After the investigative work a couple of weeks ago where I tracked the fault on my Cushcraft MA-5B to the cable between the balun (matching network) and the 12m/17m element I decided that I wanted to replace the entire balun, including the two coax tails out to the elements. I figured that because one tail had failed when I was running just 400 watts that I didn’t want to leave any of the original matching network there.
I spent a while investigating replacement baluns and the devices from Balun Designs seemed to get a lot of positive reviews so I contacted them to find out what they suggested would be a suitable replacement for my MA-5B. I then found specific reviews of that model and they were all very positive.
I placed my order and a week later this arrived in the post.
Inside the box was a load of polystyrene chips for protection and this..
I removed the bubble to find this very smart looking box.
Of course I had to open the balun to have a look inside and here’s what I saw.
I’ve left that image large, you can click it for the full sized version.
It’s easy to see why these baluns are so well reviewed, the quality really is second to none and with the massive 5 kW power rating at 30 MHz and 9 kW rating at 10 MHz, there’s no chance of it melting with my 400 watts!
In my search to find a good balun, I have to say that I’ve not seen any pictures of commercial products that look as good as this offering from Balun Designs. Once I took it apart, I could see why they’re so highly rated in the amateur radio world. They’re not cheap but I believe that you get what you pay for. The customer service before I ordered was superb, very personal and friendly and the service was impeccable. Thanks Bob!
I’ll be lowering the mast on Friday and replacing the Cushcraft balun with this one in time for the CQ WPX RTTY contest at the weekend which I plan on entering.