Advanced Antenna Modeling by Marcel De Canck ON5AU

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Keith Rawlings G4MIU reviews and recommends a book for those who like to experiment with antennas.

Anyone who reads through amateur radio publications, PW included, cannot fail to notice that ‘antennas’ are a very popular subject!

In years past antenna construction was often a case of ‘design it and see’ or if copying designs from magazines or handbooks, the constructor had to rely on the results quoted by the author and ‘hope for the best’ that a particular design would work for them.

With the advent of the computer it has been possible, for those who are inclined, to ‘model’ an antenna to get some idea if it is going to perform as expected.

There are numerous packages available to amateurs but, arguably, the three main ones seem to be MMANA-Gal, 4NEC2 and EZNEC.

MMANA and 4NEC2 are fully working programs that are free to use while EZNEC, except for the demo version, is ‘paid for’ software that comes in various versions.

I have used EZNEC for some years and while I also use both MMANA and 4NEC2 I am most comfortable with EZNEC and it is my ‘go to’ software.

There is a lot of on-line support for EZNEC, and it has a decent user manual so when I found out that MarcelON5AU had written a book entitled Advanced Antenna Modelling and which concentrates on EZNEC, I was interested to see what it had to offer over what is already available online and for free.

A look on ON5AU’s website revealed not only details of his book but also several useful ‘e books’ and other data relating to antennas and propagation and it is well worth a visit. www.on5au.be

Getting back to the book: So that potential purchasers may gauge its usefulness; the website has sample PDF pages, which may be downloaded.

There is, naturally, a link to the Amazon website where the book may be purchased (It is printed by Amazon).

After getting my son, who is also licensed, to look the price up on Amazon I was intrigued when two days later he passed me a package with Amazon written all over it and inside was a copy of the book!

The book is a paperback of A4 format, runs to 584 pages and is 35mm thick.

The first thing I noted was that the print quality; the text, and also the diagrams, are of a good standard, very clear and easy to read and interpret.

I have read some publications where text and diagrams have been translated into English, and they do not necessarily ‘fl ow’ was well as they might.

This is not the case with Marcel’s book. I did not find any cases where I have had to read and then re-read sections to grasp what the author means.

Advanced Antenna Modelling by Marcel De Canck, ON5AU

What does it Cover?

The answer to this is just about everything to do with modelling in EZNEC.

The books title is a tad misleading, because not only does it cover many advanced concepts, it also starts at the very beginning, as Chapter 2 ‘Starting Modelling with EZNEC’ quickly demonstrates.

Here the author clearly explains the user interface. He also gets to grips with how ‘data’ is used to build a model, so the book is therefore ideal for someone just starting out.

I have used EZNEC for some years and while I also use both MMANA and 4NEC2 I am most comfortable with EZNEC

There are further concise chapters on Wires, Loads, Sources, Transmission Lines and so on. Nothing seems to have been left out.

If you don’t understand on how to place Loads on your model, or how many segments you should use or perhaps you don’t understand the information being given to you on a Polar Plot, this book will explain it all.

Additionally, Appendix A lists a number of useful conversion tables.

All chapters are comprehensive, and I have already read how I could do few things differently!

The publication also covers more advanced topics, such as the use of AutoEZ, which automates the use of EZNEC. Although based on the latest edition of EZNEC i.e. v6.0, much is still valid for earlier versions. The 6.0+ version, and information on using the Pro versions and some of the differences between the NEC2 and NEC4 engines are also explained.

There will never be enough room here to list everything this book covers so go along to Marcel’s website to find out more.

The author has made an excellent job with Advanced Antenna Modelling: the book has all the information needed in one place. If you are looking to get into modelling with EZNEC, or already a user of the software, then I would not hesitate in recommending this excellent book.

My son paid just over £40 for my copy
from Amazon:
www.amazon.com/-/e/B07XBZRPLZ
www.eznec.com

AutoEZ and other software covered in
the book:
https://ac6la.com/autoez.html

 

This review was featured in the January 2020 issue of Practical Wireless