Both versions transfer key/paddle, microphone (two can be selected), speakers, RTTY/packet, computer, linear amplifier relay and ALC, line in/out, footswitch (or PTT) – up to twenty-four separate control lines, including several spares and user-configurable lines. The SP-I accomodates two transceivers (or receiver/transmitter pairs) and two linear amplifiers. The microcontroller-powered SP-II accomodates up to three of each and has a liquid crystal display plus additional features to make your station operation more convenient.
Check out the Operating & Assembly Manual from this site for a complete description of features.
The StationPro interfaces your transceivers to all your linear amplifiers, including vintage and homebrew amps, no matter whether they use positive, negative or AC relay control voltages. This flexibility means no more worries about the voltage and current limitations of your transceiver’s amplifier keying circuit.
The StationPro is EASY TO BUILD! If you've every wired a kit before, you'll have no trouble assembling the StationPro. The kits contain all the printed circuit boards and custom pre-punched and silkscreened enclosures. You can instantly order the remaining parts on-line from Mouser Electronics (an international distributor of electronic components) by clicking on a link to a pre-completed online order form.
The StationPro II's controller circuitry is housed on four modular printed circuit boards to minimize point-to-point wiring. To further simplify assembly, the StationPro uses uncrowded circuit boards and no surface-mount components. The StationPro I and II share the the same main and rear panel circuit boards, so upgrading an SP-I is a matter of adding a microcontroller circuit board and a new front panel circuit board. Both units use the same remote RF relay unit, shown below. It takes 7-10 hours to build a StationPro I and about 14-16 hours for a StationPro II.
All the RF switching is done in this custom high power RF relay unit (tested to 2500 Watts), which mounts behind your operating table. Its purpose is to route the RF output from a selected transceiver to a selected amplifier. The unit contains a bypass relay for "barefoot" operation and is automatically operated by the StationPro's control unit via an ordinary CAT5 Ethernet cable. All of the RF power relays and coax jacks mount on a single printed circuit board inside the RF unit, so no point-to-point wiring is required.
Newly available PCB-mount power relays do all the RF switching and easily handle the US legal power limit with plenty of reserve capacity and negligible VSWR and insertion loss up through the six meter amateur band. The photo at right shows one of the StationPro's Tyco/Shrack RTB14012 relays with the cover removed. The compact construction and short wide leads are what give it excellent RF properties and power handling capability.
Transceiver "pods" are the StationPro's answer to vexing behind-the-desk cable clutter. Each pod is a simple "breakout box" which is configured during assembly for your particular rig. Inside the small plastic enclosure is a universal printed circuit board, so builders can use as many or as few functions as they need. Vintage radios, such as Collins or Drake rigs, use only a few control functions, while complex rigs, such as the Icom IC-7800, may use many. The pods connect to the StationPro's control unit with an ordinary 25-conductor computer serial cable. Three pods are supplied with each StationPro II kit (two with the StationPro I).
Vintage radio collectors often have several "boatanchor" rigs. (A test for you old-timers: how many pieces of equipment in the photo can you identify?) The StationPro makes it easy to switch between vintage stations. And of course, it really shines with modern transceivers. Furthermore, up to three SP-IIs can be networked, to allow control of up to nine rigs and amplifiers!
How Much Does It Cost
A complete StationPro I costs about $400, and StationPro II about $600 after the kits and required parts have been purchased. This is less than half of what a commercial manufacturer would charge. More importantly, the StationPro will completely transform your station's operation. You will find that the StationPro Master Station Controller is not only fun and educational to build, but will quickly make itself an indispensible part of your amateur station.