Everyone will have a bit different opinon on which antenna
modeling program to use.
First, be sure to check W4RNL's web site and his recent articles
in the various magazines -- That will help you decide whether
a NEC- or MININEC-based program is what you need. Both
have advantages and limitations compared to the other.
I use EZNEC about 98% of the time, and ELNEC the other 2%
(when I need MININEC). My choice was made in part because
I have met and talked with Roy on numerous occasions and
ended up as a beta tester for EZNEC. However, I also determined
that EZNECs spreadsheet-style data entry was a good fit for the
way I use antenna modeling. In my opinion, it the easiest of the
available programs when it comes to making well-thought-out
tweaks and changes to a design. It is not very handy for problems
with some uncertainty as to the final design -- a program like
K6STI's AO with its optimizer is better for helping you get a
design into the ballpark.
EZNEC also has a few extras, like a routine to convert multi-
segment tapered elements into an equivalent single-diameter wire,
avoiding NEC's problems in this area. It is stable -- I have used
it on 486, P60, K5, and Pentium II machines with no problems.
It presently is only available in DOS, but Roy is furiously working
to finish a Windows version. I have no trouble running it in a DOS
window under Windows 95 or 98, I can't print plots directly, but I
never want to -- it is too easy to copy and paste them from the DOS
window into a document.
I have bugged Roy to add an optimizer, but I don't think it's coming
any time soon.
These are my comments -- I know K6STI and the other software
writers out there have good programs. It is quite possible that the
choices they have made regarding data entry format and other
features will suit your style better.
I would like to hear comments like mine from other hams who
have developed an affinity for one of the other programs.
>I would like to get some antenna modeling software to play with and
>wonder if anyone has comments on either of these programs? My main
>interest is verticals and wires for the 160 to 10 meter bands.
>Thanks in advance and 73,
>Tad Danley, K3TD
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