Close-spaced rover antennas

Scott K5TA

I have a brand-new IC-9700 that I’m itching to try out in the ARRL contest next weekend.  That rig has 3 separate antenna connections, one for each of its bands (144-432-1296).  I have all the antennas ready to go, and am planning a “rover simulator” operation on my own property — i.e. a mast with the yagis, planted in the ground, and a vehicle pulled up next to it with the radio(s).

I have looked at numerous pictures of rover setups, and it seems that most, if not all, have short masts with antennas spaced 1-3 feet apart.  I plan to emulate that design, but since the '9700 has 3 separate antenna ports, and only one transmits at a time, I started to be concerned about frying the front-ends of the non-TX bands.  I posted a question about this on the IC-9700 io group, and received loads of responses, ranging from “no problem except for KW power levels” to “you absolutely need all sorts of relays, sequencers, triplexers, filters, or whatever.”  As has happened many times before, my experience with these fora has been less than satisfying.

I know there are extremely experienced rovers and contesters on this list, and I wonder what your ideas are.

-Scott K5TA

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