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Public Group active 22 hours, 25 minutes ago

Discussion of general interest including club business and events. Please post ARES discussion in the SC4ARES group.

Equipment Questions

Viewing 10 posts - 1 through 10 (of 10 total)
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  • #11171
    Neil, W6VG
    Participant

    1) Is there a disadvantage to buying a “bench” power supply with meters over a black box? I’m looking at the Astron SS-30M. I’m guessing the meters would be vulnerable in the field, but aside from that? Oh, and it’s $30 more!!

    2) Any recommendations for an antenna switch? Something happened to mine at 10:15 Saturday right before the start of FD. I see lots of MFJs in the $50 range. Is there a better type?

    I’ll appreciate any insights! – Neil

    #11172

    Hi Niel,
    I don’t have any particular comment on the bench supply. I don’t see any disadvantage. I don’t have meters on my supply but during the weekend i used one of these cheap meters that worked quite well:

    About the antenna switches this weekend i used a MFJ1700C it was quite handy to switch multiple antennas to multiple radios. Alternatively i have used DAIWAs to connect one radio to multiple antennas (note these work only in this mode).

    https://www.dxengineering.com/search/product-line/daiwa-cs-201a-coax-switches?autoview=SKU&keyword=DAIWA%20switch&sortby=BestKeywordMatch&sortorder=Ascending

    Angelo

    #11173
    David, KM6DOV
    Participant

    I really like my Astron 30 amp linear supply. It doesn’t have fans and the output is stable as a rock. The drawback is, it’s big, heavy, and unwieldy. making it not a very good field unit. A switching supply will be lighter and more compact, and the modern ones made for ham radio are not noisy.
    I have a couple of Workman CX-3 switches, but I’d rather have a multi antenna to multi radio configuration, particularly one with some frequency logic to auto-switch to my 6m dipole, or at very least a small switch controller remote to keep near the radio controls.

    #11174
    Eva, KN6CZD
    Participant

    We have the Astron ss-25, Jeneen brought this into the Fire House during the Power Outage last year, it is small and has meters for amps and volt I love the meters. It is easy to carry around and super quiet. It is a switching power supply.

    https://www.dxengineering.com/parts/asr-ss-25m

    #11175
    Casey, KA5WAX
    Participant

    as a self-appointed outlier I use these:

    https://www.jameco.com/webapp/wcs/stores/servlet/ProductDisplay?langId=-1&storeId=10001&catalogId=10001&productId=2254792
    of which I have two in duty.These are allegedly intended for radio comms.

    I also use a different open frame MeanWell power supply but it’s sorta scary.
    all so far are fine; you’ve heard my intermittent transmissions from these.

    OTOH I am sorta a Jawa Trawler/Trailer dweller as far as this goes.

    The metering question is timely. In my Jawa transport I use multimeters and just stab the things now and again. This results in numbers. But this isn’t a mid term solution in any way.

    #11176
    Joseph, K9JOE
    Participant

    I just watched this youtube video. An inexpensive power supply alternative.

    #11178

    Meters are useful if you are concerned about voltage or current consumption. I don’t there are any particular disadvantages. However, I pretty much know what I’m plugging in and whether the supply can handle it, so I don’t find I need them. Also, I’ve had issues with noise from LED meters. I have one of those digital inline meters like Angelo posted. Handy, but I don’t totally trust it for accuracy.

    I like the PowerWerx supplies, and they have powerpoles for the outputs. I have the SS30-dv. It’s rated 25A continuous, 30A surge, and the output voltage is tweakable up or down a little. https://powerwerx.com/ss30dv-desktop-dc-power-supply-powerpole. They run around $120.

    That Jameco / Meanwell supply looks good, and has a 13A rating. Good enough for most VHU/UHF 50 W transceivers, but not big enough for 100W HF. Looks like Jameco also carry a 26 A one as well, and it’s < $100. The have a really wide input voltage range, which can be useful. Thanks, Casey, will put one on my list for future.

    Data center / server power supplies are rock solid, but usually need filtering to prevent RF noise. They are usually FCC Class A rated and are not intended for residential use. Not difficult, but not a beginner project either. That is a cool video, though.

    On the power side, I prefer to spend the available $$ on good quality wiring, powerpole distribution, and fuses, rather than the power supply. As long as you don’t go for bottom of the barrel, this strategy seems to work for me.

    I would not go with a linear regulator like the big Astron’s for field use. They’re awesome for low noise DX work, but they’re built like a battleship and just as heavy. If you plan to use them to anchor a tent or something, that’s a different story.

    For switches, I have an OPEK CX-201U 2-way switch (~$35) that has performed well switching between two antennas. Nice and small. I just bought a 4-way Alpha Delta-4 switch so I could add 6M for field day – About $110. The alpha delta has a ‘ground’ position to save disconnecting radios during lightning storms, and includes the arc-plug ‘fuse’ to prevent lightning damage. Both of these switches ground the unused inputs, which means they are tricky with complex switch setups for multiple radios and antennas. Personally, I steer clear of the might fine junk line.

    One important point about switches – the amount of cross channel isolation is important if you are connecting multiple radios, and especially if you run more than 100W power. Doesn’t affect most of us. At least, not yet.

    #11179

    Meters are useful if you are concerned about voltage or current consumption. I don’t there are any particular disadvantages. However, I pretty much know what I’m plugging in and whether the supply can handle it, so I don’t find I need them. Also, I’ve had issues with noise from LED meters. I have one of those digital inline meters like Angelo posted. Handy, but I don’t totally trust it for accuracy.

    I like the PowerWerx supplies, and they have powerpoles for the outputs. I have the SS30-dv. It’s rated 25A continuous, 30A surge, and the output voltage is tweakable up or down a little. https://powerwerx.com/ss30dv-desktop-dc-power-supply-powerpole. They run around $120.

    That Jameco / Meanwell supply looks good, and has a 13A rating. Good enough for most VHU/UHF 50 W transceivers, but not big enough for 100W HF. Looks like Jameco also carry a 26 A one as well, and it’s < $100. The have a really wide input voltage range, which can be useful. Thanks, Casey, will put one on my list for future.

    Data center / server power supplies are rock solid, but usually need filtering to prevent RF noise. They are usually FCC Class A rated and are not intended for residential use. Not difficult, but not a beginner project either. That is a cool video, though.

    On the power side, I prefer to spend the available $$ on good quality wiring, powerpole distribution, and fuses, rather than the power supply. As long as you don’t go for bottom of the barrel, this strategy seems to work for me.

    I would not go with a linear regulator like the big Astron’s for field use. They’re awesome for low noise DX work, but they’re built like a battleship and just as heavy. If you plan to use them to anchor a tent or something, that’s a different story.

    For switches, I have an OPEK CX-201U 2-way switch (~$35) that has performed well switching between two antennas. Nice and small. I just bought a 4-way Alpha Delta-4 switch so I could add 6M for field day – About $110. The alpha delta has a ‘ground’ position to save disconnecting radios during lightning storms, and includes the arc-plug ‘fuse’ to prevent lightning damage. Both of these switches ground the unused inputs, which means they are tricky with complex switch setups for multiple radios and antennas. Personally, I steer clear of the mighty fine junk line.

    One important point about switches – the amount of cross channel isolation is important if you are connecting multiple radios, and especially if you run more than 100W power. Doesn’t affect most of us. At least, not yet.

    #11188
    Neil, W6VG
    Participant

    Thanks for all the excellent advice. I’ve purchased a nifty MFJ switch, and looked into several different power supplies. The PowerWerx and Astron are out of stock (maybe this year’s Field Day was great for suppliers!) but I have one on order. – Neil

    #11189

    It’s not just field day. The Covid-19 pandemic has disrupted a lot of supply chains, and the delayed effects are still rippling through. A lot of electronic equipment is on backorder with vendors, with delays over 1 month.

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