Restoration Resources

Schematic from
Nostalgia Air

My Trans Oceanic portable is a model 8G005YT and is listed in Rider's Volume 15.

You can jump straight to the 8G005YT info and download it for free at Schematic or you can see the whole list of what's available there at their Home Page

Phil's Old Radios

Possibly the oldest antique radio web site on the internet. Phil has a great article on how he restored another Trans Oceanic just like mine.There's lots of good info there.

It is no coincidence that my restoration articles have a similar look and feel as Phil's. I love his site. If you do some exploring there, you'll be lost for days! Phil's article

Parts Resources

Luckily, I had all the capacitors I needed for my Zenith. A great source for them at good prices is WJOE Radio

Old Radio Restorations

Don't miss my other radio restorations - I have several listed on my "Projects" page. More…

Additional Pictures

Here's a few closeups of the chassis before restoration and a couple from the band switch assembly. Click on any image for a larger view.

TO 8G005YT Inside Tag Top Right Left Switches 1 Switches 2 Switches 3 Funeral Home Sticker Service Sticker

8G005 "Clipper" Ads

Here are some old ads for my radio when it was new. Click on an image for a larger view.

Clipper Ad Clipper Ad Clipper Ad Clipper Ad

Zenith Trans Oceanic Model 8G005YT "Clipper"

TO 8G005YT Closed TO 8G005YT Open TO 8G005YT Back TO 8G005YT Back 2

What a nice gift!

I received this radio as an anniversary gift from my wonderful wife. She had been shopping with a friend at an antique store and discovered "a whole bunch of old radios" that were being sold on consignment.

I came home to discover the radio, closed up and sitting on the kitchen counter. I knew what it was right away. I've been wanting a "TO" for years. All but parts sets were out of my budget though. This great Zenith Trans Oceanic was a real find! It was in great shape for its age.

My radio is a model 8G005YT. A penciled note from an inspector on the radio was dated 12/30/48, so it just missed being a '49er. A tag inside the case says it has chassis 8C40.

This large portable can run off of a large battery or from 120V AC. My set didn't come with a battery though. I doubt that I'd ever use it that way anyway.

My Zenith did come with both detachable antennas - the oval AM Broadcast "Wavemagnet" antenna that attaches to the inside of the lid, and the horseshoe shaped Shortwave "Wavemagnet" that stores on clips in the back.

I was also lucky to get a radio that still included the "Instructions and Log" booklet that is stored in the small compartment below the dial. Click on the picture below to open a page showing all of the pages from this neat little book.

8G005 Instruction booklet


As I foolishly usually do, I powered up the unit without checking anything first - not a good idea, but I couldn't resist. After a few seconds to warm up, I was greeted with a nice loud hum - typical of old tube radios needing new electrolytic caps in the power section. I switched to the AM broadcast band and could "kind of" tune in a loud, local station. The Short Wave bands sounded deaf.

So the radio needed some work, but I didn't mind. I don't want repaired radios unless I do it myself. Bringing an old radio back to life is what I enjoy most about the hobby. I couldn't wait to get started.

I downloaded the schematic and alignment info from Nostalgia Air (a GREAT site!) and printed it out. Next, I checked Phil's Old Radios web site because I remembered that he had a nice restoration article on a similar looking set.

Lucky for me, Phil's and my radio were nearly identical. I printed out a copy of his restoration article to go along with the other info I had. If you are refurbishing a similar radio of your own, you'll want to check out Phil's article.


Getting this radio apart isn't the easiest. I'm glad I had Phil's advice to help. You'll need a deep 5/16 inch socket to loosen the nuts holding the extendable "wave rod" antenna in place. Make note of where the antenna connections from the cover "wave-magnet" antenna go.

There is a wooden block, held in place with a single screw, that helps back up the band switch assembly. You can't remove the chassis without removing it. The band switch push buttons are held loosly in place by a felt strip with cutouts for each button. The two front knobs also have felt washers under them to keep from scratching the clear cover.

Knobs and buttons Tuning Assembly Block

It helps to take pictures with a digital camera as you go along. It is easy to forget where the various antenna wires connect on the back left of the chassis. Close-ups of the underside of the chassis can come in quite handy while you are replacing parts.

To keep the radio from falling over while I worked on it, and to keep from resting it upside down on the IF can adjustment screws, I fashioned a bit of a stand from some stiff cardboard and wrapped it around the IF cans. I also tie wrapped a piece of cardboard to the speaker front to protect it (after I put a small tear in it, of course.)

Cardboard Stand

Changing out the old capacitors

Recapping wasn't too tough. I started by disconnecting the connections to the can type electrolytic in the lower right corner and added two new 47uF 160V caps. There is plenty of room there.

I replaced all the waxed paper caps one by one. Things get a little tight on the left side of the chassis and by the tone switches. Take your time. Take notes and pictures if you have to. You don't want to make any wrong connections.

I like to replace one or two caps and then turn the radio on for a test. Changing the electrolytics quickly removed the hum, but the radio still didn't sound very good. I switched to a couple of the Short Wave bands and couldn't hear anything. I wasn't too worried. I was sure I'd get this radio playing on all bands eventually.

There are a couple of paper caps around the tuning assembly. Don't forget those as they can go bad too. Here are a couple of before and after pictures from my recap job:

    Before  Funeral Home Sticker       After  After

You'll notice that the large, wire wound power resistor in my set (far right in the before picture) was burned, just like in Phil's radio. I replaced it with a 91 ohm, 2 watt resistor. The squarish looking yellow cap in the upper right corner of the "after" picture is a "safety" capacitor and is specifically designed to go directly across the AC line. It is C29 in the schematic.

Restoration success!

When I was done changing capacitors the radio played nicely on the AM broadcast band, but I could hear noise on only one of the SW bands. Examining the tuning assembly, I could see that there were contacts that were made as each band button was depressed. I grabbed a can of DeoxIT, sprayed a bit into the can's lid and used a small jewelers screw driver to transfer drops of contact cleaner to all the switch contacts I could get to. I think I got them all.

After exercising the band switches a few times the radio came to life! One by one, I tested each band to discover either lots of stations on the bands that were open or nice atmospheric noise on the others. The greatest moment for a restorer had happened - It's ALIVE !!! Bwaa Haa Haa !!

A bit of a history lesson

My radio came with some history. A note from the last owner listed the model, year and book price. The note also added that he had paid $90 for it from a fellow from Berrien Springs, Michigan who had listed it in a local paper.

Previous Owner's note Inspector's OK Funeral Home Sticker Tube Sticker

Besides the inspector's penciled note on the radio I mentioned earlier, inside the radio were stickers from a funeral home with locations in Quincy and Allen, Michigan. I looked at those stickers many times before the humor of the funeral home name hit me - "Died Rich." I checked, and the funeral home is now called "White's Funeral Home" and is still in business.

One of the tubes had a sticker from a Detroit repair shop dated June 16, 1954 - just 4 days after I was born. Only one of the tubes was a Zenith, the others were mostly Sylvania tubes. I wonder if any of them came with the set? A couple of the capacitors looked like they had been replaced as well. I have a feeling that this radio had been used a lot. One of the knobs had part of the decorating ring worn off - a sure sign of a lot of use.

In conclusion

I hope you enjoyed reading about my little adventure restoring this set. If you are lucky enough to find a "TO" in good condition I urge you to get it back in shape to use. These radios are great performers!

I always love hearing from visitors to my web pages. If you have any comments or questions, you can email me using the link at the top of this page or, better yet, sign my guestbook. Thanks!