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 Post subject: One of Zenith's Biggest Mistakes
PostPosted: Aug Thu 12, 2021 5:21 pm 
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Here's one of Zenith's biggest mistakes. Their top of the line radio and they used cellophane tape across the top with their "Zenith " name. Now I understand if they had used metal it might have interfered with the reception, but they could have used a plastic piece, anything but cellophane, which of course peels off. Maybe it was to save money on an already very expensive radio.


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 Post subject: Re: Got Transistor Radio Collections? New Finds? Let's See
PostPosted: Aug Thu 12, 2021 10:04 pm 
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Zenith Royal wrote:

Here's one of Zenith's biggest mistakes. Their top of the line radio and they used cellophane tape across the top with their "Zenith " name.

Sorry, but I can't agree with you on their choice being a mistake. Mine is just fine, for an over half century old radio. And it works great.


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 Post subject: Re: Got Transistor Radio Collections? New Finds? Let's See
PostPosted: Aug Thu 12, 2021 10:26 pm 
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Mine has seen better days...


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Last edited by whfh99 on Aug Fri 13, 2021 1:21 pm, edited 1 time in total.
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 Post subject: Re: Got Transistor Radio Collections? New Finds? Let's See
PostPosted: Aug Fri 13, 2021 3:00 am 
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fifties wrote:
Zenith Royal wrote:

Here's one of Zenith's biggest mistakes. Their top of the line radio and they used cellophane tape across the top with their "Zenith " name.

Sorry, but I can't agree with you on their choice being a mistake. Mine is just fine, for an over half century old radio. And it works great.


I also have two with original labels in great shape. I also have two with replacements. If they never peeled off you wouldn't see these replacements for sale on the 'bay.


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 Post subject: Re: Got Transistor Radio Collections? New Finds? Let's See
PostPosted: Aug Fri 13, 2021 3:17 am 
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Zenith Royal wrote:
fifties wrote:
Zenith Royal wrote:

Here's one of Zenith's biggest mistakes. Their top of the line radio and they used cellophane tape across the top with their "Zenith " name.

Sorry, but I can't agree with you on their choice being a mistake. Mine is just fine, for an over half century old radio. And it works great.


I also have two with original labels in great shape. I also have two with replacements. If they never peeled off you wouldn't see these replacements for sale on the 'bay.

The fact that replacement labels are available would not seem to imply poor quality of the original, anymore than new replacement dial belts for those on their pre-WW2 consoles. In fact it displays somewhat the opposite, that the sets are popular collectors items.

These radios were manufactured in the 1962-1963 period, making them now just shy of 60 years old. I doubt Zenith QC had any reason to be concerned for the durability of their product so far into the future.

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 Post subject: Re: Got Transistor Radio Collections? New Finds? Let's See
PostPosted: Aug Fri 13, 2021 3:40 am 
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 Post subject: Re: One of Zenith's Biggest Mistakes
PostPosted: Aug Fri 13, 2021 4:10 pm 
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It just depends on how the radios were handled over the years, I mean just look at the 500E faceplates. Many of these radios were stored in an attic or basement for the last 60 somewhat years and in most cases, it shows.

If every radio was stored in a cool, dry climate-controlled place this hobby wouldn't be as fun now, would it? :wink:



Henry


Last edited by whfh99 on Aug Fri 13, 2021 5:17 pm, edited 1 time in total.

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 Post subject: Re: One of Zenith's Biggest Mistakes
PostPosted: Aug Fri 13, 2021 4:49 pm 
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Location: Palos Verdes, CA
If the volume control needs to be replaced on a Zenith 500H, it is tough to find a replacement as it has a 1/8 inch shaft.


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 Post subject: Re: One of Zenith's Biggest Mistakes
PostPosted: Aug Fri 13, 2021 5:15 pm 
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The 500E is a whole 'nuther story---it truly has the poorest quality "cosmetics" of any of the Royal 500 series. I've had two for around 50 years and both were from original owners. One was even in it's case and taken care of, but the finish was still badly deteriorated on control panel and it was pitting even back then. The other was used in an old garage and was in similar condition (as would be expected). From all that I've seen through the years, think the only ones of these that are in "presentable" condition are those which have been used or handled very little or not at all and were stored in an optimum environment.

John


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 Post subject: Re: One of Zenith's Biggest Mistakes
PostPosted: Aug Sun 15, 2021 3:45 am 
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Has anyone thought about making and marketing a replacement face plate for the Royal 500E?


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 Post subject: Re: One of Zenith's Biggest Mistakes
PostPosted: Aug Sun 15, 2021 2:34 pm 
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Joined: Jan Thu 01, 1970 1:00 am
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Location: dayton oh usa
zeniths biggest mistake was letting the crt fiasco go on unchecked.
you get 20+ years of service from a set and its replacement blows up totally in 2?
would you buy another?
as for the dial and cosmetic parts few at the time dreamed anyone would care about these sets in even 10 years let alone 60.
that they came this far and can be put back in service so easily tells you they were well designed and built.


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 Post subject: Re: One of Zenith's Biggest Mistakes
PostPosted: Aug Tue 17, 2021 11:24 am 
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The original label did have a metalized foil in between the layers (sometimes it just dissolves away and you'd never know it was ever there). If a metal plate could cause reception issues wouldn't that foil do the same?

I have two, was able to save one label by using a combo of brushed metal decal tape and mylar tape in order to save the external clear "Zenith" layer. On the other the label was missing so I used the available repro foil and added a layer of clear tape to protect it from being easily scratched. Both came out very nice.

A quality metal applique with permanent printing on it would be a great fix for the 500E, I have two of those also. Even the mint one with zero wear from the latch on the leather case (I don't think the radio was ever used) has a little bit of very fine pitting.


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 Post subject: Re: One of Zenith's Biggest Mistakes
PostPosted: Aug Tue 17, 2021 12:32 pm 
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algermond wrote:
Has anyone thought about making and marketing a replacement face plate for the Royal 500E?



I think that would be quite expensive given the weight and material used, I am sure that they would sell however.


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 Post subject: Re: One of Zenith's Biggest Mistakes
PostPosted: Aug Tue 17, 2021 11:22 pm 
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Location: moreno valley
<<I think that would be quite expensive given the weight and material used>>

They make gold-colored self-stick paper-thin metalized mylar material, the stuff is shiny and looks exactly like metal (it is metal!) and is tough, I've been using a roll of it over the years for all kinds of little projects. It is basically decal-thin metal with adhesive on the back. It was made for sticking to cars like stripes and pinstriping, gold, chrome etc. The trick is, can it be permanently printed on using ink/paint? Or put the print on the back of a clear layer and then adhere it to the metal layer somehow. It would need to be a top and a bottom section because of the black indents between them on the original plate, and assuming the Zenith badge can be pried off first.

Not sure how Zenith did it on the 500H label, whether the foil layer was originally adhered to the back of the clear printed payer on top, or on the white backing that is behind it, or all three were sealed together with heat or something (?)


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 Post subject: Re: One of Zenith's Biggest Mistakes
PostPosted: Aug Wed 18, 2021 12:48 am 
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I have a Zenith Royal 500H that has its original label as it probably stopped working years ago and was put back into its leather case. It appears that the Zenith foil label is attached to a white piece of plastic. With a lot of use, the "Zenith" name eventually rubs off the label. I bought replacement labels from a vendor on eBay, but found that the Zenith name will easily rub off, so I laminated it with clear tape.


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 Post subject: Re: One of Zenith's Biggest Mistakes
PostPosted: Aug Tue 24, 2021 3:33 am 
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Zenith Royal wrote:
Here's one of Zenith's biggest mistakes. Their top of the line radio and they used cellophane tape across the top with their "Zenith " name. Now I understand if they had used metal it might have interfered with the reception, but they could have used a plastic piece, anything but cellophane, which of course peels off. Maybe it was to save money on an already very expensive radio.


Mine's peeled off too, but what a killer radio! :D

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