Channel Master CM-3203 Antenna Balun Transformer

Channel-Master-CM-3203

You’ve gotten fed up with astronomical cable bills. You never watch any of those channels anyway, and it’s nonstop commercials and infomercials. All you wanted was a way to get the local news stations and network TV channels without fuzzy pictures, but when TVs stopped offering antenna, it became difficult. Pictures got fuzzy and cable channels warned you that you wouldn’t be able to tap in anymore!

Guess what? They’re wrong. Now that cable has dominated the market, they’ve gotten pretty cocky. They charge a fortune every month because they don’t think users will want to bother with antennas and tuning. At this point, though, you’re done. It’s tine for you to join the cord cutting revolution and go back to your local broadcasts.

Good news! These days, that’s actually a smarter option. Not only do you save tons of money, but also you actually end up with truly HD TV. Cable companies have been compressing their data for ages in order to broadcast it through cables or bounce it off satellites. With local OTA feeds, you end up with a crystal clear picture that hasn’t been compressed before being sent. 

The problem is that for a lot of people, the long-range antennas they install don’t convert properly. They have such a high voltage that they are unable to get along with your TV’s much smaller voltage capacity. That’s why you need a transformer. 

Transformers, or antenna baluns, help your outdoor antenna communicate with your TV through a coaxial cable. There are tons of baluns available, but the Channel Master balun is one of the market leaders. It is also a fan favorite among both professionals and residential users. Here’s an in depth review that will let you know all the strengths this balun offers. We had to hunt pretty hard to find any weaknesses, but we are fully transparent so you will see some areas for improvement as well. 

Channel Master CM-3203 Antenna Balun Transformer

Amazon Rating

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The Channel Master CM-3203 was designed to be the best quality antenna balun on the market.  Channel Master has been in the TV antenna balun business for nearly a century, so it’s not a surprise that they’ve got the best technology on the market and continue to be the innovators. 

The standard antenna balun for professionals for years was their CM-94444 and now the CM-3203 model is even better. It’s got all the stability of the original model but has been enhanced to help with antennas that have massive signal issues. 

One of the great things about industry leaders is that they are willing to stand behind their products. This antenna balun transformer comes with a 90-day warranty for both parts and labor. You also receive 90 days of unlimited support through phone, online chats, and/or email so you can reach them as soon as you have an issue and get it resolved. 

Did you know that antenna baluns could fail? It’s true… They’re electronics, jut like anything else. This one is a great device with very few weak points. Its pricier than most other baluns, but that’s because of the superior build quality and materials. It improves signal strength immensely and has very little insertion loss. 

Pros

  • Extremely high quality
  • Lowest insertion loss in the industry.
  • Allows lead replacement for preventative maintenance.
  • Metal – weatherproof housing! 
  • Enhanced circuit board design

Cons

  • Smaller filter could be subject to electromagnetic interference.
  • More expensive than other options. 
  • Without professional installation, signal may be lost in adverse weather conditions.
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Features

  • Replaceable leads 
  • Weather seal and weatherproof metal housing
  • Voltage: 300 ohms from antenna, 75 ohms to TV or amplifier
  • 8 x 0.5 x 0.5 inches
  • 1.7 oz

Buying Advice

Antenna baluns, or transformers, work with the circuits to transfer your two-terminal sources and make sure they flow smoothly. Most TV people use them to attach their coaxial cables to their outdoor antennas. There are a few important things to know about these.

Balun ratios are stated from balanced to unbalanced. (This is where they coined the term balun – BAL for balanced and UN for unbalanced).  A 5:1 ratio will have 5 times more balanced than unbalanced impedance. Baluns are installed at transition points to help balance antenna systems with TVs. 

Current baluns allow each output terminal to float the voltage to any value required for equalizing conductors in the feed line. They’re universal and work with both balanced and unbalanced loads equally well. 

Voltage baluns try to force the output to match the voltage. They may shift the phase between output terminals and the ground. They don’t allow for common mode isolation. There’s reception (feed line radiation) because they’re not able to perfectly balance loads. These baluns will have a direct proportion of magnetized core to load voltage. 

Antenna systems usually have pretty high voltages. Usually, the current and the voltage are not on par. Coaxial cables can connect badly matched antennas and tuners. These will match the impedance to station equipment to ensure clear signal strength. 

When you buy an antenna balun for transforming purposes, you need to make sure that you’ve got the right ratio and balance for your antenna. This particular model converts 300 ohms into being compatible with 75 ohms. Basically, it’s great for your long range outdoor antennal because it can take the 300 ohms of signal power and convert it to fit your TV’s 75-ohm capacity. 

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Final Words

If you need an outdoor antenna balun transformer, then this one is a great idea. Users rave about the quality. It’s the best one on the market. In fact, professionals trust this transformer for their needs, which means it’s going to be a great purchase that you, can count on for your home needs. There’s virtually none of the insertion loss you commonly find among other products, and no one can match the build quality of this design.

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