ARRL Antenna Book

The ARRL Antenna Book

Build one antenna, and you’ll quickly find yourself planning the next. The ARRL Antenna Book for Radio Communications is devoted entirely to that pioneering spirit. In this one book, you will find all of the information you need for complete antenna systems—from planning, to design and construction. The Antenna Book describes antennas for nearly any frequency range and operating application: from the HF low-bands through VHF, UHF and microwave, fixed station, portable, mobile, maritime, satellite and more!

Every chapter of this 22nd Edition has been updated or re-written to some degree, including entirely new chapters on limited-space antennas, portable and mobile antennas, receiving and direction-finding antennas, building towers, antenna system troubleshooting, and updated listings for antenna system materials and service suppliers. The chapters in this edition have been re-organized to progress from principles through practical applications.

You can build it! Even the novice builder will appreciate the complete construction notes for dozens of antenna designs including wire and loop antennas, verticals, and Yagis. New designs in this edition include a C-pole ground-independent HF antenna, patch and Vivaldi antennas, “cheap” VHF and UHF Yagis, a 40 meter Moxon beam, a TV-to-ham log-periodic conversion, and improved half-element designs for Yagis. The antennas in this edition benefit directly from the latest computer modeling techniques.

CD-ROM Inside — includes all of the fully searchable text and illustrations in the printed book, plus utility programs and supplemental content from expert contributors. The CD-ROM also includes EZNEC-ARRL version 5.0 antenna modeling software for PCs (a tutorial is included) and an extensive collection of antenna models.

  • Publication Details

    Product Details

    936 pages

    Publisher: The American Radio Relay League, Inc.; Twenty-Second Edition/First Printing (October 2011)
    Language: English
    Softcover Edition: ISBN: 978-0-87259-694-8

    Shipping Weight: 4.0 pounds
    Product Dimensions: 8 3/16 x 10 7/8 inches

  • Contents

    Basic Antenna Topics

    Antenna Fundamentals

    Dipoles and Ground-Planes

    Effects of Ground

    Radio Wave Propagation

    Loop Antennas

    Multielement Arrays

    Log Periodic Dipole Arrays

    Antenna Modeling

    MF and HF Antennas

    Single-Band MF and HF Antennas

    Multiband HF Antennas

    HF Yagi and Quad Antennas

    Broadside and End-Fire Arrays

    Long-Wire and Traveling-Wave Antennas

    HF Antenna System Design

    VHF, UHF, and Microwave Antennas

    VHF and UHF Antenna Systems

    Mobile VHF and UHF Antennas

    Space Communications Antenna Systems

    Repeater Antenna Systems

    Special Applications

    Portable Antennas

    Stealth and Limited Space Antennas

    Mobile and Maritime HF Antennas

    Receiving and Direction-Finding Antennas

    Transmission Lines

    Transmission Lines

    Transmission Line Coupling and Impedance Matching

    Building and Maintaining Antenna Systems

    Antenna Materials and Construction

    Putting Up Towers and Antennas

    Antenna and Transmission Line Measurements

    Antenna System Troubleshooting

    NEW! Author and Project Indexes

  • Foreword

    As the Amateur Service grew during the pre-World War II era, technology began to outgrow the all-encompassing technical reference of the times, The ARRL Handbook.  It is a telling observation that the first additional reference text was devoted to antennas and transmission lines and radio wave propagation.  That first edition of The ARRL Antenna Book, published in 1939, addressed what today’s amateurs know well—that antennas and their associated technical concepts and systems are key to success in Amateur Radio.  That focus continues in this latest 22nd edition of the book.


    Not only are antennas fundamental to Amateur Radio but amateurs are encouraged, even expected, to experiment with the development and construction of an ever-improving array of designs and configurations.  Even in a time of electronic miniaturization and sophisticated software, the antenna system remains an element of the service accessible to every amateur. FCC Part 97.1, the Basis and Purpose for the Amateur Service, is clear when it refers to the “Continuation and extension of the amateur's proven ability to contribute to the advancement of the radio art.”  Antennas are at the forefront of fulfilling that purpose.


    This edition continues the tradition established more than 70 years ago as it summarizes a broad swath of antenna technology of interest to the amateur community.  The book is intended to serve as both a means of education and as a source of design instruction and information.  In these pages you will find theoretical material and practical, hands-on advice from knowledgeable and experienced amateurs.  We have taken the contributions in previous editions and rearranged them to provide a more effective learning experience that couples directly to practical designs.


    In particular, we are fortunate to include with the book EZNEC ARRL 5.0 antenna modeling software, contributed by Roy Lewellan, W7EL, recipient of the 2011 Technical Excellence Award from the Dayton Hamvention.  Antenna modeling has fundamentally changed antenna design and development and EZNEC software sets the amateur standard.  An entire chapter is devoted to antenna modeling and an extensive EZNEC tutorial by Greg Ordy, W8WWV, is also included on the book’s CD-ROM.  Popular software written by this book’s previous editor, Dean Straw, N6BV, is again included in this edition: HFTA (HF Terrain Analysis), TLW (Transmission Lines for Windows), and YW (Yagis for Windows). 


    You’ll also notice that we have made more use of material from our sibling organization, the Radio Society of Great Britain (RSGB).  RSGB publications are renowned for their quality and provide alternative perspectives and treatment of antenna topics.  Articles from the Wireless Institute of Australia (WIA) and New Zealand Association of Radio Transmitters (NZART) also make appearances.  We are grateful for their support in this new edition.


    Antenna system design takes a new emphasis in this edition. Material previously distributed throughout the book has been collected into a single chapter, “HF Antenna Systems Design” dealing with the effects of local terrain, antenna height, ground conductivity, desired coverage “footprint” and other similar topics. The goal is to help the amateur make better choices to achieve the desired communications objectives by considering “the big picture” as the antenna system components are selected. New and completely rewritten material includes:


    - “Building Antennas and Towers” by Steve Morris, K7LXC

    - “Effects of Ground” by Rudy Severns N6LF, including a major update on radial systems and elevated radials

    - “Mobile VHF and UHF Antennas” by Alan Applegate KØBG

    - The chapter “Mobile and Maritime HF Antennas” has been rewritten by Alan Applegate K0BG and Rudy Severns N6LF, as well.

    - The tables listing vendors of Antenna System Materials and Services have been updated and will be maintained as a downloadable spreadsheet on the book’s new website,


    Recognizing the new ways in which antennas are being used and installed, there are new chapters on “Portable Antennas” and “Stealth and Limited-Space Antennas”.  These will surely expand in future editions.  An area long unaddressed but of value to all amateurs now has its own chapter, “Antenna System Troubleshooting”.


    Every edition of the Antenna Book features some exciting new antenna projects.  This edition includes the C-pole ground-independent HF antenna by Brian Cake, KF2YN; Patch and Vivaldi Antennas for microwave applications; Kent Brittain, WA5VJB’s famous “Cheap Yagis” for VHF and UHF use; a 40 Meter Moxon beam by Dave Leeson W6NL; a TV-to-ham Log-Periodic Conversion by John Stanley K4ERO; a detailed treatment of his receiving loop antenna design by Gary Breed, K9AY; and a new set of Half-Element Designs for Yagis by Stan Stockton, K5GO.


    There are literally dozens of new supporting PDF files on the CD-ROM.  Every project includes the complete construction details.  Numerous QST articles supplementing or supporting the book’s contents are included.  You’ll find some familiar antenna projects from previous editions included, too. New CD-ROM-only material includes:


    - Antenna tuner comparisons and analysis by Bob Neese, KØKR

    - Spreadsheets for calculating ground effects by Rudy Severns, N6LF

    - “HF Propagation and Sporadic E in WRTC 2010” by Dean Straw, N6BV

    - “Active Antennas” by Ulrich Rohde, N1UL


     The indexes have all been redone with more attention paid to how the book is actually used.  Separate Author and Project Indexes are now included.  The structure of the book follows the improved layout of the 2011 ARRL Handbook - there is a more detailed Master Table of Contents and one at the beginning of each chapter, numbered to three levels, making the book far easier to navigate.


    We hope you’ll agree that this new edition of The ARRL Antenna Book does more than just keep pace with antennas in Amateur Radio.  The new material and software, reorganization for better learning and application, expanded use of the CD-ROM and the ARRL website, all make for a more useful reference and learning tool.  Wherever there is Amateur Radio, there will surely be an antenna and just as surely, The ARRL Antenna Book will be there, too.


    David Sumner, K1ZZ

    Chief Executive Officer

    Newington, Connecticut

    September 2011

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