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The RME-9 was RME's first receiver which preceded the RME-9D which preceded the popular and very capable RME-69.
This extremely rare elusive communications receiver was conceived in December, 1933 and hand built in the company founder E. Shalkenhouser's home basement. Shalkenhouser along with engineer Russ Planck managed to assemble around fifty RME-9s before a decision was made in June, 1934 to convert the remainder of that 100 unit first run to a better dual tuner design they renamed the RME-9D. The original RME-9 was the first commercially produced communications receiver to offer a calibrated dial with bandswitching, bandspread, RF amplifier, R-meter, crystal filter and AVC in one package. The competition offered two or three of these features but RME was the first to get it right by combining all of these desireable features in the same package which made them very popular. Because of that success it became necessary to find larger facilities so they moved to Peoria and RME-9D production resumed there. At the time each RME-9D was also completely hand built from start to finish by a single assembler belonging to a team of several assemblers. An assembler would draw a complete set of parts and would be responsible for the mechanical assembly and the complete electrical assembly. Because competition was fierce for recognition on who was the best, each assembler would proudly sign his name under the chassis of each successful receiver as it passed inspection and final adjustments.
Each receiver could obviously be a little different due to varying skills and level of personal pride. The RME-9 is called the father of the modern communications receiver and because RME was first with the best the competition pretty much followed RME's lead by copying the circuit and styling a different looking cabinet to put it in. It was pretty much business as usual throughout the Thirties with everyone copying RME until Collins presented their new R-388 in 1948 which changed everything.
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