Review of DX Engineering BAL050-H05-A Balun

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For quite a few years I have used the DX Engineering Maxi-Core Balun model number BAL050-H05-A.

I needed some quick deploy Baluns for the 80 Meter Turnstile Antenna covered earlier on Ham Help Desk.

Also purchased were two DXE-UWA8X-KIT products which provide hoisting points and strain relief for RG-8 size coax.

Mechanically I could not ask for a better solution for a High Frequency Balun. At 31 oz. (878 g.) this unit is not a lightweight object, but has a good solid feel. The serpentine wire grip feature of the T-Insulator works absolutely fabulous for the #14 insulated wire I chose for my dipole elements.

The DX Engineering approach to their mast mountable HF Baluns works very well for my needs. I was concerned over reports about their Baluns not working correctly in the upper portion of the HF band; This is why I used these for the 80 meter antenna first. However, the VNA tests above indicate decent functionality up to 30 MHz as stated on their label.

The only issue I have with this product is there did not seem to be the right kind of fasteners to attach the strain relief bracket to the coax end of the housing. I wound up using one of the press fit bolts (bolts with a square shoulder that prevents the bolt from turning after installation into plastic) in the metal hole. There was enough hardware in total, but not quite the right assortment. This is obviously not correct, but my make shift rushed solution worked fine the day I put it up. If you are putting up an antenna with this Balun and its strain relief kit for your coax, be sure you don’t expect out of the packet perfection; If you want the correct hardware, allow yourself a day or two to make a trip to the hardware store (pick stainless hardware).

With good electrical response plus decent mechanical assembly, I am quite pleased with the money I spent on this Balun. DX Engineering has nicely solved the usual issues we have with our wire dipoles leaving only the task of how to hoist it up into the air.

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