My TransOceanic Page

TransOceanic models I own (in order of acquisition):


(excuse the quality of the above photo, a better one is on the way)

It seems that nearly all old radio collectors have at least one TransOceanic, and I have eight. My first Trans-Oceanic was a model B-600 portable tube shortwave radio. For those who don't know, Zenith's TransOceanic line of radios is the most prolific line of tube portable radios ever built (tube models were built from 1942 to 1962, and transistor models were built from 1957 to 1982). The first Transoceanic, model number 7G605 (1942), was the first portable radio with shortwave, and the last tube TransOceanic, model number B-600 (1962), was the very last tube-powered portable radio built in the U.S. After the B-600, new TransOceanics used transistors (the first transistor TransOceanic, the 1000 [which I have an example of], was introduced in 1957, but it was too expensive at the time). Tube portables run on large high-voltage (up to 90 volts) batteries, and use tubes with low-voltage (1.4 volt) filaments. My B-600 is almost complete: it has the WaveMagnet antenna, WaveRod antenna, retractable cord-reel, all the tubes (even the ultra-rare 1L6!), the front cover, the WaveMagnet cord retainer knobs, and the knob brights. It is still missing the manual, but this shouldn't be hard to find, as there are many people making reproductions. Peter Wieck of rec.antiques.radio+phono (who also sent me the Royal 1000) furnished me with some of the missing parts (the front cover and the WaveMagnet cord retainer knobs) and I bought a set of knob brights from Antique Electronic Supply. I acquired it May 27, but I didn't plug it in until May 30, when I decided to plug it in for my grandfather. The reception it got was way better than that of my Hallicrafters S-118. Unfortunately, after around 20 minutes, I saw a bright flash come from behind the tone switches. After I unplugged it, some weird-smelling smoke rose up from the holes in the top of the case. I guessed that an old molded-paper capacitor blew out. Time to take it to technical high school I attend (where I repair things) and open it up. My guess was confirmed when a leadless color-coded tubular capacitor fell out of the case when the chassis was half pulled out of the case. The capacitor that blew out was a line-bypass capacitor, which is normal. Originally I replaced the blown cap (rated .047MFD at 600V [yellow-purple-orange-black-space-blue]) with a 200V rated mylar capacitor, but seeing as it's a line-bypass capacitor (takes all the line-voltage spikes and surges), I re-replaced it with a 600V-rated mylar capacitor of the same value. I ran the radio for a half an hour and watched for problems (called a "smoke test"). It worked great the entire time. I pronounced it done, and brought it home, where I gave the leatherette covering a polishing with Armor-All. Not only does it look good, it also works good. I use the B-600 listen to an hour long program on WBCQ (7.415MC) called "Allan Weiner Worldwide" (Allan Weiner [that's his real name] is the owner of WBCQ). Even though reception is not always too good (I live near a hill, and I have problems getting WBCQ even on my Hallicrafters S-118), it sounds good. I get BBC (9.65MC?) regularly, as well as various other shortwave stations and AM stations. Even though it's working good, someday I should replace the rest of the molded-paper capacitors. Right now, I always keep it unplugged when I'm not in the same room with it. More to come! 8/03/19100 UPDATE: A few weeks ago, I built a battery pack for it, and now it is a truly portable radio. For more, see the link near the bottom of the page.

Years produced:
1958-1962

Tube lineup:
1L6, 1U4, 1U4, 1U5, 3V4, 50A1, selenium rectifier (Chassis 6A40)

Frequency coverage:
2-4 MC; 4-9 MC; 16 Meters; 19 Meters; 25 Meters; 31 Meters; 550-1600KC

My second TransOceanic was a model H-500, which were made from 1951 to 1953. The 5 in the model number means it has 5 tubes (it lacks the 50A1 ballast tube of the later models, and instead has a low-voltage switch). Except for missing knobs and papers, it is complete. It was given to me by a friend of mine. Unlike my B-600, it has an "airplane"-style dial. While they look nice, some say that they're harder to tune than on the slide-rule dial models such as my B-600, although I haven't been able to test the theory yet because I haven't plugged it in yet. I'm not going to plug it in until I have examined it thoroughly for burnt parts, something I should've done with my B-600. A picture of an H-500 like mine can be found here. 6/22/19100 UPDATE: The board on which the chassis sits in my H-500 is badly damaged. 7/10/19100 UPDATE: I just got a 1R5 from Antique Electronic Supply. I will use it when testing my H-500 (better to blow out a $5.70 1R5 than a $31.50 1L6...they're not totally quivalent; it doesn't work as well as a 1L6, but will work fine for testing purposes, but not as well as it should [a TransOceanic will work with one up to 10MC instead of the 18MC capable with a standard 1L6]). 8/03/19100 UPDATE: A week or so ago, I decided to test it. After plugging it in, I touched the case, and got a mild shock. Thinking the plug needed to be reversed, I did so, but when I touched the shaft of the volume control, I got a MUCH stronger shock! Serves me right for trying to work on a radio wearing no shoes while standing on a concrete floor... In any case, the H-500 seems to be completely dead. I didn't have an antenna hooked up to it at the time, but I should've at least heard static. More later! 4/17/19101 UPDATE: I'm near the end of my rope with this radio. I replaced the 3V4, which caused it to hum. Thinking that it might work on batteries, I plugged my battery pack into it. Once again, however, it was silent. I'm seriously considering trading this radio for a working one (making up the difference using money, of course). More later! 10/7/19103 UPDATE: I have recently acquired another H-500, which is in better shape than the first one. This may seal the fate of the first H-500 as a parts unit. For more on the second H-500, scroll down. Stay tuned! 10/22/19108: I sold the radio in April to someone who may be able to use it for parts, or maybe as one heck of a winter project.

Years produced:
1951-1953

Tube lineup:
1L6, 1U4, 1U4, 1U5, 3V4, selenium rectifier (Chassis 5H40)

Frequency coverage:
2-4 MC; 4-8 MC; 16 Meters; 19 Meters; 25 Meters; 31 Meters; 550-1600KC

My third TransOceanic is a Royal 1000. If you don't know, the Royal 1000 was the first solid-state (all-transistor) TransOceanic. Two Royal 1000 variants were produced: the Royal 1000-1, and the Royal 1000D. The Royal 1000 runs from batteries only, while the Royal 1000-1 could run from AC as well as batteries (using a "wall-wart" transformer). The Royal 1000D added a longwave band (useful for weather beacons, although I've never heard anything on longwave using any of my longwave-equipped radios). Like the tube models, they were heavy (compared to most transistor radios from that period, which were designed to fit inside a coat or shirt pocket). A Royal 1000 with batteries weighs as much as a B-600 without batteries. The chrome on my Royal 1000 is heavily pitted (as with many Royal 1000s), but otherwise it's in good cosmetic shape. Since mine is currently without a battery box (one will hopefully be coming later), I haven't tried it out yet, although the person who sent it to me said it works. I'm planning to build an AC adapter that'll let me use the Royal 1000 on AC power. After I power it up, I'll be able to make a better comparison between tube TransOceanics and transistor TransOceanics. A picture of a Royal 1000 like mine can be found here. 9/2/19100 UPDATE: I got the Royal 1000 powered up using a regulated 12V power supply, but the power supply caused too much interference. For now, I'm using a pair of 6V lantern batteries wired in series, which should power it for quite some time. Reception is pretty good, as is the sound. I haven't had a chance to accurately compare my Royal 1000 to my B-600 yet, but I have posted the preliminary results in the tube TransOceanic versus transistor TransOceanic page.
-Adam

Years produced:
1957-1963

Transistor lineup:
121-44, 121-48, 121-73, 121-74, 121-64, 121-46, 121-47, 121-47 (Chassis 9CT40Z2)

Frequency coverage:
2-4 MC; 4-9 MC; 13 Meters; 16 Meters; 19 Meters; 25 Meters; 31 Meters; 550-1600KC

My fourth Zenith Trans-Oceanic is a Royal 3000-1. The Royal 3000-1 was the second solid-state Trans-Oceanic, and the first Trans-Oceanic to include the FM band. The styling of the Royal 3000-1 is much different from that of the Royal 1000 I own; the knobs are silver instead of black, and the front has much chrome to it. The sound quality is ok, although not quite as good as the tube models. Unlike my Royal 1000, this set also has an LW band, and an external connection for an AC adapter. The chrome is in ok condition, and the front is in fair shape. I have the battery case for it, but it's missing its top half so I'm forced to tape the batteries down to it. My Royal 3000-1 works fairly well, with good sensitivity and ok sound quality. A picture of a Royal 3000-1 like mine can be found here.

Years produced:
1962-1968

Transistor lineup:
121-64, 121-350, 121-351, 295, 121-294, 121-352, 121-352, 121-352, 131-374, 121-375, 121-373, 121-373 (Chassis 12KT43Z8)

Frequency coverage:
2-4MC; 4-9MC; 16 meters; 19 meters; 25 meters; 31 meters; 150-400KC; 550-1600KC; 88-108MC

My fifth Trans-Oceanic was a model 8G005YT, which were made (in one form or another) from 1946 to 1949. The 8G005-series was the second TransOceanic model produced, and has more tubes than any other T-O series (eight, including a push-pull audio section). My 8G is currently in several pieces, awaiting a full-scale restoration.

Years produced:
1946-1947 (YT-variant)

Tube lineup:
1LN5, 1LC6, 1LN5, 1LE3, ILD5, ILB4, 1LB4, 117Z6GT

Frequency coverage:
16 Meters; 19 Meters; 25 Meters; 31 Meters; 49 Meters; 550-1600KC

My sixth TransOceanic was another model H-500. This one is a bit earlier than my first H-500 (has two pin jacks for the headphones, and no voltage compensation switch). This H-500 is in much better shape than my other one, with the case covering in good shape, and the innards actually working to some degree (though the bandswitch could probably use a cleaning). The set works, but doesn't get too many signals (AM reception picked up after plugging the WaveMagnet into the radio via the flat cord instead of having it mounted on the cover door, so the contacts might be a bit dirty). More later!

Years produced:
1951-1953

Tube lineup:
1L6, 1U4, 1U4, 1U5, 3V4, selenium rectifier (Chassis 5H40)

Frequency coverage:
2-4 MC; 4-8 MC; 16 Meters; 19 Meters; 25 Meters; 31 Meters; 550-1600KC

My seventh TransOceanic was a Royal D7000Y. The D7000Y is considered by some to be the pinnacle of the Royal 7000 series, the third series of solid-state TransOceanics. Unlike other Royal 7000 models, the D7000Y has a tuneable weather band as opposed to the single-frequency weather band (crystal-controlled) used by other Royal 7000 models. It is in rough shape cosmetically, having a somewhat-warped dial, missing some chrome accent pieces, some dents in the speaker grille, and a broken hinge on the top front cover. However, it works fairly-well electronics-wise. UPDATE: I decided to sell this set to someone who needed it for parts. Hopefully, it will be able to save a fellow set.

Years Produced:
1968-1979 (D7000Y starting in 1973)

Transistor lineup:
121-872, 121-872, 121-872, 121-430, 121-871, 121-872, 121-872, 121-687, 121-687, 121-692, 121-692, 121-872, 121-692, 121-441, 121-701, 121-430, 121-678, 121-679 (Chassis 500MDR70)

Frequency Coverage:
160-164MC, 88-108MC, 150-400KC, 550-1600KC, 1.6-3.5MC, 3.5-9MC, 31 Meters, 25 Meters, 19 Meters, 16 Meters, 13 Meters

My eighth Trans-Oceanic was another Royal 1000, this time an earlier version from 1957. Unlike my first one, this one is in outstanding shape, with very little chrome pitting, and a dial bezel which doesn't seem to have come loose (as with my other Royal 1000). Also unlike my other Royal 1000, both the battery box (early version, attached to the back of the rear cover door) and the external WaveMagnet are present. The set works quite well.

Years produced:
1957-1963

Transistor lineup:
121-44, 121-48, 121-73, 121-74, 121-64, 121-46, 121-47, 121-47 (Chassis 9AT40)

Frequency coverage:
2-4 MC; 4-9 MC; 13 Meters; 16 Meters; 19 Meters; 25 Meters; 31 Meters; 550-1600KC

My ninth Trans-Oceanic was another Royal D7000Y. Unlike my first one, this one is in good shape, missing only the log chart/manual, and power cord. The chrome is pitted, but all there. The cover hinges are fully intact, and the dial drum is only slightly warped, if at all (hard to tell). Using a jury-rigged boombox power cord, this set seems to be quite hot on most the bands.

Years Produced:
1968-1979 (D7000Y starting in 1973)

Transistor lineup:
121-872, 121-872, 121-872, 121-430, 121-871, 121-872, 121-872, 121-687, 121-687, 121-692, 121-692, 121-872, 121-692, 121-441, 121-701, 121-430, 121-678, 121-679 (Chassis 500MDR70)

Frequency Coverage:
160-164MC, 88-108MC, 150-400KC, 550-1600KC, 1.6-3.5MC, 3.5-9MC, 31 Meters, 25 Meters, 19 Meters, 16 Meters, 13 Meters

My tenth TransOceanic was a L-600L. The L-600 marked the beginning of the 600 series of TransOceanics, moving from the airplane dial used on earlier models to a slide-rule dial. The 600 series also added a sixth tube (the 50A1 constant-current regulator) to the 5-tube lineup used by the later H-500s (and continued unchanged throughout the rest of the tube T-O line). Unlike my other TransOceanics, this one sports a brown leather case, which cost $20 more than the standard black leatherette models did (consequently, the leather models are a good deal rarer, as that was a lot of money in the 1950s!). The L-600L was the first T-O model to sport a leather case; the military R-520/URR used brown oilcloth instead of leather, though it looks quite similar in photos (I have yet to see one 'in the flesh', unfortunately). This L-600L does share some similarities with its 500-series predecessors, including a smooth handle (later ones were ribbed) which lacks the hole to insert the pin on the bottom of the WaveMagnet into (the L600 was the first model to have the WaveMagnet inset within the top of the cabinet, instead of the lid-mounted one used on the 8G005 and 500-series) and the rear-mounted headphone jack. I have yet to test this set, though it seems to be in fairly good condition other than some minor scuffs in the brown leather covering, and a small crack in the faceplate.

Year produced:
1954

Tube lineup:
1L6, 1U4, 1U4, 1U5, 3V4, 50A1, selenium rectifier (Chassis 6L41)

Frequency coverage:
2-4 MC; 4-8 MC; 16 Meters; 19 Meters; 25 Meters; 31 Meters; 550-1600KC

My eleventh TransOceanic was a R-7000-2. The R-7000 series (not to be confused with the Royal 7000 series) was the last in the long TransOceanic line, stretching nearly 40 years. Much of the external design was borrowed from the Royal 7000 series, but the insides were entirely different; hand-wiring was replaced by printed circuit boards, and production was moved from the US to Taiwan near the end of production. Perhaps the most drastic change was the elimination of electrical bandspread on all but one shortwave band; instead, it offers near-continuous shortwave coverage to 30MHz, plus some LW and VHF coverage. It employs a geared (early versions used a belt-driven mechanism) coarse/fine-tuning knob to make up for the fact that the tuning dial is the same size as the Royal 7000 series. Alas, it wasn't enough to stem the tide of high-quality Japanese-made shortwave radios; a digitally-tuned R-8000 model was planned, but never entered production before Zenith stopped making radios altogether in the early '80s, and the TransOceanic line ended after nearly 40 years. My R-7000-2 has some slight dial warpage, and the logbook is missing, but seems to be in very good shape otherwise.

Years produced:
1979-1981 (R-7000-2 starting in 1981)

Transistor/IC lineup:
Unknown (Chassis 2WMR70)

Frequency coverage:
170-540KC, 540-1610KC, 1.8-4MC, 4-7.5MC, 7.5-10MC, 11-15.5MC, 15.5-22MC, 22-30MC, 26.9-27.5MC, 88-108MC, 107-136MC, 143-175MC

TransOceanic articles I've written:
B-600 Restoration article
Building a TransOceanic battery pack
Tube TransOceanics versus transistor TransOceanics
TransOceanic Tragedies

TransOceanic articles others have written:
Troubleshooting 600-series TransOceanics
TransOceanic chassis removal


So far I have only nine TransOceanics. If you have a TransOceanic you want to get rid of, please email me using the following address:

TransOceanic Web Pages

Padgetts TransOceanic Page (for fanatics only)
Phils TransOceanic Page
Radio Era Archives' comprehensive TransOceanic museum

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