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

Reviews Summary for Ameritron RCS-10
Ameritron RCS-10 Reviews: 24 Average rating: 3.3/5 MSRP: $159.00 - 199.00
Description: 8 Antenna Remote Coax Switch w/ SO-239 connectors on 120V
Product is in production.
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W1EQ Rating: 5/5 Oct 12, 2016 08:15 Send this review to a friend
Excellent up until know  Time owned: more than 12 months
This unit has been working faithfully for the since at least 2002. This past Feb., when the temp got down to below zero, I lost connection after sunset. In other words HIGH SWR on all connections: Tri-bander, 80 and 40 meter inverted vee. However the following morning, after sunrise, all was normal.
The last week, at night with temps around mid 40's, I have a repeat of high SWR. Sun comes up and SWR is normal. I just bypassed the relay box at the tower. Coax from top to shack is okay. Connected coax to beam and also okay. Took the relay box down to the shack. Everything looks good. Have not taken any readings. Any ideas?
KE2TR Rating: 5/5 Sep 10, 2015 06:47 Send this review to a friend
It Works  Time owned: more than 12 months
Have owned this switch for 6 years, three different QTH's so its moved around a bit plus the last location it sat in a damp box in the garage for 4 months. First off for the money its not bad, every time I turn it on it works, port to port isolation is between 50-60db depending on which ports used. The swr when run into a dummy load on each port does vary with frequency some, lets say on 160 1.2:1/80 1.2:1/ 40 1.1:1/ 20 1.1:1/ 15 1.1:1/ 10 1.2:1 and 6 1.2:1 which is not bad for a switch that sells for under $200. When you don't use the station for a while try running about 20-30W threw the switch and go threw all the positions with the power going threw it, this helps with the contacts after it has been sitting for some time. I haven't had any lightning strikes but IMO I would rather replace an antenna switch then go threw insurance claims on the shack rig and amp because I have been there and done that with Alpha Delta switches and they didn't stop anything, a real PITA! I would like to see Ameritron come out with phasing box systems as well for either phasing verticals or dipoles cause the DX Engineering ones are pricing themselves into oblivion and the ARRAY SOLUTIONS well they are built to professional standards and are overkill for amateur radio but they are built for the real hi power boys. As far as power handling I only have run no more that 1200W and have had no issues either with resonate antennas or ones that are 4-5 to 1 with in the shack tuner.
WI3V Rating: 4/5 Jun 16, 2015 11:31 Send this review to a friend
How to fix minor technical problems  Time owned: 0 to 3 months
GOOD: Tech support via phone was fast and efficient

BAD: The manual doesn't explain set-up very well and the GND connection on the back of the remote (inside-the-shack) control box isn't labeled.

I have owned this switch for less than a week, and am still working out the bugs. Here's some problems I've had:

1. CONNECTING "GND". This control switch requires FOUR wires. 3 are for A,B,C control lines. 4th is for circuit ground (GND). Inside the outside switch, GND is clearly labeled. On the remote control box (inside-the-shack), GND isn't labeled. After calling Ameritron, the tech advises that both lugs, next to the labeled A,B,C connection posts, are for GND. So all you have to do is wire 3 wires to A,B,C and 1 wire to GND (either of 2 lugs). (The switch will NOT work right until GND is wired between local and remote). 4 wire telephone wire works great between the boxes.

2. High SWR. Still haven't fixed this problem yet, but with 1 known low SWR (1:1) antenna connected to "Antenna 5" position, and all other antenna positions empty, the antenna has very high (>3:1) SWR. Still working on this.

So, it's a little difficult to get this switch to work, but it seems like I will eventually. I will update this with a final review (and solution to the SWR problem) in the near future.
W1LDD Rating: 5/5 Dec 30, 2014 17:40 Send this review to a friend
Great Switch !  Time owned: 0 to 3 months
Very easy to Install.I bought it to replace the Ameritron RCS-4. I ran out antenna ports so this model fit the bill. I guess QC is hit or miss with Ameritron/MFJ but I have never had a problem with either brand. My 2 cents!
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.
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