Winding style of toroid chokes and baluns


Related articles at

Balun Test 
contains model of “perfect” dipole currents.  

 Sleeve Balun
shows how a sleeve adds impedance, useful for VHF and higher baluns

Receiving Common Mode
shows how lack of a balun can contribute to system noise (it applies
to transmitting antennas as well)  

Longwires, Verticals,
and Baluns
 shows how unbalanced antennas can have similar problems

Balun and Core selection
for transformers and baluns

Transmitting baluns
on testing transmitting baluns


Toroid Chokes and Baluns

Commonly published information tells us winding a choke or 1:1 balun on a
toroid with this special winding technique increases common mode impedance
(choking isolation) of an 11-turn balun on a pair of #65 material ferrite cores:



The common mode rejection sweep, assuming a 50-ohm common mode source and
load is:

(pardon the camera jitter) 



This sweep shows the following suppression using split winding method:

15.71 MHz 37.1MHz 134.8MHz 157 MHz  
-33dB -46dB (peak performance) -19dB -3dB (minimum rejection)  

The same core was rewound using a normal parallel winding:


The sweep looked like this:


Common mode rejection, compared to the more complex winding, was:


Frequency 15.71 MHz 37.1MHz 134.8MHz 157 MHz
Split winding -33dB -46dB (peak performance) -19dB -3dB (minimum performance)
Normal winding -47dB (peak performance)  -41dB -4.6dB (minimum rejection) -11dB



Shunt capacitance
is not always a bad
thing! While the
results vary with
the core and number
of turns, the more-difficult
“split winding” will
often just shift peak performance
points higher in frequency. Performance in the HF range and lower
could actually
be decreased with the extra effort resulting in a poorer HF balun.

Common mode impedance,
if the impedance is
primarily inductive,
increases when a slight amount of parallel capacitance is added.
Shunt capacitance does
not always, as is
often claimed, reduce performance by “leaking”
RF around a choke.

The rule is simple. With any parallel L and C (neglecting losses), impedance
always increases unless the parallel capacitive reactance (in ohms) is less than
half the value of the inductance (in ohms).
With a choke winding
impedance of j300
with an added
parallel -j150
reactance, the
combined impedance
would be -j300.
Impedance is the same
value, only the sign
changes! Any value
of capacitive shunt reactance higher than
-j150 (less
capacitance value) would actually increase choke isolation!

There are many “improvements” we just blindly accept from reading
articles, because on the surface they seem to make sense. This dispels one of
the myths about baluns.

Another common myth is the widely accepted claim moving a choke balun to a
lower common-mode impedance point of a circuit, such as the input of a tuner,
improves balance or balun performance in the system. If you think baluns at the
input of tuners are a good idea, go to this
W7EL link 
and read the section on current baluns. You might be