A Closer Look at the DX Engineering RXSHARE Audio Switch

“Noted ham radio author, Ward Silver, N0AX, reviews the DX Engineering RXSHARE Audio Splitter—a contesting device that gives two operators complete control of the specific audio they want fed to their stereo headphones, while either operating two separate radios or one shared radio.”

DX Engineering RXSHARE Audio Switch

Multi-operator contesting is challenging, especially when a pair of operators are unable to hear what the other operator is hearing. DX Engineering presents an elegant but simple solution with the “R X SHARE” – a flexible audio switching device that allows two operators to hear exactly what they want to hear, whenever they want to hear it. Audio from two separate radios or one shared radio can be controlled by either operator’s three-position rocker switch to select the specific audio they want fed to their stereo headphones. With the RXSHARE placed between each operator, these selections can be changed independently by each operator quickly and easily, at will and on the fly, with the light-touch rocker switches. The RXSHARE has been extensively tested and used in competition by experienced, world-class contesters.

Multi-operator contesting in the “Multi-Two” or “Multi-Single” category often involves simultaneous use of separate radios on a single band or on two different bands. The “run” operator calls CQ and makes a constant string of contacts on one frequency. Meanwhile, the second operator searches for new stations. Limited to transmitting only one signal at a time, the ops take turns as soon as a new contact becomes available. Using the RXSHARE in the SEPARATE RADIOS mode, each operator may choose to listen to the Radio 1 audio or the Radio 2 audio in both ears. Or, at any time either operator can listen to the audio from one radio in each ear, allowing better coordination and fewer interruptions. This translates to a higher QSO rate, higher scores and less operator fatigue!

A single-operator using two radios in “SO2R – Single-Op, 2 Radios” mode has similar needs. The operator may want to focus on just one of the radios, listening to the same audio in both ears. Or the operator can hear the audio from each radio in one ear, allowing simultaneous CQ-ing and tuning for new contacts. Advanced operators can even manage two pileups at once on different bands! Doing these things effectively requires the easy, intuitive audio control provided by the RXSHARE.

When one radio is shared by two operators, common during Field Day or training activities, the RXSHARE is placed in the SHARED RADIO mode. Both operators can share the receive audio or audio from a sub-receiver, if available, can be selected by either operator.  The RXSHARE provides a convenient way of splitting the audio output of a single radio.

In a contest situation, using a transceiver equipped to split the audio feed from the MAIN and SUB receivers to the left and right headphone channels, each operator can choose to listen to either the MAIN receiver or the SUB receiver in both ears, or to hear the MAIN in one ear and the SUB in the other ear. One operator will be able to hear when a new station is ready to be worked, or when the other operator is going to work them.

Using the DXE-RXSHARE provides complete control of the radio audio feed to two separate stereo headphones. Audio from typical radio headphone jacks to the DXE-RXSHARE input phone jacks are quickly and easily connected with user supplied patch cables with 1/4 inch (6.35mm) stereo phone plugs at each end. The unit features two sets of stereo headphone outputs including 1/4 inch (6.35mm) and 1/8 inch (3.5mm) stereo jacks to accommodate headphones or headsets with either type of plug – you’ll never hunt for an adaptor again! Audio levels are controlled by the transceiver AF Gain controls.

The DXE-RXSHARE is built into a heavy steel and stainless steel chassis with four large rubber feet, so it will not slide around the desk when the switches are operated. The switch panel is clearly marked for every configuration and operating scenario. Each audio channel is transformer-isolated to prevent ground-coupled crosstalk or RFI. The transformers handle a full 1 watt of audio with configurable impedance levels for clean, non-distorted audio at any volume.

DXE-RXSHARE Audio Switch – Features and Specifications:

– Quick connections from radios to RXSHARE via 1/4 in. stereo audio input (patch cables required depend on transceiver headphone jacks and cable length desired)

– Four stereo headphone output connections available – two of each size for each operator- 1/4 inch (6.35mm) and 1/8 inch (3.5mm) – extra headphone outputs may be used for recording purposes

– Center rocker switch to quickly choose the RXSHARE mode, SEPARATE RADIOS or SHARED RADIO

– Two separate and silent rocker switches at ideal height to make independent operator audio selections

– Both operators may select audio from Radio 1, Radio 2 or both in SEPARATE RADIOS mode

– Both operators can select audio from MAIN or SUB or both in SHARED RADIO mode that supplies MAIN and SUB receiver audio separately to headphone L and R

– Unit stays in place on desk during use – Large, heavy stainless and powder coated steel chassis weighs 3.75 lbs. and measures 10.50 x 2.50 x 3.25 in. (WHD)

– Stud and wing nut (#10) on rear stainless steel panel for station grounding

– All connections on rear panel for proper cable management and a clear operating desk

– Passive audio device requires no DC power

– Internal jumpers allow audio impedance selection for different radio and headphone combinations




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