Products & Product Reviews

Ham Products for Effective Grounding and Lightning Protection: DX Engineering Surge Arrestors

When you consider the time and money you’ve invested in your Ham radio station, making the effort to protect it should be a no-brainer since, as we all know, lightning and RF equipment don’t make particularly friendly bunkmates. In terms of wisely using your amateur radio budget, paying for a device like a coaxial cable surge arrestor makes a lot more sense than shelling out big money to replace a transceiver fried during a summer storm.

DX Engineering Surge Arrestors deliver affordable, commercial-grade, around-the-clock protection from high voltage surges due to lightning strikes for your transceivers, amplifiers, and other coax-connected gear. These multi-strike-capable coaxial cable lightning protectors are for use on antenna systems operating on all frequencies from 1.5 to 700 MHz.

How Do They Work?

These protectors feature a DC-blocked high-speed gas tube design that passes only RF frequencies. From antenna to protected equipment ports, these protectors have no DC continuity between connector center pins, providing superior response to pulse energy. The only application where these protectors cannot be used is in systems that require remote accessory DC power (bias-tee) to be applied onto the feedline. All other RF-only applications are suitable, even “floating” antennas that are not DC grounded.

These DC-blocked gas-protector circuits bleed off static charge to ground without the popping noise of arc-type protectors. Any slow voltage buildup from wind-driven rain, snow, or dust brings the protector to a threshold for soft turn-on as the gas quietly ionizes momentarily. As with other multi-strike-capable protectors, higher-level pulses are instantaneously and repeatedly shunted to ground.

Features include:

  • RoHS-compliant design available in flange mount with connectors parallel to the grounding panel or bulkhead mount with one longer connector to pass through the grounding panel. Mounting hardware is included. Up to four DX Engineering flange-style arrestors can be mounted to the GBWM-W Copper Ground Bus Wall Mount, making it a convenient point for centralizing multiple devices.
  • Each protector mounting style is available with either two Type-N female or two UHF female, SO-239 connectors.
  • Ability to handle 2,000 watts CCS RF on HF and 50 MHz antenna feedlines under 3:1 SWR.
  • Concise labeling of their power handling curve by frequency notation: 2kW at 1.5 MHz, 2kW at 50 MHz, 500W at 220 MHz, and 250W at 700MHz.

For detailed specs, weatherproofing advice, and cautions, check out this DX Engineering Surge Arrestor product sheet.

Go to DXEngineering.com to view the complete lineup of DX Engineering branded grounding equipment and lightning protection, including surge arrestors, enclosure kits, copper strap bonding clamps, universal copper grounding clamps, RF ground plane kits, bearing bypass ground kits, and more. Need a comprehensive resource for grounding your station? We highly recommend OnAllBands blogger Ward Silver, N0AX’s book, ARRL’s Grounding and Bonding for the Radio Amateur.

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