The NooElec Balun 1:9 v2

Many thanks to SWLing Post contributor, Grayhat, who writes:

Hi Thomas, was about to write you about some infos related to the NooElec balun when found that they now offer a v2 model:

https://www.nooelec.com/store/balun-one-nine-v2-barebones.html

The new balun has the same schematic as the previous one:

But it is slightly bigger, has a better connector for the antenna wires and (according to NooElec) uses a transformer which allows the tiny balun to work more efficiently from 0 to around 70 MHz (check out the charts found in the downloads section of this link).

The transformer used, judging from the pics, is a CoilCraft WB9-1, whose data can be found here:

https://www.coilcraft.com/wb_th.cfm

As I wrote the reason for this was the fact that a friend of mine reported that he used the (v1) balun with a Loop On Ground (LoG) Antenna !

If you look at the schematic (above) you’ll notice that there’s a “jumper” labeled R1 (zero Ohm resistor). That tiny detail is important, see, leaving the balun as is, it will work fine with a longwire, one just connects contact #1 to the antenna and #2 to a counterpoise or ground system and there he goes, BUT there’s another way to use the balun, that is, CUT the “jumper” (ok, resistor) labeled “R1”. If you cut it, the balun will become a 9:1 isolation transformer and with such a modification will work just fine with the KK5JY “LoG”
antenna: http://www.kk5jy.net/LoG/

According to what my friend reported, the balun works just fine, and although probably the ferrite core used in the V1 isn’t up to par with the original one used by KK5JY, the difference isn’t so huge.

Oh, and I also suspect that the modified balun may work fine with the KK5JY simpler passive loop http://www.kk5jy.net/rx-loop/ which may be a nice antenna for restricted spaces!

I think it may be of interest to people not knowing/willing to wind their own baluns, at that point one may just need an enclosure to protect the balun and putting up a receive antenna will be as easy as 1-2-3.

Thank you for sharing this! Readers: Grayhat has been encouraging me to deploy a LoG antenna at my home and I do plan to do so in the coming months. Please comment if you use a LoG similar to the KK5JY model and what your results have been.

Thank you again for the tip, Grayhat!

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7 thoughts on “The NooElec Balun 1:9 v2

  1. Bob

    Hi,

    Will be using with a new SDRPlay RSPdx.
    Inputs on the RSPdx are apparently now all 50 ohm.
    So, i guess, something like the cheap NooElec 9:1 Baluns will be required.

    Question: For a longwire receive only going to one of the terminals, should
    the other unused one be left floating, or grounded ? Why ?

    Same answer for the new Version 2 they have ?

    Worth getting over the original one which I have ?

    Or, are there “better” choices, but still relatively inexpensive ? Why ?

    Thanks,
    Bob

    Reply
    1. Andrew

      Hi Bob, didn’t notice the post (apparently the blog doesn’t send notices if someone posts a comment)

      As for the NooElec; start by looking at the schematic

      https://www.nooelec.com/store/downloads/dl/file/id/40/balun_one_nine_schematic.jpg

      now, if you carefully look at it, you’ll see that, as it’s shipped, the device is configured as a BalUN, so it can be used with balanced antennas (e.g. a dipole) feeded by an unbalanced line (coax), willing to use it for a longwire, you’ll need to cut the “R1” which is basically a “jumper”, you’ll find it on the back of the PCB, use a cutter to cut it and you’ll obtain an UnUn (unbalanced to unbalanced), now, connect the longwire to one of the clips and connect the other to either a ground rod using a short run of wire or a counterpoise (which may be a shorter run of wire just laying on the ground)

      Willing to use the device for a balanced antenna, you may just solder a jumper (or avoid cutting the R1), and connect the antenna wires to the clips, such a configuration may also be useful if you use a ladder line to feed your balanced antenna, in such a case you may connect the balun to the end of the ladder line and the coax to the balun connector

      Getting back to the longwire, notice that it length isn’t exactly “random”, there are some caveats, so if you’re going to set up one of them, my suggestion is to carefully read this

      http://www.hamuniverse.com/randomwireantennalengths.html

      and pick one of the recommended lengths which fits your available space; not really so important for an RX-only antenna, but for sure won’t hurt 🙂

      Also, and since we’re at it, a longwire is a cheap and easy antenna, but it isn’t exactly a “quiet” one, so it will pull in quite a lot of noise, willing a quieter (not deaf !) antenna, you may consider building the “LoG” (http://www.kk5jy.net/LoG/) which will still only require some length of insulated wire, but which, in my experience, will be quieter than the longwire and allow you to “pull” a lot more stations out from the noise 😉

      Reply
  2. RonF

    Something doesn’t make sense about the pics, schematic, & description.

    From the pic above & on the nooelec site, it’s clearly a WB9-1 transformer – except that, according to Coilcraft’s datasheet (and the through-hole WB9-1L i’ve got here & just tested), neither side is centre-tapped. Coilcraft in fact don’t list a centre-tapped 9:1 in the WB series; the closest would be the 8:1 WB8-1TL or TSL.

    Maybe it’s a custom transformer – though Coilcraft usually mark those differently. Wonder if Nooelec originally designed their board for something like a Minicircuits ADT9-1T+ – which is centre-tapped on the high-impedance side – then changed transformers without checking?

    Grayhat &/or his friend might like to check whether the CT pin connects to either side of that winding. It’ll be interesting to see if it does.

    Reply
    1. RonF

      And … re-reading now, I see that the description & circuit refers to the older v1 balun, which /does/ use what looks like a Minicircuits TC-series centre-tapped balun. Should’ve read more carefully!

      Reply
      1. Andrew

        If you check the back side of the v2 board (image on nooelec website) you’ll see that the center tap is grounded through a resistor marked as R1 and given that both the v1 and v2 share the same schematic, my guess is that the board in the pic may be some pre-production unit

        Reply

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