This is the GatesAir Radio Section of
The Broadcast Archive

Maintained by:
Barry Mishkind - The Eclectic Engineer
Last Update 11/23/16

  Gates Radio Co
Quincy, IL

  Harris Broadcast
Quincy, IL / Mason, OH

Mason, OH, Quincy, IL

Gates Radio was founded in 1922 by Parker Gates' father, Henry C. Gates. As a pioneering company, Gates invented many different pieces of equipment for the broadcast industry. 

(In 1957, Gates Radio was purchased by Harris Corp, although the Gates Radio logo was used until 1975. Existing products were re-labeled "Harris." The Gates brand was revived in 1990 with the Gates One and Gates Five "budget" transmitters.)  

The "SA" model appellation was introduced for the 25th anniversary - "Silver Anniversary" models.

The industry changed a bit in the early 1950s, as many Class IV stations raced to implement a power increase to 1 kW daytime. A number of manufacturers developed low cost transmitters and other equipment specifically to cash in on the "upgrade" fever. As price points were "sensitive," each company tried to provide the "best value," and gear started to be made more cheaply. The term at Gates was "Value Analysis," led by George Dively. During the time when "value" manufacturing hit its peak, in 1957, Gates Radio Company was purchased by Harris Intertype Corporation (now Harris Corporation). 

Sadly, Gates Radio began to acquire the moniker "Quincy Tin Works" as it sought ways to cut costs of manufacture. Some commentators remark about the "time line" between early Gates equipment that was "solid, well built, reliable" and "cheap, sort of OK, difficult to maintain" products. This was not said to be in harmony with Gate's reputation. 

Phil Alexander notes: "The "Quincy Tin Works" moniker came about through George Diveley's edict to build products at a lower cost once Harris-Intertype bought Gates Radio. Although Parker Gates stayed for 10 more years as President, the major policy directives came from Cleveland. Both cosmetic and cost surgery started with the cabinets. Square corners are so much cheaper than anything more esthetic. Harris insisted on a VA (value analysis) program which was a major buzzword when they bought Gates in the late '50's. Ed Gagnon was their PR honcho at the time and he headed up the program. The directives came from Cleveland, not from Parker Gates. This gave birth to the BC-1T (tin can) succeeded a few years later by the 1G."

In 1975, Harris dropped the "Gates Division" and relabeled the products as "Harris." 

In 2013 Harris Broadcast was purchased by Gores, a venture capital company. On March 17, 2014, the company was split to Imagine Communications and GatesAir.



Click on picture for larger view

30 - eight channel - February 1946
  31  eight channel - 1946

including five microphone channels

  31A - 1946

31B - 1946


51-CS Studioette - The original version 1947

52-CS Studioette 1952  (four pots, plus the master and monitor

SA-40   9 pot Mono.  October 1947
(Nov, 1953 - $1295  100% tube replacement cost was $25.17)
(Interesting note: The control room mic pot was in the center!)
This was the predecessor to the "Gatesway"

SA-50   9 Pot dual mono - October 1947
AKA: Programaster
SA = Silver Anniversary  - 1947

CC-1  - May 1954

Rebuilt by Bob Mayben


Studioette - 1st version - 1940s

Studioette - 3rd version - 1960s

Gatesway - May 1955

Reused some of the CC-1 modules

Dualux   - 1956 - Dual 9 pot Mono (nine channels, two masters and monitor pot).    In 1960, it was $1,795   (M5236)
  The Yard - 1954
6 pots 

The Yard = 8 pots

Stereo Yard - 1962

Diplomat Dual Mono/Solid State
Restored by: C. Park Seward
Dave Hultsman says: The "Diplomat" was a 10 Channel mono and the "Executive" was a 10 channel stereo snow plow. The first germanium units used the 2N422 as a low level pre-amp. This unit in a mic pre-amp would clip. The later models used a 2N1307 which did not clip as bad.

Executive Stereo/Solid State  1962-1982  
Featured germanium transistors. But ... wow .. that was real early in the solid state era. 

Ambassador - 5 Pot Mono Console
Dave Hultsman says: the "Ambassador" was a great radio newsroom console, also good for TV Audio..
A look at WFIX in 1965

President   1963
Dave Hultsman says: The "President" was great for TV Audio. 

Gatesway II 

Dualux II

Yard II


Producer- 4 Pot mono. Usually used for Production or News.

Stereo Producer - 4 Pot Stereo. Usually used for Production or News. KMLP Radio.

Gatesway 80 - 1971

First delivery: KPRC, Houston, TX

Dualux 80

Stereo Statesman - Five channel, solid state
  Stereo 80

Yard 80


Remote Gear

Click on picture for larger view  

B-60 - 1935  -   $90 for 200 Ohm Velocity, 30 Ohm W.E. Dynamic or 5 Megohm Crystal mics.
  Remote Combine - 1936
Dynamote M4880


Dynamote 1





Tape machines

(also look for the Cart Machine page)

Click on picture for larger view  

ST-101 - 1960 - $995
11 inch wide tape belt! 


CartriTape II


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Level Devil

leveling amplifier

  Solid Statesman

RMC-20 Remote Control

EXM-1 Frequency Monitor 

"Auto Station" Automation - 1957
1960 price: $5975

"Nite-Watch" Automation
1960 price: $2,945
page 1 ... page 2  ... page 3
  CB-11  16" turntable  33/78 RPM
This model had a 2" hole in the platter
to you could place a slotted sleeve on
the motor capstan for 45 RPM.


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We have used many sources, including FCC files, university lecturers, historical publications and more, and have tried to be as accurate as possible, not repeating many of the myths of the industry (such as the Uncle Don Story) nor histories "manufactured" by promotion departments. However, I am not perfect, and may well have overlooked something. If you do see an error or omission, please let me know.

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