Antenna Switching - Remote, In the shack, and multi radio

Discussion in 'Antennas, Feedlines, Towers & Rotors' started by NN1C, Nov 5, 2015.

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  1. NN1C

    NN1C Ham Member QRZ Page

    Hello All,
    I am planning to upgrade the antenna switching system in the shack in the near future. I would like to be able to switch my (6) antennas between 1 or 2 radios. What do you use in your station? What works, what doesn't . I have thought about using a Array Solutions SixPak, but they are expensive. I am currently looking into the KK1L switch kit. Remote vs Manual is a big question too.
    Marty KC1ChickenWithFries
  2. WB2WIK

    WB2WIK Platinum Subscriber Platinum Subscriber QRZ Page

    That reminds me of W1FC, who always used 'fried chicken.'

    But anyway, I do use the Array Solutions stuff and it's solid, even use their 'stack match' and it's also quite solid.

    It's all 'remote' stuff, but of course you can locate the switch box right behind the control box if you want to. One advantage of their solution is if you're a 2-station operation, it won't let you switch to any combination that might have you transmitting from one station into another, and the second station can't select an antenna that's already in use by the first one.

    I'm not familiar with the KK1L switch, but might look into that.
  3. N3DT

    N3DT Ham Member QRZ Page

    I got a 6P1P Sage coaxial RF switch a while ago for about $125. N connectors and works on 28VDC and is latching, good through 3KW or so through HF. Don't know if that would work in your application, but it's a nice coax switch. Just a thought.
  4. N2SR

    N2SR Ham Member QRZ Page

    I use a Top Ten Devices control box, remote antenna switch, and Array Solutions stack matches. It's nice to have the radio interfaced to the computer and the antenna switch connected to the radio. Switch bands with the computer or with the radio, and everything switches. No manual controls other than the stack matches.
  5. NN1C

    NN1C Ham Member QRZ Page

    Array Solutions seems to be the top dog. I recently saw a new company called HamPlus which looks neat too.
  6. KV6O

    KV6O Ham Member QRZ Page

    IF you need to attached to 2 radios simultaneously, then the Array Solutions solution (solution^2?) is probably the way to go. IF you only need to have one radio in use, then a remote antenna switch from lot's of folks (I have one from ICE) will allow you to switch your antennas remotely with a single feedline. I bring this feedline in and have it connected to a 4 way Alpha Delta switch to go to various rigs, works great.

    The 6-Pack allows you to have 2 of 6 antennas directed to 2 radios at the same time. Only needed if you need that.

  7. WB5YUZ

    WB5YUZ Ham Member QRZ Page

    The late Joe Pursley, who died in September, was KF5MC - Kentucky Fried Five Masticated Chickens.
  8. AK5B

    AK5B Ham Member QRZ Page

    As long as you correctly hook up your chosen remote switch you will fry only chicken---not your other rig's finals. I have used an Array Solutions RATPak 6-way remote for one rig and it worked well for me. (No, I didn't fry any rats or chicken or finals in the process)

  9. KM1H

    KM1H Ham Member QRZ Page

    Are you going for SO2R full bore that you need all that stuff?

    Before the investment became totally anal I ran just fine with individual feedlines ( CATV hardline) for each antenna and made my own stack switching with $2-3 15A 24VDC relays in CATV enclosures picked up in Deerfield for next to nothing. Stack switching was a simple rotary switch with diode steering.
    Direction switching and phasing for the 160 and 80 verticals was also homebrew as was the controls for a wide selection of Beverages and loops.

    A couple of rows of used B&W, Heathkit, Dow Key and Alpha switches for antenna and radio selections plus coax stubs in the feeds took care of interference. Rigs changed over the years but the final config was a pair of loaded and modified TS-940's to a LK-500ZC and a LK-780. Only blew one switch in about 20 years of heavy DXing plus about 10 of serious contesting (wrong band) and had a spare in the desk drawer; about 5 minutes down time. Try that with some of the later fancy overpriced stuff where they wont even give out a schematic or parts list....OTOH most operators these days couldnt read the schematic anyway.

    OH! I just noticed youre only 13 so most of the above likely doesnt apply! Glad to see your very interested tho.

  10. NN1C

    NN1C Ham Member QRZ Page

    Yes 13 here.
    I think I will be building a switch myself here shortly, probably using the KK1L design. Array Solutions makes good stuff, but I'm not afraid to flow some solder. As for hardline, I picked up a bunch of 7/8 inch hardline on the cheap, and it works great!

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