This article has been copied as reference for a new article from my VK1OD.net web site which is no longer online. The article may contain links to articles on that site and which are no longer available.
I have been asked by a correspondent to comment in the context of my model of a Guanella 1:1 balun wound on a ferrite toroid (Duffy 2008a) on the impact of differential flux leakage as discussed in the ARRL 2011 Handbook on the predicted losses in a Guanella 1:1 balun using a ferrite toroidal core
The ARRL 2011 Handbook (Silver 2011 20.23) states
[i]f the line is made up of parallel wires (a bifilar winding), a significant fraction of the flux associated with differential current will leak outside the line to the ferrite core. Leakage flux can exceed 30% of the total flux for even the most tightly-spaced bifilar winding.
This might suggest that differential current will contribute significantly to balun core losses and consequently transmission loss. The claim is made without explanation or substantiation, or without making conclusions about any resultant loss. This is the makings of fear, uncertainty and doubt (FUD), and hardly the enlightenment that readers might expect. Continue reading Differential flux leakage in a Guanella 1:1 balun
The Neosid 28-053-31 ferrite toroid is used in my HF Balun Project.
This article reports some thermal measurements and analysis made in relation to the project some years ago, but possibly of interest.
Above is the Neosid 28-053-31 ferrite toroid in an implementation of my HF Balun Project using XLPE wire for the winding. The core is a NiZn ferrite toroid of 63x26x19mm (larger than FT240 size). Continue reading Thermal observations on Neosid 28-053-31 ferrite toroid
We often see statements by hams where they draw inference from observed temperature rise of a ferrite core at RF. Lets consider the following statement.
The FT-240-43 balun MUST be quite efficient as it barely increased in temperature over a 5 minute over at 100W on SSB.
For the purpose of this explanation, lets assume
barely increased in temperature means 5° increase in temperature from cold. Under these conditions, we can reasonably assume that almost all of the heat input to the core is consumed in raising the core temperature. Continue reading Interpreting temperature rise in ferrite cored RF transformers and inductors
(Trask 2005b) describes a circuit at Figure 7 which the author describes as a 1:1 current balun though he does not actually define or reference a definition of the term
current balun. Continue reading Review of Trask’s 1:1 current balun
(Sevick 2001) discusses efficiency of transmission line transformers that use nickel-zinc ferrites in Chapter 11 “Materials and power ratings” applied to broad band baluns.
In Chapter 11 he reports a range of measurements of two different basic configurations, a 4:1 Ruthroff balun and a 4:1 autotransformer and uses nickel zinc ferrite cores of types that are no longer readily available (and none were the K and 52 mixes he is said to have recommended).
The types of transformers he built are ones where core flux (and so core loss) at low frequencies is approximately proportional to the quotient of voltage impressed across the input terminals and number of turns, so core losses can be decreased by reducing voltage and/or increasing turns. These are Voltage Baluns, see Definition: Current Balun, Voltage Balun.
By contrast, the flux (and so the core losses) in Current Baluns is proportional to the common mode current times turns, and in antenna systems, that cannot be simply calculated using back of the envelope ohms law (though pundits often do it), see Baluns – Rule 500.
So Seviks experiments and discussion are not directly applicable to Current Baluns, yet they are cited by manufacturers, sellers, and users as rationale for their designs using nickel-zinc ferrites for Current Baluns. Continue reading Sevick’s comments on selection of ferrite mix
Steve (G3TXQ) posted a graph comparing Cecil’s (W5DXP) measurements of two turns on FT240-52 and FT240-K.
It is interesting to reconcile the #52 curves with Fairrite’s datasheets. A simple reconciliation is to compare results at the frequency where µ’ and µ” curves cross over. Continue reading Attempting to reconcile W5DXP & G3TXQ’s comparison of K and 52 mix ferrites
Among forum experts, there are ready recommendations for the ideal ferrite material (or mix) for a balun, often without knowing any detail of the application.
The ‘magic’ mixes include K. Perhaps they are devotees of Sevick.
Over some years I have searched for manufacturer’s data on K mix, and found only two references:
- Amidon who give a very brief table summarising characteristics, inadequate for RF inductor design; and
- Ferronics who give characteristic curves, albeit in less common format.
Problem is that Ferronics µi is 125 against Amidon’s 290… so their K materials are different.
One has hoped that an interested competent person might have made measurements of some samples from Amidon to give full characteristic curves, it isn’t that hard. Continue reading Ferrite K mix
I used an AIMuhf for Measuring balun common mode impedance – #2 using the OSL calibration facility.
AIM also claims to have a means of backing out a known transmission line between reference plane and DUT. This article discusses use of AIM’s Refer to Antenna facility.
AIM’s developer recently said of AIM’s Refer to Antenna facility:
Version 882 does have a problem with the Refer to Antenna function. Version 865A can be used for this function.
This function does have it’s limits though. It should only be used for good quality coax. The impedance and velocity factor of coax is not constant over the whole length and this limits the accuracy. Also the impedance may not be equal to the “nominal” impedance in the catalog. The impedance of 50 ohm cable can vary quite a bit. AC6LA.com has some interesting data showing how coax parameters vary with frequency.
Custom cal is much better when it is possible to put the cal loads at the far end of the transmission line. This takes into account variations in impedance, velocity factor, and loss and it can be used when there is coax and ladder line in one transmission line system.
Continue reading AIM 865A Refer to Antenna facility
At Measuring balun common mode impedance – #2 I mentioned a glitch on the AIMuhf scan that appears to be a defect of the instrument / client software and that it undermines confidence in the system.
The article documents a test of a known load to attempt to prove the measurement system good. Continue reading AIM 865A produces inconsistent / incorrect results