[volt-nuts] TASS Computer-Controlled Switch System

John Allen john at pcsupportsolutions.com
Sun Sep 27 12:07:05 EDT 2015

Thank you John!

John K1AE

-----Original Message-----
From: volt-nuts [mailto:volt-nuts-bounces at febo.com] On Behalf Of John Ackermann N8UR
Sent: Sunday, September 27, 2015 10:20 AM
To: Discussion of precise time and frequency measurement; volt-nuts at febo.com
Subject: [volt-nuts] TASS Computer-Controlled Switch System

Every so often, I hijack the list to do some shameless self-promotion 
when I think it would be of interest to the 'nuts community.

I've spent the last several months developing a computer-controlled 
relay switch system.  The impetus was failure of the old HP 59307A GPIB 
switches in my PPS measurement system and discovery that replacement 
relays are unobtainium.  The only similar remote switches I could find 
cost >$1K, which seemed a bit rich.  So, I decided to roll my own.

We ended up with an 8 port switch board controlled by an Arduino.  I 
think it will have lots of T&F applications as well as usefulness in ham 
shacks.  Like virtually everything I do, it ended up as a TAPR kit.

There's an introductory video at https://youtu.be/P-TUM2dOi4c

The relay board kit is $119 and we have a shield for the Arduino Mega 
2560 that can control 4 relay boards and costs $19.  The software is 
open source.The boards are now available from TAPR at

(BTW, I contribute my designs to TAPR and don't have any financial 
interest in sales.)

Special thanks to time-nuts Bob Camp and Tom Holmes for a lot of 
engineering assistance.

Here's the TAPR product announcement:

Now Available: The TASS Computer-Controlled Switch System

The TASS (Totally Awesome Switch System) is a general purpose 8 port 
DC-150 MHz relay-based switch. The hardware is designed to be very 
generic, with an inexpensive processor such as an Arduino providing the 
system logic. Control is via USB, with ethernet and other interfaces 
also available.

The TASS can be configured several ways, and multiple boards can be 
combined to create large switching systems. The TASS has many uses, from 
switching signal sources on a test bench or in a laboratory, to 
selecting receive antennas and filters in a ham or SWL station.

The TASS system has two boards:

*  The TASS-R relay board, which does the mechanics of signal switching 
and provides a very simple 10-pin interface.

*  The TASS-SHIELD board for use with an Arduino Mega 2560 
microcontroller. The TASS-SHIELD allows up to four TASS-R boards to be 
controlled simultaneously.

Both boards are available now from TAPR as kits.  They use through-hole 
parts and don't require any special assembly techniques.

The final component is open source software for the Arduino that acts as 
an interface between a host computer or other input system, and the 
switching hardware.  The software is available for download from TAPR.

An introductory video is available at
or from TAPR at

Software and documentation can be downloaded from

You may order the TASS-R and TASS-SHIELD boards by visiting

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