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It is from the hands-on perspective of a lifelong ham radio operator turned professional "RF and antenna guy" that this book is written. The intense mathematical antenna descriptions given in most antenna handbooks is more befuddling than enlightening for many. So in this book the intuitive is emphasized and mathematics is minimized, though many formulas are given to calculate selected parameters if desired. The purpose of this book is to provide a basic understanding of antennas and radio propagation for both professionals and amateurs alike. Many of the technical explanations were developed for a 5-day antenna course in which the requirement was to take students from zero to antennas in one week. The characteristics of many antenna types are discussed and construction recipes are given for building selected antenna types. The intent is to provide enough basic understanding so that the interested readers can select an appropriate antenna for their application and then design and build one for themselves. More than anything this book is intended to give the reader a basic understanding of what radio waves are, how they behave, and insight to the creative thought processes used to build the antennas that launch and receive them.
About the Author
Radio has held a fascination for me since 1963 when at age 12 I became licensed as WA5FRF and entered the wonderful world of Amateur Radio. Just the word "radio" holds wonder for me even now though I have been an active practitioner of radio art for over a half-century. Antennas and the way radio works have been at the forefront of this fascination. I will never forget the wondrous sounds emanating from an army surplus receiver when I hooked it up to the first antenna I ever made: a 40-meter dipole in the backyard of my parent's house. Nor will I ever forget the 1-inch long arc that jumped from the open end of the coax to my finger one day. Could radio signals really be that strong or was it static electricity from the thunderstorm that was brewing nearby? I would not know until sometime later, but it certainly sparked an increased interest in radio and antennas. It was that early interest in ham radio that kindled my career in science. I spent most of my career at Southwest Research Institute, achieving the level of Institute Scientist and obtaining eleven patents. My formal education is as a physicist, though I have been designing and building antennas and RF systems throughout my professional career. Additional interests include flying full scale and radio controlled aircraft, and scuba diving.