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Reviews Categories | Antenna Switching, Phasing, Controllers | Ameritron RCS-4 Help

Reviews Summary for Ameritron RCS-4
Ameritron RCS-4 Reviews: 81 Average rating: 3.7/5 MSRP: $99.99
Description: 4 Antenna Remote Coax Switch w/ SO-239 connectors on 100/110/120V
Product is in production.
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NO9E Rating: 5/5 Mar 1, 2016 06:42 Send this review to a friend
Twenty years  Time owned: more than 12 months
It works now for some 20 years. Now at 1.5KW and sometimes with SWR > 2:1. Sometimes at infinite SWR when an antenna breaks. I cursed it many times for not working, but subsequently always found a problem elsewhere.

Its port to port isolation is not ideal. Perhaps it would benefit from some adjustments to make less clicks than switching and make switching faster (for A/B comparisons). But for the price and only one cable, it is a steal.

If anything is wrong, the unit is very simple and fixing should take no time.

Ignacy, NO9E
AA6VB Rating: 0/5 Feb 29, 2016 07:28 Send this review to a friend
Trash  Time owned: 0 to 3 months
This product is absolute junk. The control unit was scuffed and dirty right out of the box. I had to take a cleaning rag to remove the foreign material on the case - and even then the paint was thin and uneven on the control unit.

Once the unit was installed, it quickly fried at 1000 watts to a resonant 80 meter vertical.

The quality of this product is absolute junk.

Buyer beware - you might get a unit that works FB, and then again....

VA3OL Rating: 5/5 Feb 4, 2016 19:24 Send this review to a friend
5 YEARS AND STILL SWITCHING  Time owned: more than 12 months
My RCS-4 switch box sits on the crest of a hill about 120 feet from the shack in the woods. It has performed well for the last 5 years. Each winter it is buried in the snow and so far has performed like it should. I am running 500 watts to it and it is switching an inverted L tuned for 160, and two Alpha Delta Dipoles.
WD8T Rating: 0/5 Sep 28, 2015 13:09 Send this review to a friend
You decide.  Time owned: 0 to 3 months
Purchased new two months ago in July. Flipped the power switch last night the lights led's on the control unit flashed and went out. Both the included wall wart and the control unit are dead. Had to disconnect and run my antenna directly into the tuner to get a signal to the radio. Obviously something is wrong inside the control unit.
VE7IG Rating: 5/5 Sep 15, 2015 20:18 Send this review to a friend
Very good!  Time owned: more than 12 months
I've used one of these for years and now have two.
I used to have it up on the tower but went to separate cables down to the basement where I put the RCS-4. The only thing ever happened was the choke in the control head opened up and I replaced that. I use it for receive/transmit with an amplifier and it takes the power no problem. All antennas connected through the RCS-4 are tuned on other bands with line tuners so the switches have had to handle high SWR routinely--probably causing the choke failure. There might be something better but for 2 or 3 times the money they can keep it.
AB3CX Rating: 2/5 Sep 15, 2015 18:18 Send this review to a friend
Don't Buy  Time owned: more than 12 months
Used it for 2 years switching receive antennas; failed in the second season. Would activate position 2 and 4 only. Replacing the diodes did not fix it. I know other hams who used this unit and experienced early failure. Buy something better.
W8NWN Rating: 5/5 Jul 27, 2015 22:26 Send this review to a friend
wonderful accessory  Time owned: more than 12 months
worked flawlessly for years and years. Added a problem at the same.
K5ZZR Rating: 4/5 Jun 29, 2015 19:49 Send this review to a friend
Yes and No  Time owned: more than 12 months
They sure save a lot of coax and while I was at 100 watts I had no complaint. After I got my amp I was tuning up and kabloowie. My fault maybe, but should be made for rough use too. Now I use a separate run of coax for each antenna and never a problem.
K8CU Rating: 3/5 Nov 8, 2014 09:55 Send this review to a friend
Decent but has quality problems   Time owned: 0 to 3 months
Out of the box my unit appeared to work fine for my barefoot transmitter. After about a month it died.

Troubleshooting revealed that the station control box had two manufacturing defects. The first thing I noticed was a very loose grounding screw on the power supply circuit. The second problem was a poor solder joint on the large RF choke. The choke resistance measured very high because of a poor solder connection. Heating both ends of the choke and adding solder fixed this thing.

The basic design appears good but in my case it required some troubleshooting.

I rate it as good for the price.
K8BZ Rating: 4/5 Sep 15, 2014 16:53 Send this review to a friend
Does the job  Time owned: 3 to 6 months
Had my RCS-4 now for about 6 months and have not had any issues with it. It works as advertised and now I use one length of coax to the tower and have one unused spare. At this time I am only using the first two antenna positions but have plans for a 3rd in the near future.

Several reviewers have mentioned that if you switch the controller off which opens the antenna relays you can still hear strong signals, although rather weakly with the relay open. I have found that to be true also but donít really see a problem with it unless you have a problem hearing weak signals with your antenna disconnected.

If it attenuates the received signal it is not noticeable by ear or S-meter. I use a 1KW amp and have no issued with the antenna switch in line.

This is the 4th piece of MFJ/Ameritron gear I have in the shack and I have a 5th in the car. They are as follows:

Ameritron AL-80B 1 KW amp
MFJ-1275 Sound Card Interface
RCS-4 Remot coax switch
490X CW memory keyer
1926 Screwdriver antenna controller, in the car

I have had the sound card interface and memory keyer for over 15 years and the Amp for about 6, screwdriver controller for 2 years and remote coax switch for about 6 months. Almost forgot, I also have an MFJ antenna analyzer.

I know MFJ gets some pretty bad ink sometimes but my personal experience has been good. I have even had good luck with their service and tech support, parts orders etc. Iím sure some others have had less favorable experience but I have no complaints with their gear. Itís not as pretty as some and the manuals are just adequate but they get the job done and save you some $$. I keep looking around the shack and see more of their products, I also use their Iambic CW paddle 564-B and 45 amp switching power supply 4245MV.

I wish you as good a luck as I have had with them.
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