A Transistor Museum Interview with Ray Andrejasich

Recollections of Early Transistor Radio Technology

at Zenith Radio Corporation 


Oral History – Ray Andrejasich


The 1965 Royal 555 line of Zenith radios was manufactured in the U.S., but used a number of components manufactured in Japan.  For example, as shown in the chassis closeup photo above, Hitachi germanium transistors were used in the circuit.  Although these transistors were stamped with the “Hitachi” name, the type numbers were based on the Zenith 421-XXX numbering scheme.


Go To Andrejasich Oral History, Page 7


Oral History – Ray Andrejasich

While working as an electrical engineer for component analysis with the Zenith Transistor Radio group, Ray was involved with several highly innovative radio designs. An example is the 1965 Royal 555 model lineup, which included the unique “solar-powered” Royal 555-G shown above left.  The horizontal case style and the use of the handle to house the solar battery array for the 555-G was based on a Melvin Boldt patent, granted to Zenith (section shown above).  According to Ray, Mel was responsible for many Zenith radio industrial designs.  Ray also remembers that the rechargeable batteries (NiCad) used in the radio were fairly new to this country. The evaluation samples came from Germany, and he evaluated them to determine how many charge cycles they could survive.  He also had to redesign the chassis for 5 volt operation, as the voltage of the NiCad was 1.25V.



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