I've recently inherited an old Zenith radio and it would be great if you could give me any help correctly identifying it and also give me a rough idea of its value?
1) Having done some research I believe it to be an early 'Zenith TransOceanic Royal D7000-1' (or 'D7000Y-1' - What's the difference?). I say early as it has the brushed aluminium panel and not the baked enamel one.
Am I right?
2) When I was given it I was told it was in working order although I don't think it had been used for quite a while. Having put some batteries in it I can get the back-lit dial and chart light to work but no matter what I do with the knobs and settings I cannot get the radio to make a sound at all. I have followed the instructions and yet nothing. I have also tried using the headphones port to see if headphones work and still got nothing. When I press the button to put the lights on, the brightness of the chart light bulb varies in intensity - not flickering exactly but as if the amount of power going to it is not constantly the same.
Being a complete radio and electronics novice is there anything I can do to deduce what is wrong?
As mentioned above, it's a Zenith Royal R7000 or 7000-1, from around 69-70 or so. I would guess you could sell it for around $125-175 on eBay, depending on whether you get it working and what the brushed aluminum on the top looks like.
Could be MANY things causing it not to work. I suggest you get batteries for testing, One of the fairly likely failures is the AC power supply. As mentioned above, clean all the battery contacts - then tape the batteries to each other tightly to ensure contact. The radio originally had "battery tubes" that kept the batteries in line with each other, without that they tend to pop out of line and lose contact.
The dial light is mostly separate from the rest of the radio circuitry. It's uneven because of a dirty or corroded dial light switch, battery contacts, and/or dial lamp sockets.
Be sure that the manual RF gain knob is turned all the way CCW until it clicks.If you turn it CCW but not past the click, it will certainly be silent on AM or SW. Also, same thing with the BFO knob. Set the AFC switch to OFF, the bandwidth switch to "normal" (all the way to the left).
Raise the antenna, turn it on, and then click through the bands with the volume about halfway. If nothing, then take the battery cover off, and then roll or otherwise fiddle with the batteries to make sure they are making contact. Also manipulate the AC/DC switch a few times.
If all that fails, turn the Manual RF gain all the way CW (off the click, and then all the way to the right), and try again.
Still no joy, hook up one channel of a line source (like a iPod) to the "tuner" jack and then turn it all the way up, and play it. If you have sound, then at least the audio section works. If not, hook the tuner jack to a set of powered speakers, then tune around on the radio on various bands. If you hear something, the RF/IF part of the radio works but not the audio section.
Failing all that, remove and reseat all the transistors you can see from the back. Do it one at a time, just take it out, and put it back in the socket exactly as it came out. They are in sockets and held by the leads. DO NOT mix them up. The retry the tests.
If nothing works at all, then you probably have some sort of power supply problem, maybe some capacitors that are across the power input (both battery and AC), or a failed power switch. Unfortunately this is a pretty difficult radio to diagnose and service, maybe one of the most complex vintage radios and not a good radio to learn on. About the only additional novice fix is to remove the chassis of the radio and spray the switches and contacts with DeOxit D5 and manipulate, then try again. Even doing that entails some risk of breaking something.
Beyond that, I would hesitate to suggest taking a soldering iron to it unless you really know what you are doing. Not impossible with a lot of help, basically you would be first taking a bunch of voltage measurements to try to figure out where to look, and then most likely partially disassembling the radio and replacing know failure-prone components, in this case first the electrolytic capacitors, and then maybe some disc capacitors. This entails some delicate mechanical work and some pretty tricky soldering in places with poor access. Some parts are almost impossible to get to. I don't want to overstate the problem but I have worked on maybe 10 of these radios and even after having done stuff like this for 40+ years, it's daunting.
i would suggest seeking out someone with experience with this type of radio. If you tell us what area you are from I am sure you can find someone here who would help. If you can't find anyone locally, PM me and we can work something out.