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Author Topic: Lightning Arrestor's Which one?  (Read 5068 times)
VOODOO42
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Posts: 114




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« on: April 21, 2009, 04:01:09 AM »

I've narrowed it down to two companies. I.C.E. and Alpha Delta. Can anybody tell me why one is a better product than the other?

My set up is a Kenwood ts-440 with built in tuner. 50 ohm coax feedline to an inverted V 40 meter wire antenna. I do have to beef up my grounding system with more rods and #4 wire and bond everything together but that is a work in progress.  I want to buy the best Arrestor for my application for under $100. Any suggestions about the I.C.E. and Alpha Delta would be appreciated.

Thanks
KJ4IYL
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KB9CRY
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« Reply #1 on: April 21, 2009, 06:23:46 AM »

I use all ICE devices and they have worked perfectly for many years.
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NA0AA
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« Reply #2 on: April 21, 2009, 07:48:14 PM »

I have 10 I.C.E. units.

I did put an alpha-delta unit on my dad's scanner antenna some time back - waterproof for outdoor installation.

I have mine installed in a thru-bulkhead mounting to my SPG.

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K9KJM
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« Reply #3 on: April 21, 2009, 10:11:53 PM »

I too use mostly I.C.E. arrestors (And Alpha Delta coax switches that put unused antennas to ground)

But remember, The actual device used is MUCH less important in the lightning protection scheme than the correct bonding and grounding of your system, And the correct use of a "Single Point" ground.

For some good info:
http://members.cox.net/pc-usa/station/ground0.htm

For some tips on how to do it on a budget pick up a copy of the May 2009 Popular Communications magazine.
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KB1NXE
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« Reply #4 on: April 22, 2009, 12:31:37 PM »

Alpha Deltas use a straight through design.  That is, the electrical path of the device is not interrupted with any LC components.  They use a gas filled cartridge to arc the lightning energy away from your rig.  The 'turn on' voltage of these type is higher.  

The I.C.E. devices use a LC network to shunt lightning energy away from your rig.  Turn on voltage is much lower.  These offer more protection to low voltage static buildup.  Such as static buildup from wind/snow/rain.  They also may fail easier (the drawback).  High SWR has been known to cause them to fail.

With either, when they fail, the only way you may know is an increase of noise in the receiver, or when your rig is on fire.  The reason I say noise and not SWR, is the straight through design will not affect your SWR.

I hope this helps you to make an informed decision.

Jim
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VOODOO42
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« Reply #5 on: April 22, 2009, 01:22:58 PM »

Sounds like I.C.E. May be a little better. I really need to get my whole ground system better. My darn electrical panel box is on the far end of my house and needs a couple of ground rods for it. it uses the old cold water pipe standard of the 70's......my radio room is in the opposite end of the basement but the cold water pipe does exit about 3 feet from my radio...... and my antenna set up is behind a seperate workshop garage 60 feet away from the house. Wife didn't want wires everywhere next to the house.......my workshop is for woodwork so much sawdust in the air or I would move radio out there....but no heat or air so that wouldn't be good either. Lots of driveway between the house and the garage so running copper #4 is just about impossible from antennas to house ground system. My method so far has been unplug power supply ac and disconnect coax. I just believe it wouldn't hurt to have a lightning arrestor as the coax comes into the house.
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VOODOO42
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« Reply #6 on: April 22, 2009, 01:24:31 PM »

also have an antron 99 used for 10,12 15 and use wire with seperate coax for 20 and 40 with balun on the antron mast about 35 feet in air.
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N0FPE
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« Reply #7 on: April 27, 2009, 08:04:50 PM »

I.C.E. or PolyPhaser   forget Alpha Delta they are not anything but fancy gas Discharge units. You will never find a Alpha Delta in a commecial installation.

I.C.E.   or   PolyPhaser  nothing else

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DXSHORTWAVE
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« Reply #8 on: April 28, 2009, 05:45:33 AM »

All we use in our commercial and military installations is Alpha Delta TT3G50 Transi-Trap surge protectors. They are the only ones with UL and Defense Logistics Agency (DLA) approvals, which we require. We had to get rid of ICE and Polyphaser units because after several years of use, the internal capacitors began to fail and they are not field repairable. In our applications this was unacceptable.

We've never had a failure with the Alpha Delta units. We did our own lab testing and also at Ft. Monmouth and found the Alpha Delta units had a faster and lower turn on voltage than the others, and provided better protection. The ICE and Polyphaser units are old designs which are not recommended by our Agency.
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KB1NXE
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Posts: 301




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« Reply #9 on: April 28, 2009, 08:28:12 AM »

N0FPE,

Can you back your claim?  

I only use the Alphas as well.  While in the USAF, we only use Alpha's (GSA numbered and tested).  

While in the desert (Gulf War 1) the Pacer Bounce (HF) equipment kept frying their front end pre-amps.  This was due to sand storms generating enough static to kill that pre-amp.  Alpha's cured the problem.  Getting a good ground was a harder problem to solve.

Using a shunt based device is prone to undetected failure and at lower event potentials.  You will only find out it failed AFTER your rig is a smoldering pile of junk.

My previous post was non-partisan and only tried to explain the differences.  Not choose for the Original Poster.
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VOODOO42
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Posts: 114




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« Reply #10 on: April 30, 2009, 09:03:11 AM »

Ordered an I.C.E. 301 today......going to need two arrestors......when I have a few extra bucks I am going to order an Alpha Delta so I will end up with one of each. Sounds like good arguments on both sides.

Has anybody seen the new Sherrif by high Seirra. Its a $25.00 in line arrestor. It's probably not worth much but may be a decent way to simply ground the coax. I think it handles 1500 watts. Again probably not worth much as a lightning arrestor.

Thanks
Voodoo 42
KJ4IYL
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N1YE
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Posts: 38




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« Reply #11 on: October 06, 2009, 10:21:47 AM »

We just had an incident here in Maine that seems to disprove most of what we think we know about lightning protection.
 This weekend, three houses were hit by lightning as a front moved through. The most tragic and interesting is the one in Falmouth, ME. Witnesses said that lightning hit (get this) the water well casing that was sticking slightly out of the ground. The lightning quickly traveled through the pipes and ignited the basement. The house burned to the ground in minutes. The owner was watching television and barely had time to get his daughter and himself and two pets out of the house. One pet perished in the fire.

I used to be comforted by thinking there were many objects in the area that are higher than my antennas.
Not anymore.
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K9KJM
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Posts: 2416




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« Reply #12 on: October 07, 2009, 01:00:10 AM »

OH?  Just what does the incident of lightning hitting the best ground around (A deep well case) "disprove" what is known about lightning protection?

That only PROVES what has been known for a long time.  Lightning is seeking the best ground around.

The unfortunate folks in the house experienced some of the energy trying to get to ground THROUGH the poorly grounded things inside the home.


In certain cases where it is difficult to drive ground rods to get a good ground, We have installed deep drilled wells to cadweld commercial tower grounds to.
The practice works good too.  Even though those tower sites have taken repeated direct strikes, No equipment has been damaged.

Those folks who rely on taller objects in the area like tall trees, etc for lightning protection are living in a fool's paradise.
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N1YE
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Posts: 38




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« Reply #13 on: October 08, 2009, 02:50:45 PM »

Well, I don't claim to be an expert. I was just relaying a story that was in the news that I thought others would be interested in.
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N1YE
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Posts: 38




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« Reply #14 on: October 08, 2009, 05:02:59 PM »

In retrospect, I see that I was caught up in the excitement of the moment because I was posting it as I was hearing the story. You are, indeed, correct. It is not a mystery that it hit the water well casing, What interests me is that it would seem that a buried metal  well casing filled with water would make a far superior ground rod than anything I could drive into the ground. Why, then, did the energy travel laterally through the ground in sufficient magnitude to destroy the house? Why was it not dissipated into the water-soaked earth?

For me, it is the magnitude of the destructive energy that causes me to doubt that my common lightning arrestors and ground rods would really make any difference is such a case.
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