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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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WV1K Rating: 2/5 Oct 24, 2010 16:11 Send this review to a friend
Dead after two years. Again.  Time owned: more than 12 months
I haven't had to critique MFJ / Ameritron before and don't have any current amplifier issues although I'm reading plenty. Is this some sort of game to MFJ / Ameritron now ? Do they realize these products are in fact electrical and you're playing with lives and property ? This is the third RCS-10 that's died here and with no offense to those hams who tried to help me by email, it was on a sunny day in a string of sunny days BEFORE any lightning. Same story with the other two in the last ten years. I was also told about $100 bucks estimated to fix it. Well, ponder that at $179.95 new. When it worked it was fine but I sold my last two for 50 bucks to YCCC Fix Its just to move it along. I can't solder with respiratory damage and neuropathy and didn't want to be a burden. I'm running 100 to 800w here. There's no excuse for this now and it's making me nervous about their other items.
 
ON4BHQ Rating: 2/5 Oct 24, 2010 12:19 Send this review to a friend
D.O.A  Time owned: 3 to 6 months
Ordered one at Difona Germany, they brought it with on the Rosmalen Hamfair.
Controlbox did not work at all. The rotary switch was broken, while there was no packing damage.
Send email to Difona, and had a very quick reply (on sunday). They proposed me to send it back to Germany, and they would sent me a new unit immediately.
But first, I went to our local electronics store, and a new rotary switch would cost less then return the switchbox to Germany. So, I replaced the rotary switch. It worked, but 2 LED's didn't light up, so I had to resolder those circuits too. Oh boy?!
I would like to meet the guy from Ameritron who put the QC label on this unit!
For now, the switch is working very fine.
Next time, I will design my own antennaswitch.

Not a bad word for Difona, they did a good job, as always! They can't help this fault.

73

Wim - ON4BHQ
 
N4NDQ Rating: 2/5 May 24, 2010 06:57 Send this review to a friend
Disapointed  Time owned: more than 12 months
I have used for 2 years and looking for a replacment. While it has not failed and has held up to numurious lightning storms well it has one bad shortcomeing pre port isolation. I can be on my dummy load and sill easly copy signals from any of the antenna ports. Grounding makes no difference on the isolation however is as expected critical for the built in surge protectors. MFJ makes a lot of good products however they need to readdresses this. It is currently labeled under there Amertron sub company.
 
W0JG Rating: 5/5 Feb 24, 2008 13:55 Send this review to a friend
Great Switch  Time owned: more than 12 months
Got my RCS-10 used off E-bay and have four different antennas on it. I run an 80B to 1000 watts and never had any problems with the switch. I use a tuner for the 80 meter Vee and load it on all bands via the switch. Works great and no problems. The switch is grounded. I don't have any isolation problems, I don't rotate the switch very fast,I never rotate the switch while RF is passing throught it. I've never been hit by lightening or had a near miss, but then all bets would be off while using any antenna attached gear.
 
MI0LLL Rating: 2/5 Feb 24, 2008 11:30 Send this review to a friend
Poor  Time owned: more than 12 months
Have blew up two of the relays twice, they are meant to be rated at 5k looking at no SWR, have replaced it with a microham 10x2 switch, a lot more money but a better product.

Chris
www.MI0LLL.com
 
K1KO Rating: 1/5 Aug 15, 2007 04:46 Send this review to a friend
Poor Reliability/Quality  Time owned: more than 12 months
I have owned three RCS-10 coax switches. Currently, none of the three works.

Others have referred to poor isolation of antenna ports -- I agree. One person indicated that nearby lightning has caused trouble -- I agree. I would add that the control unit is very light, which makes it difficult to keep it on the shelf, although that could be remedied by the owner if he/she decided to do so.

Two of the three control units I have required a changing of fuses if the selector switch was moved quickly, as you might reasonably expect to do during a contest or a DXpedition. I put the same rating fuse, but made it a "slow-blow" and that seemed to overcome the problem. Incidentally, I'm not talking about grabbing the switch and turning it as fast as it could be turned; in fact, I found that if there is not a 2-3 second delay between switch positions, the fuse would blow (before the "slow-blow" fuse was installed).

I have also had problems with all three of the actual switch boxes. Part of that may result from my proximity (2.5 miles) from the ocean and the attendant salt air. I have tried using both the "BCD" control and regular 8-wire positions on both the control and the switch. Same result -- very short life -- measured in a few weeks. I bought two to replace older RCS-8V switches which were damaged in a hurricane. I bought the third thinking that I had done something wrong with the switches. When I contacted Ameritron about the problems, they quickly said, "Send 'em back," which I did. They came back very shortly, with a note from the technician that "there is nothing wrong with the switch." I'm not a hot-shot technician, but I can tell when a piece of gear is working or not.

Bottom line: DON'T WASTE YOUR TIME AND MONEY!!!!!! I will NOT EVER buy another switch from Ameritron. If anyone would like to buy the remnants of these to salvage a few parts, just let me know -- I'll make you a good deal.

The only other piece of Ameritron equipment I own is the MFJ-259 antenna analyzer, which seems to work quite well, but I'll spend the money to get either COMTEK or another quality coax switch. If I can't find one that works, I'll go back to the coax runs. I could have bought two 500 foot rolls of RG-8 cable with the money I wasted on the Ameritron switches.
 
W1JCM Rating: 2/5 Jun 24, 2007 04:25 Send this review to a friend
Not impressed  Time owned: 3 to 6 months
Positive side.
Easy to install
Eliminates a lot of long runs of coax
Fast switching from on antenna to another

Negative side.
Poor separation of antennas, even on unused connections I get good reception. This cause a lot of extra noise compared to when I attach the antenna directly bypassing the unit. MFJ/ Ameritron states this is normal and no repairs are needed.

Jim / W1JCM
 
W3HKK Rating: 3/5 Jul 3, 2006 19:53 Send this review to a friend
Too many lightning induced failures.  Time owned: more than 12 months
This is my second unit and both died due to relay failure caused by lightning induced surges. Nothing hit especially close but after several storms is when I discovered that most of the antennas werent switching anymore. (assumed fried relay contacts.) Northern Ohio isnt an especially active area for lightening.

My first RCS unit lasted about 4 years and this one lasted just 2 years, so Im disappointed at the cost of ownership ( around $75/year.)

This product really serves a need but I wish there were a couple of competitors who use a higher quality antenna selector switch to choose from. My switches have both felt loose and chintzy.

The product works as designed but at a cost of $75/yr which seems excessive.
 
NM6E Rating: 5/5 Aug 15, 2004 14:33 Send this review to a friend
Excellent !  Time owned: more than 12 months
It's almost been two years since I bought it. I have NOT encountered any problems after rain storms, sun exposure and more importantly, using the Alpha 87-A with 1.5Kw for multiple contests etc.

It works as designed and has no quality issues after almost 2 years of service.....

I am very happy with it and would recommend it.
 
NM6E Rating: 5/5 Oct 9, 2002 23:14 Send this review to a friend
Great for the price!  Time owned: 0 to 3 months
I bought my RCS-10 a few weeks ago and all seems to be working well with it. The "extra" dollars may well be worth it compared to the RCS-8. The BCD feature looks to be a "neat" aspect that will allow for radio/PC integration. The construction and soldering all "good work. No issues. My position one automatically is set to grnd.

The 8 position switch has simplified my coax runs. I would have gone for the Array Solutions RatPak but at $300, I will wait to splurge when this one dies or malfunctions.

I am feeding it with LMR-400 from the shack and using "spare" rotor cable (only using 4 of the 8 conductors).

The antenna switch selects my 5 antennas with room to spare:
1. Grounded
2. M2-KT-36XA
3. 30m Inverted Vee
4. M2-40M1-LA (40M/17m rotatable 50ft dipole)
5. 80m-SSB Inverted Vee
6. 75m-CW Inverted Vee
7. no connection
8. no connection

The switch hasn't shown any problems running this configuration with my Alpha 87A @ 1500 watts.. (my neighbors have)

 
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