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Reviews Categories | Contesting Hardware | Array Solutions SO2R Help

Reviews Summary for Array Solutions SO2R
Array Solutions SO2R Reviews: 23 Average rating: 4.9/5 MSRP: $N/A
Description: The Array Solutions SO2R Master two-radio controller is the the first product of it's kind for the competitive contester. Until this time, the SO2R operator has had to put together their own interface to try to cable together all the functions that interface two radios, a computer with sound card(or any voice keyer), LPT ports, headphones, microphones, and some sort of controller switch assembly to manage all of it. It usually amounted to a rats nest of cables. The SO2R Master will work with all logging programs due to its flexibility to function without a direct connection to PC if not available. But when connected to the LPT port it will run those programs adhering to the "standards" for LPT port control now established by TR, NA, and CT, WriteLog etc. **** This product is no longer in production ****
Product is in production.
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NR9R Rating: 2/5 Jun 19, 2009 16:37 Send this review to a friend
Innovative for its time  Time owned: 0 to 3 months
I do not own any other products by Array Solutions but today they have a positive reputation for quality products and responsive costumer service. For the SO2R Master developed in 2001, however, it falls a little short.

The switchbox and control units are tied together by an uncommon 15-pin serial connector that was used on early Apple computers. If you loose the cable it is a bit of a challenge to find today. That minor issue aside, the main problem with the unit is its RFI susceptibility.

Jacks on the switch box are not grounded to the case so the device has little shielding. The serial cable running to the control box brings an input audio signal to a rotary switch and then back to the switch box to a stereo mixing pot. Since the same audio signals are sent in apposing directions along the cable, common-mode chokes will not be effective at eliminating RFI, even on a dummy-load.

In short, I would not recommend the switch to those looking for such a device on the used market. I suggest looking at some of the later SO2R switches that have come out..
VR2BG Rating: 5/5 May 18, 2003 21:27 Send this review to a friend
Well chuffed!  Time owned: more than 12 months
Mine is one of the first units sold & has been a worthwhile addition to the station.

Since it's meant to drive the rigs' PTT as well as be driven by it, I've had some problems at times because I haven't put the mod in to fix this - something that isn't an issue for other than the first units sold.

I've also had some EMC problems with it, but this is to be expected of just about everything in an apartment contest shack just meters away from the antennas!

I like being forced to listen to the other rig whenever the other is transmitting - it's really helped push me to do more SO2R.

The ergonomics are good & as noted by others, Array Solutions' support is top notch!
N6WIN Rating: 5/5 Oct 11, 2002 23:57 Send this review to a friend
Excellent  Time owned: 0 to 3 months
The SO2R master is one fine piece of equipment and has made my contesting much more fun being able to do SO2R. The box is easy to setup, the control unit doesn't require much of a brain to figure out. I leave it at my host's station and he has no trouble running his equipment manually with it inline, a real plus for harmony.

Jay is extremely helpful on the phone and via email. I wish every business was this way. His customer service attitude will keep me coming back and passing on the good word about his business.

Also use his 6X2 Sixpack for switching.
N2XD Rating: 5/5 Jul 7, 2002 13:31 Send this review to a friend
Good product and great service  Time owned: 6 to 12 months
I've had the SO2R unit for 6 months and have found it to be just great to work with.After moving the station I ran into a problem in the automatic mode.A call to Jay and he started troubleshooting the problem right away over the phone.Although he was busy he did not give up and stayed with it.This is something you do not find in the business world today.It turned out to be a problem with the power supply to the SO2R.Everthing I've purchased from Jay has always come with the same excellent service and positive attitude.I wish all ham related businesses would take a lesson from this organization.
ON4UN Rating: 5/5 Jun 18, 2002 16:57 Send this review to a friend
how can any serious contester get along without it ?  Time owned: more than 12 months
After having had a variety of home-made SO2R-arrangements, I decided to try Jay's blue box (I love the color of his boxes !). It does everyting it needs to do, using Writelog and two MP's MKV, and a ZS4TX Combo keyer. It's shape is great (long and slender), it sits on top of one the MP's behind the LCD monitor, and all wiring remain easily accessible. One thing: I wished the control unit had a headphone jack on the back instead of on the side! That's the only critique I have ... (I added one to the back myself)
KO7SS Rating: 5/5 May 6, 2002 20:00 Send this review to a friend
Good support  Time owned: 0 to 3 months
I have been using a homemade box for the last 5 years. The feature I have always wanted but couldn't make on my own was an automatic switching
of both earphones to Radio B while Radio A is CQing. (I have trouble copying the S1 Radio B sigs
with the headphones split). This box has it and it is great! I had messed up the NA specific changes in setting up the box and cables, and one
phone call to Jay and he talked me through finding
the problem. Thanks!
K5KG Rating: 5/5 Feb 26, 2002 19:15 Send this review to a friend
SO2R for K5KG  Time owned: 0 to 3 months
Sure, the SO2R Master is a great device, but I can assure you that Jay and his xyl, Sharon, N5CK, make it that way.

Shortly after putting my SO2R into service, I was experiencing a raspy cw note on 80 meters. I called Array Solutions and Sharon immediately put another I/O box in the mail to me, thinking that maybe there was a defective solder joint in the unit. Unfortunately, the replacement unit did not cure the problem.

After a couple of emails with Jay, he concluded that rf was probably modulating the cw key line. He suggested several fixes, in order of preference. I made the first suggested mod in the I/O box and, walla, the problem was cured. Jay and I had several pleasant phone conversations along the way, during which I realized that Jay really knows his stuff.

I have to commend Jay and Sharon for providing excellent CUSTOMER SERVICE. I would not hesitate to buy anything from Array Solutions, or to recommend them to my friends.

73, George, K5KG
OH2BH Rating: 5/5 Jan 16, 2002 04:47 Send this review to a friend
SO2R AND PAINTING THE HOUSE  Time owned: 6 to 12 months

I had a choice between a number of different SO2R boxes. The decision making had no reasonable basis. I picked Jay's box, being aware that his operation is highly support minded. But I had another reason as well, one that may come as a big surprise to you.

Today's station is more and more aimed at being part of the overall house. It is kind of building the house around the radio station. You have a decades-long tradition of selecting the land, based on comfortable ground conductivity and the fact that you will see the horizon for maximum advantage.

Sounds familiar? Contesters are known not to be gardeners as such but good at growing towers.

So, I had already built my house with these aims in mind. Hence, it was no surprise that I selected Array Solutions SO2R based on its apperarance and style. I knew all the boxes would work, but here I wanted to make a complete match - to honor the
design and the style, not just the performance and the support offered.

The blue matt color used by Jay is extremely relaxing. Those streamlined corners of his boxes are state-of-the-art. The blue color matches the 200.000 crystal clear lakes here - it is even
in complete harmony with the flag of Finland.

So, to make a long story short, it was only recently that I noticed some mismatch between Jay's box and the painting of my house.
Then I went and selected exactly the same "relaxing matt blue" color, and here we are now in the process of repainting the entire house -- Array Solutions blue. We just said "DX Is"
at the paint shop, and they apparently understood our selection!

Those who come to WRTC2002 will certainly recognize the matching of this magic blue. Yes, the box is working, too, and we make contacts. In the latest ARRL contest, EA8BH scored the highest number of mults on the high bands thanks to SO2R dynamics.

Listen again to EA8BH in the ARRL contest and take note of its relaxing blue color and SO2R capability.
K1IR Rating: 5/5 Jan 15, 2002 09:38 Send this review to a friend
SO2R Master is FB  Time owned: 6 to 12 months
You can't go wrong with this unit. Working great here with CT and WriteLog. Very nice having separate control box - easy to position for comfort and convenience. Standard connectors make cabling easy. A great addition to my station.
N4TY Rating: 5/5 Jan 11, 2002 15:26 Send this review to a friend
Essential contester accessory  Time owned: 6 to 12 months
I've done SO2R since K8CC came out with a design for SO2R that I could build.
In years past, I've built 3 SO2R boxes of my own, and this one replaced the last version.
Finally, I can be out of the maintenance biz :-)

Like other WX0B products, it exceeds my expectations.
Jay gets an A+ for implementation.
It's smooth and doesn't get in my way for normal ragchewing.
It solved all my ground loops and hum too.

The only problem I've run into is when I turn off the computer (almost never), then the relays appparently close, and my radio goes into transmit (CW key down).
It's probably my parallel port at fault.

I'm hoping to find others who have modified the SO2R, and be plugged into that group.
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