Tag Archive: balun transformers

  1. What Is the Difference Between a Balun and RF Transformer?

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    Baluns and RF transformers are two distinct types of transformers – while they share similarities, they have many key differences in terms of operational functions and characteristics. In this blog, we’ll overview these two transformer types and their distinctions.

    Balun Transformers

    Balun transformers are used to convert an unbalanced signal to a balanced signal and vice versa. Commonly used in telephone lines, transmitters, and more, baluns optimize the flow of AC signals and transform impedance between coaxial cable and balanced loads. 

    RF Transformers

    RF transformers are used to match impedances, isolate DC currents between circuits, and perform current or voltage step-up or step-down. 

    What’s the Difference Between Balun and RF Transformers?

    Baluns and RF transformers have many overlapping functions, properties, and fabrication methods. Some baluns can even be considered modified RF transformers. Although they can be easily mismatched, each of these transformers have unique characteristics and purposes that differentiate them. Baluns and RF transformers work to optimize interactions between circuits and signals; however, they operate in different ways to do so.

    Baluns convert an unbalanced signal to a balanced signal, and they are commonly used in communications applications to allow for the best possible transmission. A balanced line, or signal pathway, needs two 180° out-of-phase signals within a transmission pathway, while unbalanced pathways consist of a single signal with a ground plane return path. One way to fabricate baluns is by properly configuring one grounded and one floating winding-based transformer with a delay line.

    RF transformers, on the other hand, use magnetic couplings between two or more circuits to isolate or transform current, voltage, or impedance amongst the coupled circuits. Commonly used in high frequency signal applications, RF transformers are typically composed of twisted-pair or coaxial transmission lines wound around a toroidal ferromagnetic core. However, they are also available in thin-film, thick-film, and planar varieties.

    Balun Transformers and RF Transformers at MPS Industries

    At MPS Industries, we specialize in high-quality magnetic components, including balun and RF transformers. Our products can withstand operating temperatures ranging from -40°C to 85°C and can handle frequencies ranging from 0.5 MHz to 2400 MHz. Our baluns and RF transformers are ideal for a variety of applications, including CATV, SET top boxes, and more. As optimal safety and performance are top priorities for our products and services, MPS upholds the following certifications:

    MPS serves multiple industries, including aerospace, automotive, consumer electronics, medical, military and defense, telecommunications, and more. We ensure optimal quality management, compliance with industry standards, and on-time delivery.

    To learn more about our baluns and RF transformers, browse our catalog today.

    For questions regarding our products and services, reach out to our team and we’ll be happy to help.

  2. Exploring Balun Transformers

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    In the world of electronics, it’s common to hear about two varieties of lines—balanced and unbalanced. Balanced lines have two conductors, which feature equal currents running in opposite directions. An example of balanced lines is twisted pair cables. On the other hand, unbalanced lines feature just one conductor and a ground, like a coaxial cable.

    Baluns are two-port components that are placed between a source and a load. They serve to join balanced lines to unbalanced lines. The term “balun” is derived by combining the words “balanced” and “unbalanced.” Baluns are a specific variety of transformer used to convert unbalanced signals into balanced ones (or vice versa). They often isolate a transmission line and provide a balanced output.

    Why Balun Transformers?

    While there has been recent emphasis on the importance of balun transformers, they aren’t a new development. Baluns have been utilized as a mean of resolving the single-ended/balanced dilemma since the early days of wireless telephony. However, recent expansion in the realm of portable, handheld, and IoT applications has created exceptional demand for small, low-power baluns.
    Baluns are often viewed as a passive component and can sometimes be “glossed over” in RF discussions because they do not add obvious value to the RF signal chain. Despite this, baluns have numerous typical applications. They are a critical part of numerous electronic devices that the public relies on daily. Some of these include:

    • TVs
    • Antennas
    • Microwaves
    • Cable moderns
    • Coax Alliance applications

    Recent years have seen an increased use of differential configurations when it comes to RF ICs. Their internal topology allows for improved noise immunity and heightened RF performance at a low-cost increment. The nature of IC designs affords manufacturers the capability to create products with improved capabilities that cost less than their predecessors.

    The MPS Difference

    MPS-brand balun transformers are known for their exceptional impedance transformation. As with all baluns, they convert unbalanced impedance to balanced impedance and vice versa.

    Our balun transformers feature a low profile, making them ideal for specialized applications where larger components may prove difficult. Their compact footprint and high performance translate to tiny powerhouses with exceptional capabilities; they offer higher performance than traditional lumped-element and ceramic baluns.

    In addition, our balun transformers meet regulatory requirements and are RoHS compliant. We serve clients in a wide variety of industries, and our baluns are ideal for use in CATV, multimedia applications, wireless infrastructure, and other consumer electronics applications.

    Does Your Application Require a Balun Transformer?

    At MPS Industries, we’re proud to offer our clients a variety of balun transformers that have been specifically designed to meet the needs of virtually any application. We also offer a myriad of magnetic components intended for use across numerous industries.

    Our team has years of experience in manufacturing electronic components, and our clients consistently return to us because of our broad product line, custom design capabilities, and quality services. Our in-house engineering group is always available for local support and we’re committed to providing products that exceed customer expectations.

    Interested in learning more about MPS Industries’ balun transformers? Get in touch with us today or request a quote to speak to one of our team members about integrating balun transformers into your next design.