Manager - NA4M
Manager Notes

Reviews For: Array Solutions EightPak

Category: Antenna Switching, Phasing, Controllers

eMail Subscription

Registered users are allowed to subscribe to specific review topics and receive eMail notifications when new reviews are posted.
Review Summary For : Array Solutions EightPak
Reviews: 9MSRP: 695.00
8 antennas can switch between 2 radios to cover more bands and antennas.
Muliple Eight Paks can be controlled from a single control point
High isolation between all ports means safe reliable operation without risk to radio front ends.
Single 4-wire control cable, makes wiring easy and economical.
Multiple EightPaks can use the same control cable simplifying wiring of large installations.
Can be used with the manual controller or via RS-232 or USB interface. Includes an application to allow full-confi guration of multiple switches and antenna selection assignments.
Can be controlled via 4 wire cable from our BandMaster II automatic radio band decoder
Mechanical and electronic lockouts so two radios will never be connected together.
RFI tight full metal enclosure, no plastic or cheap materials.
3kW at 3:1 VSWR.
Micro Strip traces, low VSWR to 55 MHz.
All unused inputs are grounded.
Lightning protection at both ends of the control cable, and spark gaps as an added level of protection.
Weather proof relay box
Backed by the Array Solutions Lifetime Warranty.
Made in the USA

Product is in production
More Info:
# last 180 days Avg. Rating last 180 days Total reviews Avg. overall rating
KD0ZV Rating: 2017-07-19
Great product. Room for improvement on Software Time Owned: 0 to 3 months.
Never been disappointed with anything I bought from Array solutions and this is no different. Great product and really cleaned up my installation. I am just looking for a way to put any radio on any antenna and this does the job. The software which is available for free is really designed for big contesting stations and does not do a good job for those like me or S02R. I am thinking about upgrading to the 4x8 already but not sure I like the control methods. Great product.
KN5O Rating: 2015-08-31
Can't handle RTTY Time Owned: more than 12 months.
I've owned this product since it was first introduced. I have (had) three of them. They work FB for CW/SSB. However, I've experienced problems with all 3 running 1500 Watts output on RTTY. The problem is in the relay choice for this product. When you are key-down for a while or are using it in a contest situation (where the duty cycle is high), the RF current that passes though the wires that are near the coils induce an emf into the coils, which causes RF heating and eventually the relay coil fails (opens up). This is primarily noticed on 15M and higher. I've had these units repaired on at least three occasions - all for the same problem. I finally decided to sell my units and build my own matrix switch with RF relays - not the typical 60 Hz AC relays that are used in this design. Take a look at the relays used in the DX Engineering product. You will see specific "RF" relays custom made for their device. Array solutions is a good company and they stand behind their product, repairing at no charge. But IMHO the design has a flaw when used in the application I've described above - hence why I changed.

K0ZR Rating: 2014-11-09
A Great Integrated Product Time Owned: 0 to 3 months.
You DO get what you pay for. This 2 x 8 switch is just the ticket for my SO2R configuration. Although I do not have decoders yet, this unit (DRC8) talks seamlessly to the Bandpasser II filters on each receiver. A click in the ShakLAN dialog changes the antennas and the respective filter to the appropriate band.I am so very pleased I purchased the 8-Pak rather than the 6-Pak, even if it was more money.
W0IW Rating: 2014-10-24
Fantastic isolation Time Owned: more than 12 months.
Service from maker of the eight pack cannot be beat ..
Fast turn around after I screwed up and cut a power line and fried stuff accidentally..
I sent it back to Larry k7mi the person who designed the 8 pak
Wow great service and super ham ...

I have owned three 8 packs and a six pack they are
Always the heart of my station controls..
Nothing better for the price.. Awesome switch..

Best 73

Joe w0iw
K6RB Rating: 2013-07-24
Still great Time Owned: more than 12 months.
With the Eight PAK, decoders and BPFs in place and all integrated via ShackLAN, I have what I wanted - automatic filter and antenna selection whenever the rig's band is changed. The only minor problem I've had with Eight PAK is when I switch either Radio 1 or 2 control from automatic to manual. When you switch it back to automatic, it does not resume automatic operation. I have to turn power off and then back on, let it go through its diagnostic routine (a second or two) and then everything is fine. I heard the newer firmware solves that issue...but, I have to say that having to install new firmware in both the switch and controller seems like a design error. You should be able to install new firmward from the controller, alone. My switch sits up on the mast at 77 feet off the ground. I'm not about to connect an RS-232 line to the box to install new firmware :-).

Earlier 5-star review posted by K6RB on 2011-09-21

I have 7 feed lines to switch. Before I used a pair of Ameritron RCS-4s, so radio 1 and 2 could only see antennas for 80, 30, 20 and 12/10; and 160, 40 and 17/15, respectively. I wanted all radios to see all antennas, and a SIX PAK wouldn't do it. With the Eight PAK, I could connect 7 of the 8 ports, run 2 coax lines back to the house, and switch any radio to any antenna. With the Bandmaster IIs and ShackLAN, the K3s automatically indicate the band selected, the Bandmasters switch the bandpass filters and send antenna info over the LAN to the Eight PAK. It all happens very quickly...and flawlessly.
K0MD Rating: 2012-10-03
The best of the best Time Owned: 0 to 3 months.
I have one of the first models of the new 8-Pak designs. It is mil-spec in quality and performs flawlessly. It has large bore holes on the bottom to allow coax to be fitted through easily. The wiring is much easier than the old 6-oak. Array Solutions has innovated again!
KG6YV Rating: 2011-07-01
excellent product Time Owned: 0 to 3 months.
I have the six-pack but there are no reviews for that so I just threw it in here.

The switch works as claimed, is rugged and good quality.

One caution: Use a good 13.8v supply. I tried a 1 amp wall wart and with the cable length (70 ft.) it sometimes would not switch to my 80M windom. The specs. say 12-15v so 13.8 is perfect for reliable operation....

W9RPM Rating: 2011-06-11
What fun! Time Owned: 0 to 3 months.
For the price I expected the best, and that is what I got. Works very good. Isolation is great. Very easy to set up.
HB9OCR Rating: 2010-02-28
It's a great solution! Time Owned: 0 to 3 months.
You just put the switch on the mast, you connect the antennas, up to 50MHz, and test it ! He couldn't be easier if you want a manual remote switch for 2 station inside your shack. It works great and the switches are really good isolated! Perfect for multi/two and multi/single with multi-station. Required for serious stations !
Thanks and best 73 de Marco HB9OCR