RF Patch Panel

For a period of time I wanted to be able to connect any one of my antennas to any one of my transceivers. I spent a couple of hours pondering how best to achieve this, starting with RF switches in a matrix design. Finally after a few A4 pages of sketching out ideas I came back to the most simple solution. A patch panel.

Once I had decided on a solution the next choice was connectors. As the idea of a patch panel is to be able to move cables around quickly I decided on BNC connectors, which are certainly more than good enough for use up to 70cms, in fact the better quality connectors are rated to a few GHz.

To maintain some sort of order I decided that antenna feeds enter the bottom of the panel and the feeds to each radio would leave from the top row. As 99.9% of the time the antennas would be left connected to particular radios I made sure that the feeds were arranged so that the patch cables were neat when all connected. The panel also allowed me to quickly disconnect the main antenna inputs in case of lightning nearby.

RF patch panel from M0PCB

BNC-BNC bulkhead connectors were used, with appropriate adapters for all incoming and outgoing feeds.