WB2MIC and the G5RV Antenna
The failure of the balun and the "java" RF choke replacement.
In the summer of 2005 a ham buddy, Eric Handly KA1NZA, and I decided to put up a couple of G5RV antennas to play with over the long Vermont winter.  We bought the Buxcom versions of the G5RV.  Both (Rutland and Wells, VT) were mounted about 40 feet up.  Both worked great, until that is, mine failed.  

I was running 700 watts working some DX on 40 in the evening when Vermont decided to deliver rain and a 1/4 inch ice storm.  In the morning, the driveway was unusable and so was the G5RV which went dead.  The balun was shorted on the input side.  Whether it was high power, water and ice, both, or the RF devil, who knows?  That said, here is what the inventor of the G5RV, Louis Varney, had to say about using a balun with the G5RV antenna:

It is now known that if a balun is connected to a reactive load presenting a SWR of more than about 2:1, its internal losses increase, resulting in heating of the windings and saturation of its core (if used). In extreme cases, with relatively high power operation, the heat generated due to the power dissipated in the device can cause it to burn out as well as the PL jacks. However, the main reason for not employing a balun in the case of the G5RV antenna is that, unlike an antenna tuner which employs a tuned circuit, the balun cannot compensate for the reactive load condition presented to it by the antenna on most of the HF bands, whereas a suitable type of antenna tuner can do this most effectively and efficiently.  (Construction guide of the G5RV (II).

After reading what Varney has to say about baluns and what other hams on 40 cw had to say about them, off came the balun and on went a 9-1/2 turn home made RF choke made out of coax cable (to keep the shield from radiating) and a Folger's coffee can.  The G5RV is back in business and better than ever.  The images below can be clicked for larger versions.

Buxcom 1:1 balun.  Should have been weather sealed at the top.  This one was not.
The culprit.  Pretty red thing though.  Lasted about three months.  Disappointing.
Never throw away anything you might be able to use later!  Thank Folger's for the great coil form.
The solution: 9-1/2 turns RG8 on a Folger's plastic coffee can. There are 4 water drainage holes in the bottom of the can.  The top is now silicone sealed as well.
Stepping back a few feet. Vermonters know that antenna work should only be done in the winter.  The colder the better.  The "java" RF choke stands out with a blanket of white tourist attraction in the background.  The choke is mounted in an old 5-foot electric fence post.  There is slack above the RF choke that gets taken up when the supporting trees sway, and, they do sway.
The RF choke and G5RV feed gracing the Vermont country side. Lesson learned.  Do the research.  Do the reading.  Then, do more research, and more reading.  Then, build the antenna yourself!  Typically, home brewing an antenna like the G5RV can be done better and cheaper then buying it commercially.  So then, come the summer, there should be a 160 meter full-wave horizontal loop going up.  Vermonters really do put up antennas in the summer.  The other homebrew antenna is an inverted-L that is a full wave on 40 meters with a 33-foot vertical leg.  Works great on all bands and the Palstar AT1500CV transmatch does a wonderful job of matching it, as it does with the G5RV and anything else that I throw it's way.

73, Jozef WB2MIC
Wells VT.