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Download 3D Plotting Software

Download 3D Plotting Software

Desktop 3D Antenna Pattern Plotting

Free space testing of antennas (or live transmitters with embedded antennas) can create vast data-sets with hundreds of thousands of gain measurements. Our customers enjoy 3D plots on their own desktop computers, allowing 2D/3D pattern rotation, scaling, and access to the entire frequency range of their test program. Antenna Test Lab presents the following software for viewing your measured 3D antenna patterns.

RHCP Helical Spiral Antenna Simulation Test Results
RHCP Spiral 4nec2

We have partnered with Arie Voors, the author of the very popular antenna simulator called “4NEC2”. Our customers may utilize this software for antenna simulation, but most importantly, it has been updated to allow plotting of our 3D measured spherical test data. Following these steps will help you install this free 4NEC2 software on your PC.

Step By Step

(1) Download the latest 4NEC2 version from HERE, under Downloads => “Latest 4nec2 version” (do not choose the “no install version”).

(2) Install it (move the folder) on your PC to any desired location, and note this location.

(3) The full User Manual is “4Nec2.rtf”, and is located in the same installed folder; We have PDFs here

  • 3D Viewer manual excerpt here
  • Full software manual here

(4) The first time you run 4Nec2, you will be asked to load a model, and you can find them in the /models folder (you may load any of its included examples, and you won’t actually use the model).

(5) Download and unzip this zipped file to try out one of our 3D plot-files (use 850 MHz), unless you already have test results from us.

(6) To import 3D data into the 4NEC2 viewer, just select Main>File>Import Far-field data>Full/3D data (*.txt)  from the main menu… then navigate to your TXT plot-files.

(7) If your imported data set contains more than one frequency, you will be asked to type in one frequency (in MHz). You can always use “Notepad” or any other text editor to examine your *.txt file and see which frequencies it contains.

(8) You will see a 2D polar graph by default, then select Main (F2) : Window>3D viewer (F9) to open the 3D viewer window. The spherical pattern is hidden by default, and can be enabled by changing the pull down menu from “Hide pattern” to “Multi color”.

(9) Going Further: Explore antenna testing techniques and terminology in our Educational Section.