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


Reviews Summary for Ameritron RCS-4
Ameritron RCS-4 Reviews: 73 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.
More info: http://www.ameritron.com/ameritron/products.php?prodid=RCS-4
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Page 1 of 8 —>

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.
 
N1TCH Rating: 5/5 Apr 13, 2014 07:53 Send this review to a friend
Good piece of gear  Time owned: more than 12 months
I bought this used from a dealer as i wanted to add an inverted L to my operating along with my 4BTV vertical. I have it mounted on a pipe driven into the ground and it has performed well without any problems. I did manage to blow a fuse by powering it up without any connections. It has worked flawlessly even buried in snow. I can't ask for more than that.
 
AK6ZZ Rating: 1/5 Aug 28, 2013 06:36 Send this review to a friend
Broke yet again  Time owned: more than 12 months
I purchased this product from HRO a year ago plus and it worked for about two or three months. I sent it back using trouble ticket system on the Ameritron website. I got it back and it took me about four months to put it back in line. It worked great for about two weeks and now it is broken again. A few days ago it appeared to not switch between antennas, then started to get high swr readings from all antenna positions. And last night it doesn't power on now at all. I am thoroughly frustrated with this product. I think this reflects poorly on Ameritron and MFJ to put out such shoddy inconsistent products. I will likely send this in one more time to see if they will actually fix it.
 
W9FI Rating: 3/5 May 25, 2013 15:34 Send this review to a friend
Not a true high-power unit  Time owned: more than 12 months
I've used my RCS-4L antenna switch for about two years without problems. Then recently I was testing a repaired antenna under a "true 1500 watts output" situation. The antenna held up but the remote switch module blew out. It took me a while to isolate what had failed, since I kept assuming it had to be the antenna.

Taking both the control and remote switch modules apart and checking components I found that the the remote switch unit's RF choke and a capacitor next to it were fried.

This switch wasn't able to live up to its specs (of 2500 watts continuous power handling). Perhaps that's supposed to be 2500 watts PEP. But in my case 1500 watts of CW was enough to melt the choke and one of the bypass capacitors.

I was going to rate this product even lower than I did, but I raised the overall score because of some excellent customer service I received from the Ameritron parts staff. They provided the repair parts I needed very quickly.

One tip: if you have to replace the RF choke, don't order the coil form (part number 409-2150) unless you intend to roll your own device. Instead order the wound coil. It's part number 401-4090-1 (also #409-2150: they both appear to be the same unit). Both the coil form and the RF choke are shown on the parts list. You'll need one or the other. Ameritron gives you the option of saving a couple of bucks if you make your own choke on their form.
 
K5RR Rating: 5/5 Mar 11, 2013 06:27 Send this review to a friend
HIghly recommended  Time owned: more than 12 months
I have three RCS-4s that have been in use for 12 years. They have given me excellent service.
 
K7NA Rating: 5/5 Mar 10, 2013 16:18 Send this review to a friend
Works Great  Time owned: 6 to 12 months
I've had my switch mounted on a tree trunk for almost a year without any issues or complaints. Seems to work as designed for various antennas in my backyard.
 
K5SSR Rating: 0/5 Mar 10, 2013 14:25 Send this review to a friend
Damaged my radios  Time owned: 6 to 12 months
The first one from HRO was doa. The second one, sent as a replacement worked for a year but in mid Feb 2013 I heard a very loud buzz 30 over S9 on all bands except 6 meters. Then it stopped. So I sent some CW at ten watts... First doing a auto tune ... Seemed to take to long to get a match on 40m...got a match??? Keyed the transmitter... Zip zero and a damn thing.
Long story... I had to send my beloved Elecraft back to the factory for repŗirs.
This switch is a disgrace to the craft and Art of engineering.
Who wants my Ameratron switch? It's free!,, you pay shipping and boxing costs and you can have fun with your radio...
Phil
k5SSR
Santa Fe NM
.
 
N7JJK Rating: 5/5 Feb 28, 2013 18:26 Send this review to a friend
Works great  Time owned: more than 12 months
I've had my RCS-4 for three years, use it to switch my vertical antennas. It was easy to set up, and works very well. It's in the attic, so I only have to run one HF coax down to my equipment. Beats having to run five coax cables (one for VHF/UHF) through the wall.
 
K5RR Rating: 5/5 Nov 6, 2012 04:17 Send this review to a friend
Very satisfied  Time owned: more than 12 months
I have had three RCS-4s in my station for 12 years, and I have no complaints.
 
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