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 Post subject: Finally have a Zenith Royal 800 ! Project complete !
PostPosted: Jun Thu 13, 2019 3:01 pm 
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Joined: Oct Mon 26, 2009 10:02 pm
Posts: 6128
Location: Indianapolis, IN
Hello All,

Finally was able to add a Zenith Royal 800 to collection ! It arrived yesterday from L.A. and is exactly as the seller stated. This was one of only two radios left on the "seriously wanted" list and am sure glad to finally have one to refurbish ! It really is "groovy" !

Electrolytics caps are bad, so will need to be replaced, but radio is pretty good shape otherwise. There's a small ding in the speaker grille surround and don't think it can be removed without damage, so might just leave it alone. Also, not sure if nylon plastic can be safely wet-sanded to remove few scratches & scuffs, so will stick to Novus-2 polish only... The back cover is warped & somewhat loose as is typical from what I've read, but does latch and stay in place. Radio is actually a bit smaller than I thought---neat to finally see one in person. It is also a heavy set, even without batteries, having the metal chassis. The antenna/handle has to be "helped" up, but can see that the two rods in mechanism are "out of sync" and need to be adjusted.

Know that a few out there have one and would like to hear any comments and suggestions !

As received pic below...

John


Attachments:
ARF ROYAL 800 AS GOT.jpg
ARF ROYAL 800 AS GOT.jpg [ 271.88 KiB | Viewed 814 times ]


Last edited by xrhonda91 on Jun Mon 17, 2019 6:31 pm, edited 1 time in total.
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 Post subject: Re: Finally have a Zenith Royal 800 ! Project begins...
PostPosted: Jun Thu 13, 2019 10:04 pm 
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Joined: Aug Wed 26, 2009 1:50 am
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Location: Mesquite NV 89027 (from Coventry, UK)
Nice looking set. Will be following the restoration.


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 Post subject: Re: Finally have a Zenith Royal 800 ! Project begins...
PostPosted: Jun Fri 14, 2019 4:10 am 
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Joined: Oct Mon 26, 2009 10:02 pm
Posts: 6128
Location: Indianapolis, IN
Thanks Colin !

Haven't even powered it up yet due to other duties & garage projects---think I'm a little nervous about it...

John


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 Post subject: Re: Finally have a Zenith Royal 800 ! Project begins...
PostPosted: Jun Fri 14, 2019 8:10 pm 
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Joined: Oct Mon 26, 2009 10:02 pm
Posts: 6128
Location: Indianapolis, IN
Hello All,

Got into it a bit today...

The handle mechanism is ingenious---after closely inspecting and seeing how it worked, loosened tensioning screws and aligned handle rod positions so that they were once again in sync. Handle action now works well, but still a little sluggish due to hardened grease which will eventually be cleaned off and replaced by fresh...

Applied power and it received strong locals fine with steady background hiss at all volumes and like Matt's, stations still heard clearly at minimum volume. Am going to treat now with DeOxit Faderlube to see if perhaps just the wiper contact may be resistive due to residue...

Am not going to remove or disturb original electrolytics---just carefully removed the easiest lead to disconnect intact and bent it away from shorting against anything else. Will install new parts so that they can be easily removed in future...

Took a few before pics for reference and will post later...

Just got permission from seller to relate the history of this radio he sent me which I thought was interesting: "I'm pretty sure it belonged to a neighbor up the street from my father. He gave him a lot of his belongings, but was pretty much in boxes in the garage until I went through them. My dad was pretty no frills, and if he did find it and found out it wasn't working great, he probably would have trashed it. Haha!"

Stay tuned !

John


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 Post subject: Re: Finally have a Zenith Royal 800 ! Project begins...
PostPosted: Jun Fri 14, 2019 8:34 pm 
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Joined: Jan Thu 01, 1970 1:00 am
Posts: 32878
Location: SoCal, 91387
Nice snag, John! That's supposed to be a very well performing radio, so I'll look forward to seeing your report on it's reception ability.

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 Post subject: Re: Finally have a Zenith Royal 800 ! Project begins...
PostPosted: Jun Fri 14, 2019 11:08 pm 
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Joined: Oct Mon 26, 2009 10:02 pm
Posts: 6128
Location: Indianapolis, IN
Thanks Richard !

Replaced the caps and very little difference in performance. Now hear a couple more locals, but not that impressive... The volume now goes all the way down---coincidence ? But treated it to a few doses of DeOxit Faderlube as mentioned earlier... Checked antenna wiring and all fine. Did notice that the last two IFT's tuned very broad and made very little difference in signal level, so may have a bad transistor or internal cap. Noticed that the "hiss" level was also lower in audio, but volume only increases to a certain point as before and won't go any louder the last quarter turn of knob, but pot is fine. Thinking driver transistor may also be bad...

Radio appears completely original and untouched inside including transistors...

No time left right now to measure voltages or post pics---hopefully tonight or tomorrow morning...

John


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 Post subject: Re: Finally have a Zenith Royal 800 ! Project begins...
PostPosted: Jun Sat 15, 2019 3:24 am 
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Joined: Oct Mon 26, 2009 10:02 pm
Posts: 6128
Location: Indianapolis, IN
Gettin' ready to do a tad of troubleshooting tonight...

Below are the "before" and "after" pics of chassis bottom. The yellow heat-shrink and sleeving marks the disconnected ends of original electrolytics in the final picture...

John


Attachments:
ARF 800 CHS OUT ORIGINAL.jpg
ARF 800 CHS OUT ORIGINAL.jpg [ 358.3 KiB | Viewed 688 times ]
ARF 800 CHS BOT ORIGINAL1.jpg
ARF 800 CHS BOT ORIGINAL1.jpg [ 361.99 KiB | Viewed 688 times ]
ARF 800 CHS BOT ORIGINAL2.jpg
ARF 800 CHS BOT ORIGINAL2.jpg [ 360.85 KiB | Viewed 688 times ]
ARF 800 CHS BOT RECAPPED CMPLT.jpg
ARF 800 CHS BOT RECAPPED CMPLT.jpg [ 372.68 KiB | Viewed 688 times ]
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 Post subject: Re: Finally have a Zenith Royal 800 ! Project begins...
PostPosted: Jun Sat 15, 2019 3:26 am 
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xrhonda91 wrote:
Replaced the caps and very little difference in performance. Now hear a couple more locals, but not that impressive... The volume now goes all the way down---coincidence ?

I recently recapped a Royal 700 that volume would not adj at all, had continuous weak sound. After recap volume worked normally.

OH we have new pict, interesting set.

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 Post subject: Re: Finally have a Zenith Royal 800 ! Project begins...
PostPosted: Jun Sat 15, 2019 3:51 am 
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Joined: Jan Thu 01, 1970 1:00 am
Posts: 32878
Location: SoCal, 91387
The Zenith disc cap with the yellow script might be suspect. There was a discussion on the board some years ago regarding them as being failure prone. I've had more than one tube portable with that type of cap, that had to be changed out.

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 Post subject: Re: Finally have a Zenith Royal 800 ! Project begins...
PostPosted: Jun Sat 15, 2019 4:59 am 
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Joined: Oct Mon 26, 2009 10:02 pm
Posts: 6128
Location: Indianapolis, IN
Well Guys---got 'er goin' !!!

Since I suspected a problem within IF circuitry, measured voltages at both transistors and found that the 1st IF amp transistor was totally whacked-out ! Emitter measured 2.65V (S.B. .2V), Base 1.45V (S.B. .5V), and collector 9.00V (S.B. 11V). Richard, I did notice the "sludge-colored" disks, but fortunately they seem to be okay...

NPN Germaniums are in short supply here, but had a Delco 2N150 which had been removed from RF-amp position in a '58 Olds Trans-Portable thinking it was "weak". Straightened and cleaned leads, placed in socket, and applied power---WOW NOW, what a super-hot radio ! Of course it's late at night, but stations were booming in all across dial and selectivity excellent !!! Every slight movement of the vernier tuning brought in another signal---and even though many were weak and fading, they were still loudly amplified with volume to spare ! Can't wait to hear how it does during daytime ! The "hiss" mentioned earlier is now just barely perceivable with all the signal coming from detector even at minimum volume. And volume control now fine after Faderlube treatment...

Quickly checked the alignment with new transistor on a weak signal and both the 2nd & 3rd IFT's now peaked normally, so all is now fine electronically.

Very, very grateful it was such a simple repair and that I had that transistor ! Think I also have an original 2N168 in a junked GE, so may pull that off of PCB and try it this weekend to see how it compares as it would be an exact replacement and look proper on this chassis...

Now need to clean top side of chassis and components. Lots of white, crusty residue of some sort in areas and grease that has come off of handle mechanism. Then on to cabinet !

John


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 Post subject: Re: Finally have a Zenith Royal 800 ! Project begins...
PostPosted: Jun Sun 16, 2019 5:58 am 
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Joined: Oct Mon 26, 2009 10:02 pm
Posts: 6128
Location: Indianapolis, IN
Finished the chassis and cleaned/polished antenna-handle tonight...

Disassembled the handle "pop-up" mechanism, removed all the old thickened grease, and cleaned all pieces the best I could as the "racks" are attached to chassis. Brought back memories of working on the chassis of old cars and trucks I've had years ago (in miniature)... Then applied small amounts of high-performance automotive wheel bearing grease to rotating and contact surfaces, cleaning excess off of gears once they'd "run the racks" several times. Mechanism now works well...

Also cleaned chassis and top-side components---from the "waxy" feel of the white crusty areas and metal surface, it seems as though Zenith applied some type of conformal coating, Isopropyl alcohol actually softened it and helped remove the white residue. Even the IFT's were coated. Some of the plating had come off of the IFT's and it appears that the "cans" are brass. Thoroughly cleaned battery holder cap inside and out---entire holder in great, original condition with no corrosion or leakage residue, just a little dust and dirt from years of use...

Removed the two end screws on bottom of antenna-handle planning to disassemble, but could not easily separate cover from bottom strip. Did not want to risk damage, so reinstalled screws and cleaned/polished in place. Had some grease in grooves and found that the Windex attacked the plastic while cleaning with toothbrush. Fortunately, Novus-2 polished out the aftermath...

Cleaned the transistors very carefully with water-dampened, then dry small pieces of cotton cloth...

Got a start on cabinet... Because of the speed-nuts mounting top edge of speaker, didn't want to risk damage to studs removing it, so am cleaning cabinet with water-dampened, then dry Q-tips and cotton cloth pieces. There were some grease & small paint spots, so carefully removed with Isopropyl alcohol which also attacks plastic, then vigorously polished with Novus-2. Have quite a bit left to do...

Couple pics below...

John


Attachments:
ARF 800 CHS CLN & MECH APRT.jpg
ARF 800 CHS CLN & MECH APRT.jpg [ 378.86 KiB | Viewed 634 times ]
ARF 800 CHS CLN & CMPLT.jpg
ARF 800 CHS CLN & CMPLT.jpg [ 377.97 KiB | Viewed 634 times ]
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 Post subject: Re: Finally have a Zenith Royal 800 ! Project begins...
PostPosted: Jun Sun 16, 2019 1:02 pm 
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Joined: Nov Wed 14, 2007 11:37 pm
Posts: 1601
Wow, they don't make em like that anymore. Nice radio


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 Post subject: Re: Finally have a Zenith Royal 800 ! Project begins...
PostPosted: Jun Mon 17, 2019 6:17 pm 
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Joined: Oct Mon 26, 2009 10:02 pm
Posts: 6128
Location: Indianapolis, IN
Thanks Metzman !

Got 'er done last night !

The cabinet took many hours since I had to clean it bit by bit by hand due to speaker being left inside. Used The nylon plastic was also difficult to polish. Took advantage of the fact that the Isopropyl alcohol "attacked" surface and was able to very carefully use it to remove areas of fine scratching and scuffing along with the few grease and paint spots. Went over several times with Novus-2 then to bring back shine. Used Q-tips with extreme care around the still excellent gold lettering. Even the lettering on back cover in nice shape...

Was extra careful cleaning knobs to avoid removing or damaging lettering and numbers---used soft piece of paper towel saturated with weak solution of Blue Coral car wash liquid to gently wipe surface. Used "stubby" toothbrush carefully to clean end grooves of outer tuning and volume knobs.

The knob brights had some very fine "freckling" on surface and was able to remove most of it and restore shine by vigorous use of Q-tips and Mothers California Gold carnauba wax with mild cleaner.

Noticed the interesting cabinet manufacturer's stamp on inside of both front section and back cover. Took a pic thinking it might be of interest to others. Haven't researched yet to determine company---anyone know who it was ?

Made a very simple battery "adapter" awhile back using a standard 9V battery clip and sturdy, insulated alligator clips so that original battery connections in radios can be used with either a 9V battery or various "AA"-cell holders to provide proper voltage. Also handy for testing... The 8-"AA" cell holder would not fit into this radio, so actually had to use another battery clip and connect two 4-"AA" holders in series...

Radio turned out to be a beauty after refurb---only major cosmetic flaw is grille surround ding which is too deep to press out without worsening appearance. The polished black nylon surface is sure a "dust-magnet" now---even though I carefully blew it off with compressed air before pics, the "staticy" surface attracted more before shots taken !

Will leave the Delco 2N150 transistor in the 1st IF amp stage since it works so well. Discovered that I'd already used the 2N168A from junked GE to replace defective converter in Motorola 66T1... Of course, will keep the defective original part for radio !

Performance excellent---both sensitivity & selectivity (even with vernier tuning, it is a bit touchy tuning). Sound quality very good with PLENTY of usable volume... Am really grateful to be able to add this radio to collection !

Final project pics below in two installments...

John


Attachments:
01ARF 800 BAT BOX CLN.jpg
01ARF 800 BAT BOX CLN.jpg [ 278.31 KiB | Viewed 578 times ]
02ARF 800 KNOBS CLN.jpg
02ARF 800 KNOBS CLN.jpg [ 135.32 KiB | Viewed 578 times ]
03ARF 800 PLASTIC MANU EMBOSS.jpg
03ARF 800 PLASTIC MANU EMBOSS.jpg [ 69.03 KiB | Viewed 578 times ]
04ARF 800 CAB INS CLN.jpg
04ARF 800 CAB INS CLN.jpg [ 338.28 KiB | Viewed 578 times ]
05ARF 800 BK CVR INS CLN.jpg
05ARF 800 BK CVR INS CLN.jpg [ 327.57 KiB | Viewed 578 times ]
06ARF 800 INS CVR LABEL.jpg
06ARF 800 INS CVR LABEL.jpg [ 235.93 KiB | Viewed 578 times ]
07ARF 800 COMPLT INS.jpg
07ARF 800 COMPLT INS.jpg [ 383.33 KiB | Viewed 578 times ]
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 Post subject: Re: Finally have a Zenith Royal 800 ! Project begins...
PostPosted: Jun Mon 17, 2019 6:21 pm 
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Joined: Oct Mon 26, 2009 10:02 pm
Posts: 6128
Location: Indianapolis, IN
Here are the remaining pics---please see previous post for first group...


Attachments:
8ARF 800 CMPLT BK.jpg
8ARF 800 CMPLT BK.jpg [ 222.86 KiB | Viewed 578 times ]
9ARF 800 CMPLT FRT HNDL-UP1.jpg
9ARF 800 CMPLT FRT HNDL-UP1.jpg [ 289.79 KiB | Viewed 578 times ]
10ARF 800 CMPLT FRT HNDL-UP2.jpg
10ARF 800 CMPLT FRT HNDL-UP2.jpg [ 320.03 KiB | Viewed 578 times ]
11ARF 800 CMPLT LFT.jpg
11ARF 800 CMPLT LFT.jpg [ 218.75 KiB | Viewed 578 times ]
12ARF 800 CMPLT RT.jpg
12ARF 800 CMPLT RT.jpg [ 213.2 KiB | Viewed 578 times ]
13ARF 800 CMPLT TOP.jpg
13ARF 800 CMPLT TOP.jpg [ 157.43 KiB | Viewed 578 times ]
14ARF 800 CMPLT FRT.jpg
14ARF 800 CMPLT FRT.jpg [ 308.37 KiB | Viewed 578 times ]
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 Post subject: Re: Finally have a Zenith Royal 800 ! Project complete !
PostPosted: Jun Mon 17, 2019 7:02 pm 
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Joined: Jan Thu 01, 1970 1:00 am
Posts: 32878
Location: SoCal, 91387
Looks terrific, John! How's the performance vs your other Zenith sets of this size?

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\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\He Who Dies With The Most Radios Wins//////////////////


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 Post subject: Re: Finally have a Zenith Royal 800 ! Project complete !
PostPosted: Jun Tue 18, 2019 1:57 am 
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Location: Mesquite NV 89027 (from Coventry, UK)
Beautiful!


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 Post subject: Re: Finally have a Zenith Royal 800 ! Project complete !
PostPosted: Jun Tue 18, 2019 3:40 am 
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Joined: Oct Mon 26, 2009 10:02 pm
Posts: 6128
Location: Indianapolis, IN
Thanks much, Guys !

Richard---this radio is nearly as good a performer as my Royal 750 which has a tuned RF-amp stage, but tone is more clean and "flat" not having the bass response of the 750 and similar sets.

John


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