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

Reviews Summary for Ameritron RCS-4
Ameritron RCS-4 Reviews: 85 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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N4ZR Rating: 4/5 Jul 18, 2019 19:59 Send this review to a friend
Why not a polyfuse?  Time owned: more than 12 months
This unit is a copy of the Heathkit remote antenna switch of some 30-40 years ago, and has the principal advantage of not requiring a control cable. Its one real weakness, IMO, is that it incorporates a 2-amp glass fuse in its DC power chain. If you've ever used one of these units, you know how easy it is to forget to turn off the control box and then short the output cable (plugging it into a disconnect panel, for example). It's something that we all do, but with this unit the time to fix it is disproportionate. A "polyfuse" would cost less that 25 cents more, reset itself forever, and would save having to open the case and find the right fuse in the middle of a contest.
KE7FD Rating: 5/5 Jul 15, 2019 16:34 Send this review to a friend
Initial opinion: Excellent  Time owned: 0 to 3 months
The off brand remote switch I had died, so a new one, a better but hopefully affordable one was needed. My present and future requirements are not so extensive that a massive switch would be considered, so this unit fell into view. I'm aware that QA in anything should be mandatory; so those low reviews for this unit were of particular interest. I've learned that dissatisfied users may be genuinely saddled with a defective or otherwise poorly designed product or they may be a victim of their own lack of skills. That being said, I disassembled both the control and remote boxes to inspect the workmanship before doing anything else. I found both to be soundly made; no cold solder joints or shoddy/sloppy construction. I then read the instructions (I know, but I figured it couldn't hurt) which for me, a dyslexic, was a quick read! Installation was straight forward, and aside from redoing some of the PL259's on my jumpers to the lightning arrestors, went quickly. Testing and use: I couldn't be more pleased. The bias-T works as it should to power the relays, doesn't add any [detectable] insertion loss into the mix, and a nice bonus is there's no "clunking" of moving from on antenna to the next. It's real smooth and seamless. The LEDs are solid indicating which position it's in. Overall, my initial impression is this is a quality product. I may update my score if it goes sideways, but I expect it'll keep working fine.
VA3KAH Rating: 4/5 Mar 9, 2017 10:36 Send this review to a friend
Seems quite well made  Time owned: 0 to 3 months
I just received a new Ameritron RCS-4L antenna remote switch and it looks pretty good. It works as advertised. Given mixed reviews, with many amateurs citing poor solder joints and early failures, I took mine apart to see how well it was made. I have to say that the hand soldered joints were well done and I saw no evidence of shoddy construction. The relays are self contained and operate quickly and reliably. The lightning protected model comes with four large MOVs soldered at the antenna terminals. I have only tested it on the bench, but it seems to be well made and functional.
KK6PLG Rating: 4/5 Dec 4, 2016 17:49 Send this review to a friend
Useful gadget  Time owned: 0 to 3 months
I had the MFJ-4712 (2 antenna remote switch) and it worked fine so when I added a 3rd antenna I picked up the RCS-4. Been running 1kW on all bands, works fine. I dislike wall wart power supplies so I pick up a surplus 12VAC transformer and stuck it in the box -- there's plenty of room, and judging from the PCB layout the design was intended to accommodate an internal transformer. If you do the same, don't forget to fuse the primary and ground the box to station ground. Gave it a 4 because construction is, well, typical MFJ...
NO9E Rating: 5/5 Mar 1, 2016 06:42 Send this review to a friend
Twenty years  Time owned: more than 12 months
It works now for some 20 years. Now at 1.5KW and sometimes with SWR > 2:1. Sometimes at infinite SWR when an antenna breaks. I cursed it many times for not working, but subsequently always found a problem elsewhere.

Its port to port isolation is not ideal. Perhaps it would benefit from some adjustments to make less clicks than switching and make switching faster (for A/B comparisons). But for the price and only one cable, it is a steal.

If anything is wrong, the unit is very simple and fixing should take no time.

Ignacy, NO9E
AA6VB Rating: 0/5 Feb 29, 2016 07:28 Send this review to a friend
Trash  Time owned: 0 to 3 months
This product is absolute junk. The control unit was scuffed and dirty right out of the box. I had to take a cleaning rag to remove the foreign material on the case - and even then the paint was thin and uneven on the control unit.

Once the unit was installed, it quickly fried at 1000 watts to a resonant 80 meter vertical.

The quality of this product is absolute junk.

Buyer beware - you might get a unit that works FB, and then again....

VA3OL Rating: 5/5 Feb 4, 2016 19:24 Send this review to a friend
5 YEARS AND STILL SWITCHING  Time owned: more than 12 months
My RCS-4 switch box sits on the crest of a hill about 120 feet from the shack in the woods. It has performed well for the last 5 years. Each winter it is buried in the snow and so far has performed like it should. I am running 500 watts to it and it is switching an inverted L tuned for 160, and two Alpha Delta Dipoles.
WD8T Rating: 0/5 Sep 28, 2015 13:09 Send this review to a friend
You decide.  Time owned: 0 to 3 months
Purchased new two months ago in July. Flipped the power switch last night the lights led's on the control unit flashed and went out. Both the included wall wart and the control unit are dead. Had to disconnect and run my antenna directly into the tuner to get a signal to the radio. Obviously something is wrong inside the control unit.
VE7IG Rating: 5/5 Sep 15, 2015 20:18 Send this review to a friend
Very good!  Time owned: more than 12 months
I've used one of these for years and now have two.
I used to have it up on the tower but went to separate cables down to the basement where I put the RCS-4. The only thing ever happened was the choke in the control head opened up and I replaced that. I use it for receive/transmit with an amplifier and it takes the power no problem. All antennas connected through the RCS-4 are tuned on other bands with line tuners so the switches have had to handle high SWR routinely--probably causing the choke failure. There might be something better but for 2 or 3 times the money they can keep it.
AB3CX Rating: 2/5 Sep 15, 2015 18:18 Send this review to a friend
Don't Buy  Time owned: more than 12 months
Used it for 2 years switching receive antennas; failed in the second season. Would activate position 2 and 4 only. Replacing the diodes did not fix it. I know other hams who used this unit and experienced early failure. Buy something better.
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