Building the Picaxe Microcontroller Board for an Alternate Antenna Switch
Not everyone will have the good fortune to own an LDG DTS-4 or DTS-6 antenna switch.† Donít despair.† You can build your own remotely controlled antenna switch.† You can find numerous multiple antenna switch projects on the internet, but here is a link to one that can be controlled by the Picaxe microcontroller.† This homemade switch will require 12 VDC relays (the author used 24 VDC relays only because they were available) but it should work just fine.† You can also place this switch in the shack or outside closer to your antennas; just connect a suitable length and wire gauge multiconductor control cable between the microcontroller and the switch.
The circuit board I designed for use with the DST-4/6 antenna switch will not work for a homemade antenna relay switch so I have provided an alternate circuit board design.† You will note that this alternate circuit provides seven 12 VDC relays for station accessories and six 12 VDC relays for antennas.† These 12 VDC relays are not located on the project board itself; they are located wherever you want them and wired to the Darlington array chips through DB9 serial connectors, RCA jacks, or any other means of your choice.† Consider using a DB9 serial connector for a multiconductor cable from the board to your antenna switch.† The antenna relay numbers match the antenna numbers shown on the software configuration screen.† Likewise, the station control relay numbers match the station control numbers shown on the software configuration screen.
I have also provided an alternate Picaxe chip command file that must be downloaded into the Picaxe chip after the circuit board is completed.† Detailed instructions for downloading this file are found on the Microcontroller page.†
I have written an alternate version of the Visual Basic program for station and antenna control, W0JEC Station Antenna Control.† The alternate version of the station control program looks very similar to the W0JEC Station-DTS Control program and will control up to seven station accessory relays and up to six antenna relays.† The antenna relays are controlled as a set so that only one antenna can be connected to the transmitter at a time.† The server program, W0JEC Server, is used with this software to connect through the internet in the same manner as with the W0JEC Station-DTS Control program.
The installation and operation instructions for these programs are the same as found on the Station Control page.