Zenith 509-R

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Zenith 509-R

Post by tuberadiogeek on Sun Dec 07, 2014 4:05 pm

I did some random browsing on eBay and came across this little Zenith radio with 6 minutes left on it and figured if I could get it at the starting bid plus shipping it would be worth it. So the bid was only 9.95 with 10.95 shipping and I was the only bidder. I think it's well worth the 21.00. I usually don't like straight AM radios but it was the right price and will go good with my other Zenith radios. Which are an X334 and Z375. All 3 share most of the same tubes which I still have some spares and I know all are still common and inexpensive. http://www.ebay.com/itm/171566110890
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Re: Zenith 509-R

Post by Wildcat445 on Sun Dec 07, 2014 5:17 pm

I have a pink Zenith 508R, which may be the same chassis in a slightly different cabinet. It is a good performer. The e-cap was a pain to change, and I had problems getting the chassis out due to Zenith's captured knobs. Alignment on mine was critical due to my living in a major fringe area. The oscillator will still occasionally not want to start for some reason. I leave it on for five minutes or so, and it will start playing. That is a cute little radio, so have fun!

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Re: Zenith 509-R

Post by tuberadiogeek on Sun Dec 07, 2014 5:54 pm

Once I get it i'll inspect it and see if it needs anything. I'll more than likely leave it be if it performs well and as it should. Hopefully it's a true long distance radio since there isn't but crap for broadcast here. I compared both on radio museum and the only difference in the chassis is 1 tube. The 09 uses a 12AT6 and the 08 uses a 12AV6 since it is a newer radio.


Last edited by tuberadiogeek on Sun Dec 07, 2014 6:04 pm; edited 1 time in total (Reason for editing : added comparison info)
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Re: Zenith 509-R

Post by tuberadiogeek on Fri Dec 12, 2014 4:43 pm

Got the radio today. It's amazing it survived, as it was only wrapped in news paper. It also needs caps. I figured it would at some point but the filter caps are shot, as it has a horrible hum. The wax caps are also shot, luckily their are only 3 of them and 2 filter caps. The rest are ceramic disc. I just can't read the value on 2 of the wax caps. I'm hoping I can get what I need at Radio Shack or I will have to get a way to Fair Radio Sales.
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Re: Zenith 509-R

Post by Bill Cahill on Fri Dec 12, 2014 5:01 pm

Radio shack carry hv caps?? Good luck!!! Laughing Laughing Laughing

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Re: Zenith 509-R

Post by tuberadiogeek on Fri Dec 12, 2014 5:46 pm

All of them are only 200 volt, the Filter caps are only 150 volt. However I'd replace them with 200 or 250 volt. I just got a 250 volt film cap for my 5304 phone to make it ring stronger. It was a bit expensive compared to going to somewhere like Fair Radio, but Radio Shack is much closer than Fair Radio.
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Re: Zenith 509-R

Post by willy3486 on Sat Dec 13, 2014 12:22 am

Not really a bad deal. If you consider a cheap one at a yard sale for 5 bucks that is rusty,broke cabinet,etc. This one looks clean and should be a easy fix over the ones I usually do. I like the basket cases to see if I can get it to be anything. But its nice every once in a while to fix up one that looks as clean as this one.

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Re: Zenith 509-R

Post by tuberadiogeek on Sat Dec 13, 2014 9:15 pm

I figured it was a good deal. It's clean and is well worth fixing. It partially works, and should perform well once I recap it. I like simple radios right now, as I don't have much experience recapping. Now that I have 3 radios, I need a decent tube tester that will test all the tubes I have. My Seco GCT-5 will only test the BE,BA, and AU series tubes. Which is in all 3 radios but only 2 or 3 in each radio of any of those.
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Re: Zenith 509-R

Post by tuberadiogeek on Mon Mar 02, 2015 2:09 am

Ordered caps from Sal, and got this thing going. Since I got all radial lead caps, they were a bit difficult to get to reach but I managed. I'll post photos and videos in he next day or two.
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Re: Zenith 509-R

Post by Guest on Mon Mar 02, 2015 8:25 am

That will be a nice radio. If you are in an area with poor reception you might want to look at finding a 6 tube (one with an extra stage) radio.

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Re: Zenith 509-R

Post by tuberadiogeek on Mon Mar 02, 2015 1:45 pm

I have some 6 and 7 tube radios. I believe my X334 is a 7 tube. In have a Zenith clock radio I believe has 6 tubes in it. Both perform about the same on AM. There is just a bunch of talk and sports radio on AM here.
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Re: Zenith 509-R

Post by Guest on Wed Mar 04, 2015 12:14 am

Maybe you can try to pick up Charleston W. Va. at night. There is an oldies station there at 860AM. I know you can pick up WWVA in Wheeling!

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