Products & Product Reviews

Manufacturer Spotlight: Unified Microsystems (Video)

Too much noise making it difficult to pull out signals on the low bands? Want to install a proven, flexible receive antenna system but don’t have the space to make it happen?

Cue the video.

If you missed the live Manufacturer’s Showcase earlier this month with Gary Sutcliffe, W9XT, owner of Unified Microsystems, you’ll want to spend 20 or so minutes watching his interview with Tim Duffy, K3LR, DX Engineering CEO. The company, whose tag line reads “Performance for the Competitive Radio Amateur,” has been around for more than three decades, creating innovative, finely constructed products that have found homes in shacks and backyards around the globe.

Sutcliffe, a licensed Ham since 1970, discussed the company’s signature products, including its BevFlex-4X Reversible Receive Antenna System and new BevFlex-4X/Q. The BevFlex-4X and 4X/Q are updated versions of Geoff Mendenhall, W8GNM’s design that uses low-cost, low-loss RG-6 coaxial cable for the elements and the feedline for a Reversible Elevated Beverage, Reversible Beverage-on-Ground, EWE, Flag, or VE3DO loop antenna. This flexibility allows operators to choose the ideal receive antenna to fit their property. The BevFlex-4X/Q combines two sets of terminator and feed units with the RAS-4 remote antenna switch to let operators hear better in all four quadrants.

How does it work? Watch below for an explanation of how the system’s components (housed in protective and durable NEMA-rated enclosures) work together to deliver exceptional low-noise, low-band receiving performance, especially for Hams facing property size limitations. Also included in the package is detailed documentation and instructions, which you’ll see in the video.

Other Unified Microsystems products discussed in the video:

RAS-4 Receive Antenna Switch: Available with the BevFlex system or sold separately, this outdoor-capable remote relay unit allows the operator to select up to four antennas.

XT-4 Memory Keyer: Ideal for Field Day, roving, vacations, and DXpeditions, this lightweight, battery-powered CW memory keyer is fully iambic with self-completing dit-dah characters. CW speed range is 8-45 WPM.

XT-4 BEACON Keyer: Perfect for projects that require a CW IDer, this keyer can be set up to play back in several modes. Use it for a single ID sequence with a switch closure or let it loop continuously. Either mode can be set to just send the CW message or to start each sequence with a 5- or 20-second key-down period. Recording an ID message couldn’t be simpler. Just plug in a CW paddle and start sending. 

Band Decoder/Antenna Selector Module: This module includes the switching logic and relay drivers to easily interface between an Elecraft K3, Yaesu radio or computer, and the antenna switches. Use the BCD-10 to decode band switching for up to 10 relays or choose the BCD-14 module for up to 14 relays.

High-Side Relay Driver Module: This module provides an easy way to adapt a BCD-10, BCD-14, or other low-side band switching decoder to a high-side antenna or filter switch. It provides nine channels of high-side relay control when used with low-side drivers.

SCI-6 PC Sound Card Interface Kit: Here is an affordable option to get on PSK31, RTTY, WSJT, EchoLink, and other digital modes by utilizing your PC’s internal sound card. The kit takes about an hour to build, making it a great Ham radio club project.

BT-75 Beverage Antenna Transformer: Built with stainless steel hardware and an F-Type coaxial connector, this transformer is fully enclosed for ultimate protection from the elements.

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