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 Post subject: Zenith Z-985 battery
PostPosted: Jun Mon 19, 2017 7:05 am 
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This weekend, I picked up a Zenith 6-G-601M radio that still had an original Zenith Z-985 battery in it (See Finds & Losses).

A request has been made for some photos of the battery. While happy to oblige, I had a heckuva time getting that battery out of the radio! Apparently, it has expanded with age, and it was wedged in the radio something fierce.

In the end, I had to lay the radio open-back across saw horses, and pick it up and smash it down on the saw horses, to get the battery to creep it's way out. Each time I smashed the radio down, the battery would be jolted another 0.1mm out of the radio. Slow going. And even when the battery was 90% out, I still couldn't get a good enough grip on it to pull it the rest of the way out. Just had to keep banging the whole radio.

Of course afterward, I had the thought that, "I really should have taken the tubes out before I did that..." :oops:

And then I discovered that a tack from one of the rear feet was actually sticking up through the body and into the battery, and had ripped a gouge the entire height of the battery as the battery worked it's way out. Sigh.

Here are some pictures. I'm not planning to put the battery back in the radio.

If anyone wants photos that could actually be used to reproduce the packaging, let me know, I can shoot those too. These photos are not good enough for making repros.

The battery dimensions are 14¼" x 4½" x 2¾" (WHD), and it's heavy. I think it weighs more by itself than the radio does without it!


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 Post subject: Re: Zenith Z-985 battery
PostPosted: Jun Mon 19, 2017 7:09 am 
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Additional photos...


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Measure it with a micrometer, mark it with chalk, cut it with a chainsaw.
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 Post subject: Re: Zenith Z-985 battery
PostPosted: Jun Mon 19, 2017 7:18 pm 
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Location: Oxford, MI
Thanks for posting this Palegreenthumb! I'm sorry about all that effort you had to go through to get it out of there though, I've heard of them expanding but never by that much. Granted all of the other ones I have seen have been of a newer vintage.

I was curious as to how some of the replicas being sold out there compare to an original. Like this reproduction from Ed Morris:

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You can see the position of graphics is the same but the colors are slightly darker on the reproduction. Interestingly the repro was also a tight fit in the radio so either it was sized based on an expanded original or the radio cabinets were slightly small to keep the battery from jostling around.

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 Post subject: Re: Zenith Z-985 battery
PostPosted: Jun Tue 20, 2017 6:28 am 
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A couple things to keep in mind, though: First, I find that blue, as a color, is more variable in its representation from brand to brand of camera than other colors. I shoot an Olympus camera, and they are renowned for "blues that pop."

Second, it's likely Ed started from different source artwork than my battery. I'm looking at the fact that he uses a silver/gray color where my battery has sky blue... So it's quite possible that the dark blue on his battery was legitimately darker than mine as well.

-Rodney


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 Post subject: Re: Zenith Z-985 battery
PostPosted: Jun Tue 20, 2017 7:02 am 
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palegreenthumb wrote:
A couple things to keep in mind, though: First, I find that blue, as a color, is more variable in its representation from brand to brand of camera than other colors. I shoot an Olympus camera, and they are renowned for "blues that pop."

Second, it's likely Ed started from different source artwork than my battery. I'm looking at the fact that he uses a silver/gray color where my battery has sky blue... So it's quite possible that the dark blue on his battery was legitimately darker than mine as well.

-Rodney


You are of course correct, I meant this nothing more than a cursory comparison. Photographs taken with digital camera are of course not a perfect representation of reality but are nonetheless the only manner in which we have to make photographs with which to view on the internet. My camera is not perfect either as this photo is a bit dark, in reality the silvery/grey you describe takes on a lighter blue hue.

I meant nothing against Ed's work, I have found them to be of excellent quality and highly recommend them. You are likely correct that the battery from which Ed made his reproductions had slightly different coloring whether that be due to weathering or UV exposure, or multiple variations produced by Zenith.

More than anything I was just curious to see some representation of a surviving original Z-985 from the prewar years as no other examples of such was visible online when I was restoring my 7G605. I am thankful that you took the time to photograph yours as it sounded like no small challenge to remove it from its "tomb".

By the way, if you are planning on restoring the 6G601M I would be more than happy to help should you run into any difficulties as I am familiar with Zenith portables of this period and some of the quirks they have. Best wishes and good luck.

-Hunter

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 Post subject: Re: Zenith Z-985 battery
PostPosted: Jun Wed 21, 2017 4:16 am 
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Location: Seattle area, WA
Well, I would have wanted it out anyway, as I will likely restuff it and put it back in the radio with good batteries.

Plus, having never disassembled one of these, I figured the chassis bolts were from the underside of the chassis shelf. I was determined to get the battery out, just so I could get the chassis out. Only when I found no bolts under the shelf, did I do the inspection revealing the screws are put in from the sides of the cabinet! :)

I'm batting 100 on this radio! So thank you for your kind offer to help... Very much appreciated, and I may have to take you up on it.

-Rodney


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 Post subject: Re: Zenith Z-985 battery
PostPosted: Jun Fri 23, 2017 4:26 am 
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I made my reproduction from photos of an original that was for sale on eBay. I downloaded the images and sampled the colors, which were probably not accurate to begin with. As Hcompton79 explained, color accuracy is affected by many factors, including sensor type in whatever camera was used, color settings, lighting conditions, and so on. I tried to buy the battery so I could scan it, but got outbid.

I have several original later style Z-985 batteries, in the red/black box, and no two are the exact same color, due to wear, fading, storage conditions, etc.

A scan of an original should be as accurate as possible for that specific battery. Even then, the colors may not print exactly right. My monitor and printer (Epson R3000) setup is pretty accurate, but not calibrated.

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 Post subject: Re: Zenith Z-985 battery
PostPosted: Jun Sat 24, 2017 4:47 pm 
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My feeling on this one, apparently never having been removed from the radio, is that most of the ink colors are pretty accurate still to when the battery was new. The one exception is the white color... It seems to have yellowed quite a bit, it's more of an antique white / ivory color now. Does that mean all the colors are yellowed? I suppose it's possible, but it doesn't strike me that way when I look at it.

Like I said, I'd be happy to take some careful photos if anyone is interested.

-Rodney


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 Post subject: Re: Zenith Z-985 battery
PostPosted: Jun Sat 24, 2017 5:16 pm 
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I sampled the colors in your photos posted above and updated my box colors. You can see the difference:

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New Colors

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samplePW.jpg
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Old Colors

I did leave the dark blue as it was as I think the darker blue may have faded somewhat.

Here is one of the eBay images I worked from on the original box. You can compare how far off the colors are:

Attachment:
Z985PW2.jpg
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Based on Hcompton79's feedback, I reduced the height of the box by 1/8" so it would fit a little easier in the battery compartment. I couldn't reduce it any more and still have room for the battery holders to fit.

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