The Neverending Quest For Size Reduction
As with most technologies, RF and Wireless system design is an ever-changing and shifting world. As certain technologies or RF bands become popular, others fade away.
However, the one ever-present force on the industry is the steady, but relentless, push towards smaller size and better integration over time.
Lightning/Surge Protection at the PCB Level?
Here at NexTek we understand the desire to bring things into the box, or even all the way onto the Radio PCB… However, we also know that Lightning Transients contain too much energy to deal with safely at the PCB Level… Trace widths, ground place areas, and the components themselves all become limiting factors that will prevent complete and effective protection.
Given this reality, the last place where it is reasonable and safe to protect against Lightning or other Surge events is at the radio’s box or chassis level. By replacing the normal I/O connector with a protected version, designer can ensure that they have high-performance protection without paying any significant size or weight penalty. As long as the radio’s chassis is grounded well, the bulk of the Transient Energy will be drained safely to ground before entering the box and/or the PCB itself.
It may still be advisable to install some simple protection on the PCB, but only for final clean-up…Something like a small Protection Diode coupled with a DC Blocking Capacitor (if possible for your application) would provide plenty of protection against any residual energy that gets past the Protected I/O Connector.
Maximum Protection in the Minimum Amount of Space
Below, you can see an array of our Ultra-Compact protection options… They all include high-performance lightning protection, and are available in a wide variety of connector configurations on both the Input and Output side.
Outside Connector Options – Type N, TNC, SMA
Inside Connector Options – SMA, MMCX, RG188, RG316, and more!
Threat Types – Lightning, Static (ESD), and EMP
We are happy to announce the recent release of a brand-new two-page bulletin and brochure, featuring our range of compact high-performance arrestors. Whether you are working on a new design, or trying to retrofit something onto an existing one…these ultra-small options are ideal for any application where size is a critical design factor.
Instead of trying to add some (likely inadequate) transient protection on-board, or having to go all the way to a traditional external arrestor mounted somewhere on the cable run…It is now possible to integrate world-class protection against Lightning, Static (ESD) or High-Speed EMP into a bulkhead connector that will easily replace most existing I/O feedthrus!
With the wide array of connector options and frequency ranges available, you should be able to find a solution for any application. Learn more and download the new Product Bulletin by following the jump below;
Available with SMA and TNC connectors, our G-Class arrestors (The PTCSAFSAF20G and the PTCTNFSAF20G, for example) cover a wider RF Band than any other coaxial protection design in the world. Because of the exceptional wideband performance from DC all the way up to 11 or 12.5GHz, there is no arrestor available today that will cover the same number of potential applications. When the wideband ratings are combined with the extremely small form factor of these units, there is truly no other arrestor out there which can come close.
These units are perfect for retrofit or other installations where space is at a premium, or those who simply want a high quality protector that takes up minimal space! In fact, these fully featured lightning arrestors barely take up any more space than a typical connector feedthru that contains no protection at all!
Also, keep in mind that like all NexTek solutions….
- All G-Class arrestors are Designed, Engineered, Assembled, and Tested here in the United States!
- This design incorporates 30 Years of Experience and Expertise into every feature and detail.
- They are truly High Quality Advanced Designs, ready for the most demanding applications.
PTCSAFSAF20G – SMA to SMA, DC to 12.5GHz
PTCTNFSAF20G – TNC to SMA, DC to 11GHz
This week’s featured content is an article written by NexTek’s VP of Engineering, George Kauffman, and published in Defense Electronics magazine.
As military and defense programs demand more efficiency and value for the dollar, many Commercial-Off-The-Shelf components and solutions are being used in defense systems and equipment. Not only does the use of COTS parts help keep development costs and time to a minimum, it is possible to make a system that is just as reliable and high-performance as a fully custom-engineered solution.
Check out the article if you would like to learn more about using standard coaxial/RF lightning and surge protection solutions in defense applications, including the following key points;
- System Susceptibility
- Risk Assessment
- Available Arrestor Technologies
- How to Select the Proper Solution
- Proper Protection Coordination
- Environmental Requirements
- Other Considerations
You will learn how to choose a high quality COTS solution that is suitable for the most demanding of military and defense applications!
Here at NexTek, we take pride in offering a range of coaxial arrestors that are assembled here in the USA to our own designs, using the highest quality materials available and assembled under top notch quality control systems. This is not always the case when it comes to most coaxial protection available on the market today…But Why Does That Matter?
Quality You Can Trust! – Assembled in the USA
Because we assemble every product here in the United States at the same location as our Design and Engineering staff, we can ensure that our quality standards are second-to-none. Our assembly and quality technicians perform 100% RF testing on every arrestor built, to ensure that every unit we deliver to our customers is fully functional…significantly reducing downtime and returns!
The Best Surge Performance – Period!
You don’t want just “average” protection…You want to know that your solution has been designed by utilizing decades of experience and expertise, and whose performance is regularly verified under full-scale Lightning testing! The almost obsessive attention to detail of NexTek’s Design and Engineering Staff results in every facet of a given arrestor design being optimized for maximum performance…from the fundamental protection technology used, to minimizing overall size, to optimizing details like the number of center pin “fingers.”
Ultra Long Lifetime – Even Outdoors!
NexTek arrestors have been known to last for years, and decades, in the field because of the high quality Nickel-Plated Brass we use as the main body material for the majority of our arrestor designs. Compare this to the aluminum commonly used in solutions from some of our competitors, which we avoid whenever possible due to its inferior environmental performance! Nickel over Brass has been used for high quality connectors for years, and remains the first choice for use in extreme environments!
High Mating Cycle Tolerance – Over and Over Again!
Our designs use high-quality Gold-plated Beryllium Copper center pins for maximum Surge Handling and long lifetime reasons…They can take the most current of any commonly used material, and they retain high springiness for maximum contact life over a long lifetime of use. A high quality center pin design built from BeCu provides the best surge and mating cycle performance of any material!
If you have a need for coaxial surge protection and performance, lifetime, assembly location, and receiving a quality product are important to you… NexTek’s range of SurgeGuard surge arrestors for coaxial and RF applications can offer a high quality solution for any application!
Are you looking for a quick and easy visual aide to assist in selecting the proper coaxial lightning and surge arrestor for your application? Are you wondering which NexTek arrestor families offer a solution with the right combination of RF Pass Band and Connector Type to meet your needs?
If so…you are in luck! We have just made a new single-page visual selection guide now available on nextek.com! This handy .PDF version contains active hyperlinks to each Product Family page on nextek.com, so that you can go directly there to learn more and start browsing!
Also, remember that we have a Dynamic Product Finder tool for our Coaxial Arrestor line.
We have added NexTek’s new coaxial arrestor product to the website and product selection tool, and you can now find information about all four variations!
The PTI series provides effective protection in an extremely compact form factor, and includes a series capacitor to block DC energy and further reduce the amount of energy that gets past and flows into the radio being protected. This series capacitor guarantees effective protection from the Gas Discharge Tube front-end by eliminating the need to rely on or coordinate with the output-side capacitor of your radio.
Available with a TNC (f) bulkhead and SMA (f) connectors, in a range of RF pass band and RF Power ratings. See below and explore the datasheets to learn additional details!
- Excellent Response and Residual Energy Reduction
- Compact TNC to SMA Bulkhead Protector
- Low VSWR and Insertion Loss
- Multi-strike, Rugged and Waterproof
Product Page Links:
Today’s post highlights a type of Transient Threat that NexTek arrestors provide protection against. Although Lightning energy is the primary source of damage to coaxial lines and systems where they are used, there are also other types of Surge Energy that can cause damage to electronics.
ESD, or Electro-Static-Discharge, discharges can reach many kilovolts in potential and therefore could cause significant damage to most unprotected electronic equipment. Although the total energy contained within an ESD discharge is relatively low, it is the fast risetime and kilovolt+ voltage potential that are the main causes of damage.
For any application or system which uses coaxial transmission cables and connectors, there is likely to be some risk of direct human contact to an “exposed” (i.e. un-mated) coaxial center pin which in-turn makes ESD discharges directly onto the center pin quite likely. In this case, protection must be installed or afforded in order to ensure the continued performance of a given system or piece of equipment.
When examining a specific application and quantifying the ESD threat level, there are two main paths to travel down: One, the ESD threat may be given by a specific Industry Standard document (MIL-STD, IEC, IEEE, EN, etc) according to a judgement made upstream in the overall program…or an approximate threat level or desired protection level based on the program-level design requirements.
See below for a table which lists some ESD Requirements which may apply:
Standards that require ESD testing include:
- ISO 10605
- Ford EMC
- ISO/EN 61000-4-2 needed for the CE mark
- IEC 61000-4-2
- ISO TR10605
- RTCA DO 160
Learn More about NexTek’s Coaxial Surge Arrestors here: Coaxial Surge Arrestors
As one of NexTek’s primary product lines, our range of Coaxial Surge Protectors is designed to cover a wide range of potential application requirements with high-performance, military-grade designs that are built using top-notch quality control systems. This post will focus on Surge Ratings and how they relate to coaxial arrestors.
Why are Surge Ratings Important?: The primary purpose of any surge arrestor is to protect against unwanted damage from Lightning or other sources of transient energy (like Static [ESD], HIRF, or EMP.) The Transient Ratings of a given arrestor allow direct comparisons between alternative options, and also give the ability to match up a solution’s ratings with calculated risk and energy levels.
- Full-Scale Lightning Testing – Gas Discharge Tube Comparison
How do NexTek Solutions Differ?: Over NexTek’s nearly 30 Years of experience in designing surge protectors, there have been countless opportunities to learn, test, modify, and re-test various Arrestor technologies and designs. When full-scale Lightning Surge testing is combined with continuous research and development over this length of time, our design methods and the overall knowledge base from which we draw have been continuously refined and expanded. From direct strike capable solutions that can handle >200,000 Amps, to fast-responding EMP protection devices which can respond to a transient pulse within nanoseconds…We have experience with them all!
Example of Nextek Methods: NexTek does comparison testing of Gas Discharge Tubes from different suppliers, by testing multiple tubes to their limit and beyond. As a key component used inside a wide array of our designs, relative GDT performance is extremely important to the overall performance of any arrestor it is used in. By doing full-scale Transient Testing to destruction NexTek can determine which suppliers are highest-performing and which are truest to their ratings…All of this adds up to mean that every NexTek arrestor that uses a GDT inside is using the best available protective element…and therefore providing top-tier Transient Performance balanced with excellent RF Performance!
Summary: No matter the threat type and level (Lightning, ESD, high-speed EMP,) NexTek has the expertise to select the ideal standard product, modify an existing product, or develop an entirely new custom solution according to each specific set of needs!