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[TowerTalk] Recommended Coaxial Surge Protector for HF

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Subject: [TowerTalk] Recommended Coaxial Surge Protector for HF
From: "Bill Jackson" <>
Reply-to: Bill Jackson <>
Date: Fri, 31 Dec 2010 14:48:41 -0600
List-post: <">>
Happy New Year!

I have a question for the Group about the various brands of coaxial lightning

Without going into a lot of detail, I have a SPG copper buss bar in the
basement that serves as my coax and control cable entrance panel.  Each coax
and control cable has an appropriate Polyphaser protector mounted to the panel.
For my HF antennas, I currently have a Polyphaser IS-50UX-C0 protecting the
single run of 1/2" Heliax out to the tower where I have a remote antenna switch

This morning during a heavy snow and sleet squall, I walked into the shack to
the sound of "tick, tick, tick" coming from the Drake LP-1000 low pass filter
connected to the coax line running to the SPG in the basement.  As soon as I
turned the antenna switch to the "off" position, which grounds the feedlines
feeding the remote antenna switch on the tower, the "tick, tick, tick" noise
stopped.  This is the first time in the 15 years the antennas have been
installed that I have ever heard a static discharge inside the shack.

My first assumption is that the Polyphaser surge protector on the coax cable
feeding the coax switch has lost it ability to shunt a high voltage build-up on
the center conductor to ground.  However, I have not seen any other symptoms
such as high SWR indicating the protector may have gone bad.  I do not have a
schematic of the protector, but I assume there is some type of gas discharge
device from the center conductor to ground?  Short of having a Hi-Pot tester,
is there any other way to verify the protector is still working as intended?

Reading some of the reviews on would suggest there have been quality
control issues with Polyphaser since the company merged with Transtector.  Has
anyone performed any evaluation or testing of the various brands of coaxial
surge protectors, such as ICE or Alpha Delta that would recommend a replacement
for the Polyphaser?  The current price of a IS-50UX-C0 is about $60.  I do not
want to spend good money on a protector that is questionable or is going to
fail prematurely under QRO operating conditions.

Thanks and 73

de Bill, K9RZ


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