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[TowerTalk] Castastrophic Consequences of Connector Failure?

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Subject: [TowerTalk] Castastrophic Consequences of Connector Failure?
From: Pat Barthelow <>
Date: Tue, 20 May 2008 18:26:22 -0700
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When deciding on the reliability factor in your antenna construction, 
especially when running high power, or with modern solid state finals, I wonder 
what the probability of expensive damage is if an antenna connector, or adapter 
has a "hard" failure, i.e. an open or short circuit/flashover, etc.   I have 
experienced  few TX failures through the years, due to SWR faults caused by 
various antenna system faults.  With a high power tube amp, I have heard of 
fatal damage inflicted to tubes, or to bandswitches, or output network 
components.   On the other hand, I guess we can be lucky, and sometimes survive 
an antenna fault without damage to QRO active or passive path.   If the 
probability is high of expensive damage caused by antenna faults, perhaps it is 
worthwhile to achieve higher reliability by using higher quality and care with  
connector components.

Also,  I often wondered that it might be a good widget to have a "trip relay" 
in an inline meter accessory to quickly, but not instantaneously remove  TX 
power under fault SWR occurances.  I know Bird, has such in the commercial 
market.   Is damage inflicted to the TX RF chain components by an antenna 
fault,  usually quicker than a relay could remove/reduce RF power?

All the best,
Pat Barthelow    (916) 315-9271

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