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Reviews Categories | Antenna parts, accessories, incl. baluns, hardware, etc. | Elecraft BL2 250-W Balun with 4:1 / 1:1 Switch Help


Reviews Summary for Elecraft BL2 250-W Balun with 4:1 / 1:1 Switch
Elecraft BL2 250-W Balun with 4:1 / 1:1 Switch Reviews: 8 Average rating: 4.6/5 MSRP: $35
Description: The BL2 is a higher-power version of Elecraft's model BL1. The BL2's ferrite
transformer is twice the size of the BL1's, providing a conservative 250-W
rating and very cool operation at 100 W. The BL2 also includes a rugged,
easy-to-use 4:1 / 1:1 switch, allowing optimization for different loads or feed
lines.

Just slightly larger than the BL1 (about 1.5 x 3.5"), the BL2 is an excellent
choice for both home and field use. It uses a special winding technique to
reduce losses and extend the useful range, resulting in an SWR of less than
1.2:1 from 500 kHz to 55 MHz. It includes screw terminals for the balanced
output as well as ground.

The BL2 is a kit -- one of several inexpensive kits in Elecraft's "mini-modules"
line. The builder can package the finished PC-board module in an enclosure if
required, or use the supplied rubber feet on the PC board itself.
Product is in production.
More info: http://www.elecraft.com
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You can write your own review of the Elecraft BL2 250-W Balun with 4:1 / 1:1 Switch.

W1XV Rating: 5/5 May 15, 2014 15:53 Send this review to a friend
Perfect Product  Time owned: more than 12 months
I have two of the BL2 baluns, one is in the attic to take care of my 130 foot long dipole fed with window line. The second is for portable use with a somewhat shorter antenna. I purchased these as "used" and they function equally. It is a well-made and designed product and is a perfect product for both my "home bound" K3 and my portable KX3. It is small, light in weight and rugged. I couldn't ask for more. No, it's not waterproof as sold but in my situation this is not a problem. Thanks Elecraft for adding this to your assortment of "mini module" gems!! Brad W1XV
 
K2CPE Rating: 4/5 Apr 10, 2013 16:58 Send this review to a friend
very good  Time owned: 3 to 6 months
After superstorm Sandy I erected a 140' Cobra Ultralite Senior, a ladder line fed doublet , connected to my 10 watt K2 thru an LDG RBA-4:1 voltage balun. This set up worked fairly well showing 1.5 (or better) on all bands except on 160m where it would show 9:1 (not unexpected) and on 15m the best it would do was 4.5:1.

So I decided to purchase and assemble the Elecraft BL2 balun, switchable from 4:1 to 1:1. The assembly was easy and I now get less than 1.5:1 on all bands. My only reason for giving a rating of 4 is because the supplied binding screws/washers are too small for my fat fingers to make easy connections....its doable but a bit fiddly if you are going to make frequent antenna disconnection/re-connections....such as going out for portable ops, etc.

I purchased a lexan enclosure for the BL2 from W8FGU (very well made : http://home.comcast.net/~w8fgu/enclosures.html) to which I will mount more substantial binding post/banana plug connectors, which will make connecting to antenna leads very quick, a plus when lightning approaches.

Rich K2CPE
K2 #1102
 
K5AF Rating: 3/5 Sep 14, 2011 17:13 Send this review to a friend
Test it Yourself  Time owned: 6 to 12 months
Compared to a $10 homebrew autotransformer, the BL2 consistently:

- Produced less RF Current through the same tuner to the same antenna at the same power level (measured by a matched pair of RF ammeters)

- Produced more heat (the homebrew T-140-6, red material, produced no heat at all)

- Was less broad-banded and more sensitive to tune

- Was typically 2-6DB down using same station measurements on the Reverse Beacon Network (RBN) on the three different bands tested

- Costs about 5 times as much

These tests were done on a balanced double zepp antenna and produced consistent results on three bands, YMMV.

 
AC0LP Rating: 5/5 Dec 19, 2010 16:04 Send this review to a friend
Flexible First Rate Balun  Time owned: 0 to 3 months
Another in the Mini-Module series from Elecraft - and as always, first rate gear.

Assemble in a few minutes and you have a switchable 1:1 or 4:1 Balun - perfect for those of us that want to experiment with different antennas.
 
WC0L Rating: 5/5 Feb 17, 2008 20:40 Send this review to a friend
WOW!  Time owned: 0 to 3 months
I received this balun last week and quickly put it together. I put it on the output of my SGC Model 239 tuner in the 4:1 position. I use this combination to tune my W5GI "Mystery" antenna. All I can say is WOW! I am astounded at the difference. The 239 would tune this antenna before, but I didn't know what I was missing. With the balun in line, the tuner tunes much more quickly, and not nearly as often. In fact, on 20 meters, it only needs to find one set of parameters, and it stays tuned across the entire band. Not only that, the antenna is now much more quiet. In fact, I just got through working some DX on 17 meters this afternoon, which I have never been able to do before with this antenna. This balun is definitely worth the small price asked. I would rate it higher than a 5 if I could.
73,
Mike, WC0L
 
KI4YAG Rating: 5/5 Oct 16, 2007 09:46 Send this review to a friend
Very Good Performance  Time owned: 0 to 3 months
Nice little kit from Elecraft that takes about an hour to put together. High quality materials and good directions makes this easy. Use on your bench with the included feet or mount in a water tight project box for outdoor use. I have mine feeding a 20M center fed double extended zep with 300 ohm feedline as a vertical radiator, itself being fed with 75 ohm R6 coax from a MFJ tuner and sourced by a Kenwood TS 530S. It makes a very good match with the 4:1 difference in the feedlines, and with the tuner I can run 40M at about 1.2:1 SWR. Mine came with a rating of 300W ?? but looks like it can easily handle it. The connections are screw terminals with a ground on the balanced side, and a female BNC on the unbalanced side. MFJ makes a similar product already boxed and slightly cheaper, but I can't vouch for the quality of materials. This one is dynamite in a small package.
 
WB1AEX Rating: 5/5 May 11, 2006 15:54 Send this review to a friend
Outstanding Performance  Time owned: 0 to 3 months
The kit components are very high quality, and it is very simple to assemble. I ordered mine online at the Elecraft site on a Sunday, received an email indicating it had shipped on Monday, and much to my surprise it was in my mailbox on Wednesday. Not bad for $2.31 shipping from CA to CT! I installed my BL2 at the output of my SGC-239 autotuner in a 1:1 configuration and it has resolved a number of annoying problems for me, including reduced stray electrical noise pickup from my ladderline and inconsistent tuning on several bands. Everythings tunes flat now from 160 - 10 meters. No RF feedback onto my tuner control lines anymore. This is a product that exceeded my expectations. Nice job Elecraft.

Rob WB1AEX
 
W8OW Rating: 5/5 Feb 16, 2006 08:57 Send this review to a friend
Quick Build - Solid and Flexible Performer  Time owned: 0 to 3 months
I wanted to standardize on a balun that would be suitable for both the shack and field use. The BL2 fits the bill nicely, and being 1:1/4:1 switchable is a real plus. A quick 15 minute build, compact (1.5 x 3 inches), and good quality components. Pretty much the same as the BL1 with a DTDT switch, beefier torroids, and heavier gauge windings. Barely warm after several hours of extended CW ragchews at 100W. Another Elecraft winner.
 


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