The Royal 3000-1 was a transoceanic (also known as trans-oceanic) portable germanium-transistor radio receiver manufactured by the Zenith Corporation of USA from 1962 to 1968. The “-1” refers to the radios ability to receive +12 V through an external AC adapter power supply. The schematic and manual indicate this is a nine-band, ten transistor, heterodyne radio design providing FM, MW, LW, and six SW bands. The chassis versions used by the Royal 3000s are 12KT40Z3, 12KT40Z8, & 12KT43Z8. In this model, Zenith introduced the FM module to receive the FM band. The radios main features were a rotating band selector drum, which turned an illuminated tuning dial together with the switch contacts. It has a snap-up carrying handle, which also housed a telescopic aerial. As well as the basic bands, the radio could receive FAA weather navigation reports, marine and weather reports, ship-to-shore communication, and ship-to-ship communication. At the time of introduction, its value was approximately $275.00.
This radio came for repair at Vis Labs and I was impressed with the circuit, which is one of the best utilising germanium transistors and slug-tuned stages.
The Royal 3000-1 has excellent reception quality, I was able to receive FM, AM, and LW bands without extending the telescopic aerial. However, for the rest of the bands, such as short wave (SW), the telescopic aerial (known as “waverod”) concealed in the carrying handle will require deploying. The manufacturer has also provided connections at the back for a higher antenna and better earth for receiving signals from distant parts of the world.
The adjacent channel rejection (ACR) response of this radio is excellent due to the slug-tuned stages ensuring the radio amplifies only the required signal. Consequently, the AM band is very clear, and I could listen to many radio stations without hearing any interference. This radio also has good band spread, which is essential for tuning into closely grouped SW radio stations.
It is one of the finest examples of a vintage radio with a metal cabinet and chrome trim making it very heavy. It was hand built to the finest specifications, and aimed for the high-end market for a captain of a ship, pilot, or an executive.
During the 1962 Cuban Missile Crisis, it was rumoured that President JFK in the Whitehouse used an earlier version of the Transoceanic Radio. In the film Thirteen Days, they show the radio behind Kevin Costner in his office.
This was the royalty of radios.
The knob-head experts in UK will love this nice large tuning knob, which is well designed, and ergonomic.
I Could Have Been Somebody...
After ordering some transistors on eBay, I decided to contact my other sources because the more I have, the greater the chances of getting a good equivalent.
The only person I knew who keeps germanium transistors was “The Doc”. He has components going back to the First World War period. He lives only ten minutes away in Thornton Heath, but unfortunately, my old Ford Focus had broken down, and the bicycle needed new tyres, so the only thing I had left was the skateboard.
So there I was skateboarding down London Road, and it occurred to me that I could have been somebody. I could have been a contender. I could have been famous, powerful, with money and respect. Instead, I became a Google Adsense Blogger, a no good bum, skateboarding three miles to get germanium transistors for a radio article that nobody is going to see.
As soon as I knocked on the Doc’s door, he opened it grabbing me in.
“Great Scot! You are just in time!” He said as he flung his JVC camcorder into my hands.
“I need you to record this experiment for posterity!” He said.
“OK Doc.” I said, as I started to look through the viewfinder.
The Doc is always inventing new gadgets and testing them out, and as usual, his intention is to revolutionise the world.
“Hey Doc, I am repairing an old radio and I need some germanium transistors. I was wondering if you kept some old stock.” I asked.
“Yes! Yes! I have loads! You never know when you might need them!” he said excitedly as he threw a large bag full of transistors into my hands.
“I saved these from the First World War! See if they work!” he said.
“Hey, thanks Doc.” I said as I started looking through the bag for the metal tube types with a “2N”, or a "2SA" prefix.
This Article Continues...Zenith Royal 3000-1
Zenith Royal 3000-1 eBay
Zenith Royal 3000-1 Schematic
Zenith Royal 3000-1 AC Adapter
Zenith Royal 3000-1 Repair and Servicing
Zenith Royal 3000-1 121-374 Transistor Mod
Zenith Royal 3000-1 Dial Light Bulb Mod
121-351 Germanium Transistor
121-44 Germanium Transistor
121-350 Germanium Transistor
121-352 Germanium Transistor
Zenith Royal 3000-1 Fuzzy Sound
Zenith Royal 3000-1 Wavemagnet
Zenith Royal 3000-1 Battery Box
Zenith Royal 3000-1 Band Selector Switch
Zenith Royal 3000-1 Chassis Alignment
Zenith Royal 3000-1 Antenna
Zenith Royal 3000-1 Back Cover Lock