Zenith Radio Corp.

In 1941, the American company Zenith introduced the Trans Oceanic, a multi-band shortwave travel radio that preceded a whole series of high-quality world band receivers. In the 1970s, Zenith missed the boat on the introduction of digital shortwave receivers and production was discontinued.

Company history

In 1924, the „Chicago Radio Laboratory“ became the „Zenith Radio Corp.“, which produced TRF receivers until 1929 and then introduced the first superhet receivers.

After the turmoil of the economic depression, the company quickly got back on its feet. After the polar explorer McMillen had already carried a Zenith portable radio on his expeditions in 1925, he was given a prototype of a multi-band receiver in 1941, which Zenith had under development since 1939 and which was distinguished by above-average reception performance.

Like its numerous successors, the „Trans Oceanic“ was equipped not only with the medium-wave band but also with five spread short-wave broadcast bands from 49 - 16 m. The set had a telecopic antenna, a built-in medium-wave loop antenna and the „Wave Magnet“, a short-wave loop antenna that could be operated remotely, and the four tone switches of the „Radio Organ“ to influence the sound. The superhet with seven tuned circuits 7G605 with a RF preamplifier came equipped with battery valves and could also be powered by 117 V mains voltage.

During the war years, the image of a bomber adorned the loudspeaker fabric, the receiver was appreciated by its owners in all theatres of war, it reliably conveyed news from home. In 1946, it was replaced by the 8G005, the commercially very successful G500, which was sold from 1949 on and which used miniature tubes.

One of the most widespread sets was the H500, sold from 1951 onwards, still equipped with a round frequency dial. Instead of the 49m band, the set came with two shortwave ranges 2-4 and 4-8 MHz, also covering the tropical bands.

The H600, which followed in 1953, was equipped with a linear dial and was Zenith's last tube-equipped world band receiver.

With the Trans Oceanic Royal 1000, the era of transistor all wave receivers began in 1957, the horizontally arrnged turret tuner gave it a completely different look. After the Royal 3000, which was released in 1963 and incorporated an FM broadcast band for the first time, the Royal 7000 completed the series of solid state Trans Oceanic sets in 1969, it had CW and SSB reception by means of a BFO.

With the R 7000, which was introduced in 1978 and produced until 1981, and which followed a similar concept as the Sony Earth Orbiter with its horizontal turret tuner and fine tuning, Zenith missed to keep up: the competitor companies from Germany and especially from Japan were able to provide world band receivers with digital frequency display and shortly after even PLL synthesizer at a comparable price - the era of the Trans Oceanic and thus of the American travel receivers came to an end.

From 1941/42, Zenith had a focus on the frequency modulated transmissions in the FM broadcast band. Soon, the company brought out the corresponding receivers and was involved in the development of FM stereo reception; from 1948, the first television receivers were developed and Zenith was for decades one of the most important and innovative American television manufacturers, until the company was taken over by the Koranic LG Electronics in 1999.

Further information

en/zenith_radio_corp.txt · Zuletzt geändert: 2021/12/25 20:49 von mb