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[TowerTalk] lightning suppressor problem

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Subject: [TowerTalk] lightning suppressor problem
From: (Pete Soper)
Date: Sun, 28 Sep 1997 10:49:57 -0400
I have two ICE model 301 coax suppressors that have been out of service for
a while. Trying to tie my new tower feedlines into them I find that they are
transparent on receive but cause a severe mismatch on transmit. Ohming out
the components I see the gas tube is an open circuit as expected, the bleeder
resister has its marked value and the series capacitors check out too. The
toroid inductor appears to be fine. The inside of the box is pristine and
both units have been in a "ground window" box and out of the weather.

I wonder what the problem could be? With both units, swapping them in instead
of a barrel connector and transmitting 10 watts causes the SWR to jump from 
1.2 to 3.5:1 (on 20m). My Autek sees no change in SWR with the suppressor
added to the circuit. This suggests that the gas tubes are firing, doesn't it?
Do gas tubes have failure modes like this? Maybe contaminated by an air or 
moisture leak? Do any Tower Talkers have a source of spare parts?

While I'm at it, one quick comment about "weather proof boxes". I took an ICE
balanced line suppressor out of service after it had been strapped to a ground
rod and in the weather for a year or so. It's built in a plastic box with a
rubber gasket. It had a couple tablespoons of water in it (below the level of
the components or I guess I'd have noticed some particularly tricky tuning).
Wish I'd drilled a weep hole in it as a buddy did with his. 


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