The RCA RAE-79 was the most expensive of the 1931 radio/automatic phonograph line for RCA. Only 516 units were produced, and at $995.00 not many were sold. The piece was introduced on 10/18/31 at that price, on 3/1/32 they were being closed out for $250.00 (distributor cost), by 6/21/32 they were down to $210.00, and on 8/31/32 final sale at $142.50.



The phonograph is the RCA "magazine" style changer, this changer held up to twelve 10" records in the tray to the left of the turntable. During the change cycle two record lifts raised the record from the turntable, the magazine swings over the turntable and the record is gently lowered into the top of the tray. As the magazine swings back, the bottom record was "peeled" from the bottom of the record stack and left on the turntable to play, this continued until the unit was turned off or the changer was placed in manual mode. To see the changer in action click here.

In the rear of the phono compartment you can see the microphone and extra weight used when making home recordings. The recording blanks used are pre-grooved and a special needle is used to record the sounds on the grooves.   The pushbuttons in front of the record tray are part of the motorized transfer switch to change from microphone recording to radio recording.


The RAE-79 used the R-55 radio chassis, a superheterodyne set with motorized tuning and volume capability with remote control. What set the RAE-79 apart from the other units in this series is the double speakers and amplifiers. Each amplifier is complete with its own power supply, the radio is powered from the top unit. The audio from the radio/phono is connected to the interstage transformer of the top amplifier, the output splits and feeds the grids of all four 247 output tubes, sort of a push-pull parallel connection, except each pair of 247's connects to its own output transformer. The secondaries of the output transformers are then connected in parallel to the parallel connected speakers.

All functions are controlled by small motorized switches, this allows power, volume, radio tuning, recording, and switching from radio to phono to be done with a remote control.


The remote control used on the RAE-79, the end buttons on the top row are hard wired in the cabinet to change from radio to phonograph, the remaining are used to tune the radio to preset stations. The red buttons are volume up and down, the black are power on-off. The jewel light comes on when you press a function button then goes out when the function is complete alerting you to release the button. The remote is connected to the set by a 30' cloth covered flat cable so it can be placed under a rug without an unsightly bump. Any number of remotes can be connected to the set.


This is a close up of the motorized transfer switch which changes the functions. The contacts shown are the "logic" circuits that tell the motor when to stop depending on which pushbutton is depressed.


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