Balun, Telescopic Element Recommendations? (Dipole)


Active Member
Premium Subscriber
Mar 11, 2020
West Central Florida
Since I love the dipoles I have, I am trying to take it a step further and improve my VHF-low reception. I can reliably get -25dB [ - ]-28dB return loss on VHF-Hi when tuned, but below 100mhz I am hard-pressed to get anything better than -2dB - -5dB of return loss. I would like to bring that up to -20dB at least.
I don't have the space to put a really long wire dipole, I am on the top floor of an apartment and have no access to the roof. For HF I am going to build a loop antenna, but for this, I would like to have a dedicated dipole that will get me solid reception from 30-200mhz, with an emphasis on low band.

So, my plan is to get a good balun, one which I can connect LMR400 coax too instead of the cheapo super thing stuff, and get much longer elements than the ones I have. I may just try buying longer elements first, and see if the baluns I have are good enough. So, if anyone knows where I can get really long telescopic elements, let me know.

When searching for baluns, I am seeing a huge range in the price - there are some super cheap, $10-$20, and then there are some that are $400-$1500. I really dont want to spend a ton, certainly not anything near $400+, but I would like recommendations for one that other people have used and work well.

For reference, I am referring to these types:
Not the wire dipoles. I can't understand why they are so expensive ($1,300.00!). Obviously, I cannot afford a schwarzbeck, but if someone can recommend a solid balun and really long elements, let me know!

Tl;DR: I am looking for recommendations for really long telescopic elements as well as good baluns


Jul 1, 2010
Saratoga Springs, NY
You won't really find a good dipole length to cover that amount of bandwidth. The loop idea is better, but split that frequency spread into maybe 3 parts...say 50, 100, and 150. Calculate the dimensions for each one and build it...then place all 3 in the same plane and connect them together... what's called a "nested" loop. Forget the balun...most don't give much coverage above 50 mHz or so. I doubt you'll notice much difference by wiring coax directly to the loops. Take a square of 1/4" plexiglass large enough to mount an SO-239...with some hardware to tie the loop elements all together near the SO-239.