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The AWA R24 Radiolette of 1934

The AWA R24 RadioletteIn 1932 AWA created the C87 Radiolette, which at the time was housed in the world's largest Bakelite moulding. This cabinet was the only notable Art-Noveau radio cabinet produced in Australia, with most manufacturers sticking with the Victorian look of the coffin boxes, moving later to Art-Deco timber and Bakelite. The Radiolette theme continued with the C104 in 1933 but by 1934 AWA's love affair with this radio waned and future Radiolettes would be small five-valve mantel receivers before WWII and after the war they'd be cut back to four-valve sets, being marketed as budget receivers.

The R24 was to become a precursor to the longer-running Empire State series that closely resembled the shape of the Empire State Building in New York City, USA. A similar circuit was used in the R24 and a very similar chassis was also used with the main difference being that the loudspeaker was mounted a little lower, slightly buried in the chassis and a smaller tuning dial in place to permit the lower profile. Unknown to many, AWA continued to build rebadged Radiolettes for the Australian General Electric Company (AGE) and there was a plain-looking timber variant made with plain brown knobs for this purpose. The Radiolette was fitted with marbled knobs.

This particular example presents quite well. It is in good original condition and is awaiting restoration of the circuit so it is safe to use. This will be a good project for the near future and should be easy enough to overhaul although AWA had a habit of mounting components in clusters in this series of receivers and that makes replacement of capacitors a bit time-consuming.

The tale of the tape

Make/Model: AWA R24 Radiolette.
Cabinet: Timber.
Chassis: Nickel plated steel.
Valves: 80, 78, 6A7, 6B7, 42.
Bands: AM, 540kHz - 1680kHz.

Written at 23:00:10 on Sunday, 8th May, 2016 by Brad.