Research Concepts Inc. (RCI)

Research Concepts Inc. (RCI) designs and manufacture satellite equipment manufacture highly configurable antenna control solutions for commercial, military, and OEM usage. The company offers the RC4600 servo-based antenna controller, RC4000 modern mobile antenna controller, RC4500 next-generation three-axis antenna controller, RC300 the flyaway companion, RC3000 tracking antenna controller, and RC2500 dual axis satellite antenna controllers.

RCI was founded as Design Concepts in 1983 by Paul Gabel. The company is located in Lenexa, close to Kansas City in the USA.

Company History

Research Concepts Inc. (RCI) was established in 1983 by Paul Gabel in his basement. The company started as Design Concepts and was involved in the design and manufacturing for terrestrial interference on C-Band home satellite antennas. One year later Mike Mikinski joined Design Concepts as a partner to Gabel and on January 1st, 1986, the business was incorporated as Research Concepts, Inc., and moved from Gabel’s basement to a location in Lexington, Kentucky.

In late 1987 the company was relocated back to Kansas City USA.  In the process of moving from Kentucky, Gabel and Mikinsky completely left behind the early company history as a manufacturer of C-Band satellite filters.  In Kansas City, the company would flourish as a purpose driven antenna controller company by expanding their mobile antenna controller line to include earth station antenna controllers.  In Kansas, Research Concepts was primed to ride the wave of commercial satellite expansion that would come in the following decades.

In the latter part of 1993, the founder of RCI faced a courageous struggle against a terminal cancer diagnosis. During this challenging period, Jim Ronnau, a college colleague of both Gabel and Mikinsky, came on board at Research Concepts in a contract engineering role. By early 1994, Gabel’s ownership interest in RCI was transferred to Jim Ronnau. Together, the dynamic partnership of Mikinsky and Ronnau carried Research Concepts forward. Drawing upon their shared experience working in research laboratories at the University of Kansas, they were motivated to create innovative and dependable designs.

In 1998, the company unveiled their latest satellite antenna controller designed for mobile applications, marking a significant advancement. Leveraging the insights acquired from the RC8097 family, RCI introduced the inaugural member of the RC3000 controller series at the NAB Satellite Show in 1998. When integrated with antennas from trusted partners like AVL, VertexRSI, SweDish, and Andrew, the RC3000 quickly gained popularity, with sales surpassing 5,000 units and continuing to grow. This achievement set the benchmark for antenna controllers in the Satellite News Gathering (SNG) market.

As the first decade of the 2000’s drew to a close, it became evident that the satellite market was shifting away from SNG and toward tactical antennas. The demand for compact embedded antenna controllers was on the rise, and Research Concepts was well-prepared to address this evolving need. In 2011, Research Concepts initiated the rollout of the RC4000 Antenna Controller. Tailored for the most demanding embedded applications, the RC4000 introduced a fresh, modern approach while preserving all the features and qualities that users had come to trust in RCI’s antenna controllers.

As the company’s product portfolio continued to expand, it became evident that more space was required to accommodate this growth. In late 2011, Research Concepts made the strategic move into a purpose-designed facility spanning 20,000 square feet. This new facility empowered RCI to carry forward its legacy of reliability that had been instrumental in the company’s success, now on an even larger scale.

Despite continuing to offer the products that have been instrumental in shaping the industry, such as the RC2000, RC3000, and RC4000, Research Concepts has remained committed to a culture of innovation. Recent additions to their portfolio, such as the RC4600 High Performance Servo Based controller and the RC4500 tailored for large earth station applications, highlight RCI’s dedication to meeting customer requirements. 

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Products by Research Concepts Inc. (RCI)

Research Concepts RC2500 Antenna Controller