Just so we’re clear, I do not own the featured image on this page. Rather, I downloaded it from Pinterest.
As mentioned before, I have been interested in all radio electronics, since early childhood.
That radio interest began to flourish in my mid-teens.
I was 15 going on 16 when I first discovered the GE Superadio, which I saw in a C. Crane Catalog. That was back in the Fall of 2002.
It was from reading about that said radio that I learned of the hobby AM or Medium Wave DXing.
I first tried that activity in the Fall of 2003 with positive results. For those of you who are curious, the radio I used was a Radio Shack 12-756.
From that point until Hurricane Katrina, I was usually near some radio at night seeing what distant or local stations I could catch. I was entertained for hours on end.
Then Hurricane Katrina happened and as I’ve mentioned a time or two before, it ruined many things in New Orleans. Some of those ruined things have recovered, but radio broadcasting in that City has not recovered.
WTIX-AM/WIST-AM and WSMB-AM had some pretty neat talk programming before Katrina. Now those callsigns are no longer in use and their frequencies are used for other formats.
It is now 2021, almost 16 years after that hurricane and the radio stations in New Orleans still don’t have that much to offer.
I gave up on waiting for it to recover.
I will listen to the NPR station out of New Orleans but I can get NPR almost anywhere. Well, I will listen to it only when they are not trying to forward an agenda, then I change the station.
So, I’ve decided to do a little streaming with my Sylvania BoomBox and Samsung tablet when I want to hear stations from other cities, but I prefer to do this the old-fashioned way.
I have several capable AM-compatible radios, but I wanted a more high-performance model.
Meet the GE Superadio 3 7-2887B, that which this piece will be a review thereof.
This piece will be my initial reaction because I haven’t had the chance to take it out into the sticks and do some serious DXing with it.
Although I must say I am pleased thus far!
I had a little bit of extra money in May of 2021, and I’ve wanted one of these radios since my teen years.
God blessed me with one through eBay. The base price was $49.99. The shipping was free. and the total after taxes was $54.79. It was used but in very nice condition, especially considering the price! I ordered it on May 4th, 2021 and it arrived on May 10, 2021. God has blessed me tremendously, because not only was I able to get it for a very fair price, but it also doesn’t have any of the quality control issues that many GE Superadios suffer from. I thank Him and give Him the glory. Hopefully, aside from secular educational and entertainment programming, I can tune in some Christian programs as well.
I’m not sure of the actual manufacturing date but I know this particular version of the GE Superadio was made between 1992 and 2008.
I interpreted the date code to mean that my particular unit came off the assembly line in August of 2001. This means that it is almost 20 years old at the time I received it. It does work like a brand new unit!
Although made primarily of plastic and in China, it still seems to be solidly constructed. Even the carrying handle feels quite rugged. The radio is activated by an On/Off switch. There is a 6.5 inch/165.1-millimeter woofer and a 2 inch/50.8-millimeter tweeter for the internal speakers and I must say the audio quality is more than generous. The volume is still quite loud even at the lowest setting. (minimum audio output is 700 milliWatts.) There are dedicated Bass and Treble controls. For FM listening there is an Automatic Frequency Control switch and yes it does work wonderfully (especially considering I am a few blocks from an FM transmitter tower.) In addition, there is a Ceramic IF filter and 3 IF tuned circuits for FM. There are also 4 IF tuned circuits and a wide/narrow selector switch for AM reception. Narrow allows better selectivity. Wide allows better audio quality. I will say that in Wide mode, AM music sounds as nicely as if it were broadcast on FM. For power, it runs on either 6 D-sized batteries or the AC mains current. Yes, this radio is a bit oversized with physical dimensions of 12.5 inches Wide X 10.5 inches High X 4.5 inches Thick (317.5 mm Wide X 266.7 mm High X 114.3 mm Thick) but worth it.
Then there is the tuning capability:
I’ve read many complaints from others saying their GE Superadios were not accurate on the tuning dial, but mine was reasonably accurate for a vernier tuner. It’s not always dead-on, but it’s fairly near where it needs to be. The FM rod antenna is long enough (38 inches/976 millimeters) and pulls in FM stations wonderfully but the internal AM ferrite bar antenna is the selling point above all else on this model. It is engineered to pull in distant AM stations that most radios won’t even detect. This is because the bar is longer (7.875 inches/200 millimeters total length) than most internal AM antennas. If that weren’t enough, there are external antenna terminals on the back of the radio to connect to even better antennas both from AM and FM. I literally can’t wait to take this out to the sticks and try it out. Right now I live in an apartment, so along with all of the electrical noise from living in close quarters, I also have to consider not disturbing my neighbors when playing a radio at night. I would like to find a cabin by a lakeshore and try it out. If I do, I will amend my findings to this piece. I hope that by the time I purchase my forever home that AM broadcasting will still be available. However, if this year’s hurricane season is as active as last year’s, I will have plenty of reasons to use this radio.
I picked up a station that I’ve never picked up before in my 17 years of AM DXing. And yes I picked it up on my GE Superadio 3. On the evening of May 14, 2021, I received WBT out of Charlotte, North Carolina. I have never heard an AM station that far east before. I do have a friend in the suburbs of Cleveland and have been trying to pick up the station WTAM which is on the same frequency as WBT (1100 kHz.) I did receive WTAM for a few minutes, but that was earlier in the evening, but it quickly faded out. I will point out that AM DXing was easier 17 years ago because not everyone had WiFi or Bluetooth which many times interfere with AM reception. Also, 17 years ago, I lived in a slightly less populated community than I do now and I certainly was not living in close quarters like I am now. I do plan to write a more detailed piece on my AM DXing experiences.
I will say that as of lately, I am satisfied with FM performance since it can filter out the bleeding from the FM station near me. Not all of my radios have this capability. I haven’t been able to try out the AM performance as I want but I did receive AM stations from Dallas and San Antonio clear as day. I hope to try and catch more AM stations.
So far I do not have any complaints about this radio and I hope and pray that it shall serve me for years to come.
I do give it a rating of 5 out of 5 stars!
This, therefore, concludes my review of the GE Superadio 3 7-2887B.
I hope you, the reader, have been informed, enlightened, and maybe even entertained!