qrp'ers of the world unite!


From: Clark Savage Turner WA3JPG (turner@safety.ICS.UCI.EDU)
Date: Fri Dec 16 1994 - 13:16:46 EST

All you have to lose is your baluns..... Let's see, was that
Graucho Marxism?

Anyway, just another anecdote from the continually learning ham
of 25 years here. Every once in a while I think I know something,
then some little fact comes along and messes with me.

I have yet to really check this out formally (but may do it this
weekend somehow), but I was using, for the first time in my ham career,
a 4:1 balun from a short piece of coax to my 300 ohm feeder to my 100
foot dipole. I USED to run the ol' "G5RV" configuration in the very same
tree spot, but it came down, and I just decided to put another one up
sans special length of twin lead. I ran as much twin lead as needed to
come right next to my aluminum window frame, put on the 4:1 balun, then
coax to get through the window metal frame (would rather just run the
twin lead, but haven't cut a plexiglass or plywood piece to give me the
non metallic space to run the twin lead through.)

I used the antenna with balun and over the weeks it just seemed that the
bands were a lot worse than they used to be. Also, stations that consistently
heard me at higher signal levels than I heard them seemed to hear me at
lower signal levels than I heard them now. Disappointing.

Got to thinking about a curmudgeon friend of mine who always runs any
of these "damned baluns" down. Just thought I would take the balun out,
and connect the coax directly to the twin lead. Only 10 feet of RG8,
no real loss even at high SWR, what the heck. So, I did it, got back
on the air with the same group I had been on with before, and now I was
a very strong station! Suddenly I was way above everyone else.

Well, it is anecdotal, but I hope to check this out a little more this
weekend with several tests. The balun is the cheapie variety from VGE.
AND, it is interesting to notice that I still have almost no RF floating
around in the shack (have a little FS meter on my desk to notice such

I may be able to snag the FOX now, I hope. I have been good at hearing
them, but they haven't heard me. Any theoreticians can tell me that there
is no surprise here? :-) .


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