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~ Ground-Plane Notes ~
L.B. Cebik, W4RNL


335 pages of text,
100s of illustrations
& 330+ Modeling Files

The Ground-Plane: Despite its fundamental position in antenna studies, the properties of ground planes for vertical monopole antennas still tend to elude much of the amateur community. Over the years, author Cebik has studied various aspects of both buried and elevated ground planes, but his notes used a wide variety of frequencies, often outside the amateur bands. Therefore, he started over again, replicating and expanding his studies with special reference to the amateur bands. Buried systems focus on the 160-, 80-, and 40meter bands, while he also looked into elevated systems for the upper HF and the VHF ranges. The sum of this work appears in this volume.

The study examines questions for which modeling data (NEC-4, specifically GNEC) is relevant. Chapters 1 through 4 provide background information for understanding the concepts and models of antennas intimately involved with the ground, such as the ground-plane monopole with radials at or below the surface of the earth. Those with a practical turn of mind may wish to start their reading with Chapter 5. In that section, the models provide answers to frequently asked questions.

  • How many radials?
  • How long? How deep?
  • What material?
  • Insulated or bare?
  • How fat a monopole?
  • How tall?

Throughout the volume, Cebik takes a fairly unique view of the monopole. Instead of looking at the antenna as an extension of a -wavelength base-fed wire against a perfectly conducting ground, he treats the monopole as half a dipole with the ground-plane radial system acting as the completion of the dipole structure.

For individuals interested in computer antenna modeling, several chapters focus on techniques that ensure the most accurate results and the most compact and speedy models. Other chapters systematically examine topics such as the effects of ground conductivity and relative permittivity (or dielectric constant). Equally systematic are explorations of key ideas that often become fuzzy in amateur literature. For example, one chapter deals with elevated radials, ranging from their application to lower HF antenna with base at ground level to highly elevated VHF monopole antennas. Another chapter looks in detail at long monopoles (up to 5/8-wavelength) used throughout the spectrum of amateur frequencies. At several key points, the modeling data confirms some of the classical work on ground-plane monopoles, work that lies at the heart of commercial as well as amateur practice.

Amateurs with practical interests may not only benefit from the information in Chapter 5, but as well from the discussions of parasitic and SCV (self-contained vertical) arrays in Chapter 7. As with all of the information in this volume, the discussion covers both design and modeling issues.

Ground-Plane Notes is filled with both tabular and graphical data in a highly illustrated 335-page volume. For those interested in antenna modeling, especially in NEC-4, about 300 models in .NEC format accompany the book. The collection includes both full models and models that split the work between Green's files for radial systems and the superstructure models that use the Green's files to finish the analytical work.

Considered an expert on antennas, L. B. has published over a dozen books, with works on antennas for both the beginner and the advanced student. Among his books are a basic tutorial in the use of NEC antenna modeling software and compilations of his many shorter pieces. His articles have appeared in virtually every amateur radio publication, with translations of some into several languages. Retired Professor from the University of Tennessee at Knoxville, L.B. is Technical & Educational Advisor to the ARRL and Technical Editor for antenneX.

* * * Below is an index of the chapter titles found in this book * * *
Ground-Plane Notes
L.B. Cebik, W4RNL


Titles of Contents

1 Some Ground Grounding 5
2 Modeling Ground-Plane Antennas 29
3 A Matter of Perspective 63
4 Conductivity and Permittivity 103
5 Frequently Asked Questions 147
6 Elevated Radials 203
7 Parasitic and SCV Arrays 249
8 -wavelength to 5/8-wavelength Monopoles 295
Bonus 330+ Models Used in These Studies 335

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* * * Another publication by antenneX * * *