Baluns: What They Do and How They Do It

Baluns are not devices familiar to most engineers even if they have been in the RF business for many years. Most have heard of them but few probably really know what a balun is, how it works, and how it is used. Baluns: What They Do and How They Do It - RF CafeAdmittedly, it wasn't until maybe a decade ago that I ever even came into contact with one - at least that I was aware of. Having spent most of my career connecting cables and waveguide to pre-designed, pre-packaged components, there was never a need to convert between balanced and unbalanced transmission lines. The many analog circuits that I did always used ICs that had single- or double-ended inputs and/or outputs so it was never necessary to be concerned with the details. Now that I have been reading the ARRL's QST magazine monthly for the last few years, an appreciation for and understanding of baluns is really settling into the gray matter. I in no way consider myself an expert now, but am pretty confident that at least my visage won't assume that telltale deer-in-the-headlights look before my eyeballs roll back. If you are a balun novice, there is probably no better primer for your reading edification than Roy Lewallen's "Baluns: What They Do and How They Do It" paper.

Note: The URL provided at the end of the article is no longer valid. Use this one instead: Some Aspects of the Balun Problem.

Posted  December 4, 2013