Antenna switch install

This is the latest of upgrades, as told by Jeremy KC7VCG

I installed a “relay driver” and antenna switch into our system on the main repeater.  The relay driver is in place because the controllers output circuits can only take a very low amperage less then a ¼ amp (150milliamps).  Almost all normal relay coils take more then that. So the relay driver I found uses far less then that with the help of transistors that actually drive small relays that can handle up to 10 amps of current. The pictures show a small circuit board with 4 blue cubes (the relays).  Right now we are only using one to turn the antenna switch on and off but we have 3 more open for other expansions like door alarms, fans controls, and AC power loss alarms.  I also have another relay driver board if the need arises in the future

With the antenna switch installed the we are able to compare the “old” north antenna verses the “new” North.  The old north has not been moved and is still on its old feedline.  The new north is on new feedline and the true north leg at 40’.  After installing the switch I did analyze both antennas  threw the switch to make sure it didn’t compromise anything.  With the weather as nice as it was both antennas looked great.  After playing on the way down the hill and with our “traffic net” guys it is pretty apparent in my observations that the old north antenna is a “horizon antenna” meaning its pattern is to go long distance not close in coverage.  Not saying it doesn’t do good close in 15-30miles but the new antenna seems to be able to get into valleys better like Nisqually and Puyallup valleys along with highway 3 in Shelton.  I think this response will do nothing but get better with a antenna at 80’ on the tower.  Ether way I was talking to one of our newest members while he was on Moclips Hwy going home in Pacific beach switching between antennas and was making the repeater fairly well, that is a rough trip over the coastal foothills of the Olympics to get to the repeater.  One thing I did notice when I got home on my base station is the old antenna does not peg my analog meter like the new one,  the highest it goes is 60 “over” and swings down to 9 with a “waving” sound on the audio.  I am line of site to the repeater and can actually see the tower on clear days.  I have not seen this on any of my digital read out radios as like a multi meter they just don’t react as fast as analog meters but can hear the wave.

Also installed hinges on the relay driver plate and punch down blocks to make it easier to access the back of the controllers and repeaters in the future.

Pictures can be viewed here.