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Zenith R-1000 (M) Military transoceanic

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Zenith Radios111 of 126Rare light brown 7G605 Bomber transoceanic radio. my wife and my favorite picks!
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    Posted 12 years ago

    (6 items)

    This is one amazing radio. As completely different from a 1000 as you can get. The Rarest of the rare. I had purchased this radio off of ebay thinking I was taking a gamble at it being a hacked R1000. I did not think it was that big a gamble although because it had the model plate with R1000 (M) and a schematic on the back cover with the old desigantion lined out and the new one printed in with the (M). I could not see anyone going through the trouble of doing this. I speculated as to why there would be a need to move switches etc. from the back inside to the top of the radio and why someone would have installed a military style antenna in place of a perfectly good SW antenna in the handle. I put a bid in on it anyway and won it. I then ran across a picture of the military VZ-5 in the rear pages of the TO book by Cones and Bryant and noticed that it had the same battery meter and a military style antenna, although it was a far cry from a 1000 civilian radio.
    I ordered the smith book after running into an old thread discussing the VZ-5. The thread had quoted some specs on the Zenith military TO's. To my surprise there it was on page 80-84 showing it in a canvas carring backpack with a tape recorder and a power supply. As stated in the book it was not known if any of these radios still existed or how many were produced. We know there were at least 72 of them made as this one in Serial number 72. I received the book a couple of hours before the radio was to arrive and now I was more anxious than ever to get the radio. It had already been two weeks and I was starting to get worried.
    Upon opening it up I was pleased to see that indeed it was the one from the book, making it probably the most rare TO out there. I nor anyone else on the Antique radio forum had ever seen one before and we may never see one again come up for sale. It is a very different radio than the R1000 in a number of ways.
    1.) The tone switch is actually a BFO switch
    2.) The ear phone plug on the front is actually a full sized RCA jack for military headphones.
    3.) There is a Tape played jack on the top along with a switch to go between the radio and the mic when recording, allowing the unit to record either incomming signal.
    4.) There is a mic imput on the top next to the switch.
    5.) The front cover has no log chart or cover and the two pieces of the front cover are screwed together making it impossible to fold them.
    6.) There is an extra support bar layed across the front cover and a piano hinge holding the front cover on. These are held in place by rivets going through the vinyl atributing the rips and bubbling of the material as it shrank. All Transistorized TO's have shrinking of the vinyl.
    7.) There is an extra plate inside the radio with what looks like a padder switch and an extra transistor.
    8.) The band barrel has completely different desigantions than a normal TO with numbers 1-8 instead of designations.
    9.) The rotary side knob has numbers 1-8 instead of band desigantions.
    10.) There is a battery meter installed above the volume switch.
    11.) The dial lamp switch is actually the battery check - tuning meter switch, and activates between the two.
    12.) The regular hande assm that appears on the 1000- 7000 series TO's was never installed adn in it's place a military style base adn tape antenna were installed.
    13.) To fill the gaps and to support the new antenna base, special plastic plugs with very wide undersides were produced and utilized the existing screws in the casting. Very neatly and professionally done.

    This was Zeniths first attempt at a transitorized military TO. There were two other radios after this one but they did not look like TO's. I found two problems with the unit keeping it from playing. It had one wrong Tranistor installed and someone had hooked up the SW antenna to the ground lug. Now it works perfectly, amazing after all these years. One has to wonder how this unit made it into the private sector.

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    1. Zenithman2003, 11 years ago
      You can find plently of 3000's on E-bay in all types of conditions. I also have purchased and sold many of them. I remember a few years ago selling a mint one with the plastic cover on e-bay for around 300.00. Prices have come down since then, and if you keep yours eyes open you can find one today in excellent condition. The biggest problem with the 1000 and 3000 series was the chrome pitting and people leaving batteries to corrode in the battery compartment.
    2. MechEng, 10 years ago
      I know the history behind this model. I was the Mechanical Engineer that worked on this design. The drum had continuous coverage over the bands. The tuning knob was improved over a factor of 6:1.
    3. Zenithman2003, 9 years ago
      Did you actually work on this Military version or the standard 1000 ?
    4. MechEng, 9 years ago
      Yes this was one of my first projects while working at Zenith in their Military division. I worked with two electrical engineers on the project. The project was contracted through the government. We were required to respond in a rapid fashion and as a result we pulled R-1000 of the line and reworked them for the special features you have described. An interesting side story is that I could not find a supplier that would fabricate the carrying case. Eventually a sail maker out of Chicago made all of the cases. If you look back at the time the R-1000 (M) were built, you can probably figure out their intended use.
    5. Coke1234 Coke1234, 9 years ago
      Amazing radio what a find. 2008 I found a near mint oceanic 7000 with the plastic cover @ an estate sale for $25 bucks. What was really strange was we sold an oceanic 1000 on ebay one week earlier. You just don't find these radios in near mint condition with the plastic cover . We sold that radio for a little over $425.
    6. Zenithman2003, 9 years ago
      MechEng, thanks for responding on this site. It is an honor talking with you. You are a part of history being involved with Zenith in this capacity. I had read that only 100 of these radios were ever made, and that they were indeed custom built for the CIA. Mine was missing the case and the tape recorder. I was able to use another military canvas bag and had it modified with the two zippers and elastic but finding the correct personic tape recorder I'm afraid has been more of a challange. Thanks again, Art.
    7. Zenithman2003, 9 years ago
      Coke1234, thanks for the comments. every once in a blue moon you get lucky and find a TO in excellent condition. The earlier ones suffered from severe chrome pitting, but by the time the 7000 series rolled around most of it was brushed stainless steel.
    8. MechEng, 9 years ago
      The tape recorder that was included in the R-1000 (M) package was the Dictaphone Dictet Recorder. It was at that time (1962) the state of the art in recorders. It was approximately the size of a hard bound book.
    9. Zenithman2003, 9 years ago
      You are of course right. I was thinking of the ZX5 that I also own that was the next TO military rado to use the drum band swtch.
    10. Zenithman2003, 9 years ago
      MechEng Does this one appear to be correct? Thanks.
    11. MechEng, 9 years ago
      Sorry, I can not comment since I did not work on the ZX5. I do know that the military was not happy not having a more militarized shortwave receiver in their inventory. The zx5 was the first step in that direction. My later projects at Zenith were more involved with the design of electro-mechanical devices. Good luck in continuing your work in keeping a bit of history alive.
    12. Zenithman2003, 9 years ago
      Thanks MechEng I was talking about the reel to reel used with the 1000M. The one on ebay looks a bit too new but it might be correct.
    13. MechEng, 9 years ago
      I believe the recorder that was use for the R-100 (M) is describe in an ad on e-bay as 1962 Dictaphone Dictet recorder.
    14. Zenithman2003, 9 years ago
      MechEng Thanks for all the information I was able to get one off ebay and am looking forward to fitting it into to canvas bag. Is there any other stories about the 1000M you would conside repeating for history's sake? You are the 1000M Guru !!!!
    15. Zenithman2003, 9 years ago
      Well I got the recorder and it's amazing in itself.
    16. Zenithman2003, 9 years ago
    17. Zenithman2003, 8 years ago
      You can check out the latest thread about this a radio here.

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