Ameritron RCS-4 Remote coax switch “kit” review

Looking at the available solutions to maximize the utilization of my feedlines, I selected the Ameritron RCS-4 Remote coax switch for placement at my tower base. It is an elegant solution which uses an imposed DC voltage on the feedline to switch to four separate outputs.

Research

Reading the reviews for this product and other MJF “Companies” I was concerned with build quality, as this seems the most common issue encountered. As this is a very simple circuit I took a leap and ordered one figuring what could go wrong.

We have a problem

On unpacking I noticed that one of the screws on the switch unit had backed out and was floating around in the box.  The star washer which was behind the other screws was missing, which may be the reason it backed out.

Bottom view of the Ameritron RCS-4 remote box

Ameritron RCS-4 remote box

Rather than just put the screw back in its home, I pulled the unit apart to check for other loose parts and potential trouble. Well disappointingly I found a solder blob stuck on the board and in a bad place.

I jokingly referred to this product as a kit as this is the second MFJ product I have purchased that has had a problem with either the included parts or the actual construction. I was looking at the Ameritron line of solid state HF amps I am beginning to have my doubts if this is representative of the build quality.

Ameritron RCS-4 remote box circuit board solder blob

Solder blob on the remote switch circuit board.

 

View of a solder blob on the remote switch circuit board.

Solder blob on the remote switch circuit board.

Operation

I notice no increase in SWR and the unit is dirt simple to use. I am only running 100 watts so I don’t anticipate any power related issues.

Until next time 73’s, Jay

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3 Responses

  1. Jim Lencioni says:

    Jay very interesting you found all these issues with the RCS-4. Mine was fine when I received it all parts and hardware were solid. I did modify mine to remove the DC voltage and blocking capacitors from the RF path so the DC control is now on its own control cable. I did not like having the DC blocking capacitors in my RF path and it would not play with my DC blocked Polyphaser. I am not currently using the switch as I replaced it with a 8 port switch however it performed well while I had it in use.

    • Jay Duthler says:

      Mine is performing well also once the initial quality issues were corrected. And as I already had DC blocking arrestors on all of my antennas. Inserting this switch on the radio side of the suppressors was not an issue. I debated going with a switch with more ports but could not envision needing that many ports given my current antenna plans.

  2. Only four antennas ??
    I not believing that !

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