The General Electric Co. was truly among America’s premier broadcasting companies.
In addition to developing much of early broadcast technology and building a trio of high-power AM stations in the early 1920s — WGY Schenectady, N.Y.; KOA Denver; and KGO Oakland, Calif. — GE was also the country’s pioneer shortwave broadcaster.
GE’s initial shortwave station, 2XI, first broadcast in 1923, and in 1924 it was used to relay WGY’s programs for to KOA and KGO for rebroadcast in the western U.S.
By 1925, there were two experimentally licensed shortwave stations in Schenectady: W2XAD and W2XAF. A third GE station in San Francisco, W6XBE, was added in 1939.
That was the year that the Federal Communications Commission allowed the country’s experimental shortwave stations to relicense as commercial operations, and these three GE stations received the call signs WGEA, WGEO and KGEI, respectively.
“Recently Dr. Benway began offering T-shirts, featuring his station logo, for sale on the fundraising website booster.com. While the shirts promote the station, the proceeds, Benway says, will go to the Wounded Warrior Project to help veterans who have been injured in combat overseas.
This type of fundraising is unusual for a pirate radio operator, but there is nothing illegal about selling shirts and booster.com handles all the orders and shipping, making the entire process anonymous.
“I selected the Wounded Warrior Project Inc. because I have been involved in other efforts with them over the years,” he said. “It just seemed like a natural fit. Pirate operators fight for free speech, and our warriors fight for the freedom of our country.”
The Wounded Warrior Project serves warriors and their families through a holistic approach, nurturing the mind and body of injured soldiers. According to the WWP website, it hopes to “foster the most successful, well-adjusted generation of wounded service members in our nation’s history.”
“DRM is not seen as a profitable line for the major manufacturers,” said Sennitt. “A few smaller manufacturers have produced DRM receivers, but the unit cost is still too high, and there simply aren’t enough DRM transmissions audible at any one location to stimulate consumer demand. It’s a classic chicken and egg situation — which comes first, the transmissions or the receivers? The broadcasters and the receiver manufacturers are each waiting for the other to move first.”