View Full Version : Found a 1969 Motorola Quasar Works in a Drawer


drh4683
10-24-2015, 10:46 AM
Picked up this 1969 Motorola Quasar at an estate sale in Northbrook. This is a nice low hour one and was always in the living room since day one. I wasn't able to capture a good "original habitat" photo since they had people move the set for me as I was getting my truck backed in.

This is one of the higher end varieties as it's housed in a Drexel cabinet. It's nice that it's in a smaller cabinet; something you don't usually see with the Drexels. You would think this set wouldn't be very heavy considering it's size, but think again... I had to catch my breath after moving this thing. Drexel cabinets are the essence of solid quality construction.

This one is uses the popular first generation TS-915 works in a drawer chassis and was built on January 24, 1969 at the Franklin Park, IL plant. It was never serviced. The original service manual is still stapled down inside the cabinet within it's plastic envelope. Notice the remnants of the red "Solid State QUASAR" sticker that was on the CRT when the set was new. Somehow that little surviving piece got inside the cabinet. Someone also mounted the Drexel badge upside down! That's an easy fix though.

So the big question: Does it work? Nope, it doesn't. It pops the breaker a few seconds after it's turned on. So probably one of two (related) things is going on: The infamous leaky ERO caps, or a shorted vertical output transistor. A shorted vertical output transistor is usually because of a leaky ERO cap. I've experienced this on a few other TS-915's that have been untouched. So either way, ERO caps ALWAYS cause trouble in these sets. It still has it's original Motorola built CRT (EIA 185) and tests strong at a cold start which is a great sign. I always replace the ERO caps with Cornell Dubilier type DME film capacitors and the sets typically work flawlessly after that. Had it not been for those horrid caps, these sets would have been as long lived and reliable at the Zenith's assuming one kept the instant on in the "off" position.


https://farm1.staticflickr.com/782/21812927324_13c53cbf33_h.jpg (https://flic.kr/p/zewXkS)DSC03424 (https://flic.kr/p/zewXkS) by drh4683 (https://www.flickr.com/photos/135332734@N02/), on Flickr

https://farm1.staticflickr.com/695/22435659885_2df85a4319_h.jpg (https://flic.kr/p/AbyC3a)DSC03442 (https://flic.kr/p/AbyC3a) by drh4683 (https://www.flickr.com/photos/135332734@N02/), on Flickr

https://farm6.staticflickr.com/5824/22409692616_e76be5efe7_h.jpg (https://flic.kr/p/A9gwSC)DSC03443 (https://flic.kr/p/A9gwSC) by drh4683 (https://www.flickr.com/photos/135332734@N02/), on Flickr

https://farm6.staticflickr.com/5824/22446601301_64a8b275c0_h.jpg (https://flic.kr/p/AcwGxg)DSC03444 (https://flic.kr/p/AcwGxg) by drh4683 (https://www.flickr.com/photos/135332734@N02/), on Flickr

https://farm6.staticflickr.com/5722/22422451922_df4a833f98_h.jpg (https://flic.kr/p/AaoVLE)DSC03445 (https://flic.kr/p/AaoVLE) by drh4683 (https://www.flickr.com/photos/135332734@N02/), on Flickr

https://farm6.staticflickr.com/5801/21813019574_6a1685ee2c_h.jpg (https://flic.kr/p/zexqLo)DSC03449 (https://flic.kr/p/zexqLo) by drh4683 (https://www.flickr.com/photos/135332734@N02/), on Flickr

https://farm6.staticflickr.com/5631/22446648451_e6145b55f4_h.jpg (https://flic.kr/p/AcwWyc)DSC03451 (https://flic.kr/p/AcwWyc) by drh4683 (https://www.flickr.com/photos/135332734@N02/), on Flickr

https://farm6.staticflickr.com/5735/22248065408_7c3e46ccfe_h.jpg (https://flic.kr/p/zTZ9JC)DSC03462 (https://flic.kr/p/zTZ9JC) by drh4683 (https://www.flickr.com/photos/135332734@N02/), on Flickr

https://farm1.staticflickr.com/590/22446680441_85ee175441_h.jpg (https://flic.kr/p/Acx74K)DSC03452 (https://flic.kr/p/Acx74K) by drh4683 (https://www.flickr.com/photos/135332734@N02/), on Flickr

https://farm6.staticflickr.com/5697/22247808300_4f3c6c160a_h.jpg (https://flic.kr/p/zTXQiJ)DSC03456 (https://flic.kr/p/zTXQiJ) by drh4683 (https://www.flickr.com/photos/135332734@N02/), on Flickr

https://farm6.staticflickr.com/5829/22435762145_d52d1e8971_h.jpg (https://flic.kr/p/Abz9rg)DSC03455 (https://flic.kr/p/Abz9rg) by drh4683 (https://www.flickr.com/photos/135332734@N02/), on Flickr

https://farm1.staticflickr.com/651/22422529442_e959e7755a_h.jpg (https://flic.kr/p/AapjPd)DSC03460 (https://flic.kr/p/AapjPd) by drh4683 (https://www.flickr.com/photos/135332734@N02/), on Flickr

https://farm6.staticflickr.com/5734/21814640623_be80af1c73_h.jpg (https://flic.kr/p/zeFJDv)DSC03461 (https://flic.kr/p/zeFJDv) by drh4683 (https://www.flickr.com/photos/135332734@N02/), on Flickr

jstout66
10-24-2015, 11:21 AM
Me love this set long time! Can't wait to see a screen shot. I'm sure you'll have it fixed in 2 seconds.

Jon A.
10-24-2015, 11:25 AM
TS-915, I have a remote and some paperwork for one of those somewhere.

Findm-Keepm
10-24-2015, 11:48 AM
Nice set - we had the same Quasar, 'cept ours had the Insta-matic switch where yours has the Mototola Batwing - yours must be a base model without Insta-matic. The same base chassis is featured on the cover of the January 1969 issue of Radio Electronics magazine.

Our Quasar was the first set I ever adjusted - at 6 years old. One Saturday morning I played with the drive controls on the back and got things all screwd up - and got a good butt-chewing as well. My not-so-great start in messing with TVs.....

drh4683
10-24-2015, 11:55 AM
Nice set - we had the same Quasar, 'cept ours had the Insta-matic switch where yours has the Mototola Batwing - yours must be a base model without Insta-matic. The same base chassis is featured on the cover of the January 1969 issue of Radio Electronics magazine.

Our Quasar was the first set I ever adjusted - at 6 years old. One Saturday morning I played with the drive controls on the back and got things all screwd up - and got a good butt-chewing as well. My not-so-great start in messing with TVs.....

I'll have to look for a copy of that magazine. The drive controls were always much to easy to access for anyone I thought since the controls protrude out of the back cover!

You set must have been a little newer though. The instamatic feature made it's first appearance on models starting in December, 1970.

Findm-Keepm
10-24-2015, 12:21 PM
So the big question: Does it work? Nope, it doesn't. It pops the breaker a few seconds after it's turned on. So probably one of two (related) things is going on: The infamous leaky ERO caps, or a shorted vertical output transistor. A shorted vertical output transistor is usually because of a leaky ERO cap. I've experienced this on a few other TS-915's that have been untouched. So either way, ERO caps ALWAYS cause trouble in these sets. It still has it's original Motorola built CRT (EIA 185) and tests strong at a cold start which is a great sign. I always replace the ERO caps with Cornell Dubilier type DME film capacitors and the sets typically work flawlessly after that. Had it not been for those horrid caps, these sets would have been as long lived and reliable at the Zenith's assuming one kept the instant on in the "off" position.



BTW, ERO caps are Roederstein caps - good caps when made, but like all film caps from that era, they do fail.

Motorola went to Europe for a lot of parts - resistors from Spain (Piher), caps from Germany and Holland, and some coils from France. But their transistors were from Feenix, or Pheenix? :D:D:D

radiotvnut
10-24-2015, 12:28 PM
Excellent find and you never cease to amaze me with all of your excellent finds! Many moons ago, someone gave me console with legs that used this chassis. IIRC, all it had was a raster and I wasn't as smart back then (I'm still not smart now). I think I ended up junking it and as I look back, there were lots of TV's that I got rid of that I wish I still had. Back in the '90's, I took for granted that there would always be an endless supply of older TV's.

andy
10-24-2015, 01:08 PM
BTW, ERO caps are Roederstein caps - good caps when made, but like all film caps from that era, they do fail.

Motorola went to Europe for a lot of parts - resistors from Spain (Piher), caps from Germany and Holland, and some coils from France. But their transistors were from Feenix, or Pheenix? :D:D:D

I have never noticed any problems with Ero caps in other products. Maybe Motorola bought a bad batch of them.

The worst film caps I've seen are the early orange drops. Almost all of them measure well above the rated capacitance and are 10 times as lossy as they should be without being leaky.

tom.j.fla
10-24-2015, 01:09 PM
Hi DRH, you can find the 1-1969 R-E in pdf form at AMERICAN RADIO HISTORY web site. Just use lower case and dot com. All the best Tom.

Findm-Keepm
10-24-2015, 01:56 PM
I'll have to look for a copy of that magazine. The drive controls were always much to easy to access for anyone I thought since the controls protrude out of the back cover!

You set must have been a little newer though. The instamatic feature made it's first appearance on models starting in December, 1970.

Our set was a TOTL set, with a Drexel Early American/Georgian cabinet that hugged the floor. We got it in January, 1970. Dad worked nights for a Motorola/RCA dealer, Snug Harbor TV, and Ralph, the owner, wanted the set gone - it was the last of his first batch of Quasars, and had gone unsold. Dad paid 60 dollars a week out of his pay to pay for the set. The only problem we ever had was once in 1971 - a lightning storm took out our Quasar (power supply diodes) and also took out an aquarium heater and a clock radio of our neighbors - dunno what dad did to fix that. The CRT blue gun went in 1980, and we junked it for panels. Our caddy of panels was missing a few...

Motorola had to hyphenate the Insta-matic to avoid a trademark held by Kodak on "imaging and photographic products" - so Galvin and Co. created the hyphenated name, and never trademarked it. Somewhere in Dad's stash of stuff is a LP record with highlights of a 1970 Motorola shareholder's gala in Chicago where the head of Consumer Electronics told the story. Kodak agreed on paper to let them hyphenate it and pronounce it the same as their trademark, but only if Motorola didn't seek trademark protection.

I noticed one of the bolts holding down the power supply is half removed- did you do that, or was it some earlier repair? Dusty threads, so someone might have been into the power supply.

drh4683
10-24-2015, 02:10 PM
Our set was a TOTL set, with a Drexel Early American/Georgian cabinet that hugged the floor. We got it in January, 1970. Dad worked nights for a Motorola/RCA dealer, Snug Harbor TV, and Ralph, the owner, wanted the set gone - it was the last of his first batch of Quasars, and had gone unsold. Dad paid 60 dollars a week out of his pay to pay for the set. The only problem we ever had was once in 1971 - a lightning storm took out our Quasar (power supply diodes) and also took out an aquarium heater and a clock radio of our neighbors - dunno what dad did to fix that. The CRT blue gun went in 1980, and we junked it for panels. Our caddy of panels was missing a few...

Motorola had to hyphenate the Insta-matic to avoid a trademark held by Kodak on "imaging and photographic products" - so Galvin and Co. created the hyphenated name, and never trademarked it. Somewhere in Dad's stash of stuff is a LP record with highlights of a 1970 Motorola shareholder's gala in Chicago where the head of Consumer Electronics told the story. Kodak agreed on paper to let them hyphenate it and pronounce it the same as their trademark, but only if Motorola didn't seek trademark protection.

I noticed one of the bolts holding down the power supply is half removed- did you do that, or was it some earlier repair? Dusty threads, so someone might have been into the power supply.


Very interesting, so you had a set from January, 1970 with Insta-matic? I never saw or heard of one that early. Not trying to say no such thing existed. I got my info about December, 1970 being the announcement date for Insta-Matic per a 1970 Motorola annual report.

(seen here on page 11: https://www.motorolasolutions.com/content/dam/msi/docs/en-xw/static_files/history-motorola-annual-report-archive-1970-5p48mb-28.pdf )


Thanks for the detail on the use of the Insta-Matic name. I kinda figured there would have been an issue with Kodak regarding it and how the two got away with using the "same" name.

That screw appears to have been like that for YEARS. I don't even see any contact or rub marks on the metal from where the screw touched it. Perhaps it was hand started and never fully fastened from the factory?

Findm-Keepm
10-24-2015, 05:23 PM
Very interesting, so you had a set from January, 1970 with Insta-matic? I never saw or heard of one that early. Not trying to say no such thing existed. I got my info about December, 1970 being the announcement date for Insta-Matic per a 1970 Motorola annual report.

(seen here on page 11: https://www.motorolasolutions.com/content/dam/msi/docs/en-xw/static_files/history-motorola-annual-report-archive-1970-5p48mb-28.pdf )



Insta-matic tuning on the Quasar II, yes - ours was a TS-915, original Quasar, same as yours. On the Quasar II, the insta-matic multi-pole switch was a real PITA. The switch would get dirty and cause problems in either position. On the '915, it was just a DPDT push-push switch that switched in /out a small "daughter" board mounted on the C panel - no presets, just factory selected values that resulted in the best color picture. Same size button as the power switch, with "Insta-matic in white or silver against the bronze background. The only Motorola logo was right above the UHF preset buttons, with the Quasar name. I watched many a Saturday morning cartoon on that set, and we watched the POW homecomings (big here because of Jeremiah Denton) and even the Nixon resignation on it as well. We also had a 16" Motorola B/W portable, and a RCA sportable that rarely saw service - I can remember watching it only once, when I was home with severe Poison Ivy the first three days of 4th grade.

Heck, if I can find the LP, you can have it - I'm not a Galvinite, although Motorola Semiconductor products were the best among the US makers. I'm more into RCA, GE and Sony - brands we saw tons of, other than Magnavox, Philco and Sears(warwick - Sanyo and Toshibas were A-ok), brands that never impressed me.

If you need any panels, I can also see what dad kept - I remember seeing an F panel in a PTS box recently.

Findm-Keepm
10-24-2015, 05:42 PM
Motorola used a set with a similar speaker grille in their 1969 report, and possibly your same model in this photo:

http://fossforce.com/wp-content/uploads/2014/01/quasar.jpg

KentTeffeteller
10-27-2015, 03:36 PM
I always liked these sets, and they were very innovative then. Motorola made good TV sets and Radio/Phonographs. And the Drexel cabinets were very nice on upper end models. And the Works in a Drawer modular concept was really neat and well thought out.

MRX37
10-27-2015, 04:11 PM
Can anything be done about the green halo?

Just wondering in case I find a set like this.

Edit: I know about removing faceplates from roundies. Are rectangular tubes similar?

Electronic M
10-27-2015, 06:00 PM
Can anything be done about the green halo?

Just wondering in case I find a set like this.

Edit: I know about removing faceplates from roundies. Are rectangular tubes similar?

There are two types of cataracts RCA (white/moldy), and Zenith (green) they affect both roundy and rectangular CRTs of the 60's-mid 70's. The type of CRT does not affect removal, but the type of cataract does. Zenith types require heating the glue in the sun (or heating the wire), and using guitar wire to cut through the old glue (followed by cleaning the goo off the separated glass), RCA type cataracts requires heat (sometimes with prying) or long term submersion in water (glue needs to be submerged 2 weeks to 6 months IIRC).

Search threads on this site to learn more.

Sandy G
10-27-2015, 06:51 PM
I have a radio history book somewhere that has a picture of Paul Galvin in it. He bears-To ME, anyhow-a resemblance to Perry White-the 1950s "TV-Superman" version. You can just see him barking at some poor low-level schlub-"AND DON'T CALL ME "CHIEF !!" I dunno-He MIGHT have been a nice guy, who DIDN'T bark at his underlings, but MOST of 'em back then DID, I think..

dieseljeep
10-27-2015, 09:35 PM
I have a radio history book somewhere that has a picture of Paul Galvin in it. He bears-To ME, anyhow-a resemblance to Perry White-the 1950s "TV-Superman" version. You can just see him barking at some poor low-level schlub-"AND DON'T CALL ME "CHIEF !!" I dunno-He MIGHT have been a nice guy, who DIDN'T bark at his underlings, but MOST of 'em back then DID, I think..

Paul Sr, passed a few years ago.
According to the article written about him, they stated that he treated his employees well enough, that the work force never had to unionize. That was unusual, as Chicago was a strong union town. :scratch2:

Sandy G
10-27-2015, 11:07 PM
Paul Sr, passed a few years ago.
According to the article written about him, they stated that he treated his employees well enough, that the work force never had to unionize. That was unusual, as Chicago was a strong union town. :scratch2:

Well, THAT'S Great ! He was STILL a kinda "No-Nonsense" looking guy.

drh4683
10-28-2015, 11:36 AM
I too have read that he was a "calm, soft spoken man" and was highly respected by employees and was not arrogant. I believe his father, Paul was much the same way and had trust in engineers visions to lead the company. With support like that up at the top, it promotes a very positive atmosphere which trickles down and I believe that is why they were so successful as a leader in electronics. I went to an estate sale of a former Motorola engineer and in his papers, I found various notes and congratulatory letters written and signed by Bob Galvin. Those were neat to find and saved them.

As far as unionization at Motorola goes, I believe all hourly employees such as assembly workers in the chicago area were all under a branch of the IBEW. Salaried workers typically were not unionized, which was typical for most businesses.

Here's an article written about him in the washington post when he passed:

https://www.washingtonpost.com/local/obituaries/robert-w-galvin-retired-ceo-of-motorola-dies-at-89/2011/10/13/gIQAwI7dkL_story.html

etype2
10-28-2015, 02:25 PM
You sure have a way of finding great sets. The Chicago area seems to be rich with then, not to mention the fact it is the home of Moto and Admiral. Nice pristine looking set in the photos.

Went I went shopping for my first color set in 1966, one year out of high school, I considered the Moto "Works in a Drawer" set. It was a 1967 model available in Summer 1966. Really wanted it too. Alas, just to expensive for a young lad making a $1.25 an hour when starting out in 1965. Thankfully, with hard work, that salary increased to something respectable. I was your neighbor to the North, Milwaukee, but I don't think you were born back then?

Jon A.
10-28-2015, 04:10 PM
Paul Sr, passed a few years ago.
According to the article written about him, they stated that he treated his employees well enough, that the work force never had to unionize. That was unusual, as Chicago was a strong union town. :scratch2:
Well, THAT'S Great ! He was STILL a kinda "No-Nonsense" looking guy.
Yup, appearances can be deceiving. I've been told that I'm "super friendly but can appear rigid".
I too have read that he was a "calm, soft spoken man" and was highly respected by employees and was not arrogant.
In other words, he was no Steve Jobs. One guy I had classes with thinks he has to be ruthless to run a successful business. He wants to open a restaurant; considering their high failure rate, I think he's in for a rude surprise whenever he tries to implement his business strategy.

dieseljeep
10-28-2015, 09:38 PM
I too have read that he was a "calm, soft spoken man" and was highly respected by employees and was not arrogant. I believe his father, Paul was much the same way and had trust in engineers visions to lead the company. With support like that up at the top, it promotes a very positive atmosphere which trickles down and I believe that is why they were so successful as a leader in electronics. I went to an estate sale of a former Motorola engineer and in his papers, I found various notes and congratulatory letters written and signed by Bob Galvin. Those were neat to find and saved them.

As far as unionization at Motorola goes, I believe all hourly employees such as assembly workers in the chicago area were all under a branch of the IBEW. Salaried workers typically were not unionized, which was typical for most businesses.

Here's an article written about him in the washington post when he passed:

https://www.washingtonpost.com/local/obituaries/robert-w-galvin-retired-ceo-of-motorola-dies-at-89/2011/10/13/gIQAwI7dkL_story.html
I really thought that Motorola was a union plant. I have a bad habit of just skimming the written word, instead of reading carefully.
I agree with Doug's response on this subject.

Robb
10-28-2015, 10:57 PM
wow
very nice

dieseljeep
10-29-2015, 11:11 AM
You sure have a way of finding great sets. The Chicago area seems to be rich with then, not to mention the fact it is the home of Moto and Admiral. Nice pristine looking set in the photos.

Went I went shopping for my first color set in 1966, one year out of high school, I considered the Moto "Works in a Drawer" set. It was a 1967 model available in Summer 1966. Really wanted it too. Alas, just to expensive for a young lad making a $1.25 an hour when starting out in 1965. Thankfully, with hard work, that salary increased to something respectable. I was your neighbor to the North, Milwaukee, but I don't think you were born back then?

When the "Works in a Drawer" set came out, my Motorola ETS908 was only two years old. I was originally looking for the less expensive table model, as the set I bought was $600, a lot of scratch for 1965. I'm glad it worked out that way, as the lower priced set, wasn't as good.
Regarding the statement, "not born yet", it's really great talking to all the young collectors. They're all so well informed about vintage electronics. :thmbsp: