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KC4ZZE Wi-Fi Antenna Connect-Disconnect System

Created by on 2023-09-10

This is what Ham radio is about, sharing experiences and knowledge to advance the art. After developing a way to rotate my hexbeam antenna remotely 200 miles away from the shack using a WIFI IR hub with a RCA VH226E antenna rotator I knew I would need to figure out how to connect and disconnect my antenna remotely 200 miles away. Have you ever been out of the shack running an errand when a thunderstorm comes up and you forgot to disconnect your antenna? I came up with a solution after giving it a lot of thought on how to remotely disconnect or connect my antenna from my Smartphone using WIFI. I purchased the items below and assembled them in one afternoon. Most parts can be purchased online from eBay and Amazon. I have attached a PDF file that is complete in details.


Antenna Connection by WIFI Actuator

To assemble:

  1. First install the Linear Actuator on the wood project board. I used a H bracket shown in Picture 5 below. I also added two L brackets on each side of the Actuator to stabilize it.
  2. Secure the Polyphaser lightning arrestor to the end of the Actuator with a screw, lock washer, and nut.
  3. Assemble the Polyphaser L bracket using a SO239 feed thru, double male Pl259, and a Push on PL259. Once assembled do not secure to the board, go to the next steps.
  4. Take the Polyphase L bracket assembly from step 3 and mate it to S0239 in step 2.
  5. Install on the wood project board, the Power Supply, Power distribution terminals, and the WIFI remote actuator control per manufacturer’s diagrams and instructions. The Power Supply is attached with Velcro to the wood project board.
  6. Download the Tuya android app for the WIFI remote actuator control to your Smartphone or tablet.
  7. Operate the Linear Actuator with the WIFI remote actuator control. Extend the Linear Actuator to fullest length with the Polyphaser bracket assemble in Step 3 attached. Mark and secure with screws where the Polyphaser bracket landed.
  8. Operate the Linear Actuator to remove the SO239 from the PL259. The Linear Actuator should retract to its stop position.
  9. Operate the Linear Polyphaser to mate with the SO239. The Linear Actuator should start moving toward the PL259. Watch closely to determine if the SO239 and the PL259 are aligned. If not, you may want to stop the Actuator and adjust as needed.
  10. The WACDS can be used inside or outside to disconnect and connect an antenna to a radio. In this write I used a small loop to demostrate how it works.  I will eventually being attaching it to my hexbeam antenna outside. My plan is to install the WACDS in a waterproof box for outside, with proper AC and grounding. It will include using an outside AC GFI WIFI receptacle that can also be operated remotely. There will be a WIFI camera inside the box so I can monitor the operations.

I am sure this prototype could be built cheaper and maybe better. I pulled parts from my spares box and bought what I needed to make the WACDS. There is a parts list at the end with prices, these may vary. I don’t have a metal or wood shop to work in to build stuff. I just built this in my home office in about 3 hours or so. It was fun.

$39.99Linear Actuator
$10.79H shape actuator bracket
$20.99WIFI Controller
$9.79Power Supply
$17.99Power Distribution blocks
$16.89Push on PL259 Male
$10.35PL259 Male to Male
$8.90 SO-239 Female Adapter Thru Barrels
$106.99Polyphaser Surge Protector or equivalent.
$29.00Polyphaser L bracket BF-Adapter or equivalent.
$8.48Project Mounting Board
$5.98Wood Screws Assortment Pack
$7.9820 guage wire
$3.99Cable Ties
$15.91Cable clip/holder
$8.99L brackets
$5.27Velcro Strips
$314.02Total cost. 
 Tools needed: Phillips and Flat Blade screwdrivers. Drill & bits. Wire cutter, stripper, and crimper.

See attached PDF file for easier reading.

Kc4zze WIFI Antenna Connect-Disconnect System




KC4ZZE Wi-Fi Antenna Connect-Disconnect System
IMO this is a great idea. I lost a $3600 shack back in the late 80's (a lot of money then) from this exact thing happening. I went to work on a sunny day. By 3pm my shack was destroyed. I came home to the smell of burnt electronics.

I think the main issue is the actual physical isolation of the antenna and coax. Antenna switches commonly put the unused connections to ground. What if the lightning comes right down the shield to the shack to house ground to utility ground lug through the rig chassis? I've seen a machined aluminum amplifier case end up in a football shape with all the guts black from just a tiny black mark on the 2m J-Pole it was connected to.

Death, destruction.

Your idea of a relatively large physical separation is good.