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Zenith 8A02 Console Radio
The Zenith console radio has 3 bands, the broadcast band and two short
Frequency coverage is (band 1) 550-1600 "Kilocycles", (band 2) 1.6-5.0 "Megacycles"
(band 3) 6.0-18.0 "Megacycles".
The radio has one stage of RF amplification which makes the receiver fairly sensitive.
The radio has a total of 8 tubes and was considered as a quality radio of the time.
A loop antenna is all that is required to receive broadcast stations.
The loop is contained in a rectangular cardboard box that is mounted on a swivel so
it can be rotated to improve reception of broadcast stations.
This is the famous "Zenith Wave Magnet". Also mounted in the console is a separate
wire antenna that is strung around the inside of the cabinet.
This antenna does work for short wave, although an outside antenna will work much better.
The radio performs perfectly on the broadcast band using the "Wave Magnet" antenna.
The radio has only one front panel shaft that has 3 concentric knobs.
and band change. On the left side of the large tuning dial is a six key tone control panel.
The keys are "Alto, Bass, Lo bass, Voice, Normal & Treble" On the right
side of the dial is a six key preset tuning panel. When the band switch is set to
"Automatic" this preset tuning panel is switched in. By un-latching the front housing of
the preset tuning panel, the tuning capacitors are accessible for each push button.
The receiver has a 10 inch electro-dynamic speaker that has good audio quality.
This radio cost $60 when it was new in 1940. The basic chassis was used
not only on
various consoles but also in table model radios for 1940.
The radio pictured was purchased by my wife's aunt Mable just after WW2
in a second
hand store, and eventually ended up in my household about 30 years ago.
When we got the radio, the flywheel tuning belt was broken and the dial
cord that drove the main dial was also broken. My son used the radio in his room for a
number of years and had to reach behind to work the tuning dial.
The radio went into storage in our garage for about 20 years. It was restored Jan 05.
I dug the radio out of the garage and started restoration of the radio
The first thing that appeared was a loud hum. One of the original wet electrolytic
capacitors (condensers) was open. After that was replaced, a intermittent that was in
the radio since we got it was repaired by replacing a bad tube. All the rubber coated wires
were rotten and were replaced,(see photos) . Switches and potentiometers were cleaned
and normal operation was restored. It is interesting to note that none of the wax covered
capacitors or dog bone resistors were bad under the chassis. It still has one good wet
The next thing to be restored was the dial drive belt and dial cord.
I couldn't find a
replacement drive belt. It was a flat mesh wire belt covered with fabric. I looked in my
shop and pulled out some solder wick that was 1/8" wide that fit the idler drum
perfectly. I looped it around and soldered it to make a continuous belt. To tension the
belt properly, I used some old fashioned friction tape which is still available at most
hardware stores. I built it up enough on the flywheel shaft to drive it perfectly. The cloth
part of the drive belt was merely wrapped around the drive shaft instead of being
incorporated in the drive belt it's self.
The cabinet is in great shape and only required some furniture polish.
The photos shown are a polished up view of the original finish. The finish isn't perfect,
but not too bad for a 65 year old radio. The only mar on the finish is a light imprint of
a couple of plants that were placed on top of the radio.
The radio works great, sounds great and is a "new" family heirloom in our house.