Micro-Tel was an electronics company based in Hunt Valley, Maryland (US).
It was established in 1962 by Dick Finke (later with Bill Richardson).
The company specialized in high-end microwave receivers that were mainly
intended for the US Goverment and the US Department of Defense.
The company was built on the foundation layed by Richard S. Finke
in 1962 when he started his own company. Being educated
in electronics during WWII, he had build up a strong reputation and
began developing equipment for the DoD.
By 1972, he had teamed up with Bill Richardson to become one
of the most important pioneers in the world of defence electronics.
Together they founded Micro-Tel Inc. and settled down in Hunt Valley,
Maryland (US) where in 1982 they built a brand new 30,000 square foot
facility for 2.6 million US$; quite a lot of money in those days.
Micro-Tel became well known during the early 1980s for its range of
microwave receivers, such as the
and the MSR-901.
In 1989, Micro-Tel was taken over by M/A-COM, which in turn was
taken over by Tyco International Ltd. in 1999.
Under Tyco, Micro-Tel M/A-COM became the worlds largest producer
of microwave components and equipment for the defence industry.
In 2008, after a series of complaints against Tyco International
about fraude and bribery in Saudi Arabia, the M/A-COM SIGINT
division was sold to Cobham and is currently known as
Cobham Defense Electronics SIGINT. They are still based
at the original address in Hunt Valley, Maryland.
Micro-Tel equipment on this website
The history of Micro-Tel starts with Richard S. Finke, a native of
New York City, who was born on 31 March 1923, and was educated at
schools in the Forest Hills area. When America got involved in WWII
in 1941, Finke was 18 y.o. and studied Electrical Engineering
at the New York University.
In 1943, at the age of 20, he earned a degree in Electrical Engineering
from New York University. Shortly afterwards he entered the Army where
he became an officer in the Army Signals Corps. He spent most of his
time during World War II in Europe. After the war, he started working for the US
electronics company RCA Corporation and later for the
Central Intelligence Agency (CIA).
In the early 1950s, Finke moves to the Baltimore area where he works
for Martin Marietta Corporation and the Bendix Communication Division,
until he starts his own company in 1962. The company becomes known as
Micro-Tel Corporation and specializes in microwave receivers for the
US Department of Defence (DoD) and for the various domestic
In 1972, Bill Finke meets Bill Richardson and together they set up
Micro-Tel Inc. As they want to expand the company, they move to
Hunt Valley, Maryland (US). At the time, they were one of the first
technology companies to settle down in Hunt Valley, which has since
become one of the region's most important high-tech hotspots.
Around this time, Micro-Tel is merged with Adams-Russell and becomes
known as Adams-Russell, Micro-Tel Division.
Plans are made for a new premises and they start rasing the
necessary funding in the middle of the recession of 1980.
In 1982 a brand new 30,000 square foot facility is erected at
Gilroy Road for a mere 2.6 million US$. During this time Micro-Tel
becomes best known for their range of microwave components,
measurement receivers and intercept equipment,
with their typical faint mint colour.
Richard (Dick) S. Finke sells his shares in the company and retires.
In 1989 he moves from Towson to Oxford (US), where in on
28 November 1992, at the age of 69, he dies of a heart
In 1989, Micro-Tel is sold to M/A-COM Inc.,
a Public Company from Burlington, MA (US), which is seeking for
expansion. At that time, M/A-COM has well over a 1000 employees
and is growing rapidly . With the acquisition of Micro-Tel they hope
to expand their business in microwave equipment and components
for the defence industry. In early 1999, Micro-Tel is renamed to
M/A-COM SIGINT Products and that same year they win a US$ 3.5
million contract to supply an unknown number of microwave receivers
to the US Department of Defence (DoD) .
Shortly afterwards, also in 1999, M/A-COM is taken over by
Tyco International Ltd., a Swiss-based electronics giant that
has acquired many companies over the years, in order to increase
their global market share.
As a result, Tyco grows to become the worlds largest supplier 
of advanced microwave electronics for the defence industry with
over 3500 employees by 2006 .
In 2006, Tyco reports a sales turnover of 12.7 billion US$.
Later that year however,
the tide turns for Tyco when they are accused of
accountancy fraude, tax fraude, and bribery .
Several complaints against the company are filed under the
Foreign Corrupt Practices Act (FCPA),
mainly related to a Tyco subsidary in Saudi Arabia,
resulting in a settlement of approx. 30 million US$.
Following the 2006 fraude case, M/A-COM is moved from Tyco International
(Switzerland) to Tyco Electronics (Florida, US), but to no avail.
Investigations have revealed that the fraude had continued even after the
settlement in 2006. Finally, on 13 May 2008, M/A-COM, and hence
SIGINT Products (who had nothing to do with the fraude)
is sold for US$ 425 million to Cobham Defence Electronics,
one of the largest defence contracters in the United States today .
The microwave products division (i.e. the former Micro-Tel)
is a now a separate business unit of Cobham Defence Electronics,
known as CDES SIGINT, and was still located at the
in Hunt Valley, Maryland (US) in 2013 .
A quick search on Google Maps
reveals that the building at 10713 Gilroy Road has hardly changed since 1982.
Apparently it is currently abandonned (2015).
- Micro-Tel Corporation
1406 Shoemaker Road, Baltimore, Maryland 21209, USA
- Adams-Russel, Micro-Tel Division
10713 Gilroy Road, Hunt Valley, MD 21031-1336, USA
- M/A-COM Sigint Products
10713 Gilroy Road, Hunt Valley, MD 21031-1336, USA
Phone (410) 329-7915
- Cobham Defence Electronics
Business Unit CDES SIGINT
10713 Gilroy Road, Hunt Valley, MD 21031, USA
Phone +1 (410) 329 7900
- The Baltimore Sun, Richard S. Finke, Electrical Engineer, Orbituary
6 December 1992. Retrieved April 2013.
- Roger Hughlett, MicroTel, Hunt Valley grow in stature together
Baltimore Business Journal, 5 November 1999. Retrieved April 2013.
- Telecompaper, M/A-COM, SIGINT Products winds Microwave Receiver Deal
Retrieved April 2013.
- Tyco Electronics, RF & Microwave Product Solutions
Products brochure pp. 107, June 2006. Retrieved April 2013.
- Tyco Electronics, M/A-COM Tyco Electronics, An overview
29 December 2006. Retrieved April 2013.
- Securities and Exchange Commission, Complaints against Tyco International Ltd (Switzerland)
24 September 2012. Retrieved April 2013.
- FCPA Professor, In Depth On The Tyco Enforcement Action
26 September 2012. Retrieved April 2013.
- Cobham News, Cobham PLC acquires M/A-COM from Tyco
13 May 2008. Retrieved April 2013.
- Cobham website, Cobham Defence Electronics - Hunt Valley
Retrieved April 2013.
- J. Pat Carter, Photograph of Micro-Tel factory
21 July 1980. Published in the Evening Sun (Baltimore, US).
Crypto Museum #301707.
- Unknown artist, Artist's impression of new Micro-Tel building in Hunt Valley
McCormick Properties Inc. Design Builders. Gaudreau Inc. Architects Planners Engineers.
24 September 1982. Published in the Evening Sun (Baltimore, US).
Crypto Museum #301708.
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