Ever since I can remember, I have noticed these old radios, these Trans-Oceanics. They have quite a storied past. Once, they were literally the "Royalty" of radios. In 1954 they would have cost $139.95. That is about $1000.00 in the year 2000 dollars. They were renown for their beautiful sounds and sensitive receivers, as well as their good looks. I am fortunate, I found four beautiful T/O's and restored them to their original state.

This one was my first. It is a R600 model, made in 1955. It uses five (5) tubes, or "valves" if you are British, and has a lovely sound. It sounds so rich and deep. I also have a new Radio Shack DX-398 receiver that is the size of a paperback novel and has amazing qualities, but this rig absolutely BLOWS IT AWAY as far as sound quality goes.

I had been looking for awhile on E-Bay, and finally someone actually E-Mailed me back and said this one was available. We haggled a bit, then settled on a fair price. I actually had it for about four months before I was able to do anything with it. It was really a labor of love, I didn't have to do too much at all.

After a precursory cleaning of the outside, I then used De-Oxit to clean the switch towers and all other contact switches and then put in a new lamp and battery for the front panel. I still have the old Zenith 1.5 V battery. It is more than 45 years old, and it still has 1.36 volts! Not enough to light the lamp, so I saved it for fun.

The front panel on this radio is illuminated by a bulb that just makes the radio "glow". It is the loveliest glow. It reminds me of my 1966 Dodge Charger dashlights... Beautiful! The craft and the labor of love that made these radios is really evident, and the "old radio smell" is really a stimulus for nostalgia. I have listened to Radio Argentina, Radio Moscow, Radio Cuba, Radio China, Radio Pakistan, and many others. Iffat. my XYL (wife) listens to the Koran reading from Radio Pakistan and she says it just sends chills up her spine.

Here's my second. A lovely H500. It was produced in the early 1950's. This one is really the first model of the new design. It was also produced for the military, and notably for air-dropping. The military version was tough. This one was doing great, then all the sudden I lost volume and got some nasty hum. BC band almost all gone, and only some of the SW bands were operational, and only partially.

Well, got online to talk to my experts, and they suggested that perhaps the selenium rectifier was going bad. A typical problem for this model. Hey, its only 49 years old. I thought it may be the caps, but Peter Weick, the BEST resource person I have found RE: T/O's thought it was the selenium rectifier. You can find Peter on the newsgroups for old radios.

There is a rather commonly known replacement for the old rectifier, just needed to get from the old junk box a 1N4005 diode, and wire it in plus a 50 Ohm 5-10w resistor. No worries, but when I plugged it in (via a isolation transformer and variac per safety sakes.) I noticed a lot of heat almost immediately as I went up in voltage. Shut down, and pondered what I had done wrong. Hmmmm, heat build up, no sounds. Well, I rechecked polarity of the diode,and it seemed right, but there could be no other reason for the heat except a reversed diode. So, I reversed it, and then brought her to the bench and repeated start-up. Well, lo and behold, here comes KLIN 1400Hz, plain as day. Cool! I was on the right track. Shut down, and then re-DeOxited my tower (the band switches) Punched 'em all about a million cycles each. To the bench. With baited breath I resumed start-up sequence. HOO-RAY!! All SW bands were working.

I then shut down, dropped the chassis back in the cleaned cabinet, and brought 'er upstairs to try it out on the kitchen table. Well sir, she had a beautiful sound, and even Iffat (my XYL) noticed how well it sounded. Went through all the bands, incredible sensitivity on BC bands, and on SW we were listening to all our favorites, just like the R600, all from our home. GREAT. That's what SWL is all about, isn't it?

Zenith Trans-Oceanic 3000
This is my third addition to my growing Trans Oceanic family. I gotta say, this one really is cool. It is a Zenith Trans Oceanic 3000. It was built in 1964. This is "transistorized", unlike the ones before it, and still has that GREAT T/O sound.

This one was found on E-Bay, the seller said "no battery pack" so it wasn't heavily bidded. Then, when it was just about to close, he updated with "Found battery pack, though not tested". At the time he updated, the bid was $20.00. So, I bid, and then went home and set all my clocks, and SNIPED LIKE HECK!!! Upside was, I got the bid. Pretty heavy competition at the end, got bumped up all the way to $33.00. I thought it was a steal, and it is.

This is a cool oldie. The battery pack had a loose ground connector. It must use "steel" wire, 'cause it would'nt take solder. Had to replace with copper wire, and save the springee thingee to make sure the batteries would work ok. Battery pack now works like a champ. Got the dial lamp working, and it glows like the dash of my old '66 Dodge Charger. Nice! I did some mild cleaning, and it really looks good. Not bad for $33.00, eh?

Well, well, the family really is growing now. Yup, another addition. This next one is also a Zenith Trans-Oceanic 3000, but it is the 3000-1 series. Biggest difference here is the addition of a 3/32" 12V jack that allows the radio to operate with a "wall wart" transformer. It requires tip NEGATIVE, so be careful! This one is even nicer than my first, which was one of the reasons I got it. It looks like it just came from the factory. What a beautiful shine. Had some crumbs, some dust, and needed the prerequisite contact switch cleaning, but it is rapidly becoming one of my favorite Trans-Oceanics. Can ya tell??

1942 6G601M

Here is an oldie but goodie, almost a "precursor" to the Trans-Oceanic. It is the "AM broadcast band only" version of the Trans, a nice rig! Notice the left speaker grill, all intact, and the wooden case. That little red square under the dial means its "on". A nice "click" confirms it too! Quite a lovely rig, and what a great "old radio" smell!! Wanna see more? Read about it here

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