Baluns Just Aren't What They Used To Be ... Thankfully!

It seems like everyone thinks they can build baluns ... and they make all sorts of incredible claims to prove it. We don't make claims, we print specifications.

Most commercially produced baluns are Voltage- type baluns. The "Current-type balun™" is superior to simple 'Voltage-type' baluns in several ways. The most important are better output balance and higher feedline-to-antenna isolation. This means you enjoy improved antenna radiation patterns and less problems with TVI, RFI and RF feedback.

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

We have learned a lot since we built the first C1-2K baluns starting back in 1986. Those lessons have taught us how to make the incomparable RemoteBalun™, the B1-4K Ultra™, the B1-500 LP™ balun, the Y1-5K Plus "Yagi Balun™" and the incomparable T-4 series of Line Isolators™. All are current-type devices and are now recognized as the best design. It is good to have had a major part in popularizing this important innovation.

This question is a daily occurrence here at the RADIO WORKS™: "Do I have to use 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." "Most baluns used with your antenna is probably a waste of money. 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 wouldn't be a new balun company coming out with "warmed-over" products, seemingly, every month. They all make incredible claims but few back up their claims with anything more than the ratio and an exaggerated power rating and even more exaggerated operating bandwidth. 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 above questions to yes, but they will give you improved output balance which means improved radiation patterns and higher feedline-to- antenna isolation. And, these are the two jobs baluns are supposed to do. Combine these factors and you can really cut down on TVI, RFI and RF feedback problems.

The RADIO WORKS'™ 'Current-type baluns™" do provide an ideal interface between unbalanced coax and balanced antennas.

What make such a claim credible? Two things, first is our engineering and published data to back up our claims 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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