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 Post subject: Zenith 500 Transistor Radios (Pictured)
PostPosted: Aug Thu 01, 2019 9:15 pm 
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As I've mentioned in the past, I am not a transistor radio collector. Are these three pictured Zenith 500 radios collectible? They are in very good condition and they all play! All have their leather carrying cases.

Image Image Image

TIA,

Terry


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 Post subject: Re: Zenith 500 Transistor Radios (Pictured)
PostPosted: Aug Thu 01, 2019 9:24 pm 
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Location: Utica, NY 13502 (USA)
All three are collectible. The one on the left is the earliest version especially if it has a hand-wired chassis. The one on the right is the most sought-after of the group. It's hard to find the carrying cases in such nice shape.

Dave


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 Post subject: Re: Zenith 500 Transistor Radios (Pictured)
PostPosted: Aug Thu 01, 2019 9:40 pm 
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Location: Sunnyvale CA
radioterry wrote:
As I've mentioned in the past, I am not a transistor radio collector. Are these three pictured Zenith 500 radios collectible? They are in very good condition and they all play! All have their leather carrying cases.

Image Image Image

TIA,

Terry



Left to right:

500D - good performer, OK sound, not particularly collectible or unique, but excellent as a radio particularly for 1957.

500 without vernier tuning - OK performer, hard to tune, highly collectible and moderately expensive since it was the first genuinely good US-made transistor radio (much better to use than the Regency with much better performance). Vernier tuning (as on 500D) added to address review comments about how hard it was to tune. Can't tell for sure, but probably hand/point-to-point wired, which would make it more valuable. Direct tuning 500 with PWB exists but is pretty rare - I haven't ever seen one in person (but I don't get out too much...). People actually look at the serial numbers on these, that sort of collectible.

500H - best pocket portable AM radio ever made (arguably), excellent performance and audio quality, moderately collectible and generally expensive. Tends to be fragile (volume control, interstage transformer, and random PWB trace failures are common and hard to fix). Almost everyone already has one or more.

Only the original 500 is genuinely collectible, as far as I am concerned. If it's a PWB version, I might be interested, but not likely as interested as many other people. Depends on the condition (which looks average from the outside, could be anything (like corroded battery box) inside.

Any of these would probably work like new if you replace the electrolytic capacitors. I might hesistate a bit on the 500, no one is going to care if it works or not (and it would, so they don't need you to prove it)

Brett


p.s. if you want to play them, be very careful about the battery polarity. All use AA cells, 500 and 500D the positive terminals all go "up" to the top of the radio. The 500H alternates orientation, looking at it with the back off, face down, top to the top , from left to right the batteries go positive DOWN, Positive UP. positive DOWN, Positive UP. Both are counter-intuitive to me. The instructions on the inside of the door also talk about mercury cells - which you don't have - and those are inverted from AA dry cells!


Last edited by Brett_Buck on Aug Thu 01, 2019 9:48 pm, edited 1 time in total.

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 Post subject: Re: Zenith 500 Transistor Radios (Pictured)
PostPosted: Aug Thu 01, 2019 9:43 pm 
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Posts: 4464
Location: Sunnyvale CA
Dave Doughty wrote:
All three are collectible. The one on the left is the earliest version especially if it has a hand-wired chassis. The one on the right is the most sought-after of the group. It's hard to find the carrying cases in such nice shape.

Dave


I think the white one/left is a 500D ("long distance"), black/middle is (probably) handwired 500, so I think you have them flipped.

Brett


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 Post subject: Re: Zenith 500 Transistor Radios (Pictured)
PostPosted: Aug Thu 01, 2019 10:02 pm 
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Brett_Buck wrote:
radioterry wrote:
As I've mentioned in the past, I am not a transistor radio collector. Are these three pictured Zenith 500 radios collectible? They are in very good condition and they all play! All have their leather carrying cases.

Image Image Image

TIA,

Terry



Left to right:

500D - good performer, OK sound, not particularly collectible or unique, but excellent as a radio particularly for 1957.

500 without vernier tuning - OK performer, hard to tune, highly collectible and moderately expensive since it was the first genuinely good US-made transistor radio (much better to use than the Regency with much better performance). Vernier tuning (as on 500D) added to address review comments about how hard it was to tune. Can't tell for sure, but probably hand/point-to-point wired, which would make it more valuable. Direct tuning 500 with PWB exists but is pretty rare - I haven't ever seen one in person (but I don't get out too much...). People actually look at the serial numbers on these, that sort of collectible.

500H - best pocket portable AM radio ever made (arguably), excellent performance and audio quality, moderately collectible and generally expensive. Tends to be fragile (volume control, interstage transformer, and random PWB trace failures are common and hard to fix). Almost everyone already has one or more.

Only the original 500 is genuinely collectible, as far as I am concerned. If it's a PWB version, I might be interested, but not likely as interested as many other people. Depends on the condition (which looks average from the outside, could be anything (like corroded battery box) inside.

Any of these would probably work like new if you replace the electrolytic capacitors. I might hesistate a bit on the 500, no one is going to care if it works or not (and it would, so they don't need you to prove it)

Brett


p.s. if you want to play them, be very careful about the battery polarity. All use AA cells, 500 and 500D the positive terminals all go "up" to the top of the radio. The 500H alternates orientation, looking at it with the back off, face down, top to the top , from left to right the batteries go positive DOWN, Positive UP. positive DOWN, Positive UP. Both are counter-intuitive to me. The instructions on the inside of the door also talk about mercury cells - which you don't have - and those are inverted from AA dry cells!


Here are a few more pictures of the middle one:

Image Image Image

BR,

Terry


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 Post subject: Re: Zenith 500 Transistor Radios (Pictured)
PostPosted: Aug Thu 01, 2019 11:53 pm 
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Dave Doughty wrote:
All three are collectible. The one on the left is the earliest version especially if it has a hand-wired chassis. The one on the right is the most sought-after of the group. It's hard to find the carrying cases in such nice shape.

Dave

You don't usually make mistakes, but I'm afraid this time is an exception.

The black model in the middle, chassis 7XT40Z, hand wired and with the prominent bars on each dial, is the earliest, most collectible, and most valuable.

The 500D "Long Distance" would be the most common, and least valuable.

The Royal 500 with the specially made oval speaker, as Brett posted, is undoubtedly the best "pocket" receiver ever made, American OR Japanese.

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 Post subject: Re: Zenith 500 Transistor Radios (Pictured)
PostPosted: Aug Fri 02, 2019 12:20 am 
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Location: Sunnyvale CA
radioterry wrote:
Here are a few more pictures of the middle one:


Terry



Hand-wired (point-to-point) and, unfortunately, a little rough.

Brett


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 Post subject: Re: Zenith 500 Transistor Radios (Pictured)
PostPosted: Aug Fri 02, 2019 12:48 am 
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Location: Utica, NY 13502 (USA)
fifties wrote:
You don't usually make mistakes.....
Yes I do.

Dave


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 Post subject: Re: Zenith 500 Transistor Radios (Pictured)
PostPosted: Aug Fri 02, 2019 12:53 am 
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Dave Doughty wrote:
fifties wrote:
You don't usually make mistakes, but I'm afraid this time is an exception.
Yes I do.

Dave

I'll pretend I never saw this post... :wink:

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 Post subject: Re: Zenith 500 Transistor Radios (Pictured)
PostPosted: Aug Fri 02, 2019 8:14 am 
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Location: Sunnyvale CA
radioterry wrote:
Here are a few more pictures of the middle one:

Image Image Image

BR,

Terry


I am not sure what happened to the pictures here, but it really wrecks the thread.

Brett


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 Post subject: Re: Zenith 500 Transistor Radios (Pictured)
PostPosted: Aug Fri 02, 2019 10:19 am 
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Location: Ft Worth TX
Thought it was just me and my last FF that works w/XP. What? Imgur throttles file access? How chummy. :x

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 Post subject: Re: Zenith 500 Transistor Radios (Pictured)
PostPosted: Aug Fri 02, 2019 12:38 pm 
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Strange that the first pictures work but the second set don't. They are all posted on the same host.

Dave


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 Post subject: Re: Zenith 500 Transistor Radios (Pictured)
PostPosted: Aug Fri 02, 2019 2:13 pm 
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Location: Ft Worth TX
I get only the black boxes +text.

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 Post subject: Re: Zenith 500 Transistor Radios (Pictured)
PostPosted: Aug Fri 02, 2019 4:02 pm 
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Joined: Aug Wed 24, 2011 4:35 am
Posts: 4464
Location: Sunnyvale CA
Dave Doughty wrote:
Strange that the first pictures work but the second set don't. They are all posted on the same host.

Dave



I think that's probably your local cache, if you reload, I think they will disappear.

Brett


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 Post subject: Re: Zenith 500 Transistor Radios (Pictured)
PostPosted: Aug Fri 02, 2019 4:09 pm 
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Joined: Jan Thu 01, 1970 1:00 am
Posts: 20479
Location: Utica, NY 13502 (USA)
Brett_Buck wrote:
Dave Doughty wrote:
Strange that the first pictures work but the second set don't. They are all posted on the same host.

Dave



I think that's probably your local cache, if you reload, I think they will disappear.

Brett
Yes, you're right.

Since the Photobucket fiasco, I now use the ARF Upload attachment utility located below the message box for posting pictures in the forum.

Dave


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 Post subject: Re: Zenith 500 Transistor Radios (Pictured)
PostPosted: Aug Sat 03, 2019 4:57 am 
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Joined: Aug Wed 24, 2011 4:35 am
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Location: Sunnyvale CA
Dave Doughty wrote:
Since the Photobucket fiasco, I now use the ARF Upload attachment utility located below the message box for posting pictures in the forum.


Well, I guess you can look at the pictures on his auction listing.

Maybe it's just me, but that's a bit annoying...

Brett


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 Post subject: Re: Zenith 500 Transistor Radios (Pictured)
PostPosted: Aug Sat 03, 2019 12:44 pm 
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Posts: 20479
Location: Utica, NY 13502 (USA)
I will contact the OP via PM.

Dave


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