W4RNL title graphic L. B. Cebik, W4RNL (SK)
Knoxville, TN

Amateur Radio, Tales and Technicals

Amateur Radio is a communications service consisting of operators licensed and regulated in the United States by the Federal Communications Commission. Amateur radio operators, by regulation engage in emergency and other public service communications, maintain technical skills, and foster international good will via communications.

My personal interest in amateur radio focuses on research into and education about antennas and antenna modeling. The listings on this page link to some past and present research (and to some past research updated before posting on these pages). Since these are essentially working notebooks and not polished articles (for the most part), they may contain typos, misspellings, and a few grammatical infelicities. Moreover, they are subject to revision and updating whenever I discover something more accurate, more useful, or more interesting.

Tales and Technicals:
A Little History and a Lot of Antennas

From time-to-time, I shall post some yarns, mostly taken from my collection of old books, manuals, magazines, and handbooks. I shall also occasionally post from the pages of my notebooks some technical information that may be of use to fellow and prospective hams. To keep this index from being too long to use, I have placed many items in collected groups. So be sure to check the listings that appear to collect items together from time to time for additions. Since these are notes and some reprints of casual articles, there will be considerable overlap in places--and many large gaps in other areas. Nevertheless, let's begin with these items:

A Little History, a Little Humor, and a Little Seriousness

Antenna Modeling Software Notes

See also the Antenna Modeling series

Practical Antenna Notes: Lower HF (Mainly) Vertical Antennas

Practical Antenna Notes: Lower HF (Mainly) Horizontal Antennas

Practical Antenna Notes: Upper HF (Mainly): Yagis and Relatives

Practical Antenna Notes: Upper HF (Mainly): Other HF Arrays and Questions

Practical Antenna Notes: VHF/UHF (Mainly)

Transmission Lines, Impedance Coupling, and Construction

Continuing Series


Numerous articles refer to HAMCALC, a suite of utility calculation programs developed for hams by George Murphy, VE3ERP. The information in the articles gives Murph's address for obtaining the current version on CDROM. Due to a bout of ill-health, HAMCALC is no longer available on CDROM. However, you can obtain HAMCALC from this link to the CQ Magazine site (web.archive.org) and download the current version of the suite in Zipped format. The site provides instructions for installation and use.

Links to Other Antenna Information

These links carry a lot of valuable information and ideas, ranging from antenna fundamentals to advanced topics in antenna design, modeling, feeding, and building. In addition, some provide links to other sites.

Commercial Antenna Manufacturers and Vendors: A collection of known sources, offered because these pages often contain educational as well as commercial information.

Other Amateur Radio Links: A small collection of links to organizations and linkage sites to help you find other good sources of information.

A Final Note

You will note an absence of reviews, analyses, and evaluations of commercially made antennas in the notes at this site. It would be inappropriate for me to remark on such antennas without having the antennas at hand and the appropriate range and equipment for testing them. These notes relate to antenna types and designs over which I have design control and are generally aimed to assist you to understand their operation. Even specific designs are not intended for uncritical replication, although a number of them have been successfully built and used. Still, the goal is not to produce a compendium of antennas for you to build. Rather, the object is to assist you to understand the antennas that you do build, use, or simply think about.

You may note that I do not attach my name or call to any antenna design. There are 2 main reasons for this action. First, I prefer to call antennas by their technical titles, except where there is already a traditional name that brings ready recognition of the technical features of the antenna. In a few cases, where an antenna's originator deserves recognition and a technical label might be cumbersome, I have given the antenna a name. Hence, I refer to the Moxon rectangle rather than to a 2-element, rectangular, dual-coupled, parasitic array. I claim no originality for any antenna design in these notes and have patented nothing shown in any article. Second, the aim of these notes is to assist you--in small bits--to understand the antennas involved and antennas in general. Hence, most of the designs are derivative from existing designs taken from texts and handbooks. Nothing in the collection deserves re-labeling with my name or call.

Please do not attempt to download the entire site using software designed for blind downloading. If you wish a record of the entire site, antenneX periodically produces a CDROM with the entire site on it. However, I have kept most (but, alas, not all) of the items at the site short enough to read at a single sitting. Pick something of interest, read, and digest. Then pick something else. Let your wandering interests be your guide. If you wish to read more on a subject, by all means, select a related item. Or, look in other good sources for information on the subject. This site is collection of items cast at an intermediate level. Hence, it is far from the last word on any subject, whether you think of basic theory underlying a matter or about very practical construction and operation aspects of an antenna or system.

When you begin to track the items at this site, you become a companion down the path of antenna explorations that I have followed. Be certain that you are ever alert to pathways that are a function of your own interests. This pathway is not the only one, and it is far from the perfect one. But it has been and continues to be both a good and interesting one.

It has been my high pleasure to receive e-mail and regular mail that suggests these materials are of educational and technical service to a broad spectrum of individuals, both in the United States and around the world. Numerous items have appeared in the newsletters and other publications of amateur radio groups. The formal and informal distribution of some of the material, both as written and in translation, in areas where bound publications are unavailable or prohibitively expensive suggests that the energies used to develop and place some of the notes has been productive. So much to learn and so little time to learn it, but always time to share what I have learned along the way--lest it be lost.

I also receive inquiries into available books. For a list of books that I have put together, see the book page.

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Updated 04-04-2008

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