Author Topic: 1951 Zenith Super Trans-Oceanic H500 Short Wave Radio  (Read 19376 times)

HobieSport

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1951 Zenith Super Trans-Oceanic H500 Short Wave Radio
« on: December 08, 2008, 06:52:49 PM »
Well I bit the bullet and bought my first radio to refurbish.  For awhile I was looking at all the nice polished refurbished wood cabinets but I realized that I'd rather put the money in the functionality.  Actually I really like how the basic black cabinet looks; like it really means business!

And I was thinking pre-refurbished, but then, what's the fun in that? ;)

The seller says he's used it for years  but the signal finally just slowly petered out.  I'm new to radios so I'll undoubtedly have lot's of questions. So, what do you think, guys? The more I read up on these radios the better they sound.  Real workhorses...er...workcamels? :)
« Last Edit: December 09, 2008, 12:04:56 AM by HobieSport »

Offline BDM

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Re: 1951 Zenith Super Trans-Oceanic H500 Short Wave Radio
« Reply #1 on: December 08, 2008, 06:55:45 PM »
Nice sets, but, several thing you should be aware of. Namely, the series string filaments for the tubes. DO NOT power the set up, and pull or install tubes. You can damage one. Hopefully you have the 1L6 osc tube, and hopefully it's still good. Now, this isn't what I consider a beginners set by any means. Email me and we can talk further about getting it going. I have an extensive T/O collection myself ;)

--Brian--

St Clair Shores, MI

HobieSport

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Re: 1951 Zenith Super Trans-Oceanic H500 Short Wave Radio
« Reply #2 on: December 08, 2008, 07:10:50 PM »
Thanks BDM.  Glad to know you are familiar with these sets.  Do you have a favorite T/O model?
I just ordered the set off Ebay today so it will be a few days in transit.  I won't power it up without consulting you first. How will I tell if it has a 1L6 osc tube; just by the part/tube numbers?
Looking forward to getting it tuned up and running, and hope I haven't bit off more than I can chew for a beginner.  I'll work slowly and patiently on it.

Offline bingster

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Re: 1951 Zenith Super Trans-Oceanic H500 Short Wave Radio
« Reply #3 on: December 08, 2008, 07:38:36 PM »
He means the radio came with a 1L6, but the tube is so valuable on it's own, that it's often found to be "missing." 

The H500 is a great T-O.  I have one, myself, and I love it.  I should strongly warn you that as addictive as radios are, Trans-Oceanics themselves, seem to have even stronger addictive properties.  Ask BDM... I think he knows. 8)
= DARRIN =



HobieSport

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Re: 1951 Zenith Super Trans-Oceanic H500 Short Wave Radio
« Reply #4 on: December 08, 2008, 07:54:17 PM »
Glad to know you guys like the T-O sets.  I can see how they'd be addictive.  I'm already looking at the 600 series models.  Are they much of an improvement from the H500?
http://www.transoceanic.nostalgiaair.org/

Offline BDM

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Re: 1951 Zenith Super Trans-Oceanic H500 Short Wave Radio
« Reply #5 on: December 08, 2008, 08:39:13 PM »
Bing summed it up! Some folks collect strictly T/Os(and T/O clones), and nothing else. As Bing stated, the 1L6 oscillator tube is expensive in it's own right. So more and more, we're seeing T/Os show up with 1R5 osc tubes substituted. While the 1R5 works, it will drop off in operation around 7/mHz. Yes, provided the tube hasn't been cleaned with Windex or the like, the tube number should be painted on the side.  The 1L6 is the tube closest to the front of the dial face, next to the tuner gang. A pic would help, I'll try and take some later.

Now, you mentioned the previous owner said it just slowly died. While many things can cause this, by far the two most common causes are the osc tube 1L6 going weak or dead. Or even more common, the selenium rectifier. This is the heart of the 1950s AC/DC radios, and has been used on many models well into the 60s. If that's bad, it's an easy fix. Simply substitute a diode 1N4006 or 1N4007. Read further here
http://oak.cats.ohiou.edu/~postr/bapix/H500_2.htm

and here
http://www.angelfire.com/ma2/AdamVon/resto1.html

A good study of T/Os can be found here
http://www.antiqueradio.org/transoceanics.htm

Now, go through these links. Read them, and re-read if needed. It should give you a good basic understanding of these sets. Then, let the questions fly ;D


In answer to your question, yes . I once had the complete collection of T/Os except the first one, 7G605. I'm now down to the 8G005Y, through the transistor sets up to Royal 7000s. Not to be confused with the last series in the set, the R7000. My favorite tube model is the G500. Here is a vid of one of my G500 sets after restoration.
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=4kXKhBDvpWo

My favorite transistor versions are the Royal 1000 & 3000 series. Here's a vid of one of my 1000 sets.
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=TxoIAdwZPC4

« Last Edit: December 08, 2008, 08:41:42 PM by BDM »

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St Clair Shores, MI

HobieSport

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Re: 1951 Zenith Super Trans-Oceanic H500 Short Wave Radio
« Reply #6 on: December 08, 2008, 09:09:24 PM »
Thanks for the good links and info, BDM.  I'm studying them carefully.  Funny, but I had already watched your videos, just didn't know they were yours.  Any particular reason you like the G500 over the H500 or the 600 series?

Here are a couple shots of the T-O that I bought.  I won't have it for a few days but it's a preview.
« Last Edit: December 08, 2008, 10:02:11 PM by HobieSport »

Offline BDM

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Re: 1951 Zenith Super Trans-Oceanic H500 Short Wave Radio
« Reply #7 on: December 08, 2008, 11:18:12 PM »
Looks good. On the cabinets, I scrub them down with a light cleaners like dish soap. Then I dry them off well, letting them dry further for 12 hours or so. Then I apply black shoe polish. The type that comes in those blotters, not the paste. Cabinets look really good after that.

I like the G500 for two things. The dial face is one of the best looking IMHO. Also, it's the first year for the miniature tubes. The earlier 8G005Y is basically the same with P-P output tubes. But there are slight differences which set them apart in the looks category. Plus, it's the most complicated of the tube types to restore electrically. The H500 and 600 series have better freq coverage, but that's not a big deal with me.

--Brian--

St Clair Shores, MI

Offline Dan/Panther

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Re: 1951 Zenith Super Trans-Oceanic H500 Short Wave Radio
« Reply #8 on: December 11, 2008, 04:44:54 PM »
A very good choice, and my favorite T.O. is the H-500.
If your 1L6 is going bad, you most likely have lost ther upper bands, and the AM band may still work.
You can obtain a solid state 1L6 replacement on Ebay for about $30.00. I've not used one, being a purest tubes for tubes, but it is a less expensive alternative to the 1L6.
Enjoy the radio they are fun.
D/P

The More People I meet, The More I Love, and MISS My Dog.  Dan Robinson

Offline Shovelhead

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Re: 1951 Zenith Super Trans-Oceanic H500 Short Wave Radio
« Reply #9 on: December 13, 2008, 07:49:34 PM »
I'll vouch for BDM's knowledge of T/O's.
I too bought mine of Fleabay, yours looks a LOT better than mine, and more complete. Took two purchases from members of ARF, another Fleabay auction to acquire the missing parts, and another ARF member to bail me out on the  restoration as I got in over my head on this project.
I, three years later have a  still great functioning H500.

Offline Dan/Panther

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Re: 1951 Zenith Super Trans-Oceanic H500 Short Wave Radio
« Reply #10 on: December 13, 2008, 08:31:02 PM »
I ended up buying two T.O's to get the one I now have, plus extra parts on the side.
I recovered the cabinet myself, using  a non-standard method. I used black denim cloth, contact cement to adhere it to the wood, then finished off with several coats of Deft semi gloss lacquer. The cover is now basically bullet proof, and I love the look. Very chaep and easy tro do. You can however buy the original cover material for about $20.00 a yard.  I've lost the link, but I'm sure BDM has it.
D/P
I added a close up photo.
« Last Edit: December 13, 2008, 08:40:00 PM by Dan/Panther »

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HobieSport

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Re: 1951 Zenith Super Trans-Oceanic H500 Short Wave Radio
« Reply #11 on: December 15, 2008, 08:47:12 PM »
Dan/P your recovering job on the H500 looks great!  And I may just go with the solid state replacement for the 1L6.  Thanks for the pics and info.

Offline BDM

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Re: 1951 Zenith Super Trans-Oceanic H500 Short Wave Radio
« Reply #12 on: December 15, 2008, 11:57:24 PM »
Hobie, I have the SS replacement Dan mentions. Works well. I did notice I pic up FM station images from a nearby transmitter. This is in the higher end of the band. With the 1L6 tube, I lose them.

Joe, glad to hear it's still working ;)

--Brian--

St Clair Shores, MI

Offline Dan/Panther

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Re: 1951 Zenith Super Trans-Oceanic H500 Short Wave Radio
« Reply #13 on: December 16, 2008, 12:01:36 AM »
BDM;
Did you have to do any realigninmg after you installed the SS replacement ?
D/P

The More People I meet, The More I Love, and MISS My Dog.  Dan Robinson

Offline McHeath

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Re: 1951 Zenith Super Trans-Oceanic H500 Short Wave Radio
« Reply #14 on: December 16, 2008, 12:21:01 AM »
Great recovering job D/P!  And a really nice radio, looks showroom new.