View Full Version : Hello, everyone


mftalbot
01-10-2013, 11:18 PM
Just a quick post to introduce myself.

I've become interested in vintage television sets, in part due to watching a few YouTube channels of hobbyists's projects (especially Doug/drh4683, but also others) and look forward to learning more and getting my first set to restore.

I live in the San Francisco Bay Area, and have started watching Craigslist for restoration candidates, but need to start learning some basics about television servicing and restoration. While I'm not an electrical engineer nor do I have a lot of formal training, I've always had an aptitude for fixing things and I'm pretty confident I could learn the basics reasonably quickly. I remember my father (who WAS an engineer) telling me that televisions have high-voltage capacitors and so it's not a good idea to just go poking randomly around the innards of an old CRT-type television, so I need some sort of primer/intro text to begin with.

Any recommendations on a good, basic text on Television service and repair?

bgadow
01-10-2013, 11:37 PM
Welcome! You're in the right place. What era of TV are you planning on starting with: early bw, early color, solid state? There are a number of good books, but some are better for one type of set than another. You will find that the safety aspect really isn't that bad, just common sense stuff. This can be a very rewarding hobby.

Sandy G
01-11-2013, 07:43 AM
Welcome ! Nice t'have ya !

mftalbot
01-11-2013, 09:52 AM
Welcome! You're in the right place. What era of TV are you planning on starting with: early bw, early color, solid state? There are a number of good books, but some are better for one type of set than another. You will find that the safety aspect really isn't that bad, just common sense stuff. This can be a very rewarding hobby.

Thanks! I'd really like to do early color sets - I'd love to find an old RCA CTC-16 (or the Zenith equivalent) console "roundie" set and restore it to pristine condition. I also like the first color portables Zenith made - they had very high picture quality.

mftalbot
01-11-2013, 09:53 AM
Thank you :)

old_tv_nut
01-11-2013, 11:28 AM
Hi and welcome. Give us some idea of your present skills and you will be able to get more detailed help.

Do you know how to solder correctly?
How about using a voltmeter?

Sounds like you need a few safety pointers too, which a TV repair book may skip, by assuming you've been working on electronics before.

On most sets, the high voltage can give you a nasty shock, but generally not fatal.
The B+ power supply can be worse, even though its a few hundred volts instead of 20,000, it has more continuous power behind it. The AC line voltage itself is the most deadly aspect of any line-powered device.

Most work other than measuring and adjusting will be with power disconnected, but you still need to beware of stored charge on the CRT and sometimes in the power supply. Learn how to discharge and ground dangerous spots.

Some sets have a "hot chassis" that connects the chassis to one side of the power line. These are especially dangerous to work on in case they are plugged in the wrong way. They can be plugged into an isolation transformer, which decreases the danger of getting a shock from the chassis.

When a receiver is powered up (and in general) learn to work with one hand, and keep the other hand in your pocket. This prevents getting a shock across the chest, which is the most dangerous and potentially lethal.

Nothing about this should scare you away, just learn to work safely on an enjoyable hobby.

mftalbot
01-11-2013, 12:13 PM
Hi and welcome. Give us some idea of your present skills and you will be able to get more detailed help.

Do you know how to solder correctly?
How about using a voltmeter?

Sounds like you need a few safety pointers too, which a TV repair book may skip, by assuming you've been working on electronics before.

On most sets, the high voltage can give you a nasty shock, but generally not fatal.
The B+ power supply can be worse, even though its a few hundred volts instead of 20,000, it has more continuous power behind it. The AC line voltage itself is the most deadly aspect of any line-powered device.

Most work other than measuring and adjusting will be with power disconnected, but you still need to beware of stored charge on the CRT and sometimes in the power supply. Learn how to discharge and ground dangerous spots.

Some sets have a "hot chassis" that connects the chassis to one side of the power line. These are especially dangerous to work on in case they are plugged in the wrong way. They can be plugged into an isolation transformer, which decreases the danger of getting a shock from the chassis.

When a receiver is powered up (and in general) learn to work with one hand, and keep the other hand in your pocket. This prevents getting a shock across the chest, which is the most dangerous and potentially lethal.

Nothing about this should scare you away, just learn to work safely on an enjoyable hobby.

Thanks, OTN.

My soldering skills are pretty primitive, and I've never used a voltmeter, so I do have a learning curve ahead of me (most of my previously-mentioned fix-it skills have been with mechanical systems - I rebuilt a friend's 289 mustang motor a few years ago, changed out a head gasket on my brother's engine and so forth.)

My brother does have some electrical skills, plus an extensive tool collection, and obviously owes me one, so he's definitely a resource I could tap.

bgadow
01-11-2013, 10:29 PM
2 things I would pick up for working an a 60s RCA color set: an RCA Color Pict-O-Guide (preferably one of the 60s editions, if that is what you are working on) and the TAB books edition by Carl Babcoke called "RCA Color TV Service Manual" (get volume one, which probably won't say which volume it is...volume two and later are from the solid state era). These aren't directed at beginners, but they aren't written in Greek, either. They've both been a big help to me. I would imagine you could find them on ebay or amazon without too much looking.

Bill R
01-11-2013, 11:02 PM
Televisions can be intimidating for a first timer. You may want to start with a tube radio to work on your soldering skills. This will help you learn about changing components and safety. The things you learn will be just as applicable when you tackle that first tv. I would start with a b&w set before jumping into color. About 80% of a color set is the same as b&w.

DavGoodlin
01-18-2013, 07:02 AM
Great to have you, we all probably started on radios.
Then we had the dreaded 100% success rate and moved on to 50's BW televisions, a much bigger challenge.
I had two RCA CTC16 sets when in High School and like Bryan notes above, the RCA color tv service manual by Carl Babcoke was my best guide. I got bitten a few times on the 405 volt source in that chassis and it HURTS!

If you rebuilt a 289, you have the patience needed. I bet many of us here are motorheads as well.