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March 3, 2022

How Do I Choose A Coaxial Surge Arrestor? – A Basic Guide

How do I select the proper coaxial surge protector for my application?  What are the primary criterion I should pay attention to when comparing different lightning arrestors?  This post will review the fundamentals of coaxial arrestor product selection and also provide links to some helpful Articles and Tools to help you learn more about the process and eventually make your own selections!

There are really only four primary selection criteria, with a fifth line below to account for any other requirements.

 RF Performance – Your Frequency of Use and RF Power LevelRF Performance Curve - VSWR is shown on the upper graph, while Insertion Loss (dB) is shown on the lower curve.

During >99% of a coaxial arrestor’s life, it is operating as a totally passive connector.  Therefore, RF Performance ratings are the only specs that matter during this time!

 Connector Type – Your desired connector type and gender configuration.Photo Courtesy:

In order to ensure the best compatibility with the system they will be used in, it is best to match connector types to minimize the use of adapters.

Surge Response and Performance – Your Surge/Lightning Requirements or Susceptibility LevelsFull Scale Lightning Testing

These can be specific and give a detailed Threat Level to test against along with an accompanying residual energy Test Limit, or it can be as broad as “I know I need protection.”

 DC Pass Required? – Will you be sending DC Power along the coaxial cable with the RF energy?BTL-C08

This is an important detail, as some arrestors are not capable of passing DC Power!

Miscellaneous Requirements – Any additional requirements with a high priority or importance?  Antarctica

Are there any additional (secondary) requirements that could influence the proper product choice?  These could be related to Environmental, SWaP, Lifetime Ratings, Dimensions, or others!

Learn more about the selection criteria above by following the links below… There is a full-length article about Selecting Coaxial Lightning Protectors and two useful links to other pages on with even more product selection info!

As always, don’t forget to Contact Us with any questions, comments, or requests for selection assistance!

 Other Arrestor Selection Process Resources

Article – Selecting Coaxial Lightning Protectors Nextek (.PDF)

Post – One Page Arrestor Selection Guide (link)

Online Product Finder Tool (link)

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