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Re: [TowerTalk] Recommended Coaxial Surge Protector for HF

To: TowerTalk <>
Subject: Re: [TowerTalk] Recommended Coaxial Surge Protector for HF
From: Alan NV8A <>
Date: Fri, 31 Dec 2010 17:51:21 -0500
List-post: <">>
On 12/31/10 03:48 pm, Bill Jackson wrote:
> Happy New Year!
> I have a question for the Group about the various brands of coaxial lightning
> protection.
> 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
> installed.
> 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.

I have PolyPhaser coax and control-line surge protectors, but they were 
all purchased before the company became part of the Smiths Group (to 
which Transtector -- of which I had not heard previously -- apparently 

I forget what other components were in the one coax protector I opened 
up, but there was no gas-discharge tube; there was an MOV, but I don't 
recall whether it was labeled to indicate its specs.

ICE was being offered for sale -- on eBay!!!! -- a few years back, and I 
have no idea about the current state of the company or of its products.

I do have one Alpha Delta protector on my original VHF/UHF antenna coax. 
I guess I really need to check it.

73 and HNY

Alan NV8A

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