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Reviews Categories | Ham Software - Other than logging | EZNEC Antenna Design Software by W7EL Help


Reviews Summary for EZNEC Antenna Design Software by W7EL
EZNEC Antenna Design Software by W7EL Reviews: 21 Average rating: 4.8/5 MSRP: $99
Description: EZNEC, the all-new, completely rewritten Windows version of EZNEC.
Product is in production.
More info: http://www.eznec.com
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N6DC Rating: 5/5 Aug 16, 2015 13:55 Send this review to a friend
Highly evolved - best I've used.  Time owned: 3 to 6 months
Having used several different antenna modeling programs over the past 25 years, EZNEC by Roy Lewallen, W7EL, is by far the most capable and evolved. Roy has a long track record of writing antenna modeling programs (going back to his earlier DOS-based programs back in the Ď90s), and EZNECís superb features and well-organized user interface clearly have evolved to their present elevated state as a result of him carefully listening to user feedback to continually improve his product.

Although antenna modeling is a skill (which, like all skills, comes with a learning curve), any motivated radio amateur can learn the basics of EZNEC with a little patience and modest effort. The ďtest driveĒ tutorial in the extensive userís manual is the easiest and best way to get started.

I also found the book ďAntenna Modeling for BeginnersĒ (an ARRL publication on the use of EZNEC by Ward Silver, N0AX) very helpful. Although I was concerned that this book might be too watered-down, it turned out to be an excellent read for both beginning and experienced modelers alike.

Although I purchased the NEC4 Pro version for commercial use, the low-cost NEC2 version for the amateur market would be equally capable for most applications.

V/R,
Alex, N6DC
 
PD0RZU Rating: 5/5 Dec 27, 2010 00:43 Send this review to a friend
Outstanding!  Time owned: more than 12 months
Hello All,

I have been using eznec now for many years.
I would say: it is the thing i use most concerning HAM radio.
It is easy to learn. Easy to use.
Capable of doing almost anything regarding antennas.
And if it isnt capable it is described in the manual.
Thats another thing...the manual is good to read!
And no, im not highly educated just a normal guy.

How can one not give a 5 rating for a low cost program, with great support!
It truly gives insigth in the antenna world.

Regards,

Henry
 
K5HP Rating: 5/5 Feb 24, 2010 06:51 Send this review to a friend
Great Support  Time owned: 0 to 3 months
Not having used any other modeling software, I am unable to compare. I can say that I purchased this software and am very happy with it! I did have problems initially but Roy worked with me through several detailed emails and he even wrote a diagnostic program for me to install in order to track down the problem.As it turned out, the problem was a conflict with a Java file and the problem was solved.The level of support and the determination he exhibited in trying to solve my problem is without question some of the best support I have received from anyone!
 
AE6MI Rating: 5/5 Oct 16, 2009 23:32 Send this review to a friend
Excellent, easy to learn and use  Time owned: more than 12 months
I use EZNEC+on a very regular basis (multiple times per week) and have found it to be invaluable in getting designs worked out that perform in practice just like the models predict. The late L.B. Cebik has written numerous articles and books using EZNEC examples and this makes this tool excellent for the beginner. One of the ARRL courses is authored by Cebik. If you take the time to learn about not only modeling antennas but also modeling transmission lines and loads you can even model what dial settings to use on an ATU to initially start tuning a non-resonant antenna.

To get good results, you need to follow a set of design rules ó as with all antenna software ó but the results are quite excellent. Roy Lewallen, W7EL, who writes this software regularly makes updates and bug fixes so the software continually gets better.

Now, as far as "cool visuals", yes, this software is a bit limited in some of the modeling capabilities but it makes up for it in sheer ease-of-use. It also runs perfectly fine in VMware Fusion with Windows XP Professional inside it on a Mac ó I've used iMac and MacBook Pro as well as Windows PCs with this software.

Now I have also used 4NEC2 and although 4NEC2 has some really lovely features in terms of graphical output it is a little bit more tricky to get a beginner to be able to use it correctly than EZNEC, although I do like 4NEC2 considerably and do a lot of antenna analysis work using both programs. Yes, you won't have access to some nice features of 4NEC2 by using EZNEC but EZNEC simply works.

If you need to do some analysis of will this antenna work to reach Guam? or wherever, then just a quick run of the GRAPHEX Prediction Tool http://www.ips.gov.au/HF_Systems/7/1 from the Australian IPS (Ionospheric Prediction Service) will serve nicely as that shows the required take-off angles. In fact, one should do this before designing an antenna, to ensure that you known the true design constraints.

Overall EZNEC is an excellent program.
 
KB4DXV Rating: 5/5 Aug 13, 2009 14:32 Send this review to a friend
excellent / great service  Time owned: 6 to 12 months
I am currently using EZNEC 5 and am very happy with the program. I started out with the EZNEC demo program in the ARRL Antenna Book and then purchased EZNEC 5. It is easy to use and has a very good and easy to search help function. It is great for modeling your own/others ideas for your location. It contains a wealth of information. The most important factor to me is the excellent support from Roy Lewallen. I recently had a bug turn up and he gave me terrific and quick help in tracking down the problem. He devoted a lot of time and effort to a problem that was from the start probably at my end (it was). Thanks Roy
 
VK4APN Rating: 5/5 Sep 26, 2008 16:26 Send this review to a friend
Essential tool for keen experimenters  Time owned: more than 12 months
I have been using EZNEC since its first incarnation as Dos ELNEC. It does require some serious initial effort to grasp the concepts. I find it an essential tool to design and also to "confirm" published designs before I even think about building them. As an educational tool in learning antenna concepts it is fantastic & in my case "turned the light on" after years of not really getting it. Saving time by not building a "Dud" and seeing why it is a dud is eye opening. My testing with actual vhf arrays and polar plot software shows good correlation between EZNEC and final antenna - always comforting. I have found email support from EZNEC to be very quick, thorough and never condescending. I have a computer illiterate friend who has mastered this software so I guess one of the previous reviewers either selling himself short or......
 
W2SSB Rating: 5/5 Sep 26, 2008 14:35 Send this review to a friend
Well designed to empower the average ham  Time owned: 6 to 12 months
I have used EZNEC, Mininec, 4NEC2, 4NEC2X and hands down EZNEC gets the vote. For the new comer, a good read ( if you are an ARRL member ) is LB Cebiks ( sk ) 4 part series entiled " the Beginners guide to modelling with NEC " - available on the ARRL web site. There are plenty of illustrations of how the various EZNEC screens relate to defining particular antennas. In addition- as has been already noted- you need to study and play with some of the models that are included with the EZNEC download or that are occasionally available on the ARRL QST binaries web site for antenna projects from QST. Once you " get the drift " of the product you will wonder how you did without it- especially if you like wire models. Its a real eye opener in exposing poor takeoff angles, wasted vertical radiation lobes - you name it. Fyi- everyone interested in messing with antennas should download and try the free version - its nearly full function and very capable of getting close ot the full version results on most average size and average complexity designs.
 
AB7E Rating: 5/5 Sep 26, 2008 14:02 Send this review to a friend
Great learning tool  Time owned: more than 12 months
I've been a registered user of EZNEC since version 2 of ELNEC and it's one of the few programs that I would not be without at almost any price. For many years I had space and neighbor constraints that forced me to get creative with antennas, and EZNEC helped me avoid wasting time building bad ideas and it saved me lots of time and effort building the good ones ... most times I was able to build per the model with very little tweaking afterward.

I've also used the program to build literally dozens of wire antennas for Field Day over the years (dipoles, stacked dipoles, phased loops, yagis, etc), and sometimes I'd even bring along my laptop so I could use EZNEC to model the interaction between antennas for different bands as I tried to decide which trees to hang the wires from.

Even more importantly, I discovered at quite an early stage that EZNEC was an outstanding way to learn about antennas and how they work. Many of my first models didn't give the results I expected and I'd be very confused until I looked at the currents in the wire segments or played around with elements lengths, spacings, or phasings to discover their effects. I've enjoyably spent hundreds of hours being able to visualize theory in action that would have been pretty dry and dull if I tried to read it from a book.

Why anyone would give this excellent program a poor rating just because he wasn't willing to read the manual or ask someone for help is beyond me. That's like giving a bad rating to a Ferarri because you can't figure out how to use a stick shift, and it sounds more like a senility tantrum than an attempt at an honest critique. If you have an interest in antennas and would like to learn more about them, do not hesitate to try this program. There are literally thousands of satisfied users, and most of them would be more than willing to help if you get stuck at any point. See for yourself by trying the free demo program.

Dave AB7E
 
G8JNJ Rating: 5/5 Sep 26, 2008 09:29 Send this review to a friend
Don't design antennas without it  Time owned: more than 12 months
I donít think itís fair to rate a product as being a 1, if you havenít read the manual !

I find EZNEC invaluable for trying Ďwhat ifí scenarios when experimenting with antennas, itís saved me a lot of time, trouble and wire. Iíve tried a few different packages but this one seems to be the easiest to drive and obtain useful results from.

For a quick start try running the demo version and play around by loading an existing model.

It took me about Ĺ a day to get to the point where I could model my own antennas.

I find the most difficult part is usually in planning your 3D model converting it into X,Y,Z co-ordinates to add to the wires list. You may find it useful to sketch the design on graph paper first, making a note of each wire start and finish position.

There is a 184 page user manual which can be downloaded from

http://www.eznec.com/ez50manual.html

Itís one of the few software packages that I didnít mind paying for, so Iíll give it a 5 rating.
 
KZ1X Rating: 5/5 Sep 26, 2008 09:25 Send this review to a friend
Pays for itself in ONE use  Time owned: more than 12 months
With the cost of materials so high these days, one simply can't afford to do 'cut and try' on anything but plain dipoles anymore ... and even that can be dicey from a dollar perspective. EZNEC *does* have a learning curve, and it certainly isn't for everyone. Hams who don't have a fundamental understanding about how antennas work will probably not benefit from EZNEC without some additional education. Basic operation of the program is not complicated, however. If you have ever made a doublet from scratch, you can enter the basic data into EZNEC in just a few minutes ... or you can use the canned examples, which are included with the program. For those who want to make their stations louder, with or without an amplifier, EZNEC is THE ticket. And, with the saving in wasted time and materials, the program easily pays for itself - in many cases, the very first time you use it.
 
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