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.
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.
Note these important points:
- The TASS-R board can handle 10W of RF power. It is not intended for use with greater-than-QRP level signals.
- The TASS-R board requires nine digital control signals for full functionality. Thus, an Arduino R3 or similar board can control a single TASS-R, but may not have enough I/O lines available to support touchscreen, ethernet, or other add-on components.
- The TASS-SHIELD mates to an Arduino Mega 2560 processor, which provides enough I/O to support four TASS-R boards with lines left over for other uses. TAPR does not provide the Arduino, but it is available from many sources for less money than TAPR would have to charge.
An introductory video is available here.