HEATHKIT GR-43A

AN INTERESTING ZENITH ROYAL 3000 TRANSOCEANIC CLONE

The Zenith Royal 3000 Transoceanic radio was introduced as a 1963 model. Sometime thereafter, the Heath Company decided to market an "all band portable radio" in kit form. They introduced the Heathkit GR-43A model which is a real close clone of the Zenith. This radio was marketed by Heathkit from 1969 until 1972. The Heath GR-43A kit has a prewired FM tuner and band switch assembly. The kit builder basically built the AM and FM IF boards, as well as the audio board. This page has a number of comparison photos of my Zenith Royal 3000-1 and Heathkit GR-43A portable. The copyright date on the GR-43A manual is 1966.


The Zenith Royal 3000 Transoceanic Radio

The Heathkit GR-43A "All-Band" Portable

Here are the front views of the two radios. Both radios feature switches and controls in the same locations. In terms of circuit design the radios have major differences. The Heathkit uses completely separate IF circuits while the Zenith shares transistors in the IF circuits. For power, the Zenith uses 9 "D" cells enclosed in a plastic battery box. Eight are used to power the radio and the ninth "D" cell is for the dial lights. The Heathkit radio uses 6 "D" cells installed in battery tubes-similar to the Royal 7000 Transoceanic model. A separate "C" cell is used for the dial lights.


The Royal 3000 has the LW and MW antenna mounted to the case top and the SW/FM telescoping antenna is contained within the carrying handle.

The GR-43A has the MW/LW antenna mounted in the carrying handle and a telescoping antenna for short-wave and FM reception.

Here are the rear views of the two radios. The Heathkit GR-43A is considerably heavier, weighing 17 lbs. with batteries. The GR-43A is a excellent performing radio; actually the dial calibration and sensitivity is better than the Royal 3000 in my opinion. The GR-43A does not have the beautiful classic, crisp styling of the Royal 3000.

 

This table lists the frequencies covered by each radio. The Heath GR-43A has the additional 13 meter band.

Zenith Royal 3000
Heathkit GR-43A
88.1-106 MHZ 88.1-106 MHZ
150-400 KHZ 150-400 KHZ
550-1600 KHZ 550-1600 KHZ
2-4 MHZ 2-4 MHZ
4-9 MHZ 4-9 MHZ
9.4-10.1 MHZ 9.2-10.2 MHZ
11.4-12.3 MHZ 11.2-12.4 MHZ
14.6-15.8 MHZ 14.5-16.1 MHZ
17.2-18.4 MHZ 16.8-18.8 MHZ
  20.2-22.4 MHZ

 

The Heathkit GR-43A was pulled from the market when Zenith threatened legal action for patent infringement. In 1979, Zenith became the new owner of the Heath Corporation. As the new owners of Heathkit, in an ironic twist of fate, Zenith would later market their transoceanics through Heath. If anyone can provide more information about the GR-43A production and/or the course Zenith pursued to have Heath's radio withdrawn from the market, please contact me so I can add that information to this page.