Once I got a decent hf radio, one of the first problems I ran into was to many antenna feed lines. Most of my feed lines are LMR400 so my penetration into the shack quickly filled. It was also difficult to dress the coax to a desktop antenna switch.
While working on a fellow hams tower and antennas, I found the solution to my problem. At the base of the tower he had a remote antenna switch with 8 antenna ports and a single output to the radio. He was not sure what make or model he had, so I did a quick search. The Ameritron RCS-10 is what I found. This looked to be the perfect solution.
I searched the internet high and low for the best price. Finally I decided to go with HRO(ham Radio Outlet). The unit was in stock and $179.00. It shipped out quick and received the switch in a couple days.
Soon as I got the package, I opened it and pulled everything out. The remote is well constructed and the case is metal. The outside switch is metal except the plastic cover. Overall I am please with its construction.
The switch was easy to set up. While back pulling my existing feed lines, I pulled in a jumper of LMR400 and a control wire. The control wire I used is a 4 conductor 18ga. sheilded. It is a little overkill but I had it sitting on the shelf. The manufactures web sight says to use any 4 conductor telephone type cable.
After getting the cable in, it was time to mount the outside unit. The switch is designed to mount to a tower or pole. I mounted mine under the eave, above were my wires penetrate into the shack. Since it was not mounted to a tower i ran a ground wire to my ground bus bar. At this point I installed the feed lines, made control connections and dressed all the wires.
Installing the inside remote is just as easy to install. First I connected my radio to the new feed line. Following the instructions in the documentation, I connected the control wire. This unit also requires a ground so I connected it to my ground bus bar.
A 12 volt power pack is provided with the package but I did not use it. Instead the power was tied in to my 12 volt power distribution box. Before applying power I like to double check all my connections. Everything was good and we were back on air.
The Ameritron RCS-10 has been installed for 6 months now. I have not had a single problem out of this unit. Behind the radio looks much better with out a ton of coax everywhere. It is very nice to be able to reach up and turn a knob to change the antenna. Currently there are 4 antennas connected. Antenna port 1 is were the antenna output defaults when power is off. In the future as a safety, a dummy load is going to be connected to port 1. Check the manufacture web site for all the specs.
Manufacture page : Unfortunately the Manufacture web site has stopped working! If you have a good link please contact me.
Ham Radio Outlet : https://www.hamradio.com/
- ULN2003 and Arduino Programing and Testing
- Connecting the ULN2003 to the Arduino Mega
- KM4NMP Safety Corner Going Portable and Camping!
- Ameritron RCS-10 Fuse Replacement
- LM386 Audio Amplifier