And they call this wireless

After using pieces and parts of my old setup for switching relays and antennas, I decided to build one box designed specifically for my current configuration.

I am working toward a fully-capable SO2R (Single Operator, Two Radio) setup. To my right is an Elecraft K3 and Ameritron AL1200; on the left is a Yaesu FT1000MP, Heathkit SB1000 (Single 3-500) amplifier, and Heathkit SA2060 antenna tuner.

Both outputs are connected to a transfer relay, then onward to two feed lines leaving the shack. One feed line runs to the 160/80m vertical, the other to a remote coax switch feeding the Spiderbeam and 40/30m dipole. Additionally, there is a hairpin match at the vertical that needs to be switched in on 160 but taken out of the circuit on the other bands. That’s another relay that needs to be switched.

Parts are very limited here. There are no Radio Shacks on island, and an order from Mouser takes about a week to arrive. I decided to use what I had on-hand, even if it complicated some things. For example, I have a nice toggle switch, but it is only a SPST switch with two solder lugs. The remote relay it powers requires 24V, so how do I drive two indicator LEDs? I used a separate relay for that, but needed to stack two in series as they only have 12v coils. The completed project is kind of a Rube Goldberg device, and it’s not as sexy as SM2WMV’s OpenASC box, but it works!

Completed project – yes, this was built in a plastic Home Depot J-box.

My plan is to use the Spiderbeam/Dipole with one radio, and the 160/80m vertical with the other (via the tuner). The difference in polarization as well as 200ft separation should minimize interaction. The transfer relay allows me to switch either antenna to either radio. The other switches are for the hairpin, remote coax switch, and main power (for both 12 and 24v).