Do I need a balun?

This question is a daily occurrence here at the RADIO WORKS™: "Do I need to have a balun in my _______ antenna." My answer to this question is quite honest. Most callers are surprised at the answer. The answer? A simple, but qualified "NO." "The balun used with your antenna, especially wire antennas, was probably a waste of money considering the quality of most baluns available on the ham radio market. The fellow on the other end of the QSO isn't going to be able to hear any difference in your signal. And, no, adding a balun will not improve the bandwidth or lower the SWR of your antenna system."

Given the balun products available to the amateur radio market, I'm not surprised that there is a lot of confusion. It is obvious that everyone thinks that they can build a balun, otherwise there would be a new balun company, or at least that is the way it seems, every month. They all make incredible claims. However, if you want something different and original that does make a difference in your antenna system, you have to come to the right place.

Now for the qualifier. The RADIO WORKS™ popularized the "Current-type" balun with Ham Radio antenna builders. The 'Current-type' balun is superior to common commercial 'Voltage-type' baluns in several ways. No, using a RADIO WORKS™ 'Current-type' balun will not change all the answers to the question to yes, but they will give you improved output balance which means improved radiation patterns, higher feedline-to- antenna isolation. Combine all these factors and you can really cut down on TVI, RFI and RF feedback problems. So the answer moves much closer to "yes" when a quality balun like those made by the RADIO WORKS is used.

The RADIO WORKS'™ 'Current-type' baluns do provide an ideal interface between unbalanced coax and balanced antennas. Of course, this is just what a balun is supposed to do.

What make such a claim credible? Two things, first is our engineering data and second is others who imitate us. "Imitation is the sincerest form of flattery" or so it is said. If that's true, several well known companies are now paying us a lot of complements with their unsolicited flattery.

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