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Tarheel Antenna Reed Switch

Discussion in 'Mobile Radio Systems' started by KF5NAJ, Jun 30, 2019.

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  1. KF5NAJ

    KF5NAJ Ham Member QRZ Page

    I have an older Tarheel 400 with a new TuneMatic Lite controller. The antenna worked fine with just a rocker switch to raise and lower. I purchased a TuneMatic Lite controller, it raises and lowers the antenna as it should. The problem is the counter is no working, I have cleaned the cable connections .
    How do you check the internal reed switches that trigger the counter.

    Thank you
     
  2. N4MU

    N4MU Ham Member QRZ Page

    Use a Sonalert device (small beeper) and listen for any irregular beep sequences as you raise/lower the antenna. If you have "missing" closures you'll hear it. You can also use an oscilloscope if you have one to watch for the missing closures, etc. The beeper thing worked fine for me. I used it when shopping for a used Tarheel at a hamfest to make sure it was working because I knew I wouldn't be able to put it on the air.
     
  3. KF5NAJ

    KF5NAJ Ham Member QRZ Page

    Good Idea

    I had a little box that the phone company used to check continuity in phone lines, hooked it up and it flashed continuously when I raised and lowered the antenna. Looks like the reed switch is working fine. It must be in the cable ends, I have sprayed contact cleaner on the connections.
    I have a cable on order to install the antenna in my car I will test it again with new cable

    Thank you for the help
     
  4. N4MU

    N4MU Ham Member QRZ Page

    The Molex connectors can be difficult. Make sure all four pins are fully extended (male and female) within the connector body and that they are clean. Sometimes all it takes is two or three insert/disconnect cycles. I blamed the reed switches more than once only to find out is was a slightly retracted pin. Pins and body are available from Newark.
     
  5. KF5NAJ

    KF5NAJ Ham Member QRZ Page

    Fixed!
    It was the plug on the end of the control cable that plugs into the antenna
    I had ordered extra plugs and pins when I ordered the controller. The old pins looked OK but narrowed it down to that connection. Being able to eliminate the reed switch right away helped a lot.

    It is amazing how well it works ground mounted with (15) 20ft radials laying on the ground

    Thank you again,

    George KF5NAJ
     
  6. N4MU

    N4MU Ham Member QRZ Page

    Geo: Glad you got 'er going! Pesky connectors...but they are small!
     
  7. K0BG

    K0BG Platinum Subscriber Platinum Subscriber QRZ Page

    The reed switch is normally closed, and a magnet causes it to open. The duration of the open circuit is rather short, and if there is ANY RF floating around, the controller will not see the pulse. This is one of the reasons that proper common mode choking for the control and feed lines is essential. I suggest you read both my Common Mode and Antenna Controller articles on my web site.
     
  8. KF5NAJ

    KF5NAJ Ham Member QRZ Page

    Alan, I have read all your articles several times and found them extremely helpful.
    I have the choke (mix 31) that TarHeel sells and will install when I mount the antenna on my Tahoe
    I am surprised how well it works ground mounted with a dozen radials, I have worked all over the US and worked Italy yesterday.
    I mainly use it on 17 and 20m but it works good on 40m also. I'm using a capacity hat and the standard 6ft whip, will it work noticeably better if I use a 12ft whip. The TuneMatic Lite works great.
     
  9. K0BG

    K0BG Platinum Subscriber Platinum Subscriber QRZ Page

    Length is important for several reason, but you need to remember, that an 8 foot whip on the average mobile will limit you to 17 meters in most cases. This said, cap hats are a better idea, if they're configured correctly. Most are not.
     

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