A Transistor Museum Interview with Ray Andrejasich

Recollections of Early Transistor Radio Technology

at Zenith Radio Corporation


Oral History Ray Andrejasich


Text on the Original Packaging of the Royal 16 case.



Go To Andrejasich Oral History, Page 6



Oral History Ray Andrejasich

By the early 1970s, Zenith was not able to compete successfully with manufacturers from the Far East, and began importing radios from Japan. These radios were Zenith-designed and Zenith-labeled. During this time, Ray managed the Electrical Engineering for Radio Products group, with complete responsibility for product from conception to start of production. The Zenith Royal 16, as shown on this page, provides an interesting example of a radio from this period. Above left is a photo of the front of the R16. The radio came in several colors, and was housed in a closeable billfold flap (not shown). Shown above is the inside view of the radio of note is the very high quality of the manufacture and the design. Only six transistors were used in the circuit, but the performance excelled that of most other imported radios of the time. Zenith had established a reputation for high quality since the introduction of the Royal 500 radio in 1955, and maintained that approach to product development into the 1970s, even with foreign manufactured products. Also of note with this radio is the use of Japanese transistors, with no Zenith part numbers. Shown at left is a closeup of the R16 circuit, showing a black plastic NEC silicon RF transistor (2SC839) and a Toshiba germanium audio transistor (2SB56). Forty years after this radio was manufactured, it still has exceptional performance, pulling in multiple distant stations with excellent audio quality!



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