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Posted: 8/17/2013 9:05:30 AM EDT
Remember the box I installed three years ago for lightning protection and station grounding?  My original wire antenna finally bit the dust from repeated storm damage from tree branches.
So, in a major station reconfiguration, that antenna was replaced with an EndFedz.  I reused the same coax all the way into the shack.  When I checked the new antenna, the SWR was very high, around 13.8.  WTFO?  This same antenna reads an SWR of 1.3 using a BNC cable from the antenna matchbox directly to the radio.  Using the analyzer, I back tracked the coax path from the radio back to the antenna.

Long story short:  The original I.C.E. arrestor was the problem.  An A-B comparison with a newer Morgan Manufacturing arrestor confirms it.  Something inside the arrestor has changed and made a dramatic increase in SWR.

Post mortem of the bad arrestor showed no obvious damage to the interior or exterior.

New arrestor moves to the top of the current wishlist.





Morgan Manufacturing vs ICE Tops Off

Link Posted: 8/17/2013 10:03:02 AM EDT
I'm installing my lightning suppression today. After reading all of the bad reviews on eham about I.C.E., I decided to go with Alpha Delta ATT3G50UHP. I am installing two today. The big complaint with the I.C.E. products was inconsistent manufacturing design, as well as general quality.  He is  a sample:

"When I opened the product I was shocked. A puny toroidal core, cheap capacitors and a NE2 neon. No sign of a proper gas discharge tube or teflon wire. Even though the item may work as described, and may have some advantage over the competition, I doubt very much if the poor quality materials used could sustain multiple surges. The enamel wire and uninsulated toroid core is bound to arc. The webpage description is clearly deceptive, you dont get whats described on the web page."
Link Posted: 8/17/2013 10:22:02 AM EDT
The I.C.E. and Morgan Manufacturing arrestors have performed without a hiccup until now.  The arrestor in question has been through some pretty violent weather, and this may be the result of all of that.

I'll buy another from Morgan Manufacturing, which is a local company.
Link Posted: 8/17/2013 10:53:34 AM EDT
Discussion ForumsJump to Quoted PostQuote History
Quoted:
The I.C.E. and Morgan Manufacturing arrestors have performed without a hiccup until now.  The arrestor in question has been through some pretty violent weather, and this may be the result of all of that.

I'll buy another from Morgan Manufacturing, which is a local company.
View Quote


More than likely this is what happened, i.e. the arrestor did its job and died in the process.

I've had arrestors fail on my discone VHF antenna the same way, and when there's no
arrestor, it arcs like crazy at the connector when a storm rolls in.
Link Posted: 8/17/2013 10:58:05 AM EDT
Those arrestors use a capacitor for the signal conductor.  The capacitors can and do burn out as a result of surge damage.
Link Posted: 8/17/2013 11:28:14 AM EDT
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Quoted:
I decided to go with Alpha Delta ATT3G50UHP.  
View Quote


This is also what I'm using.  Don't have anything to compare it to, but so far it's working A-OK.  
Link Posted: 8/17/2013 11:43:49 AM EDT
Better to fry your lightning protection than your radio.
Link Posted: 8/17/2013 11:57:42 AM EDT
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Quoted:
Better to fry your lightning protection than your radio.
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AMEN!  

Thanks guys for confirming what I suspected.  
Link Posted: 8/17/2013 3:17:40 PM EDT
We (club) have PolyPhaser Coaxial Lightning Protectors PPR-IS-50UX-C0  @ $62.70 each from DX Engineering in our station.



Copper buss and braid ground strap from Georgia Copper.

Link Posted: 8/17/2013 4:36:25 PM EDT
We've had ICE's on our club repeaters since 1998, original units still working fine as far as I know.
Link Posted: 8/17/2013 6:00:20 PM EDT
Sorry to hear. Replace it with a Polyphaser and you'll be fine.
Link Posted: 8/18/2013 6:33:44 AM EDT
Discussion ForumsJump to Quoted PostQuote History
Quoted:


More than likely this is what happened, i.e. the arrestor did its job and died in the process.

I've had arrestors fail on my discone VHF antenna the same way, and when there's no
arrestor, it arcs like crazy at the connector when a storm rolls in.
View Quote View All Quotes
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Discussion ForumsJump to Quoted PostQuote History
Quoted:
Quoted:
The I.C.E. and Morgan Manufacturing arrestors have performed without a hiccup until now.  The arrestor in question has been through some pretty violent weather, and this may be the result of all of that.

I'll buy another from Morgan Manufacturing, which is a local company.


More than likely this is what happened, i.e. the arrestor did its job and died in the process.

I've had arrestors fail on my discone VHF antenna the same way, and when there's no
arrestor, it arcs like crazy at the connector when a storm rolls in.



I tend to agree, thats what you wanted after all!  Well done!  
Link Posted: 8/20/2013 7:15:48 AM EDT
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Quoted:
We (club) have PolyPhaser Coaxial Lightning Protectors PPR-IS-50UX-C0  @ $62.70 each from DX Engineering in our station.

http://i1289.photobucket.com/albums/b519/Jupiter7200/DXEngineeringLightingArrestors_zps40ca754c.jpg

Copper buss and braid ground strap from Georgia Copper.

View Quote


Can you post pictures of the setup from shown to earth ground?
Link Posted: 8/20/2013 7:51:23 AM EDT
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Quoted:


Can you post pictures of the setup from shown to earth ground?
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Discussion ForumsJump to Quoted PostQuote History
Quoted:
Quoted:
We (club) have PolyPhaser Coaxial Lightning Protectors PPR-IS-50UX-C0  @ $62.70 each from DX Engineering in our station.

http://i1289.photobucket.com/albums/b519/Jupiter7200/DXEngineeringLightingArrestors_zps40ca754c.jpg

Copper buss and braid ground strap from Georgia Copper.



Can you post pictures of the setup from shown to earth ground?



Nothing to see, really.  The braid goes up into the ceiling, where the HF ground buss from the other side of the radio room clamps to it with some copper plates and conductive copper grease.  From there the braid goes outside and runs down the leg of the tower just on the other side of the wall and disappears into the ground.

There is a long copper buss plate behind the HF rigs, drilled and tapped along its length.  The HF transceivers, tuners, power supplies, are all grounded to that buss with 1/2" braid that has had ring terminals crimped on the ends, just like the ground straps you can buy ready made.  No "daisy chaining" (one piece of gear tied to another, then to ground).  Each piece has its own separate ground strap.

There are three 8' copper clad ground rods driven into the ground, all driven down into holes, trenches for the wire we dug.  Then after tying it all together, with one wire going to the tower leg itself, and the braid up the leg to the radio room, we filled the dirt back in.  It is all buried.  Nothing to see here, folks, please move along.  We sprayed the shiny copper wire (it was real thick, don't know what gauge) and braid with gray cold galvanizing spray to make it less attractive to copper thieves and to match the galvanizing on the tower.

The 1" braid ground strap is simply Ty-wrapped down one of the legs of the tower.  The heavy copper wire from the ground rods going to the leg of the terminal has a ring terminal on the end, and is under the head of one of the bolts on the tower base.  All of these connections are dabbed liberally with conductive copper grease from Georgia Copper.

Where you see the 1" braid clamped to the copper buss plate (1/4" thick) on which the Polyphasers are mounted, the clamp pieces and braid were liberally coated with the copper grease.  Same where the VHF ground braid clamps to the HF braid from the other side of the room.  That is up in the ceiling.

The three coaxes you see in the photo go to the Echolink, IRLP, and APRS setups which are on 24/7.  We have lost a rig due to lightning damage before this new grounding system.  It could still happen again, but we've done our best, I think.

The HF rigs always have their coax and power plugs unplugged when not in use, with the coax hanging off the desks in plain sight as a reminder to plug in.

From the HF antennas, the coaxes come in from outside, down through a hole in the ceiling tiles and attach to 1.5" feed-throughs (double SO-239 sockets) made up on a piece of 2" x 2" x 10" long aluminum angle.  There are labels identifying which antenna is on which feed through, and the coaxes each have tags identifying which antenna, "75 m dipole", "10-15-20 Tribander", etc.  This forms a simple patch panel so that the operators simply screw jumpers from the transceivers/antenna tuners to the appropriate antenna.  That piece of aluminum angle also has a ground strap running over to the copper buss on the wall behind those rigs.
Link Posted: 8/30/2013 12:14:11 PM EDT
Quoted:

I'll buy another from Morgan Manufacturing, which is a local company.  New arrestor moves to the top of the current wishlist.
View Quote

Ordered replacement @ 1625Z today.  We'll see how long it takes to travel 41.7 miles. (over the Labor Day weekend)  
Link Posted: 8/30/2013 12:31:13 PM EDT
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Quoted:


This is also what I'm using.  Don't have anything to compare it to, but so far it's working A-OK.  
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Quoted:
Quoted:
I decided to go with Alpha Delta ATT3G50UHP.  


This is also what I'm using.  Don't have anything to compare it to, but so far it's working A-OK.  



How's the quality? I used to like AD, but after seeing my switch give up the ghost, i'm a little hesitant to purchase anything made by them.
Link Posted: 8/30/2013 12:43:19 PM EDT
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Quoted:



How's the quality? I used to like AD, but after seeing my switch give up the ghost, i'm a little hesitant to purchase anything made by them.
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Quoted:
Quoted:
Quoted:
I decided to go with Alpha Delta ATT3G50UHP.  


This is also what I'm using.  Don't have anything to compare it to, but so far it's working A-OK.  



How's the quality? I used to like AD, but after seeing my switch give up the ghost, i'm a little hesitant to purchase anything made by them.


They're really nice, I wouldn't hesitate to use that model on a high power HF antenna.  I have a dozen of the lower power version with N connectors I got cheap on Ebay.  They're all a spark gap type, so they don't bleed off static charge like an ICE or similar though.
Link Posted: 9/3/2013 5:44:31 AM EDT
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Quoted:

Ordered replacement 30AUG2013 1625Z today.  We'll see how long it takes to travel 41.7 miles. (over the Labor Day weekend)  
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Quoted:
Quoted:

I'll buy another from Morgan Manufacturing, which is a local company.  New arrestor moves to the top of the current wishlist.

Ordered replacement 30AUG2013 1625Z today.  We'll see how long it takes to travel 41.7 miles. (over the Labor Day weekend)  

Just received an email 03SEP2013 1320Z that the arrestor should ship today USPS Priority Mail.  Should be here tomorrow.
Link Posted: 9/4/2013 2:14:04 PM EDT
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Quoted:

Just received an email 03SEP2013 1320Z that the arrestor should ship today USPS Priority Mail.  Should be here tomorrow.
View Quote View All Quotes
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Quoted:
Quoted:
Quoted:

I'll buy another from Morgan Manufacturing, which is a local company.  New arrestor moves to the top of the current wishlist.

Ordered replacement 30AUG2013 1625Z today.  We'll see how long it takes to travel 41.7 miles. (over the Labor Day weekend)  

Just received an email 03SEP2013 1320Z that the arrestor should ship today USPS Priority Mail.  Should be here tomorrow.

The replacement arrestor from Morgan Manufacturing was in the mailbox when I got home today, 04SEP2013.
Just need to Installed it in the box with the others and I'll be back up to full power on the shields.
5 days total, but to be fair, I did order it just before a holiday weekend.  Don't do that if you're in a hurry.
Link Posted: 9/5/2013 11:21:00 AM EDT
Discussion ForumsJump to Quoted PostQuote History
Quoted:
The I.C.E. and Morgan Manufacturing arrestors have performed without a hiccup until now.  The arrestor in question has been through some pretty violent weather, and this may be the result of all of that.

I'll buy another from Morgan Manufacturing, which is a local company.
View Quote


Which model do you use?  Any reason not to get the 8kw one for only $7 more?

from: kf7p.com
Models Available:                                                    Price:
M-300U, 1kw, UHF connector,   .1-40Mhz                                          $52
M-301U, 1kw, UHF connector,    1.5-40Mhz                                       $52
M-303U, 8kw, UHF connector,    1.5-40Mhz                                       $59


Link Posted: 9/5/2013 12:20:42 PM EDT
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Quoted:


Which model do you use?  Any reason not to get the 8kw one for only $7 more?

from: kf7p.com
Models Available:                                                    Price:
M-300U, 1kw, UHF connector,   .1-40Mhz                                          $52
M-301U, 1kw, UHF connector,    1.5-40Mhz                                       $52
M-303U, 8kw, UHF connector,    1.5-40Mhz                                       $59
View Quote View All Quotes
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Discussion ForumsJump to Quoted PostQuote History
Quoted:
Quoted:
The I.C.E. and Morgan Manufacturing arrestors have performed without a hiccup until now.  The arrestor in question has been through some pretty violent weather, and this may be the result of all of that.

I'll buy another from Morgan Manufacturing, which is a local company.


Which model do you use?  Any reason not to get the 8kw one for only $7 more?

from: kf7p.com
Models Available:                                                    Price:
M-300U, 1kw, UHF connector,   .1-40Mhz                                          $52
M-301U, 1kw, UHF connector,    1.5-40Mhz                                       $52
M-303U, 8kw, UHF connector,    1.5-40Mhz                                       $59

I have (3) M-300U, 1kw, UHF connector,   .1-40Mhz                                          $52

If I ever get an amp, it'll probably be 1kw or less.  No need for more IMHO.  
Link Posted: 9/10/2013 2:52:27 PM EDT
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Quoted:

Installed it in the box with the others and back up to full power on the shields.
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Good thing, too, because a pop-up T-Storm came from out of nowhere and temporarily knocked out the power to the house.  Looked out the window of the shack and saw the tree that is supporting my EndFedz antenna doing what looked like a Hula Hoop impression!  Crack!!!..........Booommmmmm!!!!    (Radios were ALL unplugged from mains AC, computer USBs,  and antennas.)
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