Radio Broadcasting Remote Pickup Pioneer George Marti, W5GLJ, SK
George Marti, W5GLJ, who pioneered and manufactured remote pick-up (RPU) technology to allow radio stations to originate broadcasts away from the studio wirelessly — and lobbied the FCC to authorize its use — died on December 13 at age 95. Marti lived in Cleburne, Texas, where he had served as mayor for 12 years.
A radio station owner himself, he developed his first RPU unit to broadcast local high school football games back to the studio, bypassing the use of expensive and sometimes unreliable telephone lines. His company, Marti Electronics, also developed and sold studio-transmitter link (STL) equipment. An early Marti RPU is on display at the Smithsonian’s National Museum of American History.
A radio amateur since his teens and a US Marines veteran, Marti also was a cattle fancier, banker, and philanthropist. He sold Marti Electronics in 1994 to Broadcast Electronics.
In 1991, the National Association of Broadcasters honored Marti with its Radio Engineering Achievement Award. In 2010, the Texas Association of Broadcasters awarded Marti its Lifetime Achievement Award; he also was inducted in 2002 into the Texas Broadcasters Hall of Fame.