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RF Balun Construction

April 28th Fact-of-the-Day

Both 1:1 and impedance transforming RF baluns of various designs are relatively easy to construct by winding turns on ferrite or powdered-iron cores. Excellent performance can be obtained with proper design and attention to critical construction details. Most everyone understands the importance of design details such as selecting suitable core material and determining an optimum wire size and number of turns for each winding, but the importance of construction details is not as widely appreciated. For example, short lead-lengths between balun windings and low-impedance connectors are critical to proper operation. The lower the impedance and the higher the frequency, the more critical those lead lengths become. Lead length is less important on the high impedance side of an impedance-transforming balun, but it is important to have equal length leads and near-perfect inductive and capacitive symmetry. Overlook these construction details and the fine engineering that went into other aspects will be wasted. ©2005 Martek International All rights reserved.

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