Antenna is THE key element of any amateur radio station.
You can use a single antenna or an array of antennas. There are many types of antennas.
An antenna is a reciprocal "device". A well chosen antenna means a plus of "gain" on the receiving chain, or, on the transmitting chain - as well.
For the HF antennas....During th years, I've learned that the best performance/price ratio you can achieve with the wire antennas.
This is very light vertical antenna produced by WiMo in Germany starting from a cheap CB antenna made from
aluminum tubes having a thin wall (~0.9 mm) and diameters chosen to form a
telescopic structure. The total height of the antenna is around 5.4 m and the
weight including the radials is around 1.8 Kg.
It might be not the best antenna for a permanent usage on the roof, but could be a good solution for portable/mobile use.
Mosley MP-33 three elements - tribander
- Antennas simulation TOOLS....
FREE! The 4NEC2 antenna software, using NEC2 and NEC4 engine, is downloadable from here.
FREE! The MMANA tool using a MININEC engine, last english version, is downloadable from here .
Also, there are many available commercial suites for antennas design/modeling and electromagnetical simulation.
If you want to get the information about propagation, click here!