KZM's Powerful Katrinka

Powerful Katrinka
Powerful Katrinka
  Preston Allen

At left
are two views of KZM's fifty watt "Powerful Katrinka" took to the air August 4, 1922. It replaced the previous five-watt transmitter, "Little Jimmy", which was kept in standby service. The names of the two transmitters were derived from the characters in the Oakland Tribune's comics pages. The transmitter's power was derived from the hotel elevator's generators. Both KZM and KLX used this equipment, and it would frequently sign off as KZM, only to return to the air a half hour later under the KLX call sign. In 1923, another tube was added to "Powerful Katrinka" to boost her output to 100 watts. The transmitter remained in use by both stations until a factory-built Western Electric transmitter was installed for KLX in the Tribune Tower Building, but "Powerful Katrinka" continued to operate as KZM until the station left the air in 1931.

Preston Allen, the founder of both stations, is seen in two photos.  Allen was the manager of KLX until the early 1940s.

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John F. Schneider & Associates, LLC