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Reviews Categories | Antenna parts, accessories, incl. baluns, hardware, etc. | Van Gorden Engineering Help

Reviews Summary for Van Gorden Engineering
Van Gorden Engineering Reviews: 30 Average rating: 2.9/5 MSRP: $$14.99
Description: HI-Q Balun 1:1 and 4:1
Product is in production.
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KD7YMR Rating: 4/5 Feb 17, 2007 23:37 Send this review to a friend
You get what you pay for  Time owned: more than 12 months
Hi Folks,
I bought my Hi-Q 1.1 several years ago, and still have to see it fail. Living in Oregon, the weather is rather damp, and pretty mild most of the year, even though it some times gets over 100 during the summer, this little guy seems to hold the fort down. I've ran 20, 15 and 10 meter through it, up to the permissible limit with no issues.

I suppose I got one of the "Tuesday models"? =)

Anyway, reading through this list of people and seeing their gripes over one or two particular issues they've had with theirs, I offer a couple of suggestions:
1. When you go to solder the wires to this balun, tin the fitting and the wire first. This makes it so very much easier. Also, use a heavy duty soldering gun, not a torch. . . The case is plastic, OK? And if you use a torch or a small soldering iron, the torch will burn it and the small iron takes too long, allowing the heat to run into the insides and melt the plastic. You want quick heat, and you want it "Now! Right Here!", on the point of connection, no where else.

2. The other thing is, well folks, again it's "Plastic". It's not meant to support a great deal of weight, and in doing so, can cause the PVC to fail under extreme loads and weather conditions, heat, cold, high winds, falling trees, kids with slingshots. . . Its tough, but hey it's still, . . PLASTIC.

If you have a water problem and want to try and drill a hole in it, make sure the hole is at least 1/4 inch, otherwise it won't drain worth a darn. And if you do, cut a small piece off of a "No Pest Strip" and poke it up into the hole you drilled at the bottom of the Balun.. . `Keeps the bugs out forever. <- good thing to remember for out-doors applications.

You have to remember that you only get what you pay for, and that there's no free lunch. Being such, this Hi-Q Balun is still under $20, it's one heck of a good deal!
DD4DA Rating: 1/5 Jan 13, 2007 17:44 Send this review to a friend
Balun .repaired easy  Time owned: more than 12 months
I brought this kinda 1:1 Current balun a couple of years ago and used them at the lst few weeks in combination with my Inv.Vee. for 80m upto 20m Band with a about 1KW PA. Well, the balun has failed after a little bit water comes inside. The isulation (looks like PTFE) of the used wire for the trifilar coil is failed particular so sparks between the wires if the power is upper that 200 Watts, destroys the balun wire further.
My advantage is that the ALPIN100 PA goes offline or switched off if the antenna environment is to bad.
The BALUN is easy repaired because it's it build by just 3 wires (AGW14 or thicker) with 88cm length, wounded on a 26mm diameter and 65mm length PVC-pipe. This is all...
vy 73 de Gerd
W3FM Rating: 0/5 Dec 16, 2006 12:46 Send this review to a friend
BAD NEWS  Time owned: more than 12 months
I have used the 1:1 balun up at 90'for my 160-40-30m inverted vee dipole. Having had two of them fail I took one apart to see what the problem was. I was greeted by a live spider and his beautiful little nest. I have placed an order with The Wireman for a W2DU Type balun rated for 6 Kw 10 to 160m [I run 1.5 Kw]
KK5GD Rating: 5/5 Sep 28, 2006 12:38 Send this review to a friend
Good Product  Time owned: more than 12 months
I've owned two 1:1 Baluns over the past ten years. The first I thought was shorted or full of water due to a high VSWR. I cut it open and found nothing wrong; turned out to be that my Collins was way out of calibration. The second I still own and works great. I will say it was hard to get the solder to flow on the terminal lugs. I used plenty of flux on the second one and had very little trouble. I still use it when I need to throw up a quick wire dipole or inverted "v" and when I go camping.

I did meet someone who said thier's filled with water. If I ever shake mine and suspect water; I think I try drilling a drain hole.
W7AK Rating: 0/5 Apr 22, 2006 21:13 Send this review to a friend
junk  Time owned: 0 to 3 months
NE0P Rating: 5/5 Feb 16, 2006 08:01 Send this review to a friend
Served me well also  Time owned: more than 12 months
I have had their 4:1 balun since 2000 with no problems. I used it on a homebrew G5RV type with 300ohm twinlead (Radio Shack) running into it, and 75ohm RG11 coming out. Never run more than 100 watts into it, but no problems whatsoever. No problems soldering the twinlead wires to the terminals. It has been outside the whole time and just keeps going and going. Recently worked FO/HA9G on 80 and 3Y0X on 30 with this setup.
K7VO Rating: 5/5 Feb 15, 2006 21:45 Send this review to a friend
Served me very well  Time owned: more than 12 months
I built a multiband fanned dipole (not a true fan dipole as we're talking different legs covering different bands) with legs for 80/17/12, 40/15, and 20 from a common feedpoint which was a 1:1 Hi-Q Balun. I ran no more than 125W at any time through it and I did use a tuner with it and did operate it on 10m and 30m where there was no leg which was anywhere near resonance. I never had a problem and it was up for a few years at my old QTH in North Carolina. I got out very well indeed. It's a good product.
WA6HZX Rating: 1/5 May 25, 2005 04:38 Send this review to a friend
Soldering Problems on 1:1 Balun  Time owned: 0 to 3 months
I attempted to solder my copper, muli-strand copper antenna wire to the two lugs on the balun and found it virtually impossible to get the solder to flow. Applying additional solder gun heat only worsened the problem as it melted the balun case plastic and accordingly, loosened the attachment hardware. This is the second Van Gorden antenna center conducter product I've purchased with the same soldering problem and I will not buy another. They need to build a better mousetrap!
WM5L Rating: 5/5 Oct 18, 2004 18:14 Send this review to a friend
Great Preformance  Time owned: more than 12 months
I have run a kw into 3 of the 1:1 versions for 5 years now. 80m,40m v's and a Force 12 C4. Have had no problems with water leaking,heating or soldering wire to them as some have mentioned here. I do NOT use a tuner.
ASTROHAM Rating: 1/5 Oct 3, 2004 08:06 Send this review to a friend
Junk  Time owned: 0 to 3 months
Bought it because it was the only brand stocked by my local ham dealer. Even though I am both skilled and formally trained in soldering techniques, it was virtually impossible to solder wires to the lug without melting the PVC and subsequently loosening the input hardware. The instructions say not to loosen or disassemble the hardware, so this unit voids its own warrantee as it is being commissioned. The unit is in service as an inverted vee right now but does not provide better than 1.5 SWR anywhere on the band. Will order a better unit from mail order and toss this one on the next antenna campaign (which should be before winter hits).
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