Portable short-wave receiver
The Royal 1000 Trans-Oceanic was a portable solid-state
LW, MW, and SW receiver
(150 kHz - 22 MHz), also known as a world receiver,
manufactured by Zenith in Chicago (Illinois, USA) and introduced in 1957,
at a time when transistors were a real novelty, and valve-based
receivers were still being manufactured at much lower cost.
The price of the 1000 at its introduction was US$ 275 .
Newer versions, like the 1000-1 and 1000-D were introduced during
The radio measures 320 x 267 x 122 mm.
The desired frequency band is selected with a rotary knob at the right side,
that controls the rotating drum scale on the left.
The drum scale can be illuminated
by pressing the Light-button. The radio has in internal ferrite antenna (here
called a Wavemagnet), plus an external one that is stored in the battery
compartment at the rear.
In addition it also has a telescopic antenna that is hidden inside the carrying
handle at the top.
The radio is powered by nine 1.5V D-cells and there is no provision for
an external mains PSU.
The Zenith 1000 radios were very popular with Radio Amateurs and
SW-listeners, but also with the international spy-scene of the late
1950s and early 1960s as it offered a good alternative for the
bulky and heavy spy radio
receivers of the era. In many cases, East German
spies, operating in West Europe or elsewhere, used the Zenith 1000 for
receiving messages from their headquarters.
A good example of the use of the Zenith 1000 in Cold War espionage,
is its deployment by the
Czechoslovakian intelligence agency
in Congo in 1960, where it was used in combination with a
50W long-range SW transmitter.
As the receiver was available off-the-shelf, buying one would not
attract any attention and it gave them free access to the latest technology
from the West.
As the scale of the Zenith 1000 is not accurate enough for this application,
the crystal-based transmitter would generally be used to 'calibrate' the
receiver and tune it to the desired frequency.
Radio amateurs and SW-listeners will probably remember the mysterious
on the SW bands throughout most of the Cold War.
A female voice that was reading endless sequences
of seemingly random numbers for 24 hours a day, often in Russian, Spanish
Funf, drei, sieben, acht, vier, trennung...
Many such number stations
were operated by the secret
services of Eastern Block countries, such as Russia (USSR),
East Germany (DDR),
and Romania. The numbers were actually coded
messages for their secret agents and spies that operated undercover
in the West. Commercial receivers like the Zenith 1000
were often used for the reception of such messages.
Although the first all-transistor radio appeared on the market in 1954,
the Royal 1000 was the first all-transistor general-coverage portable
LW, MW, SW radio, with the Royal 1000-D version adding the
LW band in 1961.
Despite its high price of US$275 (1957), 165,000 units were sold
before it was succeeded by the Royal 3000 in 1963 .
The radios are now difficult to find.
Part of the electronics is visible at the left half. It consists of a chassis
with coils and socketed transistors, all wired at the back of the chassis,
much like with the valve-based radios of the era.
The overall build quality is very good and it is known that the entire
chassis was hand-wired, which probably accounts for the high cost of the
radio. The performance on the SW-bands is excellent, and for a long time the
Zenith 1000 belonged to the best domestic SW receivers on the market, until
it was outperformed by the
and the Grundig Satellit 2000.
Weather, Marine & Amateur2-4 MHz
Weather, Marine & Amateur4-9 MHz
Afternoon & Evening9.4-10.1 MHz (31 m)
Afternoon & Evening11.4-12.3 MHz (25 m)
All day14.6-15.8 MHz (19 m)
All day17.2-18.4 (16 m)
All day20.7-22.5 (13 m)
121-44RF Amplifier (NTE126)
121-47(2x) AF Amplifier (NTE102A)
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© Crypto Museum. Created: Tuesday 11 August 2015. Last changed: Thursday, 01 March 2018 - 09:09 CET.