A Tutorial on Baluns, Balun Transformers, Magic-Ts, and 180° Hybrids

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  • Author: Doug Jorgesen and Christopher Marki

The balun has a long and illustrious history, first documented in the literature as a device to feed the television transmitting antenna for the Empire State Building in 1939. Since then designs have evolved dramatically, and applications have evolved beyond driving diff erential antennas to include balanced mixers, amplifi ers, and signaling lines of all types. Baluns have long been ubiquitous in low frequency audio, video, and antenna driving applications. The need for high speed, low noise data transfer has driven the advancement of the balun to higher frequencies and superior performance.

This Application Note from Marki Microwave starts off with the basics of what a balun is and what it is meant to do. Then it goes deeper by defining generic balun specs, the different types of baluns and their properties. Finally it talks about the applications of baluns and how to determine what kind of balun is required for several different purposes.