Some station accessories are so simple, yet so hard to get right.
One is the PTT (Push to Talk) Foot Switch. Almost every shack ends up with either on of the ubiquitous commodity grade Foot Switches or a home brew Foot Switch often made with the switch unit from a machine tool on homemade cabling.
The commodity switches work, but not always, they are not built all that badly but they are not lifetime products, and as many have several cables you often see one of the cables bundled up with a tie wrap laying next to the switch.
The home brew often use the same superior actual foot switch that is often seen in machine shops. Yet often it is cabled with a audio RCA cable that perhaps has a knot and a grommet for strain relief and ends up breaking down over time.
RadioSport has a better mousetrap – their PTT-FS-RCA is truly a better grade of a common item.
Here is what the unit looks like when it arrives. Nicely packaged in a ziplock which perhaps can be reused when moving your station.
Unit bagged as arrived
Here is the unit out of the bag – the in-the-hand feel already shows off its quality.
Sans Bag (which is even a reusable bag!)
I’ve bought this sort of switch (NOS) off eBay, but not in powder coat finished like the RadioSport unit.
Never seems possible for use regular folk to get this quality of strain relief, and as the actual cable is a custom product produced for RadioSport we’re not going to find this grade of reinforced cable to use.
Excellent Strain Relief on Top Quality Cable
Terminating the cable is a high grade RCA in gold plate. No hamfest 25-cent bulk in the bins connector, but perhaps the highest grade RCA I’ve seen in a long time.
Gold Plated High Quality Connector
Completing the unit is anti-skid pad made of a very grippy polymer. Combined with the noticeable weight this Foot Switch will tend to stay put compared to the feather weight commodity brands.
Industrial Grade anti-slip pad on bottom
All this at a price point that is affordable, though in interest of full disclosure it is about $20 or so more than the commodity brands. There a similar high quality adapters for radios requiring different connectors.
Here is Radiosport’s own write up:
At last a quality Foot PTT Switch you can rely on.
This rugged industrial grade all metal PTT Foot Switch is just what you’ve been looking for for that DX or Contest or Net Control Station.
This rugged item is truely intended for industrial manufacturing floor use and the construction is there to support this sort of heavy-duty use. I call it the “SuperDuty*” of Foot Switches. Powder coated finish, rubber non-slip pedal and foam rubber cushion on the botton to prevent wandering under your operating position.
Links – RadioSport http://www.arlancommunications.com/products/amateurRadio/radioSport/ptt.asp and FlexRadio Systems http://cart.flexradio.com/Radiosport-PTT-Footswitch-with-RCA-plug_p_953.html
A lifetime quality PTT Foot Switch at an affordable price! Who can ask for more?