Technical Articles / Weatherproofing and Grounding

The Importance of Weatherproofing Lightning Protectors

Most amateur radio operators (hams) know they should weatherproof any coaxial cable connections that are outdoors to prevent moisture entering your coax connectors.

However, many hams don’t realize you must also protect lightning protectors if they are mounted where rain, snow or other foul weather may be present.

One of the most popular brands of lightning protectors that have been around for years is PolyPhaser. In their instructions (who reads instructions?), PolyPhaser warns that the lightning protector are NOT weatherproof and need protection. Most other brands are also not weatherproof.

If you don’t weatherproof the lightning protectors, moisture can get inside and ruin the protection and possibly do damage to your transceiver by reflecting too much RF.

Not all products are equal. Some can make disassembly difficult, others can make it easy. At DX Engineering, there are a number of products that can be used to weatherproof your lightning protectors, yet still make them easy to service.

The recommended way to weatherproof a lightning protector, once it is mounted and the coaxial cables are connected, is to completely encase the protector and coax connections with Scotch 33 or Scotch Super 88 tape. Once the tape is in place, use Self-Adhesive moisture sealant pads, tape or Temflex Rubber Tape to again, completely encase the protector and coaxial cable connections. But wait, there’s more – One more layer of the Scotch 33 or Scotch Super 88 and then job is complete.

Someone just asked – ‘Why the first layer of tape?’  Ahhh – that’s what makes getting all that sticky stuff off without having problems with residue left on the lightning protector or coaxial cable connections.

Remember – Three Layers: Tape, Sealing material and then Tape. This winning combination will you keep your station in top operating condition.

Recommended DX Engineering products:

TES-06132      Scotch 33 tape

TES-06143      Scotch 88 tape

TES-06147      Scotch Moisture Sealant Tape

TES-06149      Scotch Moisture Sealant Pads

TES-2155        Scotch Temflex Rubber Splicing Tape

DXE-WK-2    Scotch 33 tape and one 3” x 6” Self Adhesive Weatherproofing material

DXE-WK-3    Scotch Super 88 tape and one 3” x 6” Self Adhesive Weatherproofing material

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