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Author Topic: coax switches???  (Read 2672 times)
VOODOO42
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Posts: 114




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« on: May 25, 2009, 08:09:28 AM »

I am looking to buy a 4 position coax switch to run multiple antennas. I have been checking several out and the one that looks really nice is the Alpha Delta with the gas cartridge. I am wondering if I really need to pay $90.00 for the A/D or are there others out there that are comparable for less. Is the A/D really that good. I have ICE Lightning arrestors on the other side of my wall....does the A/D Gas cartridge in the coax switch really help me anyway? I would really like to find a nice 4 pos switch for $50.00 or under. Any ideas?

Thanks,
voodoo42
kj4iyl
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WB2WIK
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Posts: 21836




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« Reply #1 on: May 25, 2009, 11:24:56 AM »

I've never seen a "cheaper" 4-position coax switch that is nearly as well built as the A-D products are.  The gas cartridge can help with static buildup and such but is no substitute for real lightning arrestors which should be installed outside.  The gas cartridge also adds almost to cost to the switch, it's just a small feature.

The quality and robustness of the A-D switches is very good.  I use four of the 4-pole units here and after thousands of cycles they're all still fine.  They have more port isolation than the cheaper switches, and handle a lot of power.  They also work as well at VHF as they do at HF.

The only switches I have that are better than the A-D are the Bird switches which are good to about 6 GHz and really aren't a "switch" at all: They're a rotating coaxial line section, and you have to "push, rotate and pull" the switch handle to change positions, so it's a bit of a chore that cannot be done in half a second like a common rotary switch.  The Bird switches cost about $300 each or so.

WB2WIK/6
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K9KJM
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Posts: 2415




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« Reply #2 on: May 25, 2009, 11:40:42 PM »

switch for what frequency?Huh?

For HF, Most any old coax switch will do.  I prefer the older B&W (Barker & Williamson) "Protax" ceramic rotary switches that put all unused antennas to ground.   When I see them at swapfests cheap, I buy  them.

There are a number of companies selling similar switches  nowadays. I think most any of them will work fine for HF.

VHF and UHF however is a different story!  You NEED the stripline type made by Alpha-Delta.  Bite the bullet and buy one if you are needing it for UHF, Also get the one with the type "N" connectors.

(I have found that there are a few stripline types suitable for UHF made by off brand companies in the TWO position model that also work well. MFJ has one that seems to work good. Diwa also has one. But watch out! The MFJ FOUR position models seem to all self distruct!  Diwa to its credit, Discontinued their four way, Apparently built just like the MFJ.)

An OLD used Bird like WIK mentioned will sell for much more than a new Alpha-Delta 4 way.........
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WW5AA
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Posts: 2086




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« Reply #3 on: May 26, 2009, 12:25:46 PM »

"For HF, Most any old coax switch will do. I prefer the older B&W (Barker & Williamson) "Protax" ceramic rotary switches that put all unused antennas to ground. When I see them at swapfests cheap, I buy them".

I agree, B&W made a great switch. The last hamfest I bought a six position for $10 and it looked like new, inside and out.

73 de Lindy
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