Top Band DXer, Antenna Designer Charles E. Dewey Jr, W0CD, SK
Charles E. Dewey Jr, W0CD, of Battle Creek, Michigan, died March 16, at home. He was 96. Dewey, George Guerin, K8GG, and George Taft, W8UVZ, designed the “Battle Creek Special” antenna, popular with DXpeditioners. An ARRL Life Member, Dewey was a major 160 meter DXer, with 297 DXCC entities confirmed on Top Band (and an overall DXCC total of 367 — 339 current — needing only North Korea).
The Jefferson City, Missouri, native was first licensed as a teenager as W9LBM. Unable to serve in the military during World War II, he went to work for Raytheon as a civilian radio officer and served in that capacity for PT boat squadrons in North Africa, Italy, and Corsica during the war. After the war he relocated to Michigan and worked as a broadcasting engineer.
He became interested in 160 meters in the 1970s, shunt feeding his 72 foot tower and laying down more than a mile of radials to work it against. He became a mentor to other Top Banders and, drawing upon his broadcast antenna expertise, designed various arrays for 160 meters. He subsequently came up with an improved Battle Creek Special that was stronger, taller, and easier to erect and eventually developed a heavy-duty model that could handle high winds. It was used during the VK0IR Heard Island DXpedition and others. He also helped develop a 3 element phased array for 160 and 80/75 meters.
In 2012 the QCWA’s Michigan Chapter 10 recognized Dewey for having been licensed continuously for 80 years. — Thanks to George A. Guerin, K8GG, via The Daily DX