August '18

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46 • RV PRO • August 2018 rv-pro.com O R I G I N A L E Q U I P M E N T It was with the development of that product that he bought out an early partner and incorporated the Winegard Co. 64 years ago. In the years since, the company has had a remarkable eye for what's next in the market. Over the decades, Winegard has manufactured tracking antennas for some of the country's first satellites and gotten into the production of satellite dishes, from the 6- to 10-foot behemoths of early cable to today's mini-sized receivers for DISH Network and DirecTV. Nor were satellite receivers the only products Winegard shrunk. As the company worked to reduce the size of its other offerings, it developed the Sensar electronic antenna. The com- pany's antennas had been mounted on RVs for years, but when the so-called "batwing" hit the market it was quickly recognized as a natural for motorhomes and towables. "They developed a mount to go on an RV and, of course, it experienced wild success," says Whipple. Even today, it rep- resents a standard for most RV OEMs. However, the story doesn't end there. Today, the company – indeed, the entire world – is about connectivity. "We continue to evolve with our over-the-air and satellite TV products, but with the huge demand for Wi-Fi, and Internet connectivity, we've evolved into satellite Internet for various applica- tions," Whipple says. "All these different Wi-Fi and LTE (long-term evolution) products use different frequencies and spectrums to work, and we continue to evolve and produce products for the telecom companies. "We're particularly focused on bringing technologies that are in the house to the mobile and RV environments," he adds. Innovation & Training It's the ability to produce innovative products that keep a user connected – anywhere, anytime – that continues to make Winegard an exciting place to work, according to Whipple. Today, the company easily pro- duces more than 500,000 antennas each month. Just how much of that is destined for the RV market, Whipple declines to say. However, he says the compa- ny's mobile division represents a large portion of Winegard's output, and "our RV segment is extremely important to our business." So important that in late summer of Winegard engineer, Brent Venghaus, looks at a 3D rendering of the inside of a Playmaker satellite antenna. Shown in the photo at right is the radiation pattern of Winegard's Playmaker antenna. The radiation pattern is determined by the shape of the dish. Engineers are able to determine the pattern and create the desired result by changing the dish's parabolic parameter. continues on page 50

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