- 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: 23 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 3 —>

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.
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.
<— Page 2 of 3 —>

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