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Re: [TowerTalk] Any BN-86 Balun Replacement Suggestions?

To: "'Jim Brown'" <>, "'Tower Talk List'" <>
Subject: Re: [TowerTalk] Any BN-86 Balun Replacement Suggestions?
From: "N2TK" <>
Date: Tue, 08 Apr 2008 15:21:56 -0400
List-post: <">>
I have had a few BN-86's fail with the core breaking. I do not know if that
was due to lightning, transmitting on the wrong band or that it just
couldn't handle 1500W.

Replaced some with BN-2000 HyGain baluns, then latter on with Force 12 B1's
and Comtek CFC-50's(low bands and output of amplifier).   I haven't lost any
since. I assume(hope) the newer baluns are working properly. 

Jim, not sure how these compare to your recommendation below. 

N2TK, Tony 

-----Original Message-----
[] On Behalf Of Jim Brown
Sent: Tuesday, April 08, 2008 2:45 PM
To: Tower Talk List
Subject: Re: [TowerTalk] Any BN-86 Balun Replacement Suggestions?

OK, I just took a look at the manual for the BN-86. It appears to be 
a simple common mode choke. My guess is that it fails because the 
common mode impedance is not sufficiently high over the range of 
operating frequencies in use. Not unusual. 

When I've attempted to stress a choke by putting it at a very high 
voltage point and shove a lot of power to it, it will typically fail 
by melting the coax. If the heat source (the transmitter power) is 
removed soon enough, the melting may not do permanent damage. 

I suggest that you build one of the coaxial ferrite chokes listed in 
the "cookbook" section of my tutorial. If you run the antenna only 
between 14 and 29 MHz, four widely spaced turns through 5 #31 or #43 
2.4 inch o.d. toroids would be a good design. That choke will start 
running out of gas below 20M. If you run the antenna down to 40M, 
you'll want more impedance. Simply add a second choke in series of 5 
turns on 5 cores to add some impedance on 40M.

What you'll observe when you're done is that the antenna hears a lot 
less noise, because it is more effectively decoupled from the 


Jim K9YC


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