Zenith Table Radio

Model R-057

Zenith Logo

Zenith, especially the black face dial models, provide such a classic look, This table model is a perfect example with its "airplane dial" with the slow motion sweep tuning hands and stylish cabinet. It came to me with a lot of problems and a report that the owner had a different technician work on it to bring it back to life. There were several modifications made to the chassis and unpon initial inspection the radio would not tune because of problems with the mechanical movement.

Zenith Table Radio

The radio, as designed, had the ability to run on a 6-volt battery, but since the owner did not want to run it on a battery (it would requre a car style battery) it was decided not to restore that portion of the power supply. A previous technician had added two surge resisitors in series with the power cord. This dropped the radio line boltage to less than 100-volts, which was totally inadequate for the tube operation. The same technician added an open fuse exposing the operator to 120-volt line current. I moved the fusing to the underside of the chassis and removed the surge resistors to get the radio working and improve the safety of the set.

Airplane Dial

The dial and tuning mechanism on this radio is a mechanical marvel. To accurately tune short wave stations it is necessary to tune very slowly, so the gear drive under spring tension accomplishes this. As part of that operation the hands look like sweep second hands on a clock. This mechanism was gummed up with oil and grease applied by another technician and was in need of cleaning and adjustment. The tuning capacitor required new rubber mounting as well as cleaning and positioning. Once completed the tuning was restored to the original working condition.

Back side of chassis

In the previous restoration attempt the technician had replaced all the capacitors to there was no need to change them again. A new drive belt was installed to replace the old fabric flat belt that was delaminating and would have failed in short order. I did clean up the chassis and a few minor problems to complete the project. I tried to clean the cabinet as best I could without restoring it. There were a lot of paint specks on the dark finish but I was able to clean most off without hurting the varnish. This style really is a classic design and I was happy to be part of returning it to working order as it was designed.

Finished project