“Father Knows Best” episode features shortwave radio

Many thanks to SWLing Post contributor, Dave Zantow (N9EWO), who notes the following episode of “Father Knows Best” (link below) features shortwave radio. Dave also points out that the website streaming this episode can be somewhat slow to load, but is very watchable.

Click here to view on Shout Factory TV.

Thanks for the tip, Dave!

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10 thoughts on ““Father Knows Best” episode features shortwave radio

  1. Roger Fitzharris

    Thank you, Dave.
    Boy did this episode bring back some fond memories of my early (golden) days of SWLing.
    By the time this episode aired, end of January 1957, I was already hooked on the hobby.
    My rig wasn’t as glamorous as Bud’s, though. Nor was it situated in my parent’s living room.
    My receiver was a vintage (1937) RCA87T, wood cabinet, tabletop radio – located in my
    parent’s basement.
    After having watched this episode, I can’t help but wonder if any of the older SWLing Post readers saw it and were inspired by it?
    My inspiration came somewhat earlier; from an article I had read in the Reader’s Digest. The article extolled the exciting adventures that could be had by just tuning in and listening in on this magic medium known as SW radio.
    With respect to the Zenith Transoceanic (T/O) radio, my next door neighbor had purchased one of the 600 series models in 1956; and I was quite envious – especially when he was able to monitor some of the broadcasts coming out of Budapest during the student protests at that time.
    Fortunately, for me, the neighbor’s wife took pity on me; and lent me their 600 series T/O for couple of weeks in the summer of 1957. So, I got to experience the best of both worlds:
    Really Old School – the RCA87T with its “Cats-Eye” tuning; and the “latest” iteration of Zenith’s T/O tube era – the Model Y600, with the slide-rule interface.
    Cheers and 73

  2. jack dully

    Thanks,Dave I figured that it was a Zenith Trans Oceanic.I have a Royal Trans Oceanic RD 7000 Y from 1968 that my uncle bought for me at my 14 th birthday. The radio still works quite well and it weighs a ton,even without the batteries.Thanks for retrieving That episode from the ozone

  3. jack dully

    Thanks Dave,I have a Zenith Royal Trans Oceanic RD 7000 Y made in 1968.I thought that was a Zenith in Father Knows and it was a great episode.My Zenith still works well and it’s a monster in weight even without the batteries and solid construction throughout.My uncle bought it for me when I was about 14 years old.Thanks again for plucking that episode out of the ozone.

  4. Jack Heaphy

    Yes it was interesting that the radio that was used on the show,the Zenith TransOceanic H-500 was the exact same one that I had in the ’80’s!

  5. Robert T. Day

    Remember watching this as a kid in the 60’s- my Dad (K9CWP), was an amateur radio operator in the 50’s and 60’s, so this struck close to home. When he was on a month- long business trip to Chile, we were able to talk to him via phone patch through a ham operator- quite an interesting experience. I’ve been looking for this particular episode for quite awhile- Thank you to N9EWO for sharing this- he lives only 20 mi. from me- I hope to make contact with him one day on amateur radio- maybe 2 meters by repeater? I studied and passed my Extra License 4 yrs. ago and acquired my dad’s callsign. Contact me through QRZ.com or email.
    -Bob de K9CWP

  6. Dean Bonanno

    The radio is a Zenith Transoceanic H-500 (circa 1951-53). It is identified by the “clock” dial, the pointed tuning knobs, and grill without “Zenith” spelled out on it – see video at 18:42 for these features. The front case covering is missing (which would flip up) and would have helped in identifying. This was the last standard version of the 500 series (there was a military edition R-520), the 600 series went to a slide rule face.

    1. Robert Day

      Dean- I had a feeling it was a Zenith Radio- wasn’t sure what model- funny how identifying parts of the radio had white tape over them(!)

      -Bob de K9CWP

      1. Rusty Moore


        I think the white tape was there to make the radio look used and beat up. If you look at a photo of the H500 you’ll see there are no markings in the places they used the white tape. The Zenith name, upper left of the radio face, *is* taped over but with black tape so it doesn’t look obvious that they’re hiding the brand.

        73 DE K1FVK

        1. Robert T. Day

          Hi Rusty(Joe?)-
          looked you up on QRZ.com- I’m a couple years older than you, but didn’t get my license until 2015- tested through the club I belonged to at the time for my tech and General, and then tested 6 months later for my Extra in Sept. that year. Still want to learn code, and I’ve been interested in Ham Radio since ’64 in second grade watching my Dad build a Heathkit transceiver (HW-22)- still have it, refurbished it and my first QSO on it was a Ham in Ca. Think my Dad would be pleased, hi hi.
          Interesting that you teach rocketry- have you read Homer Hickum’s “Rocket Boys”? (1998)
          73. Bob de K9CWP


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