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Author Topic: Avanti Antenna Engineers  (Read 23376 times)

Posts: 11

« on: August 18, 2012, 03:52:54 AM »

Im doing some work on the history of certain antennas of the past. I am looking for information regarding the engineer who designed the Avanti AV-101 Astro Plane 10 / 11 meter omni directional antenna back in the 1970's. If anyone knows who may have designed that antenna and others by Avanti please contact me.  Cheers ,   Randy  N5WV

Posts: 3375

« Reply #1 on: August 18, 2012, 01:10:38 PM »

Randy -

The Avanti antennas were designed and built in the Chicago western suburbs (Addison, IL) -- less than 3 miles from my current QTH.  Antenna models and brand names invented at Avanti were the Astro Plane, PDL, Moonraker, Saturn, just to name a few.
Sadly many of the principals are now Silent Keys.

Lou Martino (SK) passed away a number of years ago. Herb Blaese (WB9PXD) was designing antennas for the commercial industry, but may be retired, at this point.
Howard Van Valzah, WB9IPG (SK), who was in charge of the warehouse and sold replacement parts for years -- some at local hamfests, passed a few years ago. I have one of the old Avanti  2-meter NMO mount antennas that Howard sold.. Roberto Beltramelli, WA9E may have some information -- since he bought Howard's inventory, when he died.

The Avanti amateur radio line of thru-the glass antennas designed and invented at Avanti by:
Dale Parfitt W4OP, Herb Blaese WB9PXD and Lou Martino W9DSG (SK).
I am looking for information regarding the engineer who designed the Avanti AV-101 Astro Plane 10 / 11 meter omni directional antenna back in the 1970's.
CB operators and some Internet discussion boards made such an attempt about a decade ago, found that the US Patents for the CB antennas were largely filed by Mr. Martino for his company and designed by himself or Herb Blaese.  Mr. Blaese was not interested in discussing these very old (> 40 year old) CB antenna designs, at that time.

Mark Linke, in Elmhurst area, joined Avanti in February 1978 as a customer service representative and then moved up to sales of the Avanti ham radio line in 1980.  Avanti's best marketing director was Dave Bradley, W6CUB (SK).

The company was sold in August of 1981 (assets and product lines) to Bob Paul at Antenna Specialists Co of Cleveland, Ohio.  The CB market was in nose dive .. CB Craze ended (1979 Iranian hostage, gasoline prices doubling, 20% CD rates, Reagan recession in 1981) ... Turner microphones sold to Telex in that same time period.
Antenna Specialists acquired Avanti primarily for their on-glass antenna technology, which was a big success when cellular industry started in 1984. They were subsequently bought out by PCTEL Inc., located in Bloomingdale, IL

Mr. Paul, formerly of Antenna Specialists, told the Addison Historical Society in Winter 2009 that Avanti Antennas had been founded by Lou Martino and his wife, June.
Mrs. Martino had also been the executive secretary to Ray Kroc, founder of McDonald’s Corporation.
After selling Avanti, the Martino’s moved to West Palm Beach, Florida.
Mr. Martino's family are in Florida and the Avanti R&D company is still listed in Florida.  

The Avanti brand name, trademarks and patents were held by a Chicago law firm, last I checked.
« Last Edit: August 18, 2012, 02:10:16 PM by W9GB » Logged

Posts: 839


« Reply #2 on: August 19, 2012, 09:56:39 PM »

All of that is quite correct Greg except last I knew  son John was in the Chicago area while son Joel still lived in Palm Beach.
Herb was the designer of the Astroplane.

Dale W4OP

Posts: 56


« Reply #3 on: August 22, 2012, 05:52:39 PM »

The Astro plane was my first base antenna. I even saw one next to our hotel in Ojai, CA last weekend.

For what its worth, I recall the company claiming that it was a 5/8 L antenna.

A buddy of mine had a Astro beam, basically a 3 element vertical beam with the Astro plane as radiating element sans the top hat.

Posts: 104


« Reply #4 on: August 24, 2012, 07:11:12 PM »

Hi Randy,
Check out this link it has the full instructions...73 Clint
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