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OPEK LP-350A - Arc-Gas Lightning Transient Voltage Surge Protector
Gas Discharge Tube (GDT) lightning protection technology, also commonly referred to as 'arc-gas', is much better than 'old-style' or traditional lightning protection and when installed correctly it will discharge transient voltages more quickly to ground protecting your radio equipment.
When a voltage disturbance reaches the GDT sparkover value, the GDT will short, known as arc mode. In arc mode, the GDT essentially shorts the coaxial feedline at the protector, diverting the surge through the GDT device to ground and removing the voltage surge.
A nice feature of the OPEK LP-350A is it's field replaceable GDT cartridge. Instead of having to disassemble coaxial feedlines to replace the entire protector you can simply replace the GDT cartridge. The cartridge should be replaced every few years or sooner depending on the number and strength of lightning events in your area. An indication that the GDT cartridge needs replacing is an increased SWR.
Although the GDT cartridge is hermetically sealed it will weaken over time gradually lowering the devices breakdown voltage and insulation resistance. A very strong lightning event will likely short the GDT cartridge requiring it's replacement. This is often determined by an unacceptable SWR due to an open feedline.
Installation Tips: Use a #10 AWG or larger 'solid' grounding wire to bond the protector to your ground rod. Solder the ground wire to the supplied wire lug on the protector. Locate and drive a ground rod outdoors but as close as possible to where your coaxial feedline enters your structure. Bond the ground wire to the ground rod using a quality ground rod clamp.