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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.
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K5TVC Rating: 5/5 Nov 5, 2012 11:53 Send this review to a friend
Great Product  Time owned: more than 12 months
Mine has worked great for 12 years.
KG7OF Rating: 2/5 Nov 5, 2012 08:12 Send this review to a friend
Poor Isolation between ports  Time owned: 3 to 6 months
After a storm this spring which brought down a number of my antennas and damaged their feed lines I was hoping to salvage the remaining coax runs and avoid having to trench new coax to my tower. I bought the RCS-4 with that goal in mind. Long story short, the isolation between the ports is bad. Spend the money and time and run coax. Don't waste your money on this switch.
WN2C Rating: 5/5 Jan 25, 2012 09:03 Send this review to a friend
Works as it should w/ no hickups  Time owned: more than 12 months
I have had the RCS-4 for about two years now and have not had a problem. I would buy another one and w/ the "1 year no matter what warranty" how can you go wrong?
N3RYB Rating: 1/5 Jan 24, 2012 15:16 Send this review to a friend
Okay switch, shoddy workmanship  Time owned: 0 to 3 months
Well when I got my brand new Ameritron RCS-4 all hooked up and everything, gave the control box a spin..found the annoying relay buzz on antenna position 1. Turns out in the switch box itself, there was a capacitor with one of its leads completely not attached! The switch box works now that the capacitor is attached, but not what I like to deal with on new gear. Very disappointed.

AK6ZZ Rating: 1/5 Jul 23, 2011 08:32 Send this review to a friend
S9 noise generator  Time owned: 0 to 3 months
I bought this switch and if it worked i would be stoked but all it does is generate unwanted noise. I am so dissatisfied with it. I am taking it back to HRO.
KD8OPI Rating: 3/5 Jun 9, 2011 20:00 Send this review to a friend
Works, but they put the wrong fuse in mine.  Time owned: 0 to 3 months
My RCS-4 seems to work reasonably well over the last 5 days since I installed it. But when I came down to the shack tonight, it was as dead as a doornail. Pulled the cover off, the fuse was blown. Ok, fine that's what its there for...but then I noticed it was a 0.1 amp 250 volt fuse - not the 1 amp / 125 volt fuse per the parts listing. Yeah, I guess a fuse with 10x less the current rating of spec will do that. I'm surprised it didn't blow when I sneezed around it earlier.

So if your RCS-4 wont switch on, pull the cover off and check the fuse. A trip to radio shack, $2 and 30 minutes later it was working fine. Gets a 3 for that little SNAFU, but otherwise seems to work well.
KM1H Rating: 2/5 Nov 27, 2010 11:35 Send this review to a friend
Built like a Yugo  Time owned: more than 12 months
I bought a pair in 1988 to switch antennas on 2 towers in a 2 radio contest enviroment. The isolation was horrible as has been mentioned by several, due to the daisy chaining of the relays, and contacts needed too much attention for being mounted at over 100' high.
I replaced them with Comtek's and went with using control cable; those have never even burped.

The RCS-4's went to switching Beverages where I could live with the poor isolation and at only 6' above ground it was easy to clean relay contacts.

Recently both started up with intermittents and static in the receiver. After 22 years in NH acid rain, ocean salt laden fog, and general polution, the steel plate was completely rusted on the outside and after taking apart and drilling out the connector rivets I saw almost solid rust on both sides of the plate. RF pickup from the transmitting antennas most likely aggravated the problem and created small arcs which created diode joints, etc.

I completely derusted the plates, tinned all areas where the connectors and hardware make contact and gave it 2 coats of a good anti rust paint (I use Zero Rust) and installed real Amphenol connectors and SS hardware. They are working fine....for now.

Suprisingly the electrolytics tested fine with no leakage.
N5UWY Rating: 5/5 Jun 3, 2010 12:15 Send this review to a friend
  Time owned: 6 to 12 months
See my review from 2010-02-27 for background.

The SWR problems reappeared later ... then started ... then stopped again ... meaning this was an intermittent issue. OK, what else could it be?

I finally realized that I was ASSUMING the coax was good and the RCS4 was bad. Belden **9913** coax. You know, the one with an air dielectric?

A week or two ago, I decided to swap the 9913 that ran from the switch to the dipole with some LMR400 I had. Hey, no issues. Jiggled all the connectors, even. No issues. Left it a few days, no issues. So, I made up a correct-length section and installed it. No issues since.

The 9913 was sitting on the floor at N5UWY and I decided to re-terminate it to see if that made it better. In looking at the PL259, I noted that it seemed corroded (the light-colored stuff that isn't so obvious) and decided to hack it off.

So I ran the DXEngineering coax prep tool around the end in prep for a new plug and when I was done, I noted that the center conductor was an odd shade of black.

Funny, copper really ought to be, well, copper-colored.

Long story short, the air dielectric had had water in it. Direct leak or condensation, I don't know but it hardly matters. Bitten by the 9913!!

Bottom line is that it wasn't an issue with the RCS-4!!!

In fact, there was a big 6-m opening last night and I was able to flip back and forth between my KB6KQ loop and my Spi-Ro D-52 (which shows pretty good resonance on 6!) in order to optimize my signal. Worked 6 new grids. :-)
VE7IG Rating: 5/5 Apr 25, 2010 07:35 Send this review to a friend
Continues to work perfectly  Time owned: more than 12 months
I have had one of these at the top of my tower for 10 years with absolutely no problems switching between a 4 element 20 monoband yagi and 1/4 wave slopers on 160 and 80m. Its hard to beat having a switch with no control wire! Contrary to the reported experiences of a lot of people with Ameritron products, I have found them well built and to operate within specifications.
WB6JWB Rating: 5/5 Feb 19, 2010 16:17 Send this review to a friend
Excellent  Time owned: 0 to 3 months
The RCS4 works terrific. I supect as a few others have that most problems are the result of not following the instructions provided.

For example, the manual describes very specific mounting of the unit, the manner in which the coax is attached to the unit and so forth. The documentation is fist class. If you are buying an RCS4 used, be sure to get the manual and read it before installing it.

I was impressed with the details and for the packaging and for the nice u-bolt they put in the box (a lot of companies don't do this anymore).

Good job Ameritron!
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