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ARRL Handbook Reference

2020 Edition

  • Overview and Directions

    This web page is for information that extends or supports the ARRL Handbook.  The section for each edition contains links to software referenced in the book, supplemental information and links, and errata and corrections. 


    To purchase the book, click here or browse to the ARRL Store where you can also find numerous other technical publications supporting Amateur Radio.


    Supplemental information is available as a downloadable package.  You will find an access code on a sheet inside the front cover with complete instructions.  Once installed, use Adobe Reader to access the PDF files. 

    Some readers report that the version Adobe Reader Touch, provided with Microsoft Apps, does not support all of the PDF features.  If this is a problem, download the free Adobe Reader DC from the Adobe website at which does support the necessary elements, such as bookmarks.  Note that the website for downloads will also download a Google Chrome extension and two McAfee security applications unless you opt out by unchecking the necessary boxes.


    Information in support of previous editions can be found at
    ARRL Handbook - 2010-2019 Editions.


    Printed-circuit boards for many current and previous Handbook projects are available from FAR Circuits.

  • Software Utilities (28 July 2020)

    Tonne Software


    Jim Tonne, W4ENE has generously made available a collection of software from his Tonne Software website including the professional-quality filter design software, ELSIE, and the meter face design aid, MeterBasic.  You can download this collection as a 28.5 Mbyte ZIP file by clicking HERE.  This package includes the following programs:


    Elsie - LC filter design
    MeterBasic - meter face layout designer
    SVCFilter - creates designs based on Standard Value Components of the 5% tolerance series
    OptLowpass - optimized amateur-band transmitter output filters
    Helical - helical resonator bandpass filters in the VHF and UHF range
    Pi-EL - impedance matching network designer
    Diplexer network designer - for custom diplexer designs
    JJSmith - a Smith chart design aid
    QuadNet - designs active allpass networks for single-sideband signal generation
    ClassE - amplifier design software using Class E topology
    Tower - computes feed point impedance at the base of a vertical antenna over ideal ground
    Pizza - generates printable azimuth-equidistant or rectangular maps showing the great-circle path and the sunrise-sunset terminator between your location and selectable prefixes, cities or lat/lon coordinates.


    All programs are self-installing Windows 32-bit software.  See the Tonne Software website for questions and instructions for running the software.  Newer versions may be available independently on the Tonne Software website.




    This section is for software utilities and other programsreferenced in the Handbook or which support the Handbook material and are not included in the main download package.  Check the web page for earlier editions for other software.

    Software by Phil Karn, KA9Q


    The package of software routines by Phil Karn, KA9Q, are available from his GIT repository at The packages are organized in several compressed tar files and there are packages specifically to support the funcube dongle SDR. He has also created a WWV emulator which is available at  The software and associated documentation will be updated by KA9Q as time and other interests permit.


    Chapter 17 - RF Power Amplifiers


    The utility program MATCH.EXE was omitted from this edition's downloadable set of software.  You may download it and the associated PDF documents by clicking here.


    Chapter 20 - Transmission Lines


    The concept of impedance matching is explained by Lou Ernst, WA2GKH in a two-part tutorial "Load to Source Matching".  The tutorial consists of a text-and-figures presentation that explains the concept and process.  The presentation is accompanied by an Excel spreadsheet that allows the student to experiment and observe the effects of matching.


    Chapter 21 - Antennas


    Bill Wortman, N6MW has contributed GAMMAMW4 to correct an error in the previous version of GAMMA in which the software failed to find solutions to the calculations when the combination of the desired feed line impedance exceeds the product of the raw antenna resistance and the gamma step-up value.  The new code fixes that problem.


    Click on the program name to download the new program as a zip file, GAMMAMW4.  It is a simple text-based application that runs in a command prompt (C:\) window and does not require a full Windows installation procedure.  Unzip (extract) the program and double-click it to launch it.


    To use the program, you will need to know:
    - frequency of operation in MHz
    - feed point impedance of the antenna's driven element in R + jX form
    - feed line characteristic impedance
    - the driven element diameter (D)*
    - the gamma rod diameter (d)*
    - spacing between the outer surfaces of the driven element and the gamma rod (S)*

    Enter these values and the program will provide complete outputs including supporting parameters.  * - all dimensions must be in the same units, typically inches or cm.


    The ARRL extends its thanks to N6WM for his contribution, as well as to Greg Ordy W8WWV for making some tests of the code.

  • Supplemental Information, Files, and Links

    Chapter 2 - Electrical Fundamentals


    This downloadable Radio Mathematics document includes a discussion of decibels and coordinates, along with a list of online tutorials on a variety of subjects that may be encountered when working with radio circuits and equipment.


    Chapter 14 - Transceiver Design Topics


    The GNU Radio community has developed an extensive set of video tutorials and presentations on GNU Radio in various ways.  They are available on the GNU Radio YouTube channel.

  • Errata and Corrections - 2020 Edition (22 June 2020)

    Chapter 4

    The first equation of section 4.1.5 oni Current Dividers has the left parenthesis in the wrong place.  It should read:

    IN = ITOT REQ / (RN + REQ)


    Chapter 7

    In Figure 7.66(B) - the output connection should be made to the N.O. (normally open) contact instead of the N.C. (normally closed) contact.


    Chapter 11

    In section 11.1.1, the reference to should be