Antenna Design Software
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1. No-Cost Software
2. Low-Cost Software
3. Must Read
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!
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...
But the time invested in learning how to design your own antennas will bring very appreciable returns.
The following antenna modeling software
run on Windows only!
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...
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 4NEC2 software will run on Windows operating system, versions 95 to Vista. I have not tested it on later versions. Try it anyway! It might work.
Available at: http://www.qsl.net/4nec2/
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.
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/
Quoting from their Web site...
NEC4WIN® is available at...
Antenna modeling utility programs that are useful complement to antenna modeling software.
Available at: http://www.ac6la.com/
Some things still come with a price tag in this world!
Here are a few useful examples.
NEC-Win Plus, by Nittany Scientific, is intended for beginners and hobbyists. This is not freeware ... but you'll get your money's worth.
RF Workbench ... is for the engineer in you! (Note: this one is "Shareware").Available at:
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...
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" 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/
Author: Claude Jollet - VE2DPE
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