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VHF Communications Magazine

Software Site Links


The number of EM simulation program manufacturers seems to go up by the hour, and you have to investigate in great detail to see what advantages each new player is offering. So you just take a closer look and install the thing on a trial basis. Not only can you download the demo version of XFDTD 5.0 from the Remcom homepage for this purpose, but you can also obtain the Quickstart tutorial, the complete manual and two very fine simulation examples (= a short vertical antenna and a patch antenna) for familiarisation.

Address: http://www.remcom.com


The mist is slowly clearing away with regard to short-wave and VHF aerial simulation, and it has now become very clear what’s worth buying or testing. Anyone going into aerial simulation programs in more depth will know that all sophisticated software uses the codes from NEC2 and / or NEC3 as the core for the simulation. NEC4 is expensive perfection, which can be used even for simulation in the near field and close to the ground. But it is very expensive and moreover it is still an American military secret.

In the amateur sector, the EZNEC program from Roy Lewallen, W7EL, has recently been earning a very good name for itself. For US $ 80 it certainly offers the best compromise currently available between price and accuracy (which again is dependent on the number of individual elements with which the aerial structure can be modelled). An easily comprehensible operator surface, an update service on the Internet and – something completely new! – a manual in Word format which can be printed out have put this program out in front for the moment.

Anyone who met Roy and talked to him at HAM-Radio 2000 (he had a little stand of his own there) will know how enthusiastic he is and how committed to this sector. Naturally, you can also download a demo version free for testing from the homepage before you spend any money.

Address: http://www.eznec.com

SONNET Lite 7.0

The manufacturer of the well-known EM simulator, which has already been introduced here in Part 1 of the article on modern designs for patch antennas, has improved the free "Lite Version". SonnetLite 7.0 now offers expanded simulation options. Thus, for example, there are now more ports available, the online help has been rewritten, pared-down algorithms allow more extensive simulations to be carried out with the same main memory restrictions as previously, etc..

In addition, a version is now on sale with max. 32 MB main memory, but for $ 500.

Address: http://www.sonnetusa.com


If this heading sounds somehow familiar, there’s a good reason why: version 2.1 was recently introduced in VHF Communications in the section entitled "An interesting program".
The author, David Pozar (who has also been responsible for some very good technical books on microwave techniques) has developed the program quite considerably. There is now a large WINDOWS 32-bit version, with over 30 different models of antennas alone for investigation and analysis. Unfortunately though, it is no longer free, but costs $ 390.

Address: http://www.antennadesignassociates.com


The Internet has some new EM simulation software, known as "Flex-PDE" for 2D and 3D analyses in the microwave range. This is especially suitable for the extremely high frequency range between 10 and 100GHz. Those interested can download the free test version.

The program is so universal that it can also be used to investigate many other phenomena, e.g. currents in fluids, heat conduction and distribution, chemical processes, etc. The homepage also lists some other interesting documents. The textbooks, in particular, are first class, and worth the price (e.g. $12 for "Fields of Physics").

Address: http://www.pdesolutions.com


Again, something similar, but centring on what is (according to the publicity) a combination of EM simulators and layout orientated CAD software packages which is unique in the world. Here too there is a demo version for testing.

February 2003: there is a new simulation tool available called "LINMIC Interconnect". It is an efficient EM-based tool for the simulation of single and multiple-coupled transmission lines in single and multilayer dielectric media. It supports designers of planar analogue microwave circuits (like broadside couplers) as well as designers of planar high speed digital circuits (signal integrity).

Address: http://www.linmic.com

Elsie filter design software

The software on this site includes the new Windows version of the passive filter design program Elsie. Other software includes a meter scale drawing program. The software is produced by Jim Tonne, WB6BLD

Address: http://tonnesoftware.com/


The free download site of the well known supplier of simulation tools has expanded yet again. In addition to the student versions of Serenade SV (High frequency circuit design) and Ensemble (Wireless circuits and planar antennas), we now also have "Simplorer" (Multi-Technolgy Simulation for automotive, aerospace and power design). And the very latest thing is "Maxwell SV", an electromagnetic field simulator. These are stripped down versions of the professional tools written for Windows NT and cannot be guaranteed to operate satisfactorily with Windows ME or XP.

Address:  http://www.ansys.com/Support/Platform+Support/ch.Ansoft+Products+14.0.com


No, this is nothing to do with a tuned amplifier circuit or with any kind of filter circuits. We’re talking about a free EM simulator (e.g. for calculating microwave structures or patch antennas). Free up to now for users of Cray or SGI super-computers, but suddenly there is also a LINUX / Intel x86 version available for downloading following registration. There must be lots of people who’d be interested in that.

Address: http://lc.cray.com/

Software for the Radio Amateur

Here’s another link for people who like to spend hours surfing and rooting around. Luckily, everything is listed alphabetically, and so you can carry out a targeted search.

Address: http://www.estpak.ee/~andrew/ham/software.htm


Besser (“better”) – it sounds like an incentive for someone’s own work ethic, and in fact it does have something to do with that. What’s actually behind the name is a company that is mainly active in the field of further education in the RF and communications technology area. Not only are these people kind enough to let you download  quite a lot of good calculators for HF engineering, but there are also first-class articles on offer as “BesserBits” (“Better Bits”) covering various subjects (DSP / noise measurement in mixers, etc.).

Address: http://www.bessernet.com/index.html


Those who like to simulate their circuits before testing the first prototypes will enjoy this site. Not only will they find links there to various SPICE model lists, but also data on something really splendid: a converter that generates an S-parameter file for simulation.

Address: http://www.emwonder.com/spicemodels


The free smulation software TINA-TI from Texas Instruments: TINA is an easy-to-use, but powerful, circuit simulation program based on a SPICE engine. TINA-TI™ is a fully functional version of TINA, loaded with a library of TI macromodels plus passive and active models. TINA-TI is limited to circuits with two ICs and up to 20 additional nodes.

Address: http://www.ti.com/tool/tina-ti&DCMP=hpa_amp_general&HQS=Other+OT+tina-ti

Filter pro

The program “filter pro” is an active filter design program from Texas Instruments and is described by them:

FilterPro™ Multiple Feedback (MFB) and Sallen-Key Design Program is a Windows application. This application designs MFB and Sallen-Key low-pass and high-pass filters using Voltage Feedback Op Amps, resistors and capacitors. It also supports a fully-differential version of the MFB circuit. This program includes Bessell, Butterworth, Chebychev, and linear phase filter types and can be used to design filters from 1 to 10 poles. The capacitor values in each stage can be either selected by the computer or entered by the designer. An "always on" prompt window provides context-sensitive help information to the user. The response of the filter is displayed on a graph, showing gain, phase and group delay over frequency.

Address: http://focus.ti.com/docs/toolsw/folders/print/filterpro.html

Circuit simulator “Qucs”

This is an open source circuit simulator with the nice name “Qucs”; it stands for Quite Universal Circuit Simulator. The simulation tool is still being developed but should be no competition for PUFF but is an alternative with som potential.

Address: http://sourceforge.net/projects/qucs

LC filter calculator

As Windows 7 is becoming more and more common suddenly the beloved DOS programs no longer work. It is useful to switch to a modern "online filter Calculator". This is a short list of tested links:

Address 1: http://www-users.cs.York.AC.UK/~fisher/lcfilter/

Address 2: http://www.calculatoredge.com/electronics/ch pi low pass.htm

Address 3: http://www.calculatoredge.com/electronics/ch pi high pass.htm

Address 4: http://www.wa4dsy.NET/filter/hp_lp_filter.html

Address 5: http://www.circuitsage.com/filter_design