Topband: ICE-196 has a catch-

N1BUG paul at
Wed Jan 5 08:16:27 PST 2011

Bryon PAUL Veal n0ah wrote:
> The ICE 196 is a very cool design.....but if you are sending out
> voltage on your coax to control an antenna switch, relay,
> may adversely effect the controlled device’s ability
> to operate properly- The company I purchased this from did not
> inform me about this, but I think it is a good to know- I now use
> radio Dan’s front end protector and the KD9SV solid state front
> end protector for my rigs-

I've been using an ICE 196 to safeguard my receiver for several 
years and want to share something else I discovered about this 
device. I suggest using a bandpass filter ahead of the ICE 196 may 
be appropriate for some.

I was having a "mystery" noise problem. The noise had no special 
characteristics. It appeared to be a large increase in normal "band 
noise". I was only hearing it in specific directions, mostly SW and 
W. I couldn't find the source of the noise. Eventually I realized I 
was only hearing it on nights with exceptionally good low band 
propagation. One night I discovered, quite by accident, that 
removing the ICE 196 made the noise disappear. I later discovered 
placing a 160 meter band pass filter ahead of the ICE 196 also made 
the noise disappear, but placing the band pass filter after the 196 
did not. My only "guess" is that a combination of very strong MW and 
SW BC signals were enough to cause the diodes in the ICE 196 to 
conduct, generating noise. I would note that I have no local 
broadcast stations, so any strong signals I get are propagated via 
the ionosphere! I did find some very strong MW BC signals on nights 
when the noise was present, and some *unbelievably* strong SW BC up 
around 5-6 MHz (I can't find my notes on exact frequencies). I have 
been running with the 160m BPF and ICE 196 for several years without 
problems. When using the Beverages on higher bands I must bypass the 
filter, and in so doing I still have severe noise issues on nights 
with excellent propagation. I need to add filters for the other bands!

BTW I do send out voltage on my receive coax to control remote 
devices, but the ICE 196 is installed between my receiver and 
voltage insertion point (control box for remote devices).

Paul, N1BUG
Aurora Sentry:
Piscataquis ARC:

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