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LovesZenith
07-11-2015, 02:46 PM
Hello, I just joined your wonderful site. I am 15, and I live in Mobile, ALA. I love old televisions and try desperately to get any that I can. I would like to learn how to restore and work on tube/ solid state TVs. I have several old radios and one console stereo, all Zeniths. I possess an extremely remedial knowledge of the general parts of old TVs and want to learn all of their functions and how to repair them. I have 3 older televisions, all a little too new for my desire. They are as follows: a 19" 1988 Emerson table top set, a 13" 1984 Zenith table top, and a 13" 1982 RCA B&W table top. I also have a mid 60s Truetone color roundie at my disposal. It's approximately 19"-21". It currently doesn't work. I would like to first find a Zenith from this era to learn how to work on. I chose Zenith because I have several Zenith products, most of which have never needed any work since new. I have also heard from this community that Zenith's are the easiest to work on and are the most reliable. I have also heard that Zenith parts are easy to come by. I have been putting off trying to fix the Truetone because I have no idea about finding parts and if they use their own chassis's. Any guidelines on the best way to find sets of this era (late 50s-mid 70s) and maintaining them?

Sorry for the long post and greetings from Alabama,

David

Electronic M
07-11-2015, 03:58 PM
Welcome. On an in person local level antique shops, flea markets, thrift stores, estate/garage sales, and the curb on garbage day if you are in an older neighborhood are the places to look. On line there is Craigslist, ebay, and a few other places.

I'd recommend that you get a copy of the Sam's photofact folder for one of your sets and poor over the schematic and component layout diagrams and learn what is what. I'd start with a tube table radio like an AM only AA5 and trace out it's wiring versus the schematic, then replace the electrolytic and paper capacitors...That will give you a good intro to reading schematics and soldering. Next I'd get a tube tester a multimeter, and an oscilloscope as starter test equipment.

That Truetone is a very rare bird. Odds are it uses an RCA based chassis as most makes that did not design their own color chassis used RCA designs. The ones who designed their own were Zenith, RCA, Admiral*, Magnavox*,GE, Setchell Carlson, and perhaps one or two more.
*after the mid-60's

LovesZenith
07-12-2015, 09:35 AM
Thanks for the advice! I usually try to go to all the estate/garage sales that I can. I haven't been to our local flea market in a while, and I certainly wouldn't have thought about trash day. I don't think that my city allows pick up of CRT tvs for the dump. When I turn 16 and get a car (December can't come fast enough) I'm certainly going to reach even farther than I am now.

As for Sam's photofact folder, should I look online?

Regarding the Truetone, next time I got to my Grandmother's house (where it is currently located) I'll take a peek inside and see if I can find anything that says RCA. I will certainly take some pictures and share them on the site.

Thanks again,
David

Electronic M
07-12-2015, 04:37 PM
Sam's has an index online, and you can buy folders from them, but they are rather expensive. A better solution is to use their online index to get the folder number, then get a copy from a large old library (If you live near a major city the library in that city is likely to have them as are libraries some older vocational schools that once taught TV repair), there are some cheap online sources for original paper copies too.

Even if TVs don't get thrown out (some people who have them don't keep track of what you can and can't throwout or hope someone will grab it) stereo consoles can show up, and those can be resold profitably and or traded for TVs once you have as many as you want.

There are also some great period books on TV repair that are worth reading for understanding of operation...A good block diagram of signal flow and interdependence of stages will aid localization of troubles. If your screen lights it will often tell you enough to isolate a problem to one or two tubes and the passive components associated with them. The folks here are quite knowledgeable and helpful if you should want/need advice.

No guarantee the Truetone will have RCA definitive markings since RCA did not make all clone chassis (and by the mid 60's did not make any), but rather usually licensed the design to other makers. RCA also owned the patents to many orthodox color TV circuits so even something like a Zenith or Admiral might have an RCA patent license on it for some circuit that they had yet to create a functional-patent-doge-equivalent for. Chassis pictures are often good since RCA layouts are fairly distinct, but some licensees may have changed the layout so tube compliment is good to know.
I have a Silver tone CTC-15 clone which will give you a good feel for the general look of RCAs from CTC-12 thru CTC-16 (they looked similar in that series).
http://i1095.photobucket.com/albums/i469/ElectronicMemory/th_DSCN0455.jpg (http://s1095.photobucket.com/user/ElectronicMemory/media/DSCN0455.jpg.html) http://i1095.photobucket.com/albums/i469/ElectronicMemory/th_DSCN0448.jpg (http://s1095.photobucket.com/user/ElectronicMemory/media/DSCN0448.jpg.html) http://i1095.photobucket.com/albums/i469/ElectronicMemory/th_DSCN0449.jpg (http://s1095.photobucket.com/user/ElectronicMemory/media/DSCN0449.jpg.html) http://i1095.photobucket.com/albums/i469/ElectronicMemory/th_DSCN0450.jpg (http://s1095.photobucket.com/user/ElectronicMemory/media/DSCN0450.jpg.html) http://i1095.photobucket.com/albums/i469/ElectronicMemory/th_DSCN0451.jpg (http://s1095.photobucket.com/user/ElectronicMemory/media/DSCN0451.jpg.html) http://i1095.photobucket.com/albums/i469/ElectronicMemory/th_DSCN0430.jpg (http://s1095.photobucket.com/user/ElectronicMemory/media/DSCN0430.jpg.html) http://i1095.photobucket.com/albums/i469/ElectronicMemory/th_DSCN0432.jpg (http://s1095.photobucket.com/user/ElectronicMemory/media/DSCN0432.jpg.html) click pictures for larger view.

zeno
07-15-2015, 11:42 AM
Welcome aboard !
Nice to see a young Zenith fan, most under 40 wouldnt
know what a Zenith, Studebaker or DEC computer is !
I spent almost 40 yrs at a Zenith dealer so you will be
hearing from me !! A few suggestions ............

Finding old TV's. Watch for retiring people moving out of
a long time home.
Learning. Get a book on very basic electronics. An old one
from the tube era. Also a few old how a TV works that has
block diagrams in it. Check big libraries first.
First fixes. A few AM radios are great.
First B&W TV. Metal cabinet 19" Zeniths from about 1960-1965
are easiest IMHO.
First color TV. Zenith 4 tube hybrid, only 4 tubes so they
usually arent worn out. Made apx 1971-1975 by the
millions. Come 19", 23" & 25"
And remember 2 things. The only dumb question is the one not asked.
& TV's are like playing chess. NEVER make a move without a reason.

73 Zeno:smoke:

Olorin67
07-15-2015, 01:25 PM
Main thing to be aware of, when youre starting out, is hot chassis sets and how to keep safe when working on them, plus the high voltages in TV circuits. A variac, isolation transformer, and a vintage cap tester are items to keep an eye out for on craigslist.

Findm-Keepm
07-15-2015, 02:11 PM
Sam's has an index online, and you can buy folders from them, but they are rather expensive. A better solution is to use their online index to get the folder number, then get a copy from a large old library (If you live near a major city the library in that city is likely to have them as are libraries some older vocational schools that once taught TV repair), there are some cheap online sources for original paper copies too.



or ask here - some of us have extensive libraries of Sams we're more than happy to give away, or for a small fee (postage!).

David, welcome to the forum. I have to ask: 'Bama or Auburn? :D

Cheers,

TheShanMan
07-15-2015, 02:49 PM
Welcome. It's awesome to see youth take an interest in this hobby. My son (just a bit younger than you) and to a lesser degree, my daughter, like and appreciate vintage stuff (in addition to my '56 console TV, '46 console radio, and a couple table top radios, I also have dozens of 70's-90's arcade games, apple IIe computer, atari 2600 console, 66 mustang) but they have yet to show much interest in working on this stuff. One day I hope!!!

LovesZenith
07-15-2015, 07:08 PM
To Findm-Keepm: I'm an Auburn fan. I my uncle taught archaeology there for over 20 years, and I've had several relatives and family friends go there. I've been to the campus several times, and I like it a WHOLE lot better than Alabama's campus.

I am pleased to report that I have a lead on a console TV. I was with my mother (she's a cosmetologist) at her shop, and she was cutting an older woman's hair. She looked to be about 55-60. They were talking about their children, their interests, etc., when it was brought up that I had an interest in vintage/antique electronics. The older woman then turned to me and asked what I liked. I told her that I was looking for televisions. Her eyes then lit up and she said "Oh! My parents still have one of those huge floor models. I think they bought it in the early 70s, and it still works! They used it up until a few years ago, when that digital switch over happened. It's in a real wood cabinet. Last time I was at their house, and I thought the front was plastic, but I checked and it was real wood."
She didn't remember what brand it was (fingers crossed for a Zenith Chromacolor II) and that she'd check next time she went over there.

To Electronic M: I'm going over to my grandmother's house tomorrow. I'll take a lot of pictures of the Truetone and post them on a new thread.

To Zeno: I would have loved to have been a Zenith dealer! Have any pics of the old showroom or any new-old stock from way back when?

Sandy G
07-15-2015, 08:08 PM
Trust me on this one, Kiddo... If you EVER get to see a Zenith Porthole in working condition, you WON'T be able to sleep until you have one for yr VERY own. Roundie color sets are terrific, but they're STILL fairly plentiful. Now, a Zenith Porthole, the NEWEST ones were made 1950-51, THAT was a LONG time ago. But its STILL very good to see a Young 'Un who's interested in this stuff...

Findm-Keepm
07-15-2015, 08:19 PM
To Findm-Keepm: I'm an Auburn fan. I my uncle taught archaeology there for over 20 years, and I've had several relatives and family friends go there. I've been to the campus several times, and I like it a WHOLE lot better than Alabama's campus.



...then I won't tell DaveWM....

My Mom is from Foley, so ANY Alabama-based team, whether Auburn or 'Bama, or even the Chess team from the Magnolia Springs School of Typewriter Repair is acceptable in this household.

Here's hopin' your set-to-be is a nice one, with minimal challenges. I'm partial to RCA sets myself, and am still looking for my early XL100 console in a Danish Modern cabinet.....

Cheers,

electronjohn
07-18-2015, 11:00 AM
Welcome!

DaveWM
07-20-2015, 09:34 AM
...then I won't tell DaveWM....

My Mom is from Foley, so ANY Alabama-based team, whether Auburn or 'Bama, or even the Chess team from the Magnolia Springs School of Typewriter Repair is acceptable in this household.

Here's hopin' your set-to-be is a nice one, with minimal challenges. I'm partial to RCA sets myself, and am still looking for my early XL100 console in a Danish Modern cabinet.....

Cheers,

Too late I found this ROLL TIDE :)
I will never forget the 2013 iron bowl, was watching as Nick begged for that damn .4 seconds back and then the stunning kick 6 that Auburn put on bama, OUCH...

I got family that went to Auburn as well so its good, I pull for both of them and anyone that plays the gators.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=kGBy8cQKshs

had to chew on that for 365 days...

My dad lives about 30min from Auburn, and it is a beautiful campus.

dieseljeep
07-20-2015, 12:37 PM
There seems to be a lot of collectors in this line by the name of David, including me! I started out in a TV repair shop when I was not quite 13.
A lot of collecting occured in the last 57 years. I have a few pieces, I've had that long.
You better have a home with a basement, attic and a large garage. :thmbsp:

DavGoodlin
07-22-2015, 11:03 AM
Greetings from yet another Dave, do not give up on a Zenith roundie color set.
They are hard to find but once one turns up, more follow! Ive been collecting for 40 years on and off and I just got my first one last year, now I have 3 thanks to folks clearing out houses to move and posting on craigslist as "antique TV" "vintage color TV" etc. I had to drive an hour or three for each but you could probably even get one brought to you. As a group, we would be glad to give you all the help you need, especially when you post pictures.

BTW- Zenith came out with thier original (not RCA clone) color set design in 1962 and do not forget Motorola also had unique 21" round color sets in 1963-66.

When I was your age I had an RCA 21” color chassis CTC16XL in a Danish modern (Scandinavian) cabinet and watched a lot of late-night tv :P