Alpha Antenna is the Amateur Radio antenna manufacturer that:
- Provides products that are 100% Designed and Made in the USA
- Is 100% USA Owned, by a U.S. Citizen
- Provides direct customer contact for support
The story of our Founder and Owner, Steven Deines
Part 1 – Growing up as a CW operator
I was born in Kansas, where I was first licensed as an amateur radio operator (KA0GNX) in 1979 as a teenager. In 1975 I was given the USAF Radio Engineers (Blue) books, which I studied for 4 years. During that time my uncle was writing to me on tissue paper like letter head from Saudi Arabia during his deployment to install a communications infrastructure. He kept referring to something called amateur radio, and in 1978 I discovered what amateur radio was. My parents, a father who was bookkeeper and very practical man, and my mother who was loving and had a great sense of humor, was very supportive of this endeavor. My father drove me to my amateur radio class, where others like me were preparing to take their Code & Written test. I remember the cold winter nights when the snow would blow deep, and all my waking hours were spent running through code drills on my cassette player and my “buzzer keyer” that ran off a single D Cell battery. The day of the trip to the FCC office in the Big City had then come, after months and what had also truly been years of preparation I took the test and was licensed in 1979 as KA0GNX, Novice operator. I didn’t realize it, but my mother had been working and saving to help pay for this, for I did not know how little my family had back in those days, nor how the Ham Radio community had came together to help my family acquire a Ten Tec Century 21 for my Christmas present. Reflecting back on all the good people in amateur radio who have supported me and my family shines a light on the fact that I couldn’t of chosen a better community to serve than those who first gave so much to this small town boy who had very little.
Part 2 – Antenna building and Scamp
During the spring I started taking electronics classes at a local college before starting as a Freshman in High School. This is when Scamp came into our lives. It was a hot July Saturday when we drove by ‘the pound’, as we referred to the animal shelter along time ago. None of my family can recall why we stopped, but as we entered the building, we were greeted by an older brown eyed black lab. We learned that Scamp’s owner was an elderly man who had passsd away, and that Scamps days were numbered by just three more till he would be put down. Our family brought him into our hearts, and from that day on, Scamp was always by my side as I built and erected antenna systems.
Part 3 – The silent wreck
I lived a quiet secluded life, till 2003, when I was driving my small pickup back from a job that was many hours from home. An hour into my drive home it started to sprinkle, and I did something that was very unusual for me; which was I reached over and fastened my seatbelt. As I entered a construction zone I slowed down and at that moment I hit a slick place where the construction was occurring. I spun an entire 360 degrees, when noticed I was pointing forward again. Then my tires hit dry pavement, and I could tell something was wrong. My tires were cranked fully to the left, which shot me over into oncoming traffic. I saw the semi try and swerve in an effort to save my life, but it was too large and there was too little time and distance. Those who have gone through trauma know it can take years to talk about what happened, and many will testify that there is always one image/sound/feeling that is remembered forever. For me, it was the welding of my doors shut as the sparks flew and I was drug under the cab and then flatbed trailer. Then there was a long silence, followed by the noise of my truck being scattered over a 300 yard area. I found peace in that moment of silence, and this was the end of my old life and what put in motion what would become the Alpha “The Beginning”.
Part 4 – Recovery
Just as in my teenage years, amateur radio became my refuge from where I was able to operate CW during my recovery from 2003-2004. In this time my eyes were opened to a need, a personal need to give back to the amateur radio community for being there in my teenage years and during my recovery. This is the same community who encouraged me to consider building the antenna systems I had been using since 1979.
Part 5 – Alpha “The Beginning”
All of this is why I developed Alpha Antenna, from which I have never taken a salary. Instead, Alpha Antenna employs those who have fallen on hard-times, and provides purpose before profits. Then, in 2007, a sharper focus was realized, when my grandparents home town of Greensburg, KS was 90% destroyed. Alpha Antenna broke all ties with older technologies and companies after that day, in order to forge greater tools for field expedient antenna systems. We’ve learned through real live fire and boots on the ground usage how important communications are in the hours and days after nothing is left. Our purpose was made clear!
Part 6 – Serving others
Personally, it is my daily goal to serve others, develop antenna systems that work well, are easy to setup, and have something new to offer the amateur radio community at large. So, we at Alpha Antenna continue to serve everyone; from our amateur radio friends to our military personell who serve us all.
I would like to thank you all for being there as we’ve grown our products and our purpose.
Steven Deines/Founder, Alpha Antenna