80 Meter OCF Dipole
My new QTH required a quick and easy multi-band antenna so I could get back on the air. I like the OCF antennas because they're cheap (like me) and easy to build and deploy. From DX Engineering I purchased 500 feet of antenna wire (DXE-ANTW-500) and insulators (ALF-DELTA-CIN) and re-used my MFJ 4:1 current balun. The dimensions are based on the Palomar Engineers 80-10 Meter OCF Dipole cut at 29/71% giving me access to 17 Meters.
I cut in half two Anderson connectors from an old UPS and tie-wrapped the antenna wires to the eyebolts. Notice the wires do not pass through the eyebolts. My theory is that a UFO (unidentified falling object) will break one or both of the tie-wraps and disconnect the Anderson connectors before the balun can be torn apart.
Following is what I discovered about the MFJ balun:
MFJ-913 with top removed
Some time in 2018 I purchased the MFJ-913 4:1 current balun for my DIY OCF dipole antenna. One day I decided to drop the antenna and do a little maintenance. I loosened the ends of the antenna and did a slight tug on the coax to pull it to the ground. To my surprise, the top of the balun popped off the body revealing the guts. Apparently, in spite of the balun being made from PVC pipe fittings, some other type glue was used and failed miserably. I took the opportunity to examine the insides and here is what I found:
The body is made from 1-1/4 inch PVC pipe and flat end caps. Stainless steel hardware was used throughout. I couldn't get my calipers close enough to the cores, but a good estimate is they are 1 inch O.D. and 1/2 inch I.D. No insulation was used on the solder connections to the stranded wires exiting the body. I guess if you tried hard enough, you could push the two wire to the inside of the body and short them out. I took the opportunity to install heat shrink tubing on the connections just in case. The body is not waterproof, but a weep hole is drilled on the SO-239 end to allow any moisture to escape. The stainless steel eyebolts are not electrically connected to the balun.
I cleaned up the PVC and reassembled it with the proper PVC glue.