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Reviews Categories | Antenna Switching, Phasing, Controllers | Ameritron RCS-10 Help


Reviews Summary for Ameritron RCS-10
Ameritron RCS-10 Reviews: 20 Average rating: 3.0/5 MSRP: $159.00 - 199.00
Description: 8 Antenna Remote Coax Switch w/ SO-239 connectors on 120V
Product is in production.
More info: http://www.ameritron.com/ameritron/products.php?prodid=RCS-10
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W8TZ Rating: 4/5 Jul 10, 2014 06:31 Send this review to a friend
OK but no QC  Time owned: 3 to 6 months
The switch preforms ok but as many others have noticed there seems to be no quality control. When I first plugged in the power supply to the switch the unit was on even though the PWR switch was in the off position. Discovered that there was a solder bridge between the terminals of the PWR switch. If the unit had been tested at the factory this problem should have been detected.
 
N5CEY Rating: 1/5 Apr 12, 2014 12:06 Send this review to a friend
Good switch, bad QC  Time owned: 0 to 3 months
Couldn't figure out why what was on coax 1 was also on coax 2 until I took it apart and found a huge solder splash peeking out from under rly-4. Another typical MFJ lack of QC. This would never have passed an operational check.
Taking this PC board off of the coax connectors is a real challenge, but had to be done to repair the solder short.better part of half a day to repair and put back together. Probably not a half bad switch if MFJ would only apply some quality control in their manufacturing. My "brand new" MFJ 259B analyzer had a bunch of screws floating around it int when I got it too.
 
MW1LCR Rating: 2/5 Feb 21, 2014 12:18 Send this review to a friend
Works, but poor build and physical design let it down: Needs he  Time owned: 6 to 12 months
Bottom Line Up Front: Lasted 6 months, then needed major re-build to rectify poor construction. Wasted half a day re-building this.

I purchased one of these to quickly supplement the existing 5 year old home brew switching system.

After 6 months of switching 3 antennas, the RCS 10 developed a fault.

The fault was attributed to poor solder joints (dry joints) and some solder not even made. The PCB was supposed to be through hole plated, but is such poor quality, even a low powered iron will damage the board.

Whilst in theory the design will work, in practice the poor build quality and shockingly underrated components let it down.

Only buy if you are prepared & capable of repairing it. The construction is such that rivets are used to old the board & sockets together.

I'm now building another home brew unit to retire my RCS10 to stand-by, and "if I must" status.

Be aware !
 
WY4J Rating: 5/5 Aug 28, 2013 14:46 Send this review to a friend
Great Little Switch  Time owned: more than 12 months
Purchased this little switch used at the Orlando hamfest about for years ago. Just like every MFJ product I have owned in the my 37 years as a ham, it works great! The switch does everything I ever asked for with no defects, cold solders, breakage, malfunctions, lose parts, missing parts, missing screws, missing knobs, jiggling parts, broken components, scratched cases/faces or just plain ugly. I have a ground connection, four antennas and a dummy load connected to it. I know that I am in the minority but for some odd reason I have no beef with MFJ or their products as I have never owned one that gave me any problems, had to be sent back or I had to take apart and repaired. I have absolutely no hesitation recommending this little switch and any MFJ product as they have always been very professional and customer service oriented in all my dealing with them.
 
GW4TPG Rating: 5/5 Mar 16, 2013 09:47 Send this review to a friend
Great Product  Time owned: more than 12 months
Had a RCS10 for 6 years, relay unit has been exposed to all sorts of weather from -10c to +30c, rain, snow and ice. Just taken it apart to check it out for a new tower install and its as good as the day I bought it. No water ingress whatsoever. Control box looks good but the led's were a little bright for me on the default setting. After sales service is good too, had a few issues with the control cable which Ameritron responded to promptly.
 
W5RHR Rating: 4/5 Apr 7, 2012 09:38 Send this review to a friend
good for the price but  Time owned: 0 to 3 months
I also notice the poor isolation between ports.
I am replacing the 4 port Ameritron because I needed more ports, the trade off for more selection, I suppose.
I like the 4 wire control vs DC injection, and the fact you can use small gauge wire instead of the costly 8 wire rotor control cable, as I had some cat 5 lying around.
The construction on the remote switch assemble appeared nice and clean, and the relays appear to be Potter Brumfield, albeit a small form factor, I don't know if they are 1K capable.
There doesnt appear to be anything in the price range with the same features.
 
N4ZR Rating: 4/5 Dec 19, 2011 05:36 Send this review to a friend
Not bad, but mediocre isolation  Time owned: more than 12 months
Bought this one at Dayton 2010, and it has worked fine, including being thrashed in contest service with 1300 watts. I was tempted by the opportunity to use only 4 wires between the shack and the tower (over 200 feet), and being able to use automatic control without a band decoder - see my October 2011 QST article.

The only downside I have seen is poor isolation between the antenna ports. Just now I was listening to a station on 20M that was running S5 on my dummy load, out at the tower base. I switched to my stacked tri-banders and he went up to S9+20, so only maybe 40 dB isolation.

Others have raised the risk of increased noise levels because of this, but I have not noticed anything. I probably wouldn't use this switch for VHF.

Considering the way the remote switch-box is wired, with up to 4 relays involved in some selections, I think it would be almost impossible to improve on 35-40 dB port-to-port. A trade-off for the 4-wire control.

I suspect they made some running changes to address the quality issues others reported earlier, and that release of the enhanced lightning-protected model (at additional cost) was their response to consumer complaints in that respect. Mine has weathered some pretty fierce lightning storms, and the control box rotary switch seems fine.
 
K4SJ Rating: 5/5 Aug 14, 2011 21:01 Send this review to a friend
Excellent Report  Time owned: months
I've been using my Ameritron RCS-10 for years with out a single problem. I run 6 antennas off of it and still have 2 spare ports.

Works great and I get good reports too.
 
K6HOM Rating: 0/5 Jun 22, 2011 10:10 Send this review to a friend
Very Poor Isolation Between Ports  Time owned: 0 to 3 months
When I connected my transceiver to the Input port and a single antenna to any of the 8 antenna ports, the radio could "hear" the antenna on most of 8 switched positions. The 4 switch positions on the same bank of ports that the antenna was connected to (there are essentially two banks of 4 ports in the relay schematic) heard the antenna almost equally well, w/minimal attentuation at the unused port switch positions vs. the connected port position. Isolation was better when switching to the unused ports on the other bank, but still heard the antenna in most switch settings. What was coming from the unused ports was not a weak signal, either!

Wouldn't want to see what might happen if this switch was used in reverse mode, hooking multiple radios to a single antenna (MFJ said that it could be used this way). On the way back to my ham radio dealer. Very disappointing as I wanted to buy Made In The USA.
 
SM4EMO Rating: 0/5 May 12, 2011 01:22 Send this review to a friend
A total waste of money.  Time owned: more than 12 months
The switch in the control-box was broken upon arrival. Several e-mails to Ameritron later, I got an anonymous reply to the effect that they should send me a new switch. It never arrived. I managed to repair the switch: a minute steel-ball and a spring needed to be put back in place, but the switch was still damaged, but it works if I am careful. A few weeks later one of the relays went dead. Never, ever will I buy anything from that firm again.
 
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