The Ventenna story began in 1986 when Mark was considering moving to Colorado Springs, Colorado. As Amateur Radio operator KC9C, Mark of course wanted to put up some antennas. It was then he discovered that Colorado Springs may have some of the toughest homeowner restrictions in the country. (In some locations a homeowner may paint his house only one of four colors!) Mark looked at his roof, wondering what would look as if it belonged there, and the Ventenna idea was born.
Mark was not able to devote much time to the new idea until he moved to Sacramento, California where he met John, WB4YJT. Over the course of most of a year, they worked on the idea, and developed the Ventenna concept to produce the designs which exist today. Realizing that the idea was unique, and that the electrical designs were also breaking new ground, they patented the concept and the designs. The patent, number 5,349,362, was finally issued in 1994.
The Ventenna is a challenging antenna design because of the size restrictions which John and Mark imposed. Wanting the antenna to appear unobtrusive, they limited the maximum physical length to 36 inches. This imposed electrical restrictions as well, since a normal antenna's size is directly related to its frequency of operation. The Ventenna is therefore a "hybrid" design, employing lumped and linear elements to achieve effective operation in a limited space, and, for transmit/receive versions, is currently restricted to operation at frequencies above 100 MHz. The reviews of the Ventenna which have appeared in various periodicals attest to the quality of the design.
Today there are thousands of Ventennas in use by Hams and commercial customers, as well as the Central Intelligence Agency (CIA), Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI), National Security Agency (NSA), and Department of Defense (DOD).