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 Post subject: Royal 750 knockoff radio made in Japan
PostPosted: Jun Sun 09, 2019 8:08 pm 
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Location: Sacramento, California
I was at an estate sale today off Madison and I-80, and it was one of the weirdest sights I've seen in a while. Lots of old 1960s and 1970s electronics, all well used, and most with their original boxes and instruction manuals! :shock: :shock: Among the pile was a high end Royce CB radio with its original box, along with a 120vAC->12vDC power supply to power it, an antenna, Sony headphones, and the manual and a couple guides to CB use from the 70s, including a CB slang dictionary. $125 for everything, of course I didn't have that much cash on me. Instead I ended up with this leatherette Japanese 7 transistor radio identified only as "Zephyr" for $10.

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Obviously a knockoff of the Zenith Royal 750.

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Apparently it was a spider nest at one point. Spider webs can short stuff out, so I'll have to give it a good blowout. Batteries are original 25 cent Eveready C cells, and they're not rotted.

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The only other ID it had, besides "7 TRANSISTOR" and "MADE IN JAPAN" on the back.

Any ideas as to who made this? Looks like a germanium transistor set, placing it around the same time period as the Royal 750. I suspect that people who couldn't afford a Zenith wound up with something cheaper like this.


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 Post subject: Re: Royal 750 knockoff radio made in Japan
PostPosted: Jun Mon 10, 2019 12:56 am 
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Location: Mountains of Mourne. Ireland.
Ed Morris has a similar Zephyr radio, 3/4 ways down this page...
http://143.95.77.243/~elmphoto/radios/radio22.htm

Yours... Made in Japan - before manufacturing moved to Hong Kong!


Dating early Japanese radios.
http://www.tabiwallah.com/radiowallah/dating101.html

Greg.

Edit: Japanese Radio Manufacturers Codes. (Japanese MITI-Numbers).
https://www.radiomuseum.org/forum/japan_757.html

your... 771 or 809 not found!


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 Post subject: Re: Royal 750 knockoff radio made in Japan
PostPosted: Jun Mon 10, 2019 4:28 am 
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Location: Panama City, FL 32401
Nice find. I'm curious if they were sold in America, or the Japanese market only. That would be more of a Royal 700 clone,having 7 transistors. I've got to go to flea markets more often...


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 Post subject: Re: Royal 750 knockoff radio made in Japan
PostPosted: Jun Mon 10, 2019 4:42 am 
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If they were not sold in the US, they were probably brought here by GI's stationed in Japan or Korea, as Zephyrs turn up now and then here.

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 Post subject: Re: Royal 750 knockoff radio made in Japan
PostPosted: Jun Mon 10, 2019 5:04 am 
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Location: Indianapolis, IN
Evidently, they were destined for the U.S. market---notice the label mentioning the Civil Defense frequencies...

Wonder if it will perform as well as one shown in website once re-capped ?

John


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 Post subject: Re: Royal 750 knockoff radio made in Japan
PostPosted: Jun Mon 10, 2019 10:50 am 
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Joined: Apr Thu 16, 2015 11:04 pm
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Location: Sacramento, California
I have a 1961 National radio that was sold only in Japan (Matsushita radios exported to the US were labeled "National Panasonic" in the early days, but by the early 60s they were all labeled "Panasonic" IIRC) and it has CD marks. I wonder if Japan-or at least US bases in Japan-used the CONELRAD system. I wouldn't be surprised if Japan used CONELRAD, considering how it was still pretty tightly under US control during that time. And yes GI's stationed in Japan and Korea sometimes brought transistor radios sold domestically back home. On the other front, GI's stationed in West Germany brought back German domestic tube radios to the states, the radios are easily identifiable by German language dial markings and a truncated FM band. I personally keep an eye on Craigslist for estate sales (under "garage sale"), since stuff does pop up.


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 Post subject: Re: Royal 750 knockoff radio made in Japan
PostPosted: Jun Mon 10, 2019 4:06 pm 
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Location: Panama City, FL 32401
I was reading that article from the link and another Zephyr has Texas Instruments transistors. Apparently they were supplied from the U.S. or U.K. while Japan banned transistor exports to Hong Kong,worried that they were cutting into their sales. The transistors in the other radio are the "top hat" type.


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 Post subject: Re: Royal 750 knockoff radio made in Japan
PostPosted: Jun Mon 10, 2019 8:25 pm 
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Variants of this one show up on ebay fairly regurarly.

https://www.ebay.com/itm/ITI-Topps-Inte ... Sw-yJcAVPh

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 Post subject: Re: Royal 750 knockoff radio made in Japan
PostPosted: Jun Mon 10, 2019 9:49 pm 
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Hm, that ITI looks like a different radio inside than my Zephyr. The ITI has a thumbwheel for on/vol while my Zephyr has a front knob. Also, the PCB looks like a different layout, although somebody wired in a cheap Philmore-type black C x 6 battery holder at one point so it's hard to tell.

The transistors in my Zephyr are clearly labeled HITACHI JAPAN. They are also an earlier type of casing than the 1962 Zephyr, which has transistors similar to the modern TO-18 case standard. To me the Hitachi transistors look like germanium transistors, which would put the radio's date before 1958 or so, which is when IIRC transistor makers started switching to silicon in large numbers. I owned a Royal 750 at one point and my Zephyr reminded me of that radio. I'll have to do some research on the Royal 700, which I'm not familiar with. It seems to me as if by 1960 manufacturers had largely dropped the "lunchbox" leatherette radio style in favor of a plastic case radio in a vinyl sleeve.


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 Post subject: Re: Royal 750 knockoff radio made in Japan
PostPosted: Jun Tue 11, 2019 12:24 am 
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BakeliteManCA wrote:
Hm, that ITI looks like a different radio inside than my Zephyr. The ITI has a thumbwheel for on/vol while my Zephyr has a front knob. Also, the PCB looks like a different layout, although somebody wired in a cheap Philmore-type black C x 6 battery holder at one point so it's hard to tell.

The transistors in my Zephyr are clearly labeled HITACHI JAPAN. They are also an earlier type of casing than the 1962 Zephyr, which has transistors similar to the modern TO-18 case standard. To me the Hitachi transistors look like germanium transistors, which would put the radio's date before 1958 or so, which is when IIRC transistor makers started switching to silicon in large numbers..

HUH? In '58 the transistor mfgr were just getting up to speed producing germanium.
AFAIK there were no silicon transistors before mid '60s.

I the grand scheme, neither of the radios look much like a 700/750.

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 Post subject: Re: Royal 750 knockoff radio made in Japan
PostPosted: Jun Tue 11, 2019 2:21 am 
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Joined: Apr Thu 16, 2015 11:04 pm
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Location: Sacramento, California
35Z5 wrote:
BakeliteManCA wrote:
Hm, that ITI looks like a different radio inside than my Zephyr. The ITI has a thumbwheel for on/vol while my Zephyr has a front knob. Also, the PCB looks like a different layout, although somebody wired in a cheap Philmore-type black C x 6 battery holder at one point so it's hard to tell.

The transistors in my Zephyr are clearly labeled HITACHI JAPAN. They are also an earlier type of casing than the 1962 Zephyr, which has transistors similar to the modern TO-18 case standard. To me the Hitachi transistors look like germanium transistors, which would put the radio's date before 1958 or so, which is when IIRC transistor makers started switching to silicon in large numbers..

HUH? In '58 the transistor mfgr were just getting up to speed producing germanium.
AFAIK there were no silicon transistors before mid '60s.

I the grand scheme, neither of the radios look much like a 700/750.


Hm, all the stuff I've read puts the switch from germanium to silicon around 1960ish. That said, a lot of second and third tier manufacturers in Asia (Japan and Hong Kong) probably hung onto germanium until the end of the CONELRAD era.

I do know that Raytheon put out its first true transistor, the CK718, in 1952 and made germanium transistors for much of the 1950s, until silicon was shown to be superior. Raytheon then abandoned the discrete transistor market, apparently unable to switch to silicon. The first user of silicon transistors was probably, of course, the DoD (always Raytheon's primary customer) and then the general public got them a couple years later.

I do know that by the tail end of the CONELRAD era, around 1962-3, that there were plenty of silicon transistor radios on the market, because I've owned a number of them. It was also at that time that transistor radios came down enough in price that the blue collar working class could afford them. For example, my mom, whose dad was a mechanic, got her first transistor radio, a RCA Victor, in 1962 when she was 16. That RCA was a vertical cabinet with a flip-up handle that doubled as a stand. By then lunchbox radios were likely waning in popularity, although some were being made.


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 Post subject: Re: Royal 750 knockoff radio made in Japan
PostPosted: Jun Tue 11, 2019 8:03 pm 
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I think you are probably mistaking some of the later Ger transistors as silicon. Differential in B-E voltage tells the tail, not actual style. Ger trans will be approx .2v, Silicon .6v. First silicon transistors in portable radios I've seen were around '65/'66.

I recently junked a 1965 is console stereo amp, other than a pair of audio pre-amps all were Ger. That included a pair of PP audio drivers for each channel. Used one pair in a 1957 GE P-720

I have half dozen GE P-780 mfg'd between '59 & '63 all have Ger. Plus the later replacement P-783A mfg'd in '67 has all Ger as well.

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 Post subject: Re: Royal 750 knockoff radio made in Japan
PostPosted: Jun Thu 13, 2019 2:54 pm 
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Joined: Apr Thu 16, 2015 11:04 pm
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Location: Sacramento, California
35Z5 wrote:
I the grand scheme, neither of the radios look much like a 700/750.


Obviously, there was a copyright issue. But I think the Zephyr I have looks like it was intended to be an "almost" Royal 700, without drawing the notice of Zenith's lawyers. YMMV as always.


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