Switch Project Kitset Assembly

May 19, 2015 saw Laurie ZL2TC, Revell ZL2SS, Mike ZL2VM, Karl ZL1TJ, Stan ZL2ST, Peter ZL2CD and Lee ZL2AL at the clubrooms assembling the 4 Part Antenna Switch kitsets. All the various parts were bagged along with the comprehensive instructions to be readied for Post Office shipment in another week.

Many hands make light work counting out the hundreds of screws, nuts, washers and parts.

Many hands make light work counting out the hundreds of screws, nuts, washers and parts.

Job Well Done Team!!!

Left to right: Mike ZL2VM, Pater ZLZ2CD, Laurie ZL2TC, Karl ZL1TJ, Stan ZL2ST, Revell ZL2SS and Lee ZL2AL behind the camera. Job Well Done Team!!!

A club project working together always seems to bring out the best in people and it is a lot of fun and a few laughs combined with a great feeling of satisfaction.

73, Lee ZL2AL

“Q” 4 Port Remote Antenna Switch Project

Each year the Napier Amateur Radio Club designs a club project for it’s Hawkes Bay members. Following on from the very successful “Q” VHF/UHF Antenna project in 2014 we are going to release the “Q” Remote 4 port antenna switch kit for 2015.

"Q" 4 Port Antenna Switch concept drawing

“Q” 4 Port Antenna Switch concept drawing

The project is a remote antenna switch allows you to have one run of coaxial cable from the shack to your multiple antenna setup rather than multiple runs of coax. Most hams have a Tribander, a few dipoles and/or loops and maybe a vertical. Running RG213 coax from all of them back into the shack is expensive and can cause RF coupling between unused cables. The modern approach is to switch the antennas remotely with a switch-box at the base of the tower or in the garage and control it from inside the shack. Some photos below:

Controller Box with LEDs and 5 Position switch

Controller Box with LEDs and 5 Position switch

The PCB showing the relays and wiring of the S)-239 sockets. The blue connector block on the lower right side of the board is connected to the 5 Pin DIN socket which controls the relays.

The PCB showing the relays and wiring of the S)-239 sockets. The blue connector block on the lower right side of the board is connected to the 5 Pin DIN socket which controls the relays.

PCB_SO239_side

Looking at the “business: side of the board. The SO-239 sockets fit through the weatherproof case to allow PL259 Coax plugs to screw on.

The “Q” 4 Port Antenna Switch kit set is supplied with a complete set of step by step instructions and the very highest quality components The kit complete with shack switch controller box and weatherproof outside relay enclosure box. Specifications below:

  • High quality European designed PCB
  • Input/output port isolation better than -69dB and loss is onlyl 0.05 dB at 28 Mhz
  • Designed for 1 – 30 Mhz. Higher frequencies may be switched with slightly higher losses.
  • Switch Relays are very high quality American designed Zettler relays with 20A contacts and 400VAC rating which will allow operation at 1.5KW CW/RTTY or 3000PEP power levels.
  • SO-239 socket connectors are teflon insulated with gold centre pin.
  • All hardware supplied including all screws and nuts etc
  • The Shack Control box has 5 different coloured LEDS which easily shows what antenna you are actually using.
  • 5 pin DIN sockets for power connections. CAT5 control cable may be used (not supplied)
  • 12 VDC at 500ma wall wart power supply (not supplied)
  • All parts supplied fully guaranteed for 1 year.
  • Charts showing Isolation and insertion losses are below”
    This shows the port isolation between antenna outpus

    This shows the port isolation between antenna output

    This shows the low insertion loss

    This shows the low insertion loss

Commercial antenna switches range imported into ZL from $240 (cheaper unit) to around $500 (high quality). The “Q” Remote antenna switch target price will be $150 NZD which represents great value.

There will only be a limited number of these kits available from June 1. If interested please contact Lee, ZL2AL, project co-ordinator at  leezl2al@gmail.com to register your interest.

73, Lee ZL2AL,

Napier  Amateur Radio Club

 

 

Working Bee 1 – Nov 3

The mission was to erect the new Hustler All Band vertical antenna on a tilt-over mast that was donated to us by Hilton Myer ZL2MN (SK).  ZL2TC, ZL1TJ, ZL2AL, ZL2MY, ZL2MO and ZL2SS assembled bright and early on Sunday morning ready to do great things. The weather was warm with sunshine and perfect antenna weather.

The front of the Club Rooms quickly became a hive of activity.

The front of the Club Rooms quickly became a hive of activity.

We had two jobs to complete. The first was to repair the 80M/40M trap dipole which had one leg disconnected from the a supporting giant gum tree. The spud gun soon took care of getting a line over the top branches while Laurie installed a new halyard line on the top of the VHF dipole mast.

The second job was to assemble the Hustler vertical antenna and get it on the mast. The photos below tell the story.

The Hustler laid out and ready to assemble

The Hustler laid out and ready to assemble

Maybe we should read the instruction manual?

Maybe we should read the instruction manual?

The radials are attached here says Karl

The radials are attached here says Karl

Lee, drilling holes in the cross brace

Lee, drilling holes in the cross brace

Wally and Revell working on the cross brace for the mast

Wally and Revell working on the cross brace for the mast

Wally and Michael clamping the Hustler to the mast

Wally and Michael clamping the Hustler to the mast

The Hustler raised to it's operating position.

The Hustler raised to it’s operating position.

And does it work? Yes, indeed it does. A quick run with the antenna analyzer showed resonant spots near where they were supposed to be on each band. The morning turned into afternoon and there was limited time to check how well it will actually work and we left around 3Pm. We were getting some good signals through on 15M and 40M Comparison with the trap dipole showed that the vertical was noisy. We expected that. In any case, the job is done and the antennas are back in operation.

Our next project is getting the bigger mast up to put the tri-bander on. That will happen at the next working bee.

73, Lee ZL2AL

“Q” Antenna Assembly Night

The Club Project “Q” Antenna kit assembly was set down for Wednesday May 21, 2014. We all met at the NARC Clubrooms and quickly got stuck in to the task at hand. Each ham was given a kit of parts and over the next hour great quantities of RG58 coax, tape, heat shrink tubing, pop rivets and aluminium foil came under combined forces of flying fingers, sharp knives, pop riveters, heat guns and soldering irons. The photos below tell the story.

If you hold it, I'll tape it in place!

If you hold it, I’ll tape it in place! Mike ZL2MY and Dave ZL2MQ working on the foil tuning sleeve prior to the heat shrink tubing fitting

Shane ZL2PG decides that it would be a good idea to follow the instructions.

Shane ZL2PG decides that it would be a good idea to follow the instructions.

Wall ZL2MO turns up the heat on the heat shrink tubing.

Wall ZL2MO turns up the heat on the heat shrink tubing.

Michael ZL2MY and Laurie ZL2TC working out what comes next

Michael ZL2MY and Laurie ZL2TC working out what comes next

I've finished mine says Rob ZL2SG

I’ve finished mine says Rob ZL2SG

At the end of the hour 5 antennas were assembled, with connectors fitted and Laurie ZL2TC checking their operation with the Bird 43 wattmeter and radio. All of the antennas checked out perfectly with a 1:1 SWR on 2M and a little over 1.5 to 1 SWR on 70CM.

Al finished!

All finished! Left to right: Rob ZL2SG, Dave ZL2MQ, Wally ZL2MO, Laurier ZL2TC, Michael ZL2MY and Shane ZL2PG. Karl ZL1TJ at the Grand canyon in the USA and couldn’t make it. Lee ZL2AL took the photographs

It was a great night which saw the completion of the 2014 Club construction project. 20 of these antennas have been made this year and this is the last of them being assembled. Some discussion took place of a possible club project for next year. We have some interesting ideas to explore. Watch this space.

73, Lee ZL2AL

The Napier Amateur Radio Club “Q” VHF/UHF Antenna Project

The Completed “Q” Antenna ready for use. It does look like a Pool Q!

This antenna was recently developed by Laurie, ZL2TC as a Club project for the Napier Amateur Radio Club. The design brief was for a simple, rugged 2 M/ 70 Cm antenna that is easily constructed by club members in an evening. We ended up with a repeatable design that acts as an end-fed half-wave dipole on 2 M and a 3 dB gain collinear antenna on 70 Cm. The SWR is unity on 2M and less than 2:1 on 70cm and is very effective in triggering local repeaters. The stiff 2M long tapered fibreglass housing is UV resistant, waterproof and the base of the antenna is a 28mm alloy tubing for mounting.

The 28mm Alloy base mounting Tube

The 28mm Alloy base mounting Tube

The Waterproof Choke Winding

The Waterproof Choke Winding

The Top Choke Sleeve

The Top Choke Sleeve

The kit comes complete with Step by Step instructions and all parts including cut to length coaxial cable, the pre-drilled fibreglass tube outer casing, alloy mounting tube, heat shrink tubing and waterproof tip.

This antenna kit would make a great project for a club evening construction evening. The price is very reasonable at $40.00 plus another $15 P&P within NZ. You can pay via Direct Credit or by cheque or by cash.The NARC has a limited number of these for sale.

Contact: The Napier Amateur Radio Club Inc via Karl ZL1TJ (karl@waspnet.co.nz) for information on ordering and payment.