Antenna Design Software
My Top Picks

I decided to investigate antenna design software because I was tired of the traditional "cut-n-try" method. That was fine during my first quarter of century as a ham radio operator and antenna enthusiast.


This Page Covers
1. No-Cost Software
__EZNEC
__4NEC2
__VE3SQB Suite
__MININEC
__NEC4WIN
__AC6LA Utils
2. Low-Cost Software
__NEC-WIN Plus
__RF Workbench™
3. Must Read
__Antenna Handbook
__AntenneX

But, now in my sixties, I feel I need to make more efficient and effective use of my time. ;-)

Many consider antenna modeling programs to be "overkill" for most if not all ham radio antenna experimenters needs.

Not me (obviously).

The first benefit you get from using a good antenna design program is a much better understanding of all the parameters and compromises that go into the design of an antenna system.

By the way, one learns that there is more to an antenna system than the antenna itself!

The "Zero Cost"
Antenna Design Software

Here then are some of the most popular "no-cost" programs that are available today.

To be honest, there is a cost to this type of software. Your time! You will have to invest a bit of time up front to learn...

  • What the software can do and what its limits are.
  • How to navigate through the user interface.
  • How to get the most out of any given antenna design software.

But the time invested in learning how to design your own antennas will bring very appreciable returns.

  • Precious knowledge and know-how.
  • Self-satisfaction of having mastered yet another aspect of ham radio.
  • Not to mention designing and building antennas that will sometimes outperform commercial ones!

NOTE
The following antenna modeling software
run on Windows only!

EZNEC

My favorite ... even if the "fully functional" demo version is limited to 20 segments. It's so easy to use, compared to other NEC-based software! To "see" what I mean...

See my review and video demo of
EZNEC v5.0 here on this site

4NEC2

The user interface of the 4NEC2 Antenna Modeler and Optimizer ... is not quite as user-friendly as EZNEC's.

On the other hand, 4NEC2 let's you subdivide your antenna into 1500 segments (default)! That means higher accuracy and the possibility of modeling complex antenna systems.

Want to run more than the default (1500!) number of segments? See the FAQ on the site. Note that the Nec2dXS*.exe files will only run on Windows-XP systems.

Available at: http://home.ict.nl/~arivoors/Home.htm

VE3SQB Software Suite

His excellent software suite is ideal for those of you who are in a real hurry to get quick but useful antenna solutions ... without having to learn too much about what compromises go into the designs and why!

Al's software is as close to "plug & play" antenna design software as you will ever get. Neat and simple.

See my review of
VE3SQB's antenna software here
.

MININEC

Expert Mininec Classic by EM Scientific Inc. is certainly worth looking into if the previously mentioned software does not meet your requirements and expectations.

Available at: http://www.emsci.com/

NEC4WIN®

Quoting from their Web site...

"NEC4WIN® has limitations. They are the same as Mininec3 on which the engine is based. Close parallel wires, horizontal wires too close to the ground, sharp corners may be a problem to simulate. Log Periodics and Transmission Lines can't be simulated accurately with it. Antenna impedance is always calculated based on Perfect Ground.

The number of wires supported by NEC4WIN is limited to 50 and segment to 250. For complex projects you should look at NEC4WINVM."

NEC4WIN® is available at...
http://www.orionmicro.com/n4w95/n95page.html

AC6LA Utilities

Antenna modeling utility programs that are useful complement to antenna modeling software.

Available at: http://www.ac6la.com/


Low Cost Antenna Design Software
For The Extras You Cannot Live Without...

Some things still come with a price tag in this world!
Here are a few useful examples.

NEC-Win Plus

NEC-Win Plus, by Nittany Scientific, is intended for beginners and hobbyists. This is not freeware ... but you'll get your money's worth.

Available at:
http://www.nittany-scientific.com/products/products.htm

RF Workbench™

RF Workbench™ ... is for the engineer in you! (Note: this one is "Shareware").

Available at:
http://www.rfcafe.com/business/software/rf-workbench/rf-workbench.htm



Recommended
Reading Material

The designing and building of antennas is a very wide subject. It has become a hobby within a hobby for many of us.

Much has been written on the subject.
Some of it cannot be ignored. For example...

ARRL Antenna Handbook

I strongly recommend that you read Chapter Four of the ARRL Antenna Handbook, 21st Edition. The chapter is dedicated to "Antenna Modeling & System Planning". It will help you understand antenna modeling and evaluate the antenna design software available.

AntenneX

"AntenneX" is a online magazine dedicated exclusively to everything related to antennas.

An absolute must for true antenna enthusiasts from all walks of life.

Available at: http://www.antennex.com/



Antenna Design Software
is part of the Antenna Section on this site
.











Follow VE2DPE on Twitter

Page copy protected against web site content infringement by Copyscape


Advertise Here

Amateur Radio
Suppliers Wanted
Sponsorship Policy



Antenna Section
Contents

Introduction Selecting The Classic Dipole Wire Antennas Space Saving HF Antenna Short HF Antennas "Loaded" Short Dipole 10 Meter Antenna 160 Meter Antenna 160M Windom Antenna Carolina Windom Antenna Design Software Homemade Antennas Antenas & Antennas The Transmatch Towers



WordPress Users
Exclusive
"The Plugin Of Plugins!"

bizXpress


Featured Resource
For Ham Radio
Web Sites

WordPress Or SBI!





Help
Spread The Word
About
Amateur Radio
with
Ham radio publicity agent on the Web, SBI! 3.0.





CQ CQ CQ

If you have a question, a comment or a topic you would like me to cover, please do not hesitate to ask here.



Custom Search



Subscribe To
This Site

XML RSS
Add to Google
Add to My Yahoo!
Add to My MSN
Add to Newsgator
Subscribe with Bloglines


Ham radio windom antenna.

Enjoy This Site?

Share It!
Bookmark it!

Use the button below to select your favorites.

Bookmark
Copyright© 2008-2014  Claude Jollet - HamRadioSecrets.com | All Rights Reserved