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Howard County Center for Business and Technology Development Graduate Develops Antenna for the Military, Saves Lives of American Soldiers

Syntonics builds low-profile vest antenna for militarydottedColumbia, MD (May 20, 2008) - Syntonics LLC—a Columbia-based company and a graduate from the Howard County Center for Business and Technology Development’s NeoTech Incubator—has developed a low-profile vest antenna which helps safeguard military radio operators from identification by enemy snipers.

Syntonics developed the HTA SINCGARS vest antenna in response to an e-mail from a United States Army Sergeant who was stationed in Baghdad, Iraq.

“The Sergeant wanted to be able to communicate with other soldiers around him without the tell-tale aiming stake of an antenna sticking off his shoulder,” said Ray Madonna, Syntonics’ Vice President of Sales and Marketing who is a retired Marine and Vietnam veteran. “He wanted a low profile antenna that would not be obvious to an enemy. After finding nothing on the market that would fit his needs, he contacted Syntonics.”

In response, Syntonics built two prototypes. Satisfied with the prototypes, the Sergeant wanted to purchase the antennas with his personal credit card.

“We gave them to him at no charge in return for his comments on how they worked,” said Bruce Montgomery, President of Syntonics. “Within about ten days, his response came in the form of a picture, followed some time later by a purchase order from his unit for 30 more antennas.”

“I am thrilled that Syntonics LLC has developed the vest antenna” said Carol Morrison, Director of the NeoTech Incubator who has a close family member serving in Iraq. “The safety of soldiers is very important to all of us here in the United States who have family and friends serving in the military.”

Since March 2007, Syntonics has sold over 300 of the vest antennas; mostly to Army units and Navy Special Operations groups, but also to some senior NCOs on their personal credit cards.

“The concept is simple,” said Madonna. “The antenna attaches to the antenna port of the radio and threads through the loops on the upper body armor worn by the soldier.” The antenna is intended for short range communications, up to approximately 500 meters.

Syntonics has supplied the military with SINCGARS Vest Antennas for use in Iraq, Afghanistan, and South America as well as here in the continental United States. In each case, the users made a different point when asked why they were interested in the vest antenna. Two examples are: (1) A whip antenna marks the radio operator (this from the guy who was Afghanistan-bound); (2) a whip antenna gets tangled with and torn-up by jungle vegetation and, after a while, stops working (South America-bound).

About Syntonics LLC: Syntonics is a defense electronics company that produces FORAX RF-over-fiber communication systems for military radios and innovative antennas for military applications. For more information on Syntonics and its products, please see the company's website at

About The Center for Business and Technology Development: Founded in May 2000, the Center is dedicated to the discovery, stimulation, nurturing, growth, and success of entrepreneurship in Howard County. It has gained a reputation for creating innovative programs to foster entrepreneurship in the greater Washington-Baltimore region. Among its many service offerings, the Center provides assistance to over 1,000 entrepreneurs annually through its Business Resource Center and facilities for NeoTech Incubator companies. A “one stop shop” for entrepreneurial services, the Center is one of the few facilities in the nation that combines a business incubator and business resource center under one roof. For more information about The Center for Business and Technology Development, please visit

The Center for Business and Technology Development is part of the Howard County Economic Development Authority, a public-private partnership whose primary goal is to promote economic growth and stability by supporting existing businesses, targeting new businesses, and attracting corporate/regional headquarters. The Authority also maintains several programs aimed at the special needs of small, minorityowned, and agricultural business communities. Additionally, the Authority strives to preserve the distinctive quality of life in Howard County. The Authority can be reached on the Web at

Click here to download a high resolution photo. Suggested Caption: On patrol in the streets of Baghdad, the United States Army Sergeant (not named due to security reasons) wears the Syntonics HTA SINCGARS vest antenna laced into his vest.