William Waytena who invented the radar detector in 1961 and was one of the innovators behind the development and commercialization of the electronic synthesizer dies at age of 85
William "Bill" Waytena passed away in Clarence, NY on November 22nd, 2013 from Alzheimer's Disease at the age of 85. Mr. Waytena was born into a working class family of first generation immigrants on December 23rd, 1927. From his very modest beginnings Mr. Waytena went on to invent or contribute to the success of products still in wide use today including the first radar detector and the electronic synthesizer.
After serving in the U.S. Navy during World War 2, Mr. Waytena earned a degree in electrical engineering from Alfred University. He then went on to found Radartron, Inc. in North Tonawanda, NY. At Radartron, Mr. Waytena invented and received the patent for a device he named the Radar Sentry which was the first radar detector. Widely covered by the media, Mr. Waytena and the Radar Sentry were featured in the Wall Street Journal, Time Magazine, Popular Electronics, and hundreds of other print publications. He was also on national television including the Jack Paar Show. The Radar Sentry was an immediate success and introduced many of the features still in use on today's radar detectors.
Following the sale of Radartron, Mr. Waytena attended a musical demonstration of a new electronically modulated keyboard. The device, invented by Bob Moog, was unwieldy and difficult to set up. It required multiple components and patch cords. Seeing the potential of the new device, Mr. Waytena purchased the company from Bob Moog and started muSonics, Inc. which would later be renamed Moog Musonics. Mr. Waytena immediately began development on a more user friendly, integrated synthesizer which would become known as the Mini Moog, the first commercially viable electronic synthesizer. The Mini Moog featured a single integrated unit that was easy to transport and simple to set up, it too was an immediate success.
Throughout his life Mr. Waytena built and managed a variety of companies that generated thousands of jobs and introduced numerous innovations to the market. He and his wife spent their retirement years as philanthropists championing multiple causes. He is survived by his wife Louise and children Susan, Gail, Daniel, Alexa, and William. His daughter Leslie passed away in 1994. More information on Mr. Waytena's inventions, career, and story can be found at http://www.billwaytena.com.