Questions tagged [balun]

Devices for connecting balanced and unbalanced feed lines/antennas. Also covers questions about ununs, unbalanced-to-unbalanced connection.

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Using a balun with a resonant dipole

I am preparing to construct a resonant, center-fed, horizontal dipole. I have seen people use baluns at the feedpoint of the antenna, and some people swear by them, but I have never gotten a ...
W5VO's user avatar
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25 votes
3 answers
44k views

Why are some 1:1 current baluns twice as complicated as others?

I would like to add a balun/choke to my dipole for the reasons outlined in Using a balun with a resonant dipole. In the spirit of continued kit and/or DIY building for my ham shack, I set out to ...
natevw - AF7TB's user avatar
19 votes
3 answers
3k views

Why do amateur radio operators call an RF choke a balun?

When using a balanced antenna such as a half wave dipole, with an unbalanced feed line such as coax, an RF choke can be used to block RF current emitted by the transmitter from splitting up at the ...
Andrew's user avatar
  • 3,685
17 votes
4 answers
18k views

Where are the baluns for VHF and higher? How can one be made?

In another question, commenters recommended that I look into adding a 1:1 balun to a dual-band dipole to eliminate the feedline as a radiator. As I understand it, a 1:1 balun also functions as a choke,...
William's user avatar
  • 803
15 votes
1 answer
9k views

What is the purpose of a balun and a unun in a feed line?

I have never understood how a balun or a unun works and under which situation I need to use either of them in an antenna feed line.
Dinesh Cyanam's user avatar
11 votes
2 answers
4k views

Why isn't twisted pair used for feedlines?

My son was asking about some Ethernet cable (Cat 5 unshielded twisted pair), and since he recently passed his Technician exam and we both have "radio stuff" on our minds, I tried to make the analogy ...
natevw - AF7TB's user avatar
9 votes
6 answers
24k views

How is a 1:1 current balun different from a choke?

I have a 10m dipole and am going to feed it with 50 ohm unbalanced feed line (coax). My understanding is the feed point of this style antenna is about 50-75 ohms, and since it is a balanced antenna I'...
Java42's user avatar
  • 193
9 votes
2 answers
5k views

When would we ever want to use a voltage balun in ham radio?

In a world where common mode current is the enemy, and we're constantly doing what we can to avoid RF in the shack, why would we ever choose a voltage type balun over a current balun? I understand ...
Paul's user avatar
  • 781
9 votes
2 answers
6k views

Does a balun need to be made with coax?

The short version My understanding is that one of the main reasons to use a balun with coax is to prevent the outside of the shield from becoming part of your antenna system. If that's the case, won'...
Dominick Pastore's user avatar
9 votes
2 answers
3k views

Importance of Ferrite Size in Coax Choke Balun

The question is quite simple: When making a coax choke balun, does the size of the ferrite matter, and if so, why? I have seen design notes that say to use a single FT240-43 toroid for powers up to ...
M1GEO's user avatar
  • 223
8 votes
6 answers
2k views

Use a TV coax and balun for a poor-man's OCFD?

Can I use TV coax and a cheap TV balun to build a poor-man's OCFD? Marginal performance is acceptable if it saves money. If I could listen to 10% of transmitters within a 100 mile radius that would be ...
SlowBro's user avatar
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8 votes
2 answers
4k views

Understanding coax radiation and "current on the shield"

I'm having trouble understanding what seems to be the fundamental principle behind baluns (and probably other related topics). Perhaps some of my confusion comes from an audio background, where one ...
natevw - AF7TB's user avatar
7 votes
2 answers
5k views

Do end-fed dipole antennas need choke baluns?

I have a couple of end-fed wire antennas I bought that came with matching baluns. One has a 9:1 unun, and I'm not sure about the other one. In addition to those, should I also put a choke balun on the ...
Pablo Fernandez's user avatar
7 votes
1 answer
5k views

How to determine number of turns for a 1:1 balun?

I would like to make a 1:1 balun with М1000НМ ferrite core (magnetic permeability - 1000) and 1 mm thick copper wire using triple bifilar winding. Unfortunately I didn't manage to find a clear ...
Aleksander Alekseev - R2AUK's user avatar
7 votes
2 answers
648 views

Why aren't there baluns that do BOTH balanced/unbalanced transformation and common mode current attenuation?

I have read myself blue, about baluns. Especially 1:1 ones. Some claim they're only there to balance the unbalanced signal, and that's what's in the name also, but I find several that claims that the ...
Hans Neve's user avatar
  • 227
6 votes
3 answers
4k views

Coax or bifilar windings for a choke?

Making a common mode choke out of bifilar windings has proven rather difficult. For me the difficulty lies in getting the impedance to remain a constant 50 ohms from on the HF bands. I've tried 14 ...
Paul's user avatar
  • 781
6 votes
2 answers
7k views

How does a folded balun work?

A folded balun is made from two quarter-wavelength, parallel conductors. A picture is worth a thousand words: Here are some pictures of an actual construction from Gisela & Joe Noci on diydrones....
Phil Frost - W8II's user avatar
6 votes
3 answers
3k views

When is a balun a Guanella?

I've searched this site, wikipedia, other sites, and haven't found a clear answer: What features or parameters of a balun or choke put it into the category/definition of a "Guanella"? Where ...
Jay Rabe - KJ7TTT's user avatar
6 votes
2 answers
311 views

How much attenuation (dB) from a balun is expected?

I'm building a dipole antenna for 433 MHz, first one ever. I will have to use a ferrite bead to balance the feed. How many decibels of attenuation should I expect from the ferrite bead?
AllYourBaseAreBelongToUs's user avatar
6 votes
1 answer
266 views

Why do 9:1 ununs use type 2 material for the core?

I do not understand how a 9:1 unun wound on a T200-2 works. I understand the transformer voltage and current ratios. I have wound several toroid chokes and 49:1 ununs and know how they work. What is ...
Dereck's user avatar
  • 434
6 votes
3 answers
5k views

Why do we distinguish between balanced and unbalanced?

I hear all the time, "you need a balun between your balanced dipole and unbalanced coax to stop the common-mode current" when it seems the proper advice is "you need something to stop common-mode ...
Dominick Pastore's user avatar
6 votes
2 answers
4k views

How to measure a balun for effectiveness?

It seems there are almost as many "balun" designs as there are web pages about "baluns". There's lots of accusations pointed in all directions ("design Z isn't a balun OR a choke", "design Y is ...
natevw - AF7TB's user avatar
6 votes
3 answers
3k views

Impedance Matching Different Feedlines

(I promise there will be a question in this wall of text. I'm just giving context.) I've been wanting to try my hand at building my own antenna system for the last few weeks and in doing research, a ...
Italic_'s user avatar
  • 183
5 votes
7 answers
2k views

How to match low impedance of NVIS Dipole?

I want to match a 50-ohm coax feed wire to a 40-meter NVIS half-wave dipole. NVIS antenna examples I've found are usually based on a regular dipole (72 ohms in free air). However the impedance drops ...
Peter Buxton's user avatar
5 votes
3 answers
2k views

Determining Impedance With An Antenna Analyzer

I need some help interpreting some information from my antenna analyzer (RigExpert AA-35). I want to use the information to impedance match my AM receiving antenna system to AM radios. No ...
B. Varner's user avatar
  • 149
5 votes
2 answers
275 views

4:1 Balun question

With an OCF dipole, does it matter which leg, short or long, is connected to which side of the 4:1 balun, hot(coax center) or shield? How can you tell which is which, the balun is not marked. Thank ...
John's user avatar
  • 51
5 votes
1 answer
1k views

Connect Printed Yagi-Uda Dipole Array with Balun to coaxial cable correctly

I am making the Printed Yagi-Uda Dipole Array with Balun (that is the full name). I used Antenna Magus to calculate dimensions. I am not sure how to properly connect it to coaxial cable. Here is what ...
Triak's user avatar
  • 153
5 votes
2 answers
2k views

How does this quarter-wave stub balun work?

I was searching for 1:1 balun designs that would be efficient at VHF yet could easily be made from commonly available materials when I came across these two: While the design on the right seems ...
Ivan R2AZR's user avatar
5 votes
1 answer
2k views

How to build a balun transformer for 2m RX with low insertion loss

I'm looking into ways to match a 137MHz RX dipole antenna to an unbalanced coax + amplifier. I know there are several types of baluns which can be categorized under magnetic baluns (where there are ...
Felix S's user avatar
  • 153
5 votes
0 answers
140 views

What causes differences in properties of ferrite cores from same material?

Why are the shapes of the impedance curves different for cores made of the same ferrite material? The impedance (Z) of an inductor wound on a ferrimagnetic core is: $$Z=j\omega L_s + R_s = j\omega ...
Brian K1LI's user avatar
  • 7,848
4 votes
3 answers
2k views

What is the capacitors purpose on a balun?

Per the subject, what is the capacitors purpose on a balun? Used a lot on wire wound ferrite toroidal baluns.
t252's user avatar
  • 697
4 votes
2 answers
578 views

Actual Impedance of a folded dipole at resonance

I am using a Folded Dipole which I bought when I first got my General License. It was advertised as an all band antenna. My results with it were less than the claims made by the makers to say the ...
Tom Horne W3TDH's user avatar
4 votes
3 answers
4k views

Do I need an 9:1 UNUN for a half-wave end fed?

I was using a 10-ish meter wire as my HF rx antenna. That's all I can install in my QTH. However I realised that my ~10 m wire can be turned into an end fed dipole for 20 meter band. But there is a ...
Hose Dias's user avatar
  • 195
4 votes
2 answers
1k views

Does a dipole require a 1.5:1 balun?

Dipoles ideally have 72 ohms impedance. I know most of the time this isn't what one gets and it can vary a lot. But let's assume we can build this perfect dipole that exhibits this impedance. Why do ...
hjf's user avatar
  • 1,199
4 votes
2 answers
485 views

Dipole increased CM current using choke balun

My 20 meter inverted vee dipole is fed with 56 feet of 50-ohm coax. The SWR measures 1.2 at the center of the band. According to http://arrl.org/grounding a balanced antenna doesn't need a ground, so ...
Peter Buxton's user avatar
4 votes
2 answers
2k views

Can I use a 1:1 current balun to feed a 1/4λ vertical?

I have an LDG RBA-1:1 current balun, and I was wondering if it behaves as a common-mode choke that I can use for a ground-mounted quarter wave vertical w/ 16 radials. The other choice I have is a 4:...
Rimio's user avatar
  • 137
4 votes
3 answers
7k views

Recommended 9:1 unun core type(s)

I would like to construct a 9:1 unun that connects my QRP transceiver to a random-wire antenna. The transceiver's antenna connection is an unbalanced BNC jack and the random-wire antenna is, well, a ...
Will B - AF7EC's user avatar
4 votes
1 answer
817 views

Debugging SM0VPO's spiral loop antenna build

I had built SM0VPO's spiral loop antenna. And here it is. Recently I got myself a NanoVNA to see how finnicky it is to be tuned with that poor man's tuning cap. I brought it from 12 MHz into the 14 ...
Gunther Schadow's user avatar
4 votes
2 answers
467 views

Heat-shrink as dielectric for bazooka balun?

I'm intending to make a sleeve balun (aka bazooka) for 2m, but rather than keep the lossy coax jacket as a dielectric (I have some RG58), was considering to remove it and replace it with heat shrink ...
webmarc's user avatar
  • 4,105
4 votes
3 answers
844 views

Is RF current always confined to the inner diameter of a braided outer conductor of coaxial cable?

Prompted by a previous question found at Using a balun with a resonant dipole -- an answer there included the following text: "For transmission lines (twin-lead or coax) to not radiate, each ...
Richard Fry's user avatar
  • 2,922
3 votes
1 answer
2k views

Trying to understand the work of 4:1 coax balun

Let's consider the following picture (source): When current passes the half-wavelength matching section it changes the phase to the opposite, this is why we get +V and -V in the feed point, 2V ...
Aleksander Alekseev - R2AUK's user avatar
3 votes
1 answer
153 views

Is this "floating" output single-ended or differential and against GND or VCC?

I'm looking at a simple FM transmitter output (see picture). It is from the collector of a transistor and it goes through a DC blocking capacitor before the antenna would be connected. The entire ...
pgibbons's user avatar
  • 444
3 votes
1 answer
1k views

How does a 1:4 current balun work?

I'm having little difficulties understanding the following schematic: I understand the part regarding current distribution. I understand why this schematic suppresses common mode current. Also I ...
Aleksander Alekseev - R2AUK's user avatar
3 votes
2 answers
367 views

1:4 Guanella unun current balun

I am having trouble understanding the 1:4 Guanella current balun here. So at DC, or low frequencies, I think the current path would be a short to ground. At higher frequencies, I am getting confused ...
Erik McKee's user avatar
3 votes
1 answer
364 views

UHF cubical quad VNA analysis interpretation

I've designed a two element UHF cubical quad. It was designed to resonate at 385 Mhz. I used 0.1mm thick and 1cm wide copper tape instead of wire to lower the antenna Q. I used PVC electrical conduit ...
rodv92's user avatar
  • 173
3 votes
1 answer
337 views

Power Amplifier Balun Question

Second (and last hopefully) question on the classic Solid State Design for the Radio Amateurs (SSDRA) book by Hayward et al. Again it's a power amplifier circuit (Chapter 4, pg. 66), and again it's ...
Buck8pe's user avatar
  • 989
3 votes
1 answer
129 views

RFID extension cable

I am trying to build an extension cable to relay an RFID signal (125kHz) to various distances (2,5,10m). I am using 2 identical antennas at the two ends of a 75Ohm coax cable, and I also put 2 ...
gcaglion's user avatar
3 votes
2 answers
154 views

Tips for HF Antenna with house near AM transmitter

My back garden is very small - about 500sqft. I also live near an AM transmitter and requires an AM filter. I would appreciate some general tips on the best approach to receiving HF signals (Ham and ...
user14615's user avatar
  • 157
3 votes
2 answers
580 views

Why don't baluns require precise conductor spacing as in twin-lead?

This is a follow up to another recent question of mine: Does a balun need to be made with coax? In that question, we establish that a choke balun doesn't actually work by protecting the "third ...
Dominick Pastore's user avatar
3 votes
1 answer
871 views

Balun identification from picture

I thought maybe this was a 4:1 balun, but a number of 4:1 single core balun diagrams that I found online had different connections. N1HFX's balun page and the bottom of G4WPW's page show a connection ...
Paul's user avatar
  • 1,455