Tag Archives: Zenith Transoceanic

Radio World features a tribute to the Zenith Transoceanic

Many thanks to a number of SWLing Post contributors who’ve shared a link to this excellent article by Denny Sanders in Radio World Magazine about the history of the Zenith Transoceanic:

Zenith Trans-Oceanic Radio in War and Peace

This iconic portable receiver was known for durability and quality

They say necessity is the mother of invention. Nothing proves this more than the story of how the iconic Zenith Trans-Oceanic portable radio receiver came into existence.

Commander Eugene McDonald (1886–1958), the founder of Zenith Radio, was a stickler for quality and insisted that any Zenith product represented cutting edge technology and design integrity.

He was also an accomplished yachtsman. During his many ocean voyages, he constantly was frustrated with the inability of any portable commercial radio set to perform reliably at sea. In about 1939, he ordered the Zenith R&D department to come up with a rock-solid, portable AM receiver sensitive enough to pull in signals from great distances. He insisted that the radio be a multi-band unit including shortwave, marine and aircraft bands.

The Zenith crew came up with a gem: the Trans-Oceanic, a gorgeous piece of engineering housed in a robust and dramatic cabinet designed by the brilliant Zenith industrial designer Robert Davol Budlong.[…]

Continue reading the full article at Radio World Magazine online.

Video: Moshe captures an echo in Radio Kuwait signal

Many thanks to SWLing Post contributor, Moshe Ze’ev Zaharia, who submits the following videos of his reception of Radio Kuwait at 10:30 UTC on April 6, 2018 from his home in Israel.

Moshe notes that the signal was of blowtorch strength and, for at least 45 minutes, there was an ever-present delay/echo. Moshe’s receiver is a (beautiful!) Zenith Trans-Oceanic T600 and his antenna a 15 meter wire:

Click here to view on YouTube.

Click here to view on YouTube.

Click here to view on YouTube.

Many thanks for sharing, Moshe!

Did anyone else note this echo? I wonder what happened at the Radio Kuwait transmitting station to make this happen?  Or, perhaps, it was a fault with the audio feed they received? Please comment!

Did your first shortwave radio change your world?

At the Winter SWL Fest this year, we had an open forum hosted by Skip Arey and Dan Robinson called “Shortwave Memories” where SWLs were invited to speak about what shortwave radio has meant to them throughout their lives. I was a fantastic session chock full of nostalgia.

I was asked to speak and started by talking about my first proper shortwave set: the Zenith Transoceanic (photo above).

Although I first got a taste for the shortwaves on my father’s console radio (a 1936 RCA Model 6K3)–it was in our living room and I did not have ready access to it.

My Great Aunt (who lived next door to us) must have learned that I was fascinated with radio, and one unforgettable day she surprised me by giving me her late son’s Zenith Transoceanic.

It was as if I had won the lottery.

For the first time, I could actually have access to the shortwaves from the comfort of my bedroom and could listen anytime I wished.

I quickly made a little listening post complete with a map, log book and paper to scratch notes. I was transported to every corner of the planet with that magical solid state set.

That Zenith set turned out to be a catalyst for a strong interest in geography, history, politics, language and travel. I learned that through SWLing, I could hear unfiltered voices from across the globe. Mind you, this was in the late 1970s and early 80s–long before the internet, long before mobile phones.

Of course, I still have my Zenith Transoceanic and will always keep it in working order.

I’m curious: What was your first radio? Did it have any meaningful impact on your life?  Do you still have your first radio? Please comment!

Also, if you’d like to share even more detail and photos, consider submitting an article for our Listener Posts series

Mark spots a Transoceanic in “Kiss Me Deadly”

Many thanks to SWLing Post contributor, Mark Hirst, who writes:

Following your recent post about Hemingway, I spotted what looks like a Zenith Transoceanic in the the classic film noir, “Kiss Me Deadly” – a favourite of mine with such memorable moments such as the “What’s in the box” scene.

That does, indeed, look like a Transoceanic–possibly the Model T600? Great catch.  Thanks, Mark, for sharing your film and TV radio sightings!

Click here to see Mark’s previous contributions.