Although this new Technical Note covering how to test/screen an arrestor to ensure that it is working and operating properly was specifically created in reference to our FPL series of units designed to protect GPS and other Global Navigation equipment…the input here also applies to the majority of the NexTek FPL and FPN series units. Most of the FPL and FPN series, including the FPL GPS arrestors, use multiple stages of protection circuitry inside.
This relative complexity makes the FPL and FPN series Fine Protectors a bit more complex to test properly, when compared to other common types such as Gas Discharge Tube or Quarter Wavelength Shorted Stub arrestors.
Operational/Protection Voltage Testing
- Without an actual lightning tester (such as the common 1.2×50µs / 8×20µs Induced Lightning waveform testers,) it is difficult to completely verify Transient Response and Performance.
- The lowest-voltage component is usually the only one that can be tested using a Diode Tester or Slow Rising DC Power Supply & Multimeter combination. For NexTek FPL and FPN series devices, this usually means a fast-acting semiconductor Protection Diode that is responsible for final energy cleanup. However, this component is usually the least robust in terms of Transient Current Handling so if it remains intact and operating within specs…the entire unit should be working OK.
Test Voltage Levels – Units may have +1V, +3.3V, +5V, +12V, +24, or other common Protection Voltage ratings
Continuity and Insulation Testing
- Any FPL or FPN series units that are rated to pass DC Power through the unit will test positive for continuity between center pins, when using a Multimeter tool.
RF Thru-Performance / Proper Radio Operation
- One of the simplest ways to test the basic functionality of any arrestor, not just the FPL and FPN series units, is to test the unit in a radio installation and verify proper system operation. This alone is a positive indicator that the unit is operating properly and is probably not damaged.