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Reviews Categories | Antenna parts, accessories, incl. baluns, hardware, etc. | Radio Works Help

Reviews Summary for Radio Works
Radio Works Reviews: 25 Average rating: 2.3/5 MSRP: $49.00
Description: 4:1 Remote balun
Product is in production.
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WA8EBM Rating: 5/5 Apr 9, 2004 08:59 Send this review to a friend
Works as advertised  Time owned: 0 to 3 months
Very satisfied with the 4:1 Remote Current Balun.
I have used doublet antennas in the past but many times had RF problems in the shack from the open wire feeders. I ended up with a G5RV with a coiled up coax balun and cleared up the RF but had mediocre results and still had to use an antenna tuner.
I finally settled on using the original G5RV 102 foot dipole but ran about 60 feet of twin lead to the remote balun and then about 10 feet of 9913 into the shack to the tuner.
My results are fantastic. I can use the antenna on 160 through 6 meters.
I can run 1KW DC through the balun on 80 through 10 and no problems so far. My signal reports are way up and no RF in the shack.
Purists will scoff at the setup- losses etc but the 40 to 60 over 9 reports on 75 meters that I get in the 500 mile range shows that at least the high angle radiation from the low dipole is working fb.
The balun is big and heavy. There is plenty of coax seal shipped with it. WA8EBM
N9RC Rating: 0/5 Mar 26, 2004 19:38 Send this review to a friend
5 KW Balun is Poor Quality  Time owned: more than 12 months
Balun has performed intermittently for two years. Finally one antenna connection wire pulled out and I took it down. It was sloshing so I decided to dissassemble it. 1.) It was full of water. They had sprayed insulation foam inside to secure things but the foam was saturated with water. The water probably leaked in around the wires and there is no drain hole on the bottom. 2.) All that was inside was a small loop of soggy coax centerconductor with about 10 ferrite beads. 3.) The wire that separated was soldered to the center conductor with no stain relief at all.
W4YHD Rating: 5/5 Oct 10, 2002 20:55 Send this review to a friend
B1-5K Plus is an Excellent Balun!  Time owned: more than 12 months
I have used the Radio Works B1-4K and B1-5K Plus Baluns for several years now and they are very well engineered and very well made. The current Baluns are rugged and effective designs, and Radio Works has designed a very high quality current Balun line with some very important features. First, the wire used to wind the internal Balun transmission line is brought right out for direct connection to the wire elements thus eliminating any possibility of loose hardware connections. This is very important, as compared to the typical designs from Unadilla and others that depend on hardware and internal/external ring terminals compressed at the eyelet nuts on the plastic case to make this connection. Plastic in compression "cold flows" over time and these connections inevitably get loose and noisy. The Radio Works design also fills the balun interior with an expanding foam to prevent moisture ingress and rattles. Unusually large ferrite is used to prevent saturation. The overall quality of the Radio Works baluns is superior to the others in my opinion, and build quality is high and consistent. The measured technical data presented by Radio Works shows that Engineering was seriously done here and they are not afraid to show it. It is impossible to find equivalent data presented for the other popular Baluns, which surely raises suspicions.

Jim at Radio Works has provided a very nice line of well engineered, high quality, and affordable current Baluns for the amateur service. I recommend the B1-5K Plus model which will easily handle anything you can throw at it, and then some. For a few bucks more you can have the best! Go for it!
VE3YF Rating: 5/5 Oct 5, 2002 09:37 Send this review to a friend
B1-5k Plus Current Balun  Time owned: more than 12 months
I have been using the Radio Works B1-5k+ Baluns on my 2 wire antennae for about 2 years now. I haven't experienced any problems. As one previous person mentioned, I too was worried about the drain holes and the fact that Radio Works recommended to plug them. I thought the method of having a couple of leads coming out the side was a bit flimsey, should have been of a heavier guage, but in two + years not a failure yet.
K1FDH Rating: 5/5 May 18, 2002 12:52 Send this review to a friend
Line Isolator Baluns great  Time owned: 6 to 12 months
W4THU's 'Line Isolator' baluns solved my stray RF problems in my motorhome. I am using a trusty ole Hustler mobile whip, but the fiberglass motorhome does not provide a ground plane. Jim's Line Isolator at the feed point got rid of stray RF that was propogating down the shield and hitting my rig...causing my TS-140 to output only 7 watts!

Now with the Line Isolator and a small MFJ tuner, I can tune across all the bands using the Hustler and get full 100w output.

W4THU's product catalog contains valuable info about grounding, stray RF, etc. His book is also terrific for this same info. A Gotta have resource.

Rudy K1FDH
KZ5X Rating: 5/5 Apr 26, 2002 10:03 Send this review to a friend
Works the Best  Time owned: 0 to 3 months
Had been fighting rf looping problems for months with my multiband loop and ladder feedline to a Jupiter with autotuner. After trying several other highly-touted baluns which are widely advertised and lots of ferrite beads, etc, in desperation I tried first Jim's "Line Isolator" and this made a dramatic improvement. Then added his "Remote Balun" and the problems are 98% gone. This is bulletproof and high-quality equipment head and shoulders above anything else I have seen. You won't be dissapointed.
AA7JC Rating: 5/5 May 17, 2001 08:36 Send this review to a friend
Great Balun  Time owned: 0 to 3 months
I picked up a Radio Works 4:1 "remote" current balun at a hamfest and am VERY pleased with its performance.

I tested it with an (AEA CIA) analyzer and found it to be as good as I have ever seen a balun (near perfect infact).

I sawed it in two (gotta see it!) and looked at the dual cores. (As it turned out I was very lucky that I did not damage it when I opened it.)

I now use it for my G5RV and it works great.

N2CU Rating: 3/5 Apr 18, 2001 19:32 Send this review to a friend
Works well  Time owned: more than 12 months
Bought two of the 2k baluns for use on dipoles. Well constructed and cost efficient. My only complaint was that after several months useage, both baluns accumulated water inside to the point that they were half full. Had to take them down, drill out drain holes, and dry them out in an oven at low heat. Both had coax seal around the wire holes. The problem is that water gets inaround the eyebolts. I emailed Jim about this and never got a reply. Applying silicone sealer around those areas sealed it up.
N0SP Rating: 5/5 Apr 18, 2001 11:52 Send this review to a friend
Excellent & Efficient Product  Time owned: more than 12 months
I have two the of Radio Works baluns... The 4:1 Remote Balun as well as the B1-2K. Both have performed flawlessly. There is little I can observe about the B1-2K since it sits up there and does quiet yeoman's duty on the dipoles. However, the exciting product is the Remote Balun. This thing has an SO-239 at the input. It is connected to the back of my antenna tuner with ladder line connected to the output terminals and makes my 80 foot dipole a very efficient antenna on 80 through 10 meters. At first I thought it would be a compromise situation since the antenna was so short on 80 meters and that there would be losses in the balun. This has not been the case! Long QSOs at the 800 watt level on any of the bands has not yielded the slightest warming of the balun and signal reports on the 80' dipole are consistant with those from the full sized dipole I had at another QTH. I also get great signal reports running barefoot. This balun is much larger than any of the "built in" baluns that show up in commercial antenna tuners. If you have one of these tuners I would suggest not using the balanced output, Instead select the coax output of the tuner and connect this Current Balun to it. I would highly recomend this product for a multi-band wire antenna installation. My only recomendation would be to keep the coax between the radio/tuner and the balun fairly short. The balun and ladder line can tolerate very high SWR with almost no loss. The coax, however, becomes quite lossy at an SWR of 10:1 or higher. You could get this kind of mis-match at some combinations of frequency/feedline length/antenna length. I use no coax between the tuner and balun and bring the ladder line in to the shack. I've experienced no RFI problems.
Radio Works has been responsive and easy to deal with. I have two other products from them also, including a line isolator doing duty on an HF-2V rooftop instalation. Radio Works is also very forthcoming and honest in their disclosures, including prodigious warnings about not using these for continous carrier high-power RTTY or AM service. The power ratings published are for SSB and CW. They sell versions rated up to 5 KW SSB that should be used for 1500 watt key-down service. It appears the VK3 that submitted a review below did not read that disclosure and yet saw fit to give it a rating of 1... doesn't seem fair. Their prices are quite reasonable and the catalog they provide is a fun read and quite informative.
K2VI Rating: 4/5 Apr 5, 2001 19:38 Send this review to a friend
y15k balun  Time owned: more than 12 months
I had the radio works y15k balun for 2 years now. Not one bit of trouble. But I must say I am worried down the road. The drain holes are on the cap end of the balun. If you mount it on the boom(which is the only way)you will build up moisture inside. Radio works told me to put some coax seal to block up the holes which I did. So far so good. Low swr on all bands on my mosley ta33-m. Also the wires come out of the balun. No post with butterfly nuts like the centaur balun. I feel the wires that come out of the balun are a bit thin to pass 1.5 kw I feel it should have been 12 gauge. I must say I'm a tough one to please. Radio works has the BEST wire antennas on the market today. Nuff said.
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