Electromagnetics, the W8JK Antenna, and the ‘Wow!’ Signal

Electromagnetics, the W8JK Antenna, and the “Wow!” Signal 
Or, “My friend, the Ohio State Professor, Dr John Kraus, W8JK” 
Bob Houf
K7ZB

Antenna enthusiasts will recognize the call sign W8JK as the inventor of the classic array known as the W8JK flat-top beam. The antenna has unique characteristics that make it popular today and the interested ham can search the internet to find an almost overwhelming number of references for this design.

If you’re truly an old timer, you would know it as the ‘8JK flat-top beam antenna, originally described in the March and June (1937) issues of Radio Magazine and further discussed by Kraus in his QST article in the June, 1982 issue.

After spending 6 years in the Submarine Service of the US Navy I returned to school in pursuit of my Electrical Engineering degree at The Ohio State University. I had been an amateur radio operator as a 13-year-old teenager in 1963 and now it was the mid-1970’s and I was finally achieving my goal of obtaining my BSEE.

The first years went by at Ohio State and I began taking the core EE courses which included two semesters of Electromagnetics – starting with static charges, progressing through Maxwell’s Equations and on to antenna theory.

I was privileged to have as my instructor Dr John Kraus, W8JK , a distinguished Professor of Electrical Engineering and Director of the OSU Radio Observatory known as “Big Ear”. Dr Kraus had authored several text books on Electromagnetics and Antennas and his books were translated (sometimes illegally, as was done in the Soviet Union) in languages for use all over the world….READ FULL ARTICLE


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