# NE6F’s common mode current tester – Part 1

## NE6F’s common mode current tester

Above is the schematic of NE6F’s common mode current tester.

The concept is that current probes A and B are placed either side of a current mode choke, and by calibrating and switching between them, a relative reading of current on one side compared to the other may be found.

Note that the two transformers are intended to be current transformers, they have a ratio of 1:10 turns so the $$Is=\frac{I_p}{n}=\frac{I_p}{10}$$ … provided there is a low impedance load (called a burden) connected to the secondary.

If the burden was say 100Ω, then the current transformer inserts an impedance of approximately 100/10^2=1Ω in the primary circuit. If a current sensing element does not have a very low impedance, it is likely to disturb the thing being measured.

A general rule about current transformers is that if there is no burden on a current transformer:

• excessive / dangerous voltage may be developed by the secondary winding;
• a high impedance may be inserted in series with the primary line.

So, this is a current transformer with a burden of megohms, a deeply flawed design, but that problem is easily fixed by connecting a resistance of say 100Ω across each secondary winding.

## Common mode current adjacent to a small choke

Consider a straight section of coaxial feedline not close to other materials, and with a small common mode choke inserted in the feedline. A “small” choke means one that is a very tiny fraction of a wavelength, say λ/100, from connector to connector.

Ask yourself that if say 1A of common mode current flows into one connector, what is the common mode current at the other connector?

What is your answer if you were told the balun was specified to have a CMRR of 20dB?

Take your time… a follow up will be posted in a day or three.