May 2012
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The General Electric XT-1-A AM transmitter

I found this photograph in a filing cabinet the other day as a part of a sales proposal dated 1948. I have never seen one of these in the field. They look like very sturdy units:

General Electric XT-1-A Standard Broadcast transmitter

General Electric XT-1-A Standard Broadcast transmitter

Back in the day when AM was king, no expense was spared on transmitting equipment.  I remember the GE BTA-25 transmitter from the same era, it was build like a tank.  Once, while we were repairing the Harris MW-50A main transmitter, the old GE burped, sputtered and threw an IPA overload, then returned to air.  I looked in the IPA cabinet and found a mica capacitor had been blown in half.  It was in the tuning circuit, but apparently there was still enough capacitance in the circuit for the transmitter to keep running.

This unit looks similar to that one.  The simplified schematic:

General Electric XT-1-A schematic diagram

General Electric XT-1-A schematic diagram

Like other 1 KW AM transmitter designs, this unit uses the venerable 833A triode.  There are some advantages of this tube, as extra circuits for PA stage neutralization are not needed.  The full sales brochure can be found here (medium sized .pdf).  These were manufactured in Syracuse, NY.

The asking price in 1948 was $8.730.00, tax and shipping extra.

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7 comments to The General Electric XT-1-A AM transmitter

  • Steve

    Some of these old AM rigs are pure works of art and of an age where an individual could still understand all of their workings (and effect a working repair with relative ease).

    There’s more info and pictures of an XT-1-A here –

  • 8k$ would be around 80k$ in today’s money. How does this price compares to modern transmitters?

  • Dewey Jacks

    Ahhh,…vintage radio broadcast gear,…real radio glows in the dark!

  • Hello,

    I am the owner of the XT-1-A at

    I used it on the 160 meter ham radio band years ago. It has been silent for over a decade. I want to unload it. I’ve moved on to more compact equipment.

    If interested, send e-mail to

    Jim – WA2WHV

  • J’ai un émetteur G.E BT-20-A en foction et très bonne condition

    (ed note: I have a GE BT-20-A transmitter, functions and is in good condition, Appears to be located in Canada)

  • Rick Bosscher


    Have just acquired a pair of GE BT-20a’s. Is their anyone that has any documentation for these absolute beauties? They will be restored and brought back to life again if at least a schematic can be located.

    Many thanks & regards,


    Rick Bosscher
    RF Systems Manager
    Midwest Television, Inc. KFMB AM/FM/TV
    San Diego, California

  • Jeff Pearce

    I own an AM radio station in NY State on 850 KHz that still has an XT-1-A transmitter in its transmitter building, though I don’t believe it is currently in working condition. I am interested in a complete manual on the transmitter, if it is available, I would like to see if I can revive the transmitter. I am a Professional Broadcast Engineer since 1970. I am radio amateur N0NKQ, N zero NKQ. 970-456-3271 cell phone

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