Zenith Model 7J259
Robot/Shutter Dial Console
BY RICHARD ARNOLD
Richard Arnold tells us about another of his finds in an Oklahoma junk store. Along the way, he learns that money isn't everything. (Editor)
About a year ago I was looking through a dirty window at a dirty radio that was inside a junk store here in Ardmore, Oklahoma. The store was closed, but I could see enough of the radio to realize that it was a nice Zenith console, as shown in Figure 1. What really got my attention though, was that the radio had a "robot/shutter" dial, as shown in Figure 2. The cabinet looked all original, the knobs were all there and even the grille cloth looked to be in pretty good shape. Since I did not have a Zenith console in my collection yet -- never mind a robot/shutter dial -- I was rather anxious to see what the owner wanted for it.
I went home and continued calling the store until I got an answer. I told the guy that I was interested in the Zenith radio and that I would be down to talk to him. When I got there, I looked the radio over really carefully and determined that it was in overall good condition. The chassis was complete and had no rust; it even played some, but with major distortion.
When I asked the dealer how much he wanted for it, he said $100. Well, I didn't have $100, so I counter offered him $60. He refused my offer. As I was leaving the store, I told him that I would go home and think about it.
I went home again, really wanting the radio, but still not wanting to part with a $100 bill. I gave it some thought and knowing that he also traded for stuff, I thought that I might be able to trade him out of it.
Now, what did I have that he might be interested in? I had a black powder replica pistol that I had not used in over 20 years. It was in my radio tool box, and was in really good overall condition, needing only a minor part replacement. I took the gun down to his store and after some discussion he decided to trade me even. So, now I had my new Zenith console, and as far as I was concerned, it had cost me virtually nothing. I only wish that it had one of those green tuning-eyes.
Figure 1. The 1938 Zenith Model 7J259.
The Zenith 7J259
The Zenith 7J259 is a 1938 model. It has seven tubes and a vibrator, as it operates on either 115v AC or 6v DC. There is a 6-110v knob attached to the back of the chassis that switches the power as wanted.
The seven tubes used in this radio are two Type 6S7s, used as RF and IF amplifiers, and one each of the following tube types: a 6D8 converter/oscillator, a 6T7 2nd detector/1st audio, a 6L5 2nd audio, a 1J6 audio output, and a 6ZY5 rectifier. This model 7J259 uses a 10" electrodynamic speaker. The IF is 456 Kc.
I had to do some refinishing work, and I did have to replace the grille cloth. I had the chassis worked on by a professional and now I have a beautiful 1938 Zenith robot/shutter dial radio that looks and plays great.
Sure am glad I had that old pistol.
Rider, John F. Perpetual Trouble Shooters Manual, Vol. 8, p. 27.
(Richard Arnold, P.O. Box 275, Lone Grove, Oklahoma 73443. E-mail: email@example.com)
Richard Arnold, a frequent contributor to A.R.C., has been collecting radios since 1985. His interest is primarily in cathedrals and 1920s battery sets, and his collection ranges from crystal sets to a 1928 American Bosch in a Pooley cabinet. His prize is the 1932 Jackson Bell Peter Pan featured in the June 1991 A.R.C.
The Zenith Model 7J259 has an unusual tube lineup. All tubes have 6.3-volt filaments, except for the 1J6G audio output tube that has a 2-volt filament. The 2-volt filament is wired in series with two dial lamps to permit operation with a 6.3-volt filament supply. Each lamp is shunted by a 27-ohm resistor.