Trans Oceanic Royal 3000
Manufactured by Zenith Radio Corp., Chicago, IL.
In 1958, Zenith launched the Royal 1000, the first transistorised receiver from the famous Trans Oceanic series. The Royal 1000-D version also covered the longwave range. The Royal 3000, introduced in 1963, was the first T/O to feature FM broadcast band reception, but the 13 m shortwave band was omitted and the detachable wave magnet no longer found space in the cabinet, but it still could be ordered as an accessory.
- Principle: single conversion superhet, IF 455 kHz / FM 10.7 MHz
- Operation modes: A1 with BFO, AM (A3), FM (F3)
- Frequency range: FM broadcast band, LW, MW, 6 x SW (2-4 / 4-9 MHz; 31, 25, 19, 16 m band)
- Frequency display: Analogue dial, turret tuner
- frequency memory: none
- Sensitivity: AM (A3) / Selectivity: kHz (-6/-60 dB)
- 320 x 267 x 132 mm, weight 5.9 kg
As the first representative of the more compact transistor-equipped Trans Oceanics, the Royal 3000 came with an FM broadcast band tuner. For space reasons on the turret tuner, the 13 m shortwave band had to give way and there was no more space for the removable wave magnet antenna in the cabinet. The 32 x 27 x 13 cm set has a weight of about 2 kg.
The receiver is powered by eight 1.5V batteries, the Royal 3000-1 version is equipped with a socket for an external 12V power supply.
The left side of the carrying handle can be unlocked, the folded-up carrying handle can then be extended as a telecopic antenna.
The frequency dial with the dial window of the turret tuner is located in the uppermost area of the front panel. The turret tuner is operated by a rotary switch on the right-hand side of the set, a very similar configuration can be found on some Grundig sets as well as on the Sony Earth Orbiter or the T1000 from Braun. The tuning knob is embedded in the large loudspeaker cover, and in a square field to the left of it are the rotary knobs for the tone and volume control, a loudspeaker socket and, at the bottom, two slide switches for the dial illumination and the AFC, which is only active in FM mode.
The front panel cover folds open in two segments when a locking button is pressed, the upper one revealing the frequency dial and the lower one the bottom half of the front panel. Under a compartment with a printed time zone map and a world time conversion dial, there is a ring-bound shortwave reception guide with a frequency table - reading all the station names from the sixties immediately brings up nostalgic feelings.
The main switch is combined with the volume control, the turret tuner - band switch is used to select the desired frequency band. The Royal 3000 has long and medium wave (here called BC), the 2-4 and 4-9 MHz ranges have red colour markings for the broadcast bands. Only the 31, 25, 19 and 16m shortwave bands have rudimentary but usable bandspread dial marks. The luxury of a digital frequency display could not be found in portable sets in those years - mechanical digital frequency displays were reserved for the heavy communication receivers from Collins…
Due to the single conversion principle, mirror frequencies of very strong transmitters have to be expected, the sensitivity is comparable to that of Grundig radios from the same period, only one IF bandwidth is available. The dial marks are be satisfactory only in the spread 31 - 16m bands, in the tropical bands and in the 49m band, which is covered by the 4-9 MHz range, the frequency reading accuracy is insufficient. This may be excused in view of the fact that in the sixties, in typical home radios, the 49m band was usually found in the shortwave range as a 15mm long line.
In summary, the Trans Oceanic Royal 3000 is a fine collector's item that can satisfy even modest shortwave reception performance expectations in a portable set, and offers good mediumwave and FM broadcast band reception.
As a classic, the Royal 3000 is a forefather of al wave receiver design and its concept was the inspiration for many later sets from the Far East - just look at Sony's Earth Orbiter CRF-5090.
Single conversion superhet, analogue frequency oscillator, turret tuner.
The set is solid state.