,
and also depending on what power you run.

Consider 2 Tri-plexers,
I have 3 radios connected on a triplexer,
a single 50' coax to connect to another triplexer,
Then my 3 antennas connected to that triplexer.

JAT

Rgds - David
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KQ6EA
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« Reply #7 on: June 21, 2001, 03:04:05 AM »

Fair Radio doesn't have anything on their website (unless I missed it), and I haven't seen any at TRW. Now watch....they'll be there in droves on Saturday! I'll look more carefully, as I seem to recall there are certain vendors who usually have that kind of stuff.
Duplexers won't work, as I want isolation when I switch from my loops to the Yagi, or among my satellite antennas. I almost built a patch panel, but I really don't want to pull 5 more coax runs. I've got two runs of 1/2" hard-line going in, and it's getting tight on space.
Shoulda put in a bigger pipe!
73, Jim
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W5LMM
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« Reply #8 on: February 02, 2013, 09:07:19 PM »

Someone knew that I was looking for a switch for UHF/VHF and gave me one of the Transco motorized coaxial switch (6 port)!

After buying all the components I would need to make it into a useable remote switch, I could have bought the SSb unit. LOL

But, it's going to be a bad-ass switch. let me tell ya.
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K5LXP
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« Reply #9 on: February 03, 2013, 09:46:27 AM »

The price of the coax switch notwithstanding, consider KG6CIQ's suggestion of using di/triplexers.  With a remote switch you can only use one position at a time.  With di/triplexers, you can use all bands at once.

May not seem important but I like listening to 2M/440 FM, the 6M calling channel and HF while I'm in the shack.  With a 1/X switch you're stuck with 1.


Mark K5LXP
Albuquerque, NM
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K8POS
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« Reply #10 on: February 06, 2013, 09:39:42 PM »

I made mine from a regular manual antenna switch and two 12 volt relays.
Energize one and it switches to "B" energize the other and it switches back to "A"
Have it in a plastic project box on the mast. Took a few hours to get the length of the arm on the shaft of the switch right.
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K8POS
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« Reply #11 on: February 06, 2013, 09:41:18 PM »

Oops....
 Meant to say solenoids not relays.
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KQ6EA
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« Reply #12 on: February 09, 2013, 01:56:49 PM »

Gee....I forgot I started this thread.

I've since gotten married and moved into a house, and have plenty of room to run as many cables as I want, along with YF approval, of course!

What I finally wound up doing at my old apartment was to make up a box with some of the Transco relays I'd collected, and built a controller for it.

It worked great, but now it's sitting in my garage gathering dust.

Thanks for all the helpful Hints 'N tips, though!

73, Jim
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