No-name video baluns common mode impedance

I purchased a bunch of no-name, no-spec, video baluns on eBay for use with radio antennas at MF and low HF. A pair of these are for transporting 75 ohm coax video signals over twisted pair LAN cable.

Above, the two styles of baluns purchased. Given the label, nondescript as it is, there is quite a possibility that the internals are the same. Continue reading No-name video baluns common mode impedance

Matching a centre loaded 80m vertical – a shunt match tutorial

This article describes a method of measurement and adjustment using an antenna analyser or VNA to quickly set up a shunt match, a narrow band match (ie for one band, or even only part of the band).

The article uses Rigexpert’s Antscope as the measurement / analysis application, the techniques will work with other good application software.

To demonstrate the technique for matching such an antenna, let’s use NEC-4.2 to create 80m feed point impedance data for a 12m high vertical with 8 buried radials (100mm) and centre loading coil resonating the antenna in the 80m band for simulation of measurement data.

An s1p file was exported from 4NEC2 for import into Antscope, to simulate measurement of an example real antenna.

Analysing the ‘measured’ data

Step 1

Above is the VSWR curve displayed in Antscope. Note that the actual response is dependent on soil types, antenna length and loading etc, but this is a good example for discussion. It is not real bad, another example might be better or worse. Continue reading Matching a centre loaded 80m vertical – a shunt match tutorial

Another small efficient matching transformer for an EFHW – 2643251002 – #2 – prototype bench measurement

The article Another small efficient matching transformer for an EFHW – 2643251002 – #1 – design workup lays out the first steps in a design. This article documents bench measurements of a prototype transformer.

Above is the prototype transformer wound with 14t of 0.71mm ECW tapped at 2t. The mm rule gives some scale. The turns are close wound, touching on the inner diameter of the core. Continue reading Another small efficient matching transformer for an EFHW – 2643251002 – #2 – prototype bench measurement

Another small efficient matching transformer for an EFHW – 2643251002 – #1 – design workup

The article Another small efficient matching transformer for an EFHW – 2643251002 described a correspondent’s , Luis, CT2FZI, implementation of the transformer.

I have also had lengthy discussions with Faraaz, VK4JJ, who is experimenting with a similar transformer.

This article describes my own design workup and measurements using a Fair-rite suppression core, 2643251002. The cores are not readily available locally, so I bought a bunch from Digi-key.

I really resist  the tendency in ham radio to design around unobtainium, it is often quite misguided and always inconvenient. In this case, the motivation for these cores that use quite ordinary #43 material is the geometry of the core, they have ΣA/l=0.002995, a quite high and rivalling the better of binocular cores. High  ΣA/l helps to minimise the number of turns which assists broadband performance. See Choosing a toroidal magnetic core – ID and OD for more discussion.

Design criteria

  • EFHW;
  • InsertionVSWR<2 3-22+MHz;
  • nominal 49:1 transformation;
  • compensated;
  • autotransformer; and
  • 50W average power handing.

Some key points often overlooked in published designs of EFHW transformers:

  • Insufficient turns drives high core loss; and
  • leakage inductance is the enemy of broadband performance, so the design tries to minimise leakage inductance.

Note that high number of turns drives high leakage inductance, so the design is to a large extent, a compromise between acceptable core loss and bandwidth.

Initial design estimate

From models, I expect that a turns ratio of 2:14 (ie 14t tapped at 2t) is likely to deliver the design criteria (with suitable compensation capacitor).

Above is a perhaps ambitious initial objective using a simple model of the transformer, dotted line is Loss and solid line is InsertionVSWR. Continue reading Another small efficient matching transformer for an EFHW – 2643251002 – #1 – design workup

Low power Guanella 1:1 balun with low Insertion VSWR using a Fair-rite 2843009902 binocular – measurement of Zcm

The article Low power Guanella 1:1 balun with low Insertion VSWR using a Fair-rite 2843009902 binocular – design workup describes a current balun with low Insertion VSWR for operation at modest power levels. The design was based on a low cost Fair-rite 2843009902 binocular core (BN43-7051).

This article documents measurement of the complex common mode impedance Zcm, and calibration of the predictive model.

Zcm is a most useful quantity, it can be used in NEC models of an antenna system. Continue reading Low power Guanella 1:1 balun with low Insertion VSWR using a Fair-rite 2843009902 binocular – measurement of Zcm

nanoVNA – measure common mode choke – it is not all that hard!

It seems that lots of hams find measuring the impedance of a common mode choke a challenge… perhaps a result of online expert’s guidance?

The example for explanation is a common and inexpensive 5943003801 (FT240-43) ferrite core.

Expectation

It helps to understand what we expect to measure.

See A method for estimating the impedance of a ferrite cored toroidal inductor at RF for an explanation.

Note that the model used is not suitable for cores of material and dimensions such that they exhibit dimensional resonance at the frequencies of interest.

Be aware that the tolerances of ferrite cores are quite wide, and characteristics are temperature sensitive, so we must not expect precision results.

Above is a plot of the uncalibrated model of the expected inductor characteristic, it shows the type of response that is to be measured. The inductor is 11t wound on a Fair-rite 5943003801 (FT240-43) core in Reisert cross over style using 0.5mm insulated copper wire. Continue reading nanoVNA – measure common mode choke – it is not all that hard!

Loop in ground (LiG) – #10 – implementation – earthworks

The Loop in Ground project is about a receive only antenna for low HF, but usable from MF to HF. The objective is an antenna that has low Signal to Noise Degradation (SND), and low noise pickup by virtue of some separation of near field radiators.

The antenna comprises a square loop of 3m sides of 2mm bare copper wire, buried 20mm in the soil.

Above is the site marked out for earthworks, but excavation of a narrow slot 25mm deep. On the far side of the loop is an already installed plastic irrigation valve box for the transformer. Continue reading Loop in ground (LiG) – #10 – implementation – earthworks

A simple Simsmith model for exploration of a 50Ω:200Ω transformer using a 2843009902 (BN43-7051) binocular ferrite core

EFHW-2843009902-43-2020-3-6kThis article applies the Simsmith model described at A simple Simsmith model for exploration of a common EFHW transformer design – 2t:14t to a ferrite cored 50Ω:200Ω transformer.

This article models the transformer on a nominal load, being \(Z_l=n^ 2 50 \;Ω\). Keep in mind that common applications of a 50Ω:200Ω transformer are not to 200Ω transformer loads, often antennas where the feed point impedance might vary quite widely, and performance of the transformer is quite sensitive to load impedance. The transformer is discussed here in a 50Ω:200Ω context.

Above is the prototype transformer using a 2843009902 (BN43-7051) binocular #43 ferrite core, the output terminals are shorted here, and total leakage inductance measured from one twisted connection to the other. Continue reading A simple Simsmith model for exploration of a 50Ω:200Ω transformer using a 2843009902 (BN43-7051) binocular ferrite core

A simple Simsmith model for exploration of a common EFHW transformer design – 2t:14t

This article describes a Simsmith model for an EFHW transformer using a popular design as an example.

This article models the transformer on a nominal load, being \(Z_l=n^ 2 50 \;Ω\). Real EFHW antennas operated at their fundamental resonance and harmonics are not that simple, so keep in mind that this level of design is but a pre-cursor to building a prototype and measurement and tuning with a real antenna.

Above is the prototype transformer measured using a nanoVNA, the measurement is of the inductance at the primary terminals with the secondary short circuited. Continue reading A simple Simsmith model for exploration of a common EFHW transformer design – 2t:14t

A simple Simsmith model for exploration of a common EFHW transformer design – 2t:16t

This article describes a Simsmith model for an EFHW transformer using a popular design as an example.

This article models the transformer on a nominal load, being \(Z_l=n^ 2 50 \;Ω\). Real EFHW antennas operated at their fundamental resonance and harmonics are not that simple, so keep in mind that this level of design is but a pre-cursor to building a prototype and measurement and tuning with a real antenna.

The prototype transformer follows the very popular design of a 2:16 turns transformer with the 2t primary twisted over the lowest 2t of the secondary, and the winding distributed in the Reisert style cross over configuration.

Above is a plot of the equivalent series impedance of the prototype transformer with short circuit secondary calculated from s11 measured with a nanoVNA from 1-31MHz. Note that it is almost entirely reactive, and the reactance is almost proportional to frequency suggesting close to a constant inductance. Continue reading A simple Simsmith model for exploration of a common EFHW transformer design – 2t:16t