Balun Info?

Lone Gunman

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I've been having problems with my OTA setup now for some time and just decided a while back not to do anything with it until after the "repack" was finished. Well, "repack" was done last week and I'm getting even less channels than before so it's time to do something.

Question on baluns, so do these things either work or not at all? What I mean is can they work halfway and make you think there is something else wrong?

The picture below is of the antenna on my roof and notice it's got one of those square baluns bolted on it that looks like it's made specifically for that antenna. I was on the roof last year and replaced and waterproofed the coax connection again and while I was up there I took the cover off that thing and it appeared to have had water in it at some point?? Still working half way mind you, which is why I asked about that.

antenna1.jpg
 

FTA4PA

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I've been having problems with my OTA setup now for some time and just decided a while back not to do anything with it until after the "repack" was finished. Well, "repack" was done last week and I'm getting even less channels than before so it's time to do something.

Question on baluns, so do these things either work or not at all? What I mean is can they work halfway and make you think there is something else wrong?

The picture below is of the antenna on my roof and notice it's got one of those square baluns bolted on it that looks like it's made specifically for that antenna. I was on the roof last year and replaced and waterproofed the coax connection again and while I was up there I took the cover off that thing and it appeared to have had water in it at some point?? Still working half way mind you, which is why I asked about that.

View attachment 140484
Although it may be a problem with your antenna is it possible that the repack was done and some of your stations are not yet running at full power? I have seen several posts here where someone could not receive a channel they did before and found that the station was temporarily operating at reduced power. :)
 

Lone Gunman

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They are prone to rust/corrosion/tarnish,or the screws/nuts get loose.Take it apart,clean it up and see what happpens.It may or not be your problem.Just pay attention as you take it apart,so you put it back together right.
So last year I bought one of those round baluns that has the twin lead out of one end of it and it looks like it would be a PITA to make that work as far as mounting is concerned. Yeah, I can mount it but is compatibility a possible issue if I decide to change out the original one??? I don't want to go to the trouble to change it out if the new round one isn't compatible with that antenna??
 

jorgek

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Mar 11, 2013
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That balun in the little black box is actually a tiny PCB board. Not much to wear out or fail. Any 300/75 ohm will work.
I replaced the black box on my CM 4221 HD with the same as you mention and the VHF reception improved quite a bit.
 

Trip

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Regarding the repack itself, most of the stations are finished and at full power, except for WDBJ at low power and WZBJ-CD which is off the air. And WSET doesn't move until next year, but I don't expect WSET to be a difficult problem for you anyway.

- Trip
 

Lone Gunman

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Regarding the repack itself, most of the stations are finished and at full power, except for WDBJ at low power and WZBJ-CD which is off the air. And WSET doesn't move until next year, but I don't expect WSET to be a difficult problem for you anyway.

- Trip
I was really hoping I could get WZBJ 24.1/2/3 because Decades is on one of those and we do record/watch that every day on satellite? So is WZBJ completely off the air or just temporarily off and will be back some time soon?
 

Trip

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I was really hoping I could get WZBJ 24.1/2/3 because Decades is on one of those and we do record/watch that every day on satellite? So is WZBJ completely off the air or just temporarily off and will be back some time soon?
WZBJ-CD went off late on Wednesday evening and was expecting to be off the air for at least 48 hours. They're doing equipment replacement and should come back up on RF19, hopefully some time over the weekend, though I know nothing beyond what was in the article on WDBJ's website.

But note that since WCAV in Charlottesville hasn't moved yet, you may or may not experience interference until WCAV vacates RF19. WCAV is waiting for WVIR before it can move, and WVIR's new antenna has yet to be delivered.

- Trip
 
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lfp302

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I've had one balun work better than another wrt FM radio reception even though they were same part number and manufacturer.
 

waylew

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So last year I bought one of those round baluns that has the twin lead out of one end of it and it looks like it would be a PITA to make that work as far as mounting is concerned. Yeah, I can mount it but is compatibility a possible issue if I decide to change out the original one??? I don't want to go to the trouble to change it out if the new round one isn't compatible with that antenna??
As has been said,you can use the round one but mounting could be a pain.Myself,I'd just take the box apart and make sure everything is clean and tight and put that back.
 

Larry1

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Water inside the balun will cause problems, may it be corrosion or just lower signal. The solder connections inside the balun may become bad if water has been sitting inside it. If it is not sealed, then there should be a small drain hole for the water to exit. Different baluns will have different amounts of attenuation, even of the same part number as pointed out by lfp302.
 
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Lone Gunman

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Well, yesterday it was cloudy and in the upper 60s so I went up on the roof and took that antenna down. Only bad thing about it was that the factory balun was mounted with pop rivets so the only way to get it off was to drill those rivets out, which I did. Then I mounted that new balun I had and put everything back up and now I'm only getting 17 channels where before I was getting 19 to 23?? Tweaked on it while the Wife did rescans on the TV but still 17 max was it. Tropho ducting is "Marginal" today so there's little to no help there.

Ennywho, I've got the old balun apart and from what I can see there's no apparent damage from what water was in it. PC board doesn't show any corrosion and an examination with a magnifying glass didn't show any damage to the circuits.

So, I'm going to give it a few days with the new balun to see if anything changes. If not, then I'll probably put the original balun back on it.

Next, is there any way to check that coaxial cable without pulling it out, ie, can it be checked with an ohm meter and if so, what's involved in doing that? I've got a Fluke 7-600 and an Omega HHM93 I can use if someone tells me what to do and what to look for when I do it.

Thanks
 
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charlesrshell

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Well, yesterday it was cloudy and in the upper 60s so I went up on the roof and took that antenna down. Only bad thing about it was that the factory balun was mounted with pop rivets so the only way to get it off was to drill those rivets out, which I did. Then I mounted that new balun I had and put everything back up and now I'm only getting 17 channels where before I was getting 19 to 23?? Tweaked on it while the Wife did rescans on the TV but still 17 max was it. Tropho ducting is "Marginal" today so there's little to no help there.

Ennywho, I've got the old balun apart and from what I can see there's no apparent damage from what water was in it. PC board doesn't show any corrosion and an examination with a magnifying glass didn't show any damage to the circuits.

So, I'm going to give it a few days with the new balun to see if anything changes. If not, then I'll probably put the original balun back on it.

Next, is there any way to check that coaxial cable without pulling it out, ie, can it be checked with an ohm meter and if so, what's involved in doing that? I've got a Fluke 7-600 and an Omega HHM93 I can use if someone tells me what to do and what to look for when I do it.

Thanks
So exactly what is the Balun? Do you have a pic of it?
 

Lone Gunman

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So with lack of comments on a coaxial cable testing procedure, am I to assume there is NO way to test it then?
 

Lone Gunman

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When I asked years ago, the answer was the proper equipment to test was very expensive.


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OK, thanks navychop! I guess that "splains" why there weren't any replies to that part of my post.

The coax I used is solid copper core RG6 and I've put new connectors on the outside end several times so I could see what it looked like under the outer jacket but didn't see anything that shouldn't be there on either the aluminum braid or the copper core.

I'll probably wait until WDBJ/WZBJ come back on the air and if those two come in OK that will be about 23 channels OTA and I'll likely be done with it ....... until the next malfunction!
 

Trip

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I checked for WZBJ-CD when I was in Lynchburg on Saturday and it was not yet back on the air. And WDBJ's interim signal is a lot worse than the predictions would suggest based on my experience on Saturday. So those signals could definitely be missing for you until everything's done.

- Trip
 

Elsguy

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OK, thanks navychop! I guess that "splains" why there weren't any replies to that part of my post.

The coax I used is solid copper core RG6 and I've put new connectors on the outside end several times so I could see what it looked like under the outer jacket but didn't see anything that shouldn't be there on either the aluminum braid or the copper core.

I'll probably wait until WDBJ/WZBJ come back on the air and if those two come in OK that will be about 23 channels OTA and I'll likely be done with it ....... until the next malfunction!
If I remember correctly, a Sathero satellite finder will test coax, but you need to connect both ends to the meter,maybe. I've never done that, but maybe I am wrong.
 

navychop

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Compression fittings or crimp?



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