|The current hamshack setup
|Various switches are used to select transmitting and receiving antennas.
|Cable entry: Being revamped Fall 2013
|This started with a dozen cables in 1998, gradually grew to five times that.
I use a combination of switch boxes. One of the things on my list to improve.
The primary selector for receiving
antennas on 160 meters is a B&W 3-position switch which in turn selects three other six-position B&W switches. (I
have about 18 Beverage antennas in use!). The 3-position switch is marked for "W, S, NE."
The "NE" one selects the
separate switch for Beverages (many are phased pairs) at 5, 25, 37 (long stagger pair), 37 (long broadside pair), 45 (short
stagger pair) and 75 degrees.
The "west" one selects the switch for Beverages at 210, 245, 290, 320 and 342 degrees.
The "south" one selects the switch for Beverages at 105, 162, 180, blank, short 320 and short 342 pair.
setup makes it easy to quickly switch broadly around the compass with the 3-position switch, and then narrow the choices with
the six-position boxes. Typically while running in a contest I'll have these set for one of the 37/45 Beverages (Europe),
the 180 and the 290. The latter two are single wires and thus have a broader capture than some of the phased pairs.
switches are a bit too far of a reach for comfortable contesting -- they are above and slightly to the right of the main K3
transceiver. Better would be right at the keyboard, ideally with push buttons. Maybe even computer controlled on the screen.
The Beverages feed into the "Rx In" jack on the K3.
I also have a pair of short 1/8 wave spaced Rx verticals
feeding a DX Engineering NCC-1 phasing box (at left in photo above). The output of this goes into the auxiliary RX antenna
jack on the main K3 at right and this is used with the second receiver in that radio for diversity reception. I can then tune
the null easily with the large phase control knob. Sometimes I'll vary from this and use one of the Beverages as the
aux. antenna for diversity.
More switching is used for the 160-meter transmit arrays. For my original parasitic vertical
array, one rotary switch (white panel on top shelf) selects NE, SE, SW, NW or Omni, changing relays remotely out at the
base of the elements. Now I have a new broadside-endfire array and in it's development phase it takes THREE different jury-rigged
switches to switch from the original array to the new one. Two of these are on the white 160 TX array box and the other is
the Top Ten decoder switch atop the K3 at right -- the 80 meter light indicates the bs/ef array is in use as shown here in
the ARRL 160 meter contest just before sundown on Dec. 1, 2012. I'll have that remedied before the next contest with a
new custom switch box.
The grey switch to the left of the white 160m switch is for the 20-meter stack (see the other end of it below).
The shallow chassis under the rotor boxes is a switching and preamp unit I built in the 1980s and still in use. One toggle
switch on it selects upper/lower/both for the 15-meter stack.
|20-meter stack switching. Click for large image.
|Built in an old CATV amplfier box, it uses cheap 24 VDC Omron relays.
20-meter stack switching box