New Video Sequence: Studying Antenna Fundamentals with Karen Rucker

We don’t normally embrace the supernatural here at Hackaday, but when the subject turns to the world of radio frequencies, Arthur C. Clarke’s maxim that sufficiently advanced technology is related to magic works pretty well for us. In the RF domain, the rules of electricity, at least the basic ones, don’t seem to apply, or when they do, often with a “yes, but …” caveat that is sometimes difficult to understand.

Perhaps nowhere does the RF world appear more magical than in antenna design. Sure, an antenna can be as simple as a straight piece of wire or two, but even in their simplest forms, antennas hide a complexity that can be daunting for novices and veterinarians alike. For this reason, we were delighted to recently host Karen Rucker’s Introduction to Antenna Basics as part of Hackaday U.

The course was held over a five week period starting in May and we just released the edited videos for everyone to enjoy. The class is led by Karen Rucker, an RF engineer who specializes in aerospace antenna designs and who knows her business inside out. I’ve watched the first video in the series so far and am enjoying Karen’s style and the material she chose to highlight it; just the little bit about antenna polarization and why circular polarization makes sense for space communications was really useful. I’m very keen to dive into the rest of the show’s playlist soon.

The 2021 Hackaday U session may now be over, but fear not – there is plenty of material to look through and learn. Go to the course listing on, choose something you like, and let the learning begin!

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