Comet CBL-1000 Review

I’ve previously made my baluns (4:1 and 1:1) and had great success for portable operation. However, I decided to go the commercial route for a permanent balun (1:1) installed on my new fan dipole installation at home. I figured a) it would at least equal anything I could DIY and b) it would be water & UV proof.

With the plan of adding a linear to run full legal power in 2015, I searched for a balun capable of 400W with ‘plenty in reserve’ to handle high duty modes. Plus, being rated higher I figured the losses would be less.

My search led me to the Comet CBL-1000 (1kW PEP). I think this cost somewhere in the region of £50; for this I was expecting a substantial toroidal ferrite with some large gauge wire windings.

The parcel arrived and seemed a little lightweight. However, the casing looked well built and a circular cavity existed which surely contained the toroid plus windings. Removing from the packaging I then discovered the majority of the weight *was* the packaging. Something was not right.

The adjacent image shows the contents.cbl-1000

Now, keep in mind the specs:-

1kW (PEP)

Does this look like a 1kW balun?

Despite my reservations I put it into service. I figure at least I have a waterproof casing with space for a proper toroidal balun when I decide to upgrade. I don’t seem to be suffering from stray RF (a problem I previously had using an end fed random wire) although other radios nearby are still misbehaving when the HF radio TXs. I think this is more down to proximity than RF on the coax.

Reports on 40m seem positive; this is certainly a much more effective antenna than my previous non-resonant end fed random wire.

However, in summary, I question the peak power rating of the CBL-1000 and feel I’ve wasted £50. An old toroid, some heavy gauge copper wire and a waterproof enclosure from Maplins and I’ve had something properly QRO for probably 1/5 of the price. Still, we live and learn.

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2 Responses to Comet CBL-1000 Review

  1. Pingback: Simple Fan Dipole | M0SPN

  2. JH0WJF says:

    Hello OM

    That is unfortunate.
    “PEP”, which is the power standard unit of Japanese amateur radio, means the peak of SSB.
    In other words, 1kW PEP is the maximum instantaneous power of SSB, not 1kW of CW. When converted to CW, it is equivalent to 250W, which is 1/4, so it is a 250W continuous balun.

    In addition, the inside photo of the top balun is shown below.

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