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A planar slow-wave structure consisting of a planar helix with straight-edge connections has been studied in the context of application in traveling-wave tubes. The effects of several practical modifications to the basic structure are examined. These modifications comprise a vacuum tunnel, metal shield, and multilayer dielectric substrates. A modified effective dielectric constant method is proposed to obtain the dispersion characteristics for different possible configurations. Furthermore, coupling impedance for the different configurations has been calculated using the corresponding 2-D approximations. It is shown that, far from cutoff, the phase velocity and coupling impedance values calculated in this manner match very well with the simulation results obtained from CST Microwave Studio. The effects of variations in aspect ratio, metal shield distance, and dielectric constant of the substrates on phase velocity and coupling impedance are studied. A coplanar waveguide feed has been designed for one of the possible configurations. The measured S-parameters and phase velocity values for this proof-of-concept configuration agree well with the simulated results and confirm the ease of fabrication, low loss, and the wideband potential of the planar helix with straight-edge connections.