Simply, because coaxes are pain, expensive, break too often, and many other reasons. That is why 35 years ago I invested in an Ameritron RCS-8V, the joke is that the unit being sold today is the EXACT SAME thing, and even though it was still working 35 years after when I took it down it was in BAD SHAPE!
So I sat down to start looking at better (MUTCH BETTER!) remote antenna switch that could share 2 radios and found out that most were mostly used INDOOR and that to me did not make ANY sense! So I decided to make a design that could be used INDOOR and OUTDOOR.
Well OK! after debating this with my great friend who knows a lot of the larger contest stations better then I do, I agree that some of those are using multiple towers and often a single antenna or antenna array per towers being fed into the contest shack!
And there is also the usage of those for switching BPF from different bands on the fly in multiple radios setup. Where you simply install a pair of 2X6 switches face to face and plug your BPFs into each antenna ports on each side, thus ANT1 becomes BPF 80M lets say and ANT2 becomes BPF 40M, and so on...
Well, my 2X6 is also great for that AND combine with my upcoming BAND DECODER that will have separate BPF and antenna output you will be able to control automatically both BPF 2X6 Switches and the Remote Antenna switch, this is important, look at a simple 3 band beam (TH3MK3 in my case) it has 10M, 15M and 20M, so for the 2X6 remote antenna switch, all 3 bands are the same Antenna Output... But for the pair of BPF 2X6 Switch, they are 3 different bands, this means that the BPF 2X6 switch WILL NOT be set the same way as the 2X6 Remote Switch. Now weather the 2X6 Remote Switch is in the shack or like mine on top of the tower is a debate for my next argument!
So we agree if you are a MILLION dollar contest station or using the 2X6 VE2DX antenna Switch for your BPF (As I do) you can install the VE2DX Antenna Switch INDOOR, but if you are like MOST Hams out there (ME!) and want to;
- Save Money on Coaxes.
- Maybe put a second radio in now or later at no extra cost to your antenna installations.
- Only run 2 coaxes instead of 12!
THEN you should install the VE2DX Antenna Switch up at the top of your tower, to do this you need, 2 Coaxes, 2 8 wires control lines, and that's it! Next, you run very short coaxes to each antenna from the VE2DX 2X6 Remote Antenna Switch and you are done, and when your wife is NOT looking you get that second 7300 and your done,
Well, a couple of things;
1- Great relays, 250VAC, and 16Amps, that will cover everything up to the legal limit in most country.
2- Great Isolation, well that is easy I could have gone to a 5 relay per antenna design but on this version stayed with 3 it is plenty. Also added strategically position feedthrough on the ground in the PCB to isolate specific areas from each other, to add to this I then installed (not shown in the 3D rendering shield panels between the relays.
3- Clear Radio distribution, I installed each radio control connectors on separate sides of the PCBs to again keep them as isolated as possible.
4- RFI, well that was easy, first both sides of the PCB are FULLY shielded to ground. Second, all the IOs are RFI filtered using small RF Chocks even on the ground.
Yes, it is the boards are READY! They will be offered in multiple version;
1- Just the PCB for 50$us plus S&H.
2- The full PCB as a kit with all the parts. For 150$us Plus S&H.
3- The fully assembled and tested PCB for 200$us Plus S&H.
options will be the enclosure, both are outdoor proof;
- Plastic sealed Outdoor enclosure. 75$us + S&H.
- Or Aluminium Sealed Outdoor enclosure. 100$us + S&H.
Hope to hear from you soon.