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To Balun, or not to Balun, that is the ?

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  • Fred
    Hey gang, One of the trees holding my 80 mtr horizontal loop came down (thanks to Sandy), so this weekend was spent workin on the ole antenna. I ve always
    Message 1 of 10 , Nov 5, 2012
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      Hey gang,

      One of the trees holding my 80 mtr horizontal loop came down (thanks to Sandy), so this weekend was spent workin on the ole antenna. I've always just fed it with coax, and was reading about people feeding them with "Ugly Baluns," which is just about 20' of coax wrapped around 4" pvc.

      Then I thought about commercially made baluns, and wound up looking at a DX engineering balun. Question is, the dx engineering option is close to $100. The Ugly Balun is a lot cheaper. I remember reading that you don't want to use a balun on a loop fed with coax, so now I'm at a loss.

      At this point I'm thinking I'll just continue to use what has been working, just coax right into the antenna. Can't help thinking I could squeeze out a little more performance with a balun..Any advice? Thanks in advance.

      73's de KB8VIV

      P.S. I use it from 10-80 meters
    • tenorman1952
      The Ugly balun is best described as a choke, rather than a balun. It s function is to reduce RF on the shield. I used one for a while on a multidipole, and
      Message 2 of 10 , Nov 5, 2012
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        The "Ugly" balun is best described as a choke, rather than a balun. It's function is to reduce RF on the shield. I used one for a while on a multidipole, and while it worked fine on the upper bands, when using my amp (AL-811H at anything over 400 watts) I got RF in the shack on 80/75 meters.

        Snap on Ferrite beads worked far, far better. I used the RCT-2 from Fairite, and 15 beads seemed to work the best.

        Ferrite beads is also what is inside most "1:1 Current Baluns". Same thing as what I had, only inside a PVC tube.

        But neither the beads nor the "ugly balun" (choke balun) provide any impedance matching. Many use a 4:1 current balun for loops.

        Paul -
        AE-5JU

        --- In loopantennas@yahoogroups.com, "Fred" <desmoface@...> wrote:
        >
        > Hey gang,
        >
        > One of the trees holding my 80 mtr horizontal loop came down (thanks to Sandy), so this weekend was spent workin on the ole antenna. I've always just fed it with coax, and was reading about people feeding them with "Ugly Baluns," which is just about 20' of coax wrapped around 4" pvc.
        >
        > Then I thought about commercially made baluns, and wound up looking at a DX engineering balun. Question is, the dx engineering option is close to $100. The Ugly Balun is a lot cheaper. I remember reading that you don't want to use a balun on a loop fed with coax, so now I'm at a loss.
        >
        > At this point I'm thinking I'll just continue to use what has been working, just coax right into the antenna. Can't help thinking I could squeeze out a little more performance with a balun..Any advice? Thanks in advance.
        >
        > 73's de KB8VIV
        >
        > P.S. I use it from 10-80 meters
      • Fred
        Hi Paul, thanks for the reply. I m never running over 100 watts, but I ll look into your recommendation of the RCT-2. Thanks again for the advice. 73 s de
        Message 3 of 10 , Nov 5, 2012
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          Hi Paul, thanks for the reply. I'm never running over 100 watts, but I'll look into your recommendation of the RCT-2. Thanks again for the advice.

          73's de kb8viv

          --- In loopantennas@yahoogroups.com, "tenorman1952" <tenorman1952@...> wrote:
          >
          > The "Ugly" balun is best described as a choke, rather than a balun. It's function is to reduce RF on the shield. I used one for a while on a multidipole, and while it worked fine on the upper bands, when using my amp (AL-811H at anything over 400 watts) I got RF in the shack on 80/75 meters.
          >
          > Snap on Ferrite beads worked far, far better. I used the RCT-2 from Fairite, and 15 beads seemed to work the best.
          >
          > Ferrite beads is also what is inside most "1:1 Current Baluns". Same thing as what I had, only inside a PVC tube.
          >
          > But neither the beads nor the "ugly balun" (choke balun) provide any impedance matching. Many use a 4:1 current balun for loops.
          >
          > Paul -
          > AE-5JU
          >
          > --- In loopantennas@yahoogroups.com, "Fred" <desmoface@> wrote:
          > >
          > > Hey gang,
          > >
          > > One of the trees holding my 80 mtr horizontal loop came down (thanks to Sandy), so this weekend was spent workin on the ole antenna. I've always just fed it with coax, and was reading about people feeding them with "Ugly Baluns," which is just about 20' of coax wrapped around 4" pvc.
          > >
          > > Then I thought about commercially made baluns, and wound up looking at a DX engineering balun. Question is, the dx engineering option is close to $100. The Ugly Balun is a lot cheaper. I remember reading that you don't want to use a balun on a loop fed with coax, so now I'm at a loss.
          > >
          > > At this point I'm thinking I'll just continue to use what has been working, just coax right into the antenna. Can't help thinking I could squeeze out a little more performance with a balun..Any advice? Thanks in advance.
          > >
          > > 73's de KB8VIV
          > >
          > > P.S. I use it from 10-80 meters
          >
        • Steve Zeiger
          Paul, I just looked those up online, I actually have some small ones that I use on my computer.  So you just put these on the coax nere the attenna feedpoint,
          Message 4 of 10 , Nov 5, 2012
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            Paul,
             
            I just looked those up online, I actually have some small ones that I use on my computer.  So you just put these on the coax nere the attenna feedpoint, or near the trasmitter?  Thanks again.
             
            Steve
            kb8viv


            From: tenorman1952 <tenorman1952@...>
            To: loopantennas@yahoogroups.com
            Sent: Mon, November 5, 2012 1:15:37 PM
            Subject: [loopantennas] Re: To Balun, or not to Balun, that is the ?

             

            The "Ugly" balun is best described as a choke, rather than a balun. It's function is to reduce RF on the shield. I used one for a while on a multidipole, and while it worked fine on the upper bands, when using my amp (AL-811H at anything over 400 watts) I got RF in the shack on 80/75 meters.

            Snap on Ferrite beads worked far, far better. I used the RCT-2 from Fairite, and 15 beads seemed to work the best.

            Ferrite beads is also what is inside most "1:1 Current Baluns". Same thing as what I had, only inside a PVC tube.

            But neither the beads nor the "ugly balun" (choke balun) provide any impedance matching. Many use a 4:1 current balun for loops.

            Paul -
            AE-5JU

            --- In loopantennas@yahoogroups.com, "Fred" <desmoface@...> wrote:
            >
            > Hey gang,
            >
            > One of the trees holding my 80 mtr horizontal loop came down (thanks to Sandy), so this weekend was spent workin on the ole antenna. I've always just fed it with coax, and was reading about people feeding them with "Ugly Baluns," which is just about 20' of coax wrapped around 4" pvc.
            >
            > Then I thought about commercially made baluns, and wound up looking at a DX engineering balun. Question is, the dx engineering option is close to $100. The Ugly Balun is a lot cheaper. I remember reading that you don't want to use a balun on a loop fed with coax, so now I'm at a loss.
            >
            > At this point I'm thinking I'll just continue to use what has been working, just coax right into the antenna. Can't help thinking I could squeeze out a little more performance with a balun..Any advice? Thanks in advance.
            >
            > 73's de KB8VIV
            >
            > P.S. I use it from 10-80 meters

          • tenorman1952
            ... Put them on up by the feedpoint. The RCT-2 fits the .240 coax I have, which is LMR-240. This size also fits RG-8X. Also, I have two extension cord
            Message 5 of 10 , Nov 6, 2012
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              --- In loopantennas@yahoogroups.com, Steve Zeiger <desmoface@...> wrote:
              >
              > Paul,
              >
              > I just looked those up online, I actually have some small ones that I use on my
              > computer.  So you just put these on the coax nere the attenna feedpoint, or near
              > the trasmitter?  Thanks again.
              >
              > Steve
              > kb8viv
              >

              Put them on up by the feedpoint. The RCT-2 fits the .240" coax I have, which is LMR-240. This size also fits RG-8X.

              Also, I have two extension cord reels, each with 50' of RG-8X flexible coax. I keep these for portable / field day operations. I have 10 beads on one end of each of these reels.

              Note that you need more beads for lower frequencies, fewer beads for higher. 1 or 2 beads is sufficient for a 2 m / 70 cm J-pole, for example.

              8 to 10 beads for 40 meters on up. Etc.

              The FairRite RCT-4 fits 0.400" coax, 9912, LMR-400, RG-8/U, etc.

              For these beads there are several sources:

              www.hamcity.com and on the left click "Chokes".

              https://www.hamcity.com/store/pc/Chokes-RFI-c655.htm

              I see only the RCT-2 listed at Ham City (Jun's Electronics) at this time. They used to sell two other sizes.

              http://www.newark.com/ferrite-beads?isRedirect=true

              At Palomar Engineers:

              http://palomar-engineers.com/ferrite-beads

              The FSB-1/4 is the FairRite RCT-2

              Also look here:

              http://palomar-engineers.com/1-1-balun-kits

              This requires you to install before putting the connector on the coax.

              And also at Radio Dan:

              http://www.radiodan.com/Henry/parts/RF_chokes.htm

              Paul - AE5JU
            • Steve Zeiger
              Hi Paul, thanks again for all the helpful information.  I ll probably add some at the feedpoint.  Also, thanks for the links. Steve
              Message 6 of 10 , Nov 6, 2012
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                Hi Paul, thanks again for all the helpful information.  I'll probably add some at the feedpoint.  Also, thanks for the links.
                 
                Steve


                From: tenorman1952 <tenorman1952@...>
                To: loopantennas@yahoogroups.com
                Sent: Tue, November 6, 2012 1:56:32 PM
                Subject: [loopantennas] Re: To Balun, or not to Balun, that is the ?

                 



                --- In loopantennas@yahoogroups.com, Steve Zeiger <desmoface@...> wrote:
                >
                > Paul,
                >
                > I just looked those up online, I actually have some small ones that I use on my
                > computer.  So you just put these on the coax nere the attenna feedpoint, or near
                > the trasmitter?  Thanks again.
                >
                > Steve
                > kb8viv
                >

                Put them on up by the feedpoint. The RCT-2 fits the .240" coax I have, which is LMR-240. This size also fits RG-8X.

                Also, I have two extension cord reels, each with 50' of RG-8X flexible coax. I keep these for portable / field day operations. I have 10 beads on one end of each of these reels.

                Note that you need more beads for lower frequencies, fewer beads for higher. 1 or 2 beads is sufficient for a 2 m / 70 cm J-pole, for example.

                8 to 10 beads for 40 meters on up. Etc.

                The FairRite RCT-4 fits 0.400" coax, 9912, LMR-400, RG-8/U, etc.

                For these beads there are several sources:

                www.hamcity.com and on the left click "Chokes".

                https://www.hamcity.com/store/pc/Chokes-RFI-c655.htm

                I see only the RCT-2 listed at Ham City (Jun's Electronics) at this time. They used to sell two other sizes.

                http://www.newark.com/ferrite-beads?isRedirect=true

                At Palomar Engineers:

                http://palomar-engineers.com/ferrite-beads

                The FSB-1/4 is the FairRite RCT-2

                Also look here:

                http://palomar-engineers.com/1-1-balun-kits

                This requires you to install before putting the connector on the coax.

                And also at Radio Dan:

                http://www.radiodan.com/Henry/parts/RF_chokes.htm

                Paul - AE5JU

              • Jim Bo
                Look at Arrow Electronics. They surprised me a number of times on cost and service for ferrite material Lower in price than the regulars that are
                Message 7 of 10 , Nov 6, 2012
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                  Look at Arrow Electronics.
                   
                  They surprised me a number of times on cost and service for ferrite material
                   
                  Lower in price than the "regulars" that are recommended.  They have the Fair-Rite 31 mix for the lowest cost (based on 5 websites I looked at before calling the search process "over".
                   
                  For < 2MHz suggest to use 73 material, but look at specs for your application.
                   
                   
                  Jim
                  WA9ZBV
                   
                   
                  ----- Original Message -----
                  Sent: Tuesday, November 06, 2012 11:13 AM
                  Subject: Re: [loopantennas] Re: To Balun, or not to Balun, that is the ?

                   

                  Hi Paul, thanks again for all the helpful information.  I'll probably add some at the feedpoint.  Also, thanks for the links.
                   
                  Steve


                  From: tenorman1952 <tenorman1952@...>
                  To: loopantennas@yahoogroups.com
                  Sent: Tue, November 6, 2012 1:56:32 PM
                  Subject: [loopantennas] Re: To Balun, or not to Balun, that is the ?

                   



                  --- In loopantennas@yahoogroups.com, Steve Zeiger <desmoface@...> wrote:
                  >
                  > Paul,
                  >
                  > I just looked those up online, I actually have some small ones that I use on my
                  > computer.  So you just put these on the coax nere the attenna feedpoint, or near
                  > the trasmitter?  Thanks again.
                  >
                  > Steve
                  > kb8viv
                  >

                  Put them on up by the feedpoint. The RCT-2 fits the .240" coax I have, which is LMR-240. This size also fits RG-8X.

                  Also, I have two extension cord reels, each with 50' of RG-8X flexible coax. I keep these for portable / field day operations. I have 10 beads on one end of each of these reels.

                  Note that you need more beads for lower frequencies, fewer beads for higher. 1 or 2 beads is sufficient for a 2 m / 70 cm J-pole, for example.

                  8 to 10 beads for 40 meters on up. Etc.

                  The FairRite RCT-4 fits 0.400" coax, 9912, LMR-400, RG-8/U, etc.

                  For these beads there are several sources:

                  www.hamcity.com and on the left click "Chokes".

                  https://www.hamcity.com/store/pc/Chokes-RFI-c655.htm

                  I see only the RCT-2 listed at Ham City (Jun's Electronics) at this time. They used to sell two other sizes.

                  http://www.newark.com/ferrite-beads?isRedirect=true

                  At Palomar Engineers:

                  http://palomar-engineers.com/ferrite-beads

                  The FSB-1/4 is the FairRite RCT-2

                  Also look here:

                  http://palomar-engineers.com/1-1-balun-kits

                  This requires you to install before putting the connector on the coax.

                  And also at Radio Dan:

                  http://www.radiodan.com/Henry/parts/RF_chokes.htm

                  Paul - AE5JU

                • kj4wrk
                  I use an ugly balun choke with my 40M horizontal loop positioned just under the 4:1 balun and get great matches from 40m up through 6m. I use this balun
                  Message 8 of 10 , Nov 7, 2012
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                    I use an "ugly balun" choke with my 40M horizontal loop positioned just under the 4:1 balun and get great matches from 40m up through 6m.

                    I use this balun directly connected to the loop:
                    Mod III 4:1 Tuner Balun 1.5 - 54MHz 5kw - #4124 (4124t - Studs on top)

                    73s,
                    Steve (KJ4WRK)

                    --- In loopantennas@yahoogroups.com, Steve Zeiger <desmoface@...> wrote:
                    >
                    > Hi Paul, thanks again for all the helpful information.  I'll probably add some
                    > at the feedpoint.  Also, thanks for the links.
                    >
                    > Steve
                    >
                    >
                    >
                    >
                    > ________________________________
                    > From: tenorman1952 <tenorman1952@...>
                    > To: loopantennas@yahoogroups.com
                    > Sent: Tue, November 6, 2012 1:56:32 PM
                    > Subject: [loopantennas] Re: To Balun, or not to Balun, that is the ?
                    >
                    >  
                    >
                    >
                    > --- In loopantennas@yahoogroups.com, Steve Zeiger <desmoface@> wrote:
                    > >
                    > > Paul,
                    > >
                    > > I just looked those up online, I actually have some small ones that I use on my
                    > >
                    > > computer.  So you just put these on the coax nere the attenna feedpoint, or
                    > >near
                    > >
                    > > the trasmitter?  Thanks again.
                    > >
                    > > Steve
                    > > kb8viv
                    > >
                    >
                    > Put them on up by the feedpoint. The RCT-2 fits the .240" coax I have, which is
                    > LMR-240. This size also fits RG-8X.
                    >
                    > Also, I have two extension cord reels, each with 50' of RG-8X flexible coax. I
                    > keep these for portable / field day operations. I have 10 beads on one end of
                    > each of these reels.
                    >
                    > Note that you need more beads for lower frequencies, fewer beads for higher. 1
                    > or 2 beads is sufficient for a 2 m / 70 cm J-pole, for example.
                    >
                    > 8 to 10 beads for 40 meters on up. Etc.
                    >
                    > The FairRite RCT-4 fits 0.400" coax, 9912, LMR-400, RG-8/U, etc.
                    >
                    > For these beads there are several sources:
                    >
                    > www.hamcity.com and on the left click "Chokes".
                    >
                    > https://www.hamcity.com/store/pc/Chokes-RFI-c655.htm
                    >
                    > I see only the RCT-2 listed at Ham City (Jun's Electronics) at this time. They
                    > used to sell two other sizes.
                    >
                    > http://www.newark.com/ferrite-beads?isRedirect=true
                    >
                    > At Palomar Engineers:
                    >
                    > http://palomar-engineers.com/ferrite-beads
                    >
                    > The FSB-1/4 is the FairRite RCT-2
                    >
                    > Also look here:
                    >
                    > http://palomar-engineers.com/1-1-balun-kits
                    >
                    > This requires you to install before putting the connector on the coax.
                    >
                    > And also at Radio Dan:
                    >
                    > http://www.radiodan.com/Henry/parts/RF_chokes.htm
                    >
                    > Paul - AE5JU
                    >
                  • Steve Zeiger
                    Hi Jim, thanks for the info. kb8viv ________________________________ From: Jim Bo To: loopantennas@yahoogroups.com Sent: Fri, November 9,
                    Message 9 of 10 , Nov 9, 2012
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                      Hi Jim, thanks for the info.
                       
                      kb8viv


                      From: Jim Bo <jbollit@...>
                      To: loopantennas@yahoogroups.com
                      Sent: Fri, November 9, 2012 11:24:32 AM
                      Subject: Re: [loopantennas] Re: To Balun, or not to Balun, that is the ?

                       

                      

                       
                       
                       
                      Look at Arrow Electronics.
                       
                      They surprised me a number of times on cost and service for ferrite material
                       
                      Lower in price than the "regulars" that are recommended.  They have the Fair-Rite 31 mix for the lowest cost (based on 5 websites I looked at before calling the search process "over".
                       
                      For < 2MHz suggest to use 73 material, but look at specs for your application.
                       
                       
                      Jim
                      WA9ZBV
                       
                       
                      ----- Original Message -----
                      Sent: Tuesday, November 06, 2012 11:13 AM
                      Subject: Re: [loopantennas] Re: To Balun, or not to Balun, that is the ?

                       

                      Hi Paul, thanks again for all the helpful information.  I'll probably add some at the feedpoint.  Also, thanks for the links.
                       
                      Steve


                      From: tenorman1952 <tenorman1952@...>
                      To: loopantennas@yahoogroups.com
                      Sent: Tue, November 6, 2012 1:56:32 PM
                      Subject: [loopantennas] Re: To Balun, or not to Balun, that is the ?

                       



                      --- In loopantennas@yahoogroups.com, Steve Zeiger <desmoface@...> wrote:
                      >
                      > Paul,
                      >
                      > I just looked those up online, I actually have some small ones that I use on my
                      > computer.  So you just put these on the coax nere the attenna feedpoint, or near
                      > the trasmitter?  Thanks again.
                      >
                      > Steve
                      > kb8viv
                      >

                      Put them on up by the feedpoint. The RCT-2 fits the .240" coax I have, which is LMR-240. This size also fits RG-8X.

                      Also, I have two extension cord reels, each with 50' of RG-8X flexible coax. I keep these for portable / field day operations. I have 10 beads on one end of each of these reels.

                      Note that you need more beads for lower frequencies, fewer beads for higher. 1 or 2 beads is sufficient for a 2 m / 70 cm J-pole, for example.

                      8 to 10 beads for 40 meters on up. Etc.

                      The FairRite RCT-4 fits 0.400" coax, 9912, LMR-400, RG-8/U, etc.

                      For these beads there are several sources:

                      www.hamcity.com and on the left click "Chokes".

                      https://www.hamcity.com/store/pc/Chokes-RFI-c655.htm

                      I see only the RCT-2 listed at Ham City (Jun's Electronics) at this time. They used to sell two other sizes.

                      http://www.newark.com/ferrite-beads?isRedirect=true

                      At Palomar Engineers:

                      http://palomar-engineers.com/ferrite-beads

                      The FSB-1/4 is the FairRite RCT-2

                      Also look here:

                      http://palomar-engineers.com/1-1-balun-kits

                      This requires you to install before putting the connector on the coax.

                      And also at Radio Dan:

                      http://www.radiodan.com/Henry/parts/RF_chokes.htm

                      Paul - AE5JU

                    • Kuby
                      Has anyone figured out the math to an UglyBalun, so we could optimize it for the bands we use it on? To me the UB coax appears to be short a number of turns
                      Message 10 of 10 , Nov 10, 2012
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                        Has anyone figured out the math to an UglyBalun, so we could optimize it for the bands we use it on? To me the UB coax appears to be 'short' a number of turns (coax length) for 60-160m use.

                        The current UB design looks to have coax near 40m 1/4 wavelength (if that is the correlation of the UB to frequency). Also the UB appears to have been designed around using it on a tri-band (10/15/20m) beam to replace the six-6" turns that Cushcraft A3/A4 and other beams require.

                        Th UB is not a balun that transforms impedance it is a choke keeping RF off the coax shield, retaining the integrity of coax function.


                        --- In loopantennas@yahoogroups.com, "tenorman1952" <tenorman1952@...> wrote:
                        >
                        > The "Ugly" balun is best described as a choke, rather than a balun. It's function is to reduce RF on the shield. I used one for a while on a multidipole, and while it worked fine on the upper bands, when using my amp (AL-811H at anything over 400 watts) I got RF in the shack on 80/75 meters.
                        >
                        > Snap on Ferrite beads worked far, far better. I used the RCT-2 from Fairite, and 15 beads seemed to work the best.
                        >
                        > Ferrite beads is also what is inside most "1:1 Current Baluns". Same thing as what I had, only inside a PVC tube.
                        >
                        > But neither the beads nor the "ugly balun" (choke balun) provide any impedance matching. Many use a 4:1 current balun for loops.
                        >
                        > Paul -
                        > AE-5JU
                        >
                        > --- In loopantennas@yahoogroups.com, "Fred" <desmoface@> wrote:
                        > >
                        > > Hey gang,
                        > >
                        > > One of the trees holding my 80 mtr horizontal loop came down (thanks to Sandy), so this weekend was spent workin on the ole antenna. I've always just fed it with coax, and was reading about people feeding them with "Ugly Baluns," which is just about 20' of coax wrapped around 4" pvc.
                        > >
                        > > Then I thought about commercially made baluns, and wound up looking at a DX engineering balun. Question is, the dx engineering option is close to $100. The Ugly Balun is a lot cheaper. I remember reading that you don't want to use a balun on a loop fed with coax, so now I'm at a loss.
                        > >
                        > > At this point I'm thinking I'll just continue to use what has been working, just coax right into the antenna. Can't help thinking I could squeeze out a little more performance with a balun..Any advice? Thanks in advance.
                        > >
                        > > 73's de KB8VIV
                        > >
                        > > P.S. I use it from 10-80 meters
                        >
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