- Amateur Radio (Ham Radio) Community

Call Search

New to Ham Radio?
My Profile

Friends Remembered
Survey Question

DX Cluster Spots

Ham Exams
Ham Links
List Archives
News Articles
Product Reviews
QSL Managers

Site Info
eHam Help (FAQ)
Support the site
The eHam Team
Advertising Info
Vision Statement

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.
Product is in production.
More info:
Email Subscription
You are not subscribed to this review.

My Subscriptions
Subscriptions Help

You can write your own review of the W2DU Current balun.

<— Page 2 of 2

K9RX Rating: 0/5 Dec 9, 2005 12:25 Send this review to a friend
very poor construction  Time owned: 0 to 3 months
I researched the tower, antennas, coax, everything - I thought... did not research the balun. Bought from Unidilla. They are poorly constructed, the studs cannot be tightened without turning the nut holding the stud to the body (some epoxy on the inside would cure this), the SO239 on one was so loose that simply shaking it a little caused it to rotate! THEN on a 3 stack of tribanders found out one of their baluns was wired BACKWARDS internally so the phasing as wrong. Not worth a dollar let alone $26. I try hard to pass along the benefit of the doubt - but there is none to be had here.
K9YC Rating: 1/5 Jun 23, 2004 20:22 Send this review to a friend
Lousy  Time owned: 0 to 3 months
One of these came on an antenna I bought from W9INN. The balun is very light weight (which means that the ferrite cores aren't very heavy, and thus aren't likely to handle much power or provide much decoupling), and the coax connector was loose.

Do yourself a favor -- buy a DX Engineering balun. Yes, it's more expensive, but it's FAR better quality, both mechanically and electrically. The DX Engineering balun is MUCH heavier, which probably means that the ferrite cores are much heavier, will handle much more power, and will provide much better isolation.

Just to clarify -- my review is for the Unadilla product that claims to be based on the W2DU design, NOT a Wireman product.
W0JSB Rating: 5/5 Aug 29, 2003 15:29 Send this review to a friend
So far so good!  Time owned: 0 to 3 months
Despite the unfavorable experiences by others on I've had good luck with the 3 that I have so far. I've had no problems with them and none of them rattled.

I ordered all of them from

I purchased the W2DU-823A 1.8-30 6KW model.
W7RY Rating: 0/5 Jan 29, 2003 00:14 Send this review to a friend
JUNK!  Time owned: 0 to 3 months
Installed one on my 40 meter beam. It was intermittant. Was impossible to replace as it was on the end of the boom.

Cut it in half when I finally took the antenna down. Where the teflon coax hooks to the eyes in the top of the unit, there was a cold solder joint. Just poorly soldered.

Poor quality control. Use a WX0B balun. Better and more rugged.
N4LQ Rating: 5/5 Dec 30, 2002 13:38 Send this review to a friend
Great for Loops and Windoms  Time owned: more than 12 months
I have been using the 4:1 version for several years now and just can't seem to distroy it. For horizontal loops fed with coax, this is your best choice. Voltage baluns tend to detune the loop on the higher bands while the W2DU design remains flat. I haven't used more than 500 watts so I can't attest to it's power rating. Highly recommended!
W4YHD Rating: 1/5 Oct 14, 2002 10:53 Send this review to a friend
Had Problems With Internal Connections  Time owned: 0 to 3 months
I ordered a W2DU current Balun with my new W9INN 5-Band dipole antenna. After only 1 month of operation the antenna SWR became unstable. The problem was traced to the W2DU Balun and an easily measured intermittent connection between the input SO239 connector and one side of the Balun output. Also, the center hang-up eye hook came loose, and the Balun has a little rattle inside when you shake it. This design places ferrite beads along the outside of a high quality internal teflon coax, and is a very robust and effective approach to creating a current style Balun. Therefore, the quality control in manufacturing and parts selection must be the problem here. I replaced the Balun with a Radio Works B1-5K Plus model and everything is fine. The W2DU current Balun design should be just fine, however manufacturing and quality conrol are key here. Maybe I just got a bad one.
3W2EA Rating: 0/5 Oct 10, 2002 02:05 Send this review to a friend
Rattles. Lost Money.  Time owned: 0 to 3 months

I ordered a W1DUI HF 1:1 Balun from RADIOWARE AND RADIO BOOKSTORE and on receiving it by DHL it rattled. Unadilla Antennas confirmed by immediate email response that it should not rattle, and suggested I return it. My QTH is Ho Chi Minh City, and DHL cost more than the product.

Furthermore the Unadilla label says its the VHF version (20-300MHz) which is no use to me.

Leaving aside the rattling inside, it looks and feels cheap. The female coax plugs are mounted on plastic and look pathetic. It is certainly not something I would feel safe attaching to my Mk-V and Quadra.

I am obliged to put this Balun in the trash bin.

If given the choice, better build an rf choke from 7, 20cm diameter, turns of coax.

W1TE Rating: 5/5 May 27, 2002 05:28 Send this review to a friend
No problems at high power  Time owned: more than 12 months
Several installed on 160 - 40 meter antennas running at 1KW. Never had a failure of one even with excessive mismatches. A great product for the price.
KA3POY Rating: 5/5 Apr 22, 2002 18:46 Send this review to a friend
quality balun  Time owned: 3 to 6 months
I have a garage full of badly corroded, cheap baluns that rattle when you shake them.

Bought 4:1 and 1:1 W2DU type current baluns from the wireman that look, feel, and operate like quality items. Hardware looks much nicer, balun should last much longer than the garbage items.

Used for several months so far no problem.

<— Page 2 of 2

If you have any questions, problems, or suggestions about Reviews, please email your Reviews Manager.