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Reviews Categories | Antenna parts, accessories, incl. baluns, hardware, etc. | W2DU Current balun Help

Reviews Summary for W2DU Current balun
W2DU Current balun Reviews: 19 Average rating: 2.6/5 MSRP: $@ 30
Description: W2DU current balum: I am the original designer of the W2DU current balun, described in QST, March 1983. I made no attempt to patent the device, and anyone can build it. However, some of the companies who manufacture the W2DU balun have come up short on the quality of their product, resulting in poor, and sometimes disastrous reports concerning its service. When properly constructed it will perform as described in the QST article. Some of the problems arise from modifying the engineering and then complaining of unsatisfactory operation. I am familiar with only a few of the manufacturers, but I do know that those who use fewer beads than specified in the QST article get unsatisfactory operation, resulting in the unwarranted complaints concerning W2DU baluns in general. Poor construction in the area of connections to the UHF input connector and the leads to the antenna terminals is responsible for many of the complaints of poor operation of the balun. If you are looking to obtain a product with the highest quality of fabrication, please obtain yours from The Wireman, Press Jones, N8UG. If you are interested in how the W2DU balun came to be, view my web page at, click on the category "Read Chapters from Reflections 2," and select "Some Aspects of the Balun Problem," Chapter 21 in Reflections 1 and 2, for a downloadable copy of the QST article. Also click on "Preview Chapters from Reflections 3," and then click on "Link to Reflections 3 Preview Chapter 21A." These comments written by Walter Maxwell, W2DU, the designer of the W2DU balun.
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VA3LUK Rating: 0/5 Mar 2, 2013 13:44 Send this review to a friend
do not buy it  Time owned: 3 to 6 months
Is ok for 200 W only but when you have amplifier 800 W and more do not install this balun. When I try tune my amplifier SWR jump to 10, I thought the cable is wrong but when I changed the cable everything is the same.
CHRISGM Rating: 2/5 Apr 18, 2008 10:09 Send this review to a friend
Unadila balun, not much for the money.  Time owned: 6 to 12 months
I bought two and was disappointed with both. Construction OK, but in use the antenna very noisy. Switched to DX engineering balun, and I am very happy. You get what you pay for!
KF4QK Rating: 5/5 Jan 15, 2008 20:31 Send this review to a friend
Great for the price.  Time owned: more than 12 months
You can't beat it for the price. Mine has been up and down at three different locations, (2 in FL and 1 in PA) and there has never been a problem. Mine is an Unadilla 1:1 that has been used for a fan dipole (80M;40M;20M;15M;10M), but now is only used for 80M and 40M. I am a little concerned about the life expectancy of these baluns though. I started using mine in 1983. I just bought a new 4:1 to use for a folded 20M dipole. Don't expect these baluns to perform like one of the much higher priced baluns though. For crying out loud. You get what you pay for.
AI4WM Rating: 5/5 Nov 4, 2007 18:53 Send this review to a friend
Great balun  Time owned: more than 12 months
I don't know how one burned up unless it was of poor quality construction or built by a builder who did not pay attention to how the coax was terminated. Anyway I have been using one of these for over 2 years and have had no problems. I have several and use them all the time to keep rf out of the shack and off rigs in the field. Bought mine as kits from the Wireman. I also have several transmission line transformers that I built. Thing to remember is a W2DU is a choke. The others are current or voltage or a combination.
N3DG3 Rating: 0/5 Oct 9, 2007 04:06 Send this review to a friend
Unreliable, Burned Out  Time owned: 6 to 12 months
Used one of these for an 80 meter dipole tuned across several bands, and it shorted out after a few months just tuning it with an antenna tuner on another band with 100 watts.

If it is that "fussy", will it handle the adverse weather and high power ???
W4YO Rating: 5/5 Jun 19, 2007 03:52 Send this review to a friend
No problem here  Time owned: 0 to 3 months
I recently bought this balun from Unadilla Co. Since the 1960s I had bought their W2AU quads and parts for quads, as well as various baluns. I never had problems with any of their products, which is why I called them to order the W2DU balun. It has been up and working flawlessly for several days, and I am enjoying being on six meters for the first time since obtaining my ham license some 51 years ago. No problem here!!
W9AC Rating: 5/5 May 7, 2007 15:39 Send this review to a friend
Not All Are Created Equal  Time owned: more than 12 months
I agree with the previous post. Build your own.

With adaquate beading, the W2DU and VE2CV baluns are fine, even down to 160M with ample choking reactance.

It's a shame the inferior commercial versions of the W2DU balun are even associated with Walt Maxwell's callsign. He never intended for others to take his concept and destroy the performance and reliability with inferior manufacturing methods.

K1XT Rating: 5/5 Jan 14, 2007 10:26 Send this review to a friend
Build your own  Time owned: more than 12 months
I have used the W2DU 1:1 design on my yagi antennas for years. I buy the kit from Wireman and use PVC tubing and caps with a pl-239 at the end and then pigtail leads out the other end for connection to the antenna. I use silver based solder because it resists outdoor elements better and is a stronger connection. My total cost is about $20 per balun. I have had no problems and they work well. I don't have to look inside to see how it is built and if there are a sufficient amount of beads used, having built it myself I already know.
KG4HUP Rating: 0/5 Jan 14, 2007 06:49 Send this review to a friend
do not buy  Time owned: 0 to 3 months
I bought the 1:1 balum and right off noticed the rattling pieces inside. I was afraid to put it into use on 160 meters.I also bought the center insulator at the same time for another project. I thought nothing could go wrong with a center insulator so I will use it. As I screwed the pl259 to this center insulater, it all turned inside, there was no screw to keep it tight. I had to bust it open and use the eye hooks to make one myself out of pvc pipe an caps. $36.00 was a lot to pay and still have to go to hardware store a get parts. Dont buy these things. ABSOLUTE JUNK!!!!
N8BHB Rating: 1/5 Apr 30, 2006 17:44 Send this review to a friend
Poor Service/Poor Quality  Time owned: 0 to 3 months
If you want to take a chance on the Unadilla version of the W2DU current balun, order it from a ham supplier that will stand behind it. Don't expect much help from Unadilla if you order directly from them.

I ordered mine in February, the inline version from the Unadilla website using PayPal. Instead, they sent the pigtail version by mistake. Initially, it appeared that they would take care of the problem and send the right one. I returned it as instructed via UPS with an account number they provided to spare me return shipping cost. (It was a nice gesture, but note that a month later I received a bill for $10 from UPS stating their account number didn't exist!!!)

The replacement arrived as promised, but was damaged--coax connector was caved in and unit rattled loudly. I returned this at my own expense with the promise of a $5 PayPal credit for return shipping.

The third one arrived with no visible damage. In the meantime, I contacted the company about the UPS bill and the credit I didn't receive.

Several weeks elapsed before I received any compensation. The check--$7.50. They blamed the UPS problem on me (though the UPS bill clearly listed the account number Unadilla gave me). They claim it was more than fair to split the difference and chastized me for attempting to recover the full return postage they had already promised to pay.

I didn't notice the internal rattle until I went to mount it on the dipole yesterday. I've now spent $34 (including original shipping)for a substandard balun and $15 (less $7.50) for returns shipping they promised to cover.

Needless to say, I'm not going to waste any more time or money to attempt to rectify the situation, as they obviously are not concerned about quality product or customer satisfaction.
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