The W8IO Antenna Site - Who is W8IO?

(6 September 2015)

Who is W8IO?

My name is Roger Cox.  I used to be WB0DGF and I used to live in Lincoln, Nebraska.  I now live in Spring Lake, Michigan, not too far from Grand Rapids.  Here is more information about both me and my new callsign, W8IO.

I obtained my Novice license (WN0DGF) in 1970 when I lived on a farm in Southwest Iowa near Corning. My father was K0DVO, my brother was originally K0EKA - now W9KFB, and my sister is KA9CKQ. My wife, Gayle, is KA0DWH, father-in-law is Gordon, KA0DWG and son, Russell, is KC0ECT. I also have a daughter, Anna, but she doesn't seem to be interested in Ham Radio at the current time. I upgraded to Advanced Class (WB0DGF) in 1971. I attended college at Iowa State University in Ames, Iowa and operated mostly from WA0KHF Cyclone ARC in Friley Hall (1972-1976) and some from W0YI in the penthouse of the EE Building (Coover Hall). I graduated with a BSEE in 1976 and moved to Lincoln, NE where I was an antenna design engineer with Hy-Gain Electronics (1976-1978). Hy-Gain went bankrupt in January 1978, so for several months I worked as a design engineer at Rockwell-Collins in Cedar Rapids, Iowa, until Kit, W6AUF and the new owners of Hy-Gain asked me to come back. Telex Communications purchased the assets of Hy-Gain and continued the brand until it was sold to MFJ in May 1999. While at Telex/Hy-Gain, I designed many of the current Ham antennas and rotors, including the Explorer-14, OSCAR Link, Heathkit SA-7010, TH5DX, TH5MK2, TH7DX, TH11DX, LP-1009, LP-1010, 105BA, 105CA, 155BA, 155CA, 205BA, 205CA, DX-77A, DX-88, V6-R, V2-S, V2-R, V3-S, V3-R, V4-S, V4-R, V42-R, 23FM, 25FM, 28FM, 214FM, 215DX, 7031DX, HAM-V, HDR-300 and DCU-1. I obtained US patents on the Explorer-14 antenna and a 5.7 GHz stamped yagi for Wi-Fi use. I also designed the ALP-450 and ALP-600 LPDA antennas. You can see my ALP-600 on the 50 yard line of all NFL and most college football games. I also wrote the popular LPDA design program called LPCAD. You can see one of my active antenna designs on the ceilings of some hospitals under the GE Medical label (Apex-Pro).  I was President of the Central States VHF Society in 1988 when the Conference was in Lincoln. I also wrote and published the Midwest VHF Report during the 1980's and early 1990's with the help of my wife, Gayle. In 2006, Telex was purchased by Bosch Security Systems. I was with them until May 2009. I am currently an Antenna Design Engineer with a company here in west Michigan and now design military and general aviation antennas.

Rain Report: History of Hy-Gain, part 2, mp3 (1998)
TH7DX - Engineering and Technology Wiki

In April 2014 I applied for and obtained a new call sign of W8IO.  Previously, the callsign was held by Robert Allen of Macedonia, OH from 1968 until 2012 when he passed away. Robert was an excellent CW operator and was nominated to the ARRL A-1 Operators Club. You can see Robert's obituary here.

The first person to hold the callsign W8IO seems to be Henry Bourne Joy, President of the Packard Motor Car Company in Detroit, MI. Henry Joy was also a principle organizer of the Lincoln Highway Association, a group dedicated to building a concrete road from New York to San Francisco. Most of US Highway 30 and some of I-80 now follows this route.  (When I lived in Ames, Iowa at ISU, Lincolnway was only a few hundred yards from my dorm)  Here is more information on Henry Joy. Shown below is an image of a QSL card from W8IO. W8IO may have been a club station, as Henry's primary call was W1AHM. Henry also had a ship named Spray III, which used the callsign KFKW on the 146, 300 and 600 meter wavelength bands. This was about 1924.

w8io qsl card

Comments are welcome!

rgcox2 (at) gmail.com

Roger Cox - Spring Lake, MI