W1TR Antenna Switches

Updated 02-Oct-201111:06

 

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Switching Network

The antenna switching network allows switching of all the antennas among all the rigs.

HF and 6 meters are available in the main shack downstairs, but HF, 6, 2, 432, and 1296 are available upstairs on the TS-2000.I recently acquired an IC-7000 for portable use and to replace one of the IC-751s so I might be interested in accessing 2m and 432 in the cellar soon.

 

The backup rigs have separate antennas for the (3) primary USAF MARS region frequencies for simultaneous access to all MARS and one of the HAM frequencies from the main shack in the cellar (if they are disconnected from the main switching tree and are connected directly to the appropriate rigs).

 

 

Antenna Switch Controls

Office††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††† Cellar

Antenna Switch Control Office 5.JPG††††††††† Antenna Switch Control Cellar #3

 

Antenna Switch Tree

This is the antenna switch Christmas tree (Local Antenna Switches) and ground rod where all the coax and ladder lines terminate.

There is a RCS-10L HF switch, two Ameritron RCS-8V switches for 50 and 144 MHz, and a SSB Electronics AS304 for 432 MHz inside the cellar (the Ameritron RCS-8V was not sufficient for 432).

 

The HF switch connects to the 160m dipole, the 80m loop, the 40m section of the C4SXL beam, the 20-15-10m section of the C4SXL, the Remote Antenna Switch, and the MARS Antenna Switch which is also remotely located, leaving one unused port.The white cylinders are home-made 4:1 baluns to connect the ladder-line to coax (160m dipole and 80m loop) for a short run to the shack inside the house.

 

The 6m switch connects to a 5 element cushcraft beam (horizontal) and a stack of 2 halos.Perhaps a 6 meter vertical ground plane will be added to help with working repeaters, but the halo and H Beam work well enough.

 

The 2m switch connects to a 15 element W1JR boomer (horizontal), a 4 element short beam (vertical for repeaters), and a stack of 2 halos.A satellite antenna on a dual axis rotator is on the drawing board.

 

The 432 MHz switch is not in use at this time, there is only a 19 element beam (horizontal) on the tower.I have plans for a short beam (vertical for repeaters), and a satellite antenna on a dual axis rotator on the drawing board.

 

I have a 2 port switch for 1296 MHz but it is not in use since I have only one 45 element looper beam (horizontal) on the tower.If I ever go for a 1296 MHz satellite antenna then Iíll deploy that as well.

 

Having both an upstairs and downstairs shack created some challenges for switching the antennas from either location (duplicate control boxes).Iím wondering how I will handle this situation when I have rotor controls and beams to deal with ! ? Probably Iíll just leave a connector and MOVE the box during a contest or other important event.Most of the time I use the upstairs station in spite of the better equipment in the cellar.On the drawing board is a homebrew crossbar type switch that will allow me to switch 2 or maybe even 3 rigs simultaneously to the antennas connected to the local HF switch for SO2R or SO3R operation, primarily on USAF MARS.

 

Local Antenna Switches for HF, 6m, 2m

(hmmm I need to clean up that messy rats nest of feed lines Ė sez the XYL !)

Weather Box Near Switches Closed.JPGWeather Box Near Switches Open.JPGWeather Box HF Switch.JPG

 

Remote Antenna Switch

Another RCS-10L is used in the back yard out in the woods at the end of 200 ft of 9913 coax.

The 160m and 80m ground plane verticals, the 40m horizontal loop, 30m vertical dipole, and 17m vertical dipole are connected to this leaving room for a couple more miscellaneous antennas!

Weather Box Remote Switche Closed.JPG

 

MARS Antenna Switch

Another RCS-8V is used behind the shed at the end of 100 feet of LMR-400 coax.

The antennas for MARS frequencies TVA, RA, RB, RC are connected to this switch leaving one open position.

Weather Box MARS.JPG

 

Rig Switch (HF)

Another RCS-10L is used in the cellar shack to switch between all the HF stations there, the upstairs shack, and the lab test position.

Rig Switch (HF)