There is a common Rule of Thumb that to be effective, the magnitude of common mode impedance of a Guanella current balun in an antenna system should be at least 500Ω (Reisert 1978).
This article proposes a possible origin for this thinking, and discusses the validity of the underlying model. Continue reading Baluns – Rule 500
I am often asked for recommendations for a replacement for TLLC (Duffy 2001).
The announcement of an update to TLW by ARRL / N6BV in June 2014 QST flagged a possibility.
Reviewing the available cable types, Belded 8215 (RG-6/U type) was tested for loss with a 75+j0Ω load (approximately a matched load) at 1MHz, and the result of1.147dB does not reconcile with the Belden datasheet showing 1.3124dB, an error of -13%. Continue reading TLW v3.24 checkout
One sees simplistic application of ohms law to antenna balun problems frequently in online forums, but is the technique valid? Continue reading Using Ohms law on antenna baluns
At (Bertelsmeier & Magnin 1992) formulas are given for calculating G/T from Sun/ColdSky Y factor in several Ham bands, and solar flux at 10.7cm. Continue reading DJ9BV & F6HYE G/T formula
For those who may have used or want to use my G/T spreadsheet tool I have discovered a defect in one cell’s formula. Continue reading G/T spreadsheet update (v1.09)
VE7BQH publishes a table of Yagi performance data derived from a number of modelling programmes. The table is often used as a definitive reference of the overall merit of an antenna by buyers, makers and students for their own situation.
This article is mainly motivated at better understanding the G/T column of the tables. Continue reading Trying to make sense of the VE7BQH Yagi performance tables
Folk often ask for instructions for assembly of so-called clamp type coax connectors.
This article shows such an N type connector, but the techniques are applicable to different connectors with the same type of cable / braid attachment. Continue reading Assembling clamp type coax connectors
Much is written about the virtues of some types of coax connectors over others.
Continue reading Coax connectors and accurate / repeatable measurements
W5WSS describes his antenna at (eHam 2014). It is essentially a shortened dipole with capacity hats for 20m.
The configuration appears from several postings to be this shortened dipole with a Balun Designs 1115du balun at the center and an adjacent LDG Pro 200 automatic ATU.
Continue reading Feed point voltage – W5WSS 7′ dipole
Balun designs has a warning to users of baluns on a full wave dipole.
It must be pointed out that a 1:1 balun should never be used on the second harmonic of a half-wave center-fed dipole fed with coax (like an 80 meter dipole being used on 40 meters). The impedance can be as great as 10,000 ohms creating very high voltages which can bring about voltage breakdown and/or excessive heating. This exception ONLY applies to Coax Fed HALF WAVE CENTER FED DIPOLES WHEN USING A 1:1 BALUN AT THE FEEDPOINT.
Whilst differential voltage can be an issue in antenna systems (Duffy 2011), the warning above is a bit dramatic for this case.
Firstly, it is very difficult to measure the impedance of a full wave centre fed dipole in the worst case, but modelling suggests it is unlikely to have an impedance at resonance greater than about 4200+j0Ω.
Lets suppose there is a balun located at the feed point of an 80m half wave dipole, and the antenna is fed with 25m (~80′) of RG58C/U feed line. Using TLLC, the transmission efficiency of that section of line at 7MHz with load of 4200+j0Ω is just 9.4%.
If we have a 100W transmitter, we might get 90W out of the ATU in this scenario, and 9.4% or 8.5W of that reaches the feed point.
It is a simple matter to calculate the RMS voltage as V=(P*R)^0.5=190V, or 270Vpk. This is not going to strain any balun!
They outcome here is due to the extreme loss on the coax under very high standing waves results in very little power reaching the balun anyway.
This is one of those cases that if the antenna was half as long, the system would be ten times as good!
- Duffy, O. 2001. RF Transmission Line Loss Calculator (TLLC). VK1OD.net (offline).
- ———. Jul 2011. Avoiding flashover in baluns and ATUs. VK1OD.net (offline).