May 10, 2023

What is GK Speed? A guide to RFS accessories

Throughout our What is Series, we have explored each of the RFS product families, looking in detail at how the solutions work and the applications they support worldwide. In our final installment, we are looking at the GKSpeed grounding kits and the broader range of RFS accessories. At RFS, we focus on delivering quality and ensuring top-level performance, and in this article, Christopher Roch, Product Manager – Transmission Lines at RFS, explains why that must extend to all elements in the eco-system.

Christopher Roch, Product Manager – Transmission Lines

What are GKSpeed solutions used for?

GKSpeed is the product name for some of RFS’s grounding kits. They are an essential part of an installation for many of our customers' projects as they add protection to prevent lightning damage, for example. Installation of ground kits is recommended as a minimum at the top and bottom of each vertical run, at additional intervals across longer vertical runs, and as cable enters the building. In many geographies, grounding kits are a requirement to meet local regulatory standards and ensure continuous performance. 

GKSpeed is specifically compatible with our CELLFLEX and HYBRIFLEX families. The body of the grounding kit facilitates a solid attachment to the coaxial cable, ensuring that the performance of the coaxial cable is not compromised. The tin-plated copper mesh then provides a secure, low-resistance contact to the cable's outer conductor. The installation only takes a few minutes, and one of the core benefits of GKSpeed is that no additional sealing with mastic and electrical tape is required. Additionally, RFS has designed the JSTRIP-Tool which enables straightforward installation by removing the risk of damage to the cable by cutting the outer conductor while fitting.

You mentioned there are other accessories, can you talk us through those?

Yes, so GKSpeed is part of our grounding kit range. We have additional grounding kit options to cater to every customer scenario. We offer dedicated grounding kits for use with HYBRIFLEX cable which can withstand the damaging effects of lightning currents. For customers needing grounding kits for the HELIFLEX family, the EAR range is the compatible solution. 

Beyond grounding kits, we have a broader range of accessories, all designed to maximize the performance of our customers’ deployments. We know fire safety is a key priority for customers, with many needing to meet stringent regulations. As a result, we offer CPR-certified, fire-safe options for our accessories, allowing them to meet this need. 

This includes our range of clamps, available with options for each cable family. They are easy to install in challenging environments, for example, tunnels and mines, and are a crucial part of allowing us to deliver different configurations, such as 4x4 MIMO, to deliver capacity, consistency, and speed. 

Additionally, we have a range of complementary products including DC blocks and EMP protectors to give surge protection; all contributing to an architecture that enables optimum performance. 

They are small details within a deployment, but they are critical to maintaining the end-to-end quality that gives RFS a reputation for solutions built to last. 

On the topic of end-to-end quality, is there anything else RFS does to ensure this?

Each type of RF cable offered by RFS is designed to deliver premium-level performance without degradation over a long period of time. The accessories are crucial to achieving this. Much like the connectors we discussed in the article on OMNI FIT, poor ancillary products can hamper the overall performance of a deployment. Quality must be maintained throughout the entire deployment to make the most of long-life premium cable. 

Along with offering premium accessories, RFS has also designed a range of tools to ensure the fitting and installation do not allow any faults to creep in. For example, we offer specific cable-cutting tools to enable installers to make clean cuts to the jackets and layers within the cable and ensure it performs to its maximum potential. 

How is the accessories portfolio continuing to grow?

Our R&D process always keeps potential use cases at the center of our solutions development. As a result, we continue to evolve our product ranges in line with changing customer needs. 

We have supported the oil & gas, mining, and enterprise industries for decades with mission-critical equipment; however, we are noticing an increased appetite within these and other verticals for a broader range of communications equipment to support additional applications. As we work with our customers and identify the use cases that will add significant value, we will work to ensure that the accessories portfolio can support the configurations these markets need to reap the benefits increased connectivity will offer.