View Full Version : New collector in San Diego

05-29-2012, 11:39 AM
I'm new here. I also last night registered at antiqueradio as well, but I have a feeling I'm not gonna fit in as well there since I am playing with transistorized TV sets.

About 15 years ago, I learned my dad was collecting (a VERY small collection) of what I would call "micro" TV sets. He gave me a set that he apparently either spent alot of time fixing up....or, it was a great set in REALLY nice condition to start with. He gave me this Sony 5-303 "Tummy" TV in it's little blue suitcase, manual and it's odd little AC cord. I've now had this thing like 15 years, and I would sometimes plug it in...turn it on, and smile when seeing it's "warm" B/W picture after about 20 seconds. THEN...I would put it away for another six months or so.

Well.....I lost Dad earlier this year. nobody wanted all the little "old TV sets", so I decided to just take ALL of them, all the little things associated with them, and bring them down to my little 2 bedroom flat in San Diego (He lived in Los Angeles). Was worried these little sets were just gonna end up TRASHED, and even though none of them were really collectable (the 303 he gave me was really the nicest one)....I decided to sort of meld his collection with my own little collection of "micro" computers (not "microcomputers"...but "very small computers"). His little TV sets look neat among my little Toshiba Libretto laptops and TINY little Artigo computers I have been keeping in good nic for years.

Well.....I also found among his paperwork, a sort of "wish list" of some more rare and older small sets he had scribbled down by either make and model, or some obscure names like "Quasar 5" Pac Man" (an actual entry!). i did recognize some of these sets as "I really wanted one" as a kid....but of course when I was like 15, I couldn't buy a $600.00 JVC CX-500 color "briefcase" style set (enter eBay...and now I DO have one!).

When I was in my teens, I had taken a couple little elective classes on repairing old TV sets. It was just for fun, but I did become familiar with tube testers, CRT rejuvenators....pattern generators, purity, convergence,etc. I've been carrying around this SMALL ability to clean up and maybe maintain a couple vintage sets if I really wanted to. My proudest achievement really being just a total recap of an old Sanyo monitor in my own upright Nintendo Donkey Kong cabinet.

After a few months of just playing around on ebay and buying some cute little TV sets to play around with (I would actually LOOK for descriptions that included minor issues)...I now have Dad's little collection of around a dozen sets......into a collection of nearly 50. A dozen of them a very specific collection of these little chinese "throwaway" sets by Coby, Curtis, Pacific Tech, etc. I could find those for like ten bucks, and started getting them in different cabinet colors just for fun. So they are now their OWN little collection....and I keep a few around just for "playing with". Got a few "basket cases" to work on, use as video monitors, etc.

About a month ago, I got my first micro that I would consider an antique (not counting the Sony 303 of course). I attempted a recap of a Sony 700U simply because I just LOVED it's little compact look. That set is actually STILL not completely well, but I did bring it from "completely dead" to merely "annoying". I found a Sony 900U that ended up ALREADY being "sorta working" and have not messed with it yet.

This last weekend.....I went to a swap meet, and must have walked by this STUNNING looking little Sony 8-301 set on a table like FOUR times. ALL the knobs were there, antenna all there...and even it's little sun shield present and in need of only some very minor attention. He wanted thirty bucks.....and I figured it was worth it even if the thing was JUST to look at on a shelf. Turns out, it SORTA works...but with some classic capacitor issues.

At that point...I decided I'm now into "restoration" and not just "cleaning up and keeping". Joined up to antiqueradio...and here

05-29-2012, 11:58 AM
My collection is mostly of quirky little TV sets...and weird "ideas" that sorta never caught on (think Citizen LCD reflectors).

I now have a couple Citizen reflectors, some Sony watchmans, a couple of those "briefcase" style AM/FM/cassette 5" sets (one being a color JVC!). I have a Sanyo 6" combo that is apparently SUPER rare (never seen one before OR after I found it...and it's PERFECT!). I won a bidding war for a 1.5" little Panasonic color set (CT101), and have all but the first of those little Panasonic micros (The little 1030 is REALLY handsome!). Rescued a "Real sad looking" little Quasar 9" B/W from an electronics surplus store. the guy wanted me to just TAKE the old dirty thing (It now has a BEAUTIFUL classic picture...and I watch it often). Just recently I got ahold of a little 4" magnavox clock radio TV that needed a CRT (which I took from a "parts" little 4" Shadow set). I'm now cleaning up and restoring an RCA "Luna" which is an older very space-age looking "flip" style clock radio with a 5" TV.

The collection is now starting to become quite interesting....even the only real "high ticket" item was the Panasonic CT101. Maybe someday I'll find a Sony Indextron (extremely rare "apple" low profile single gun color CRT) or some similar ULTRA rare set :-)

05-29-2012, 12:21 PM
Welcome to you - you'll fit right in here :)

05-29-2012, 12:23 PM
Welcome, Aibo,

My main interest is radios, all types; but I also have a handful of small TVs and portable TV/AM/FM combos, so I understand the attraction :-). Couple of Panasonics, a Sony Watchman, a GE combo, and couple of those no-name drugstore ones, all purchased back in the good ol' days of analog broadcasting. My repair/restoration skills are very limited, so I look forward to reading your posts and learning from you.

05-29-2012, 12:50 PM
I actually really like those little "insert your own brand here" sets. They appear to be some generic Chinese reference design, and like TEN different companies would sell it. I found they came in all sorts of different "levels". Some have an 1/8" video input.....The ones I REALLY like end up having a set of A/V RCA jacks on back. Some charge internal ni-cads....some don't. I actually sort of "accidently" ended up with a collection of like a dozen of those just based on "this is a funny color". Aside from the black, silver and white...some other companies did blue ones, green ones...and one I have from "Jwin" is a transparent PURPLE which I stuck a bunch of colored LEDs inside of just for fun.

This design for some reason has a PHENOMENAL little B/W picture when they are running good. They do seem to suffer from "Monday" and "Friday" as well as different levels of lazy or cheap. I have a few just for parts to fix others, since if the thing LOOKS the same, it's almost certainly all interchangeable inside. Mix the colrs of the knobs, mix the colors of the switches.....take the WHOLE set to bits and PAINT the thing gold.....whatever crazy project you have in mind. I even used one to "test" what that "Gold" and "Chrome' paint you see at PepBoys actually looks like. Good "project" TV sets....and CHEAP!

They show up on ebay for anywhere from $5 to $30 depending on just what thought the owner had go through his mind when it wouldn't tune in some silly reality show anymore.

I do have a HLLY 50mw 'Villa" transmitter in the SOME of the TVs in my collection are actually in daily use. I have a switcher on the transmitters input to switch between the COX cable box (RCA outs), a little DVD player......or what I USUALLY leave it on is an Archos 700 that chews on an old playlist of Lucy episodes, Mork&Mindy or even a collection of vintage commercials or movies. Whatever silliness I am feeling nostalgic to see on an old set. The nice "side effect" of this setup was not having to string COX cable allover the flat....and rent extra cable boxes for "silly" locations like a small B/W set in the WC, or dragging a set down to the driveway and having something on while I work on the car,etc.

Sandy G
05-29-2012, 01:13 PM
Aww, Me Olde Sonne, sounds like you gots it BAAAD...Yeah, you gotta have an 8-301...You'll also have to get a 3" Pilot, & one of the uber-rare 1.5 1969 Panasonic "Mica-1" sets.. You need a 3.7" KV-4000 series Sony, too... Thing of it is, w/the Widdle Guys, a whole BIG collection don't take up hardly any real estate, which generally keeps the Wife or Parents happy. Nice t'have ya !

05-29-2012, 07:27 PM
My sets are mostly small black and whites, with two small color sets as well. I hated to pass up the last three small sets I found, since I'm quickly running out of room. My biggest set is a non working Magnavox color stereo theatre armoire, and the smallest is about a two inch Citizen in a tiny cabinet, doesn't really work but it was only $2. This is a great place to be a member in, welcome!

05-30-2012, 12:29 PM
LOL...yeah. That panasonic "Mica-1" is the only one of their micro sets I don't have. Do have the 1010,1020,1030...and the little CT101. All of these in great shape, except I did have to tend to the 1020 once. cold solder joint would make the vertical go away if you didn't squeeze the thing while holding it. That made it not presentable just sitting on a shelf.

I have also seen mention of another little Panasonic color that was like 3". It looked similar to the Sony KV 4000 sets. I'm also looking around (and watching an ebay auction right now) for a little JVC set that looks like a PYRAMID! That would certainly feed my "quirky" part of the collection (3100R). The "base" of the pyramid is the works (AM/FM/TV)...and then the top of the pyramid lifts off and is a 7" b/w CRT. That would look WILD :-)

05-30-2012, 08:53 PM
I'm happy to see some folks collecting those "throwaway" bw portables; you can sure build up a large variety of them without an awful lot of space. I'm always stumbling upon different ones in my travels but never pick them up.

Sandy G
05-30-2012, 09:30 PM
Yeah, there was a 3"-Actually, 2.75"- Panasonic color-CT-3311. They're sposedly more rare than the 1.5" models-Who wants the SECOND smallest anything ? I have one, but have only seen 3-4 on Epay in the 10 yrs or so I've been watching.