Have you been wondering how to select the correct surge protection for your Coaxial RF application? This newly-released Selection Guide is a handy tool which will help walk you through the selection process and end up with the best standard solution for your needs.
This include a review of our major product lines, a list of primary selection criteria that are important to know before making a decision, and some additional charts and information to help simplify the process.
Click through below to find the new RF Arrestor Selection Guide and start the process!
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.
Although probably our best-known type of solution, we wanted to take the opportunity to start off 2017 by highlighting Lightning Protection for coaxial RF applications. Fundamentally, the purpose of these devices is to provide high-performance Lightning & Surge Protection for Radio and Electronic Systems and their Users. This can be as simple as protecting a radio itself, or as complex as providing protection to the entire platform or system the protection is being installed upon.
You can see the common areas where protection is installed called out as A, B, and C in the diagram above. This is an over-simplification and does not exactly represent most actual installations, but it does a good job representing the various ways and reasons that a coaxial cable can be installed outside and therefore represent a potential ingress path for Transient Lightning Energy.
Lightning damage is a leading cause of radio damage in many locations and systems around the world. Anywhere a coaxial cable or radio antenna is run outside in an exposed location, there is a potential need for an arrestor/protector on the line as well.
While we do specialize in coaxial connectorized solutions where RF Energy must be passed during normal usage, we also do have many years of experience in designing and consulting on all sorts of Surge Protection devices… From Lightning Arrestors for AC, DC, or Serial/Comms lines, to providing multi-faceted protection that is as effective against Static/ESD and HEMP/NEMP energy as it is against standard Lightning transients.
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!
You Might Not Know; Just as our line of Power Filters are used to provide EMC compliance for a wide variety of military and government applications, our line of Surge Arrestors for coaxial RF lines are also in-use on an wide range of systems worldwide!
Whether they are installed on a Permanent Installation or a Land Vehicle, Ship, or Airborne Vehicle… Our surge arrestors provide the type of rugged performance and long lifetime that any Military or Government user demands. Solutions range from standard off-the-shelf units all the way to fully-custom solutions developed to meet a complex or special set of requirements.
We can provide protection against any threat type, including;
With the proliferation and continued growth of the use of Radios and Radio-based technology (sensors like radar, communications, even electronic warfare [EW]) across all military equipment and systems, there are a growing number of requirements for Lightning and Surge protection to ensure that mission-critical equipment and capabilities remain up and working properly at all times!
In fact, NexTek was formed as an EMC engineering consultant outfit, and our first contracts ever were in the Military world. With this type of experience and pedigree, you can be confident that your NexTek arrestor will provide protection, performance, and trouble-free operation…whether you are using it in a Mil/Gov application or not!
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.
This week’s featured article is a Technical Article previously published in Interference Technology magazine. This in-depth article contains details and information about providing Lightning and Surge protection for coaxial and RF applications operating in the 4 to 6GHz range.
The widely used Public Safety (4.9GHz),UNII (5.6GHz), and ISM (5.8GHz) band applications all operate within this frequency window, so there are a multitude of applications and users around the world.
High-Frequency applications within this range can be treated different in terms of the Protection Design and Technology used on this type of system. For example, the relatively high frequency range means that Quarter Wavelength Stub arrestors are ideal protectors for any application where DC Pass is not required!
To learn more about what makes providing Lightning and Surge protection for high frequency coaxial lines unique, click through the Technical Article below!
Would you like to know more about performing Transient Testing on Gas Discharge Tube based arrestors? More specifically, testing arrestors against the common Lightning-derived industry-standard 1.2×50µs/8×20µs Voltage/Current Waveform using commonly available equipment to 6kV/3kA surge current levels.
The 1.2×50µs/8×20µs standard is meant to replicate conditions and energy levels that you can expect during an Indirect Lightning Strike, i.e. one where there is a nearby Lightning strike but without any direct attachment to the cable being test. These are also known as Induced or Coupled Lightning transients, because the lightning energy does not need to direct connect or attach to the coaxial cable’s center conductor for that conductor to be carrying Lightning surge energy.
If you’d like to learn more about how to perform this testing, and even some insights about how a Gas Discharge Tube responds to this type of transient event… check out the brand-new Technical Note/White Paper posted today!
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!