View Full Version : Saved another Motorola color set this weekend!


drh4683
11-22-2015, 11:32 PM
A nice snowstorm greeted Chicagoland this weekend, also marking it the very first snowfall for the season. The storm started Friday evening and continued into Saturday afternoon with near whiteout conditions at times. It wasn't going to stop me from hitting up some Saturday morning estate sales though!
So I stopped at a local sale and walked into another one of those time capsule houses and sitting in the living room was a nice looking 1966 Motorola color set in the French Provincial cabinet. It was half off day and $10.00 finalized the deal. This was another one of those situations where the TV was bought brand new at the time the original owners moved into their then brand new home. I assumed the set was probably still plugged in with an outdoor antenna still attached, but after peeking behind the set, this wasn't the case... I saw the power cord was neatly wrapped up and hanging with a piece of wire on the back cover and no antenna leads in sight. However, it was obvious that this TV was sitting in this spot for years because of the undisturbed dust. Typically a "disconnected" vintage TV still surviving in a living room means something is wrong and the set was simply taken out of service but remained as furniture. So I decided not to plug it in and that I'd wait to see what it would do until I got back home. I was happy to see the "Certified Service" tag still on back with a delivery and set up date of 12-2-1966. The Certified Service tags were typical on sets bought new at Polk Brothers department stores in Chicago and they were a huge retailer here for Admiral, Motorola and Zenith products.
I wanted to bring the set home today where I wouldn't have to deal with the snowfall, but that wasn't an option. All sales had to be completed Saturday, so that left me no choice but to transport the set home in the snow. I was able to get some plastic sheeting and wrapped the the set completely down to and around the bottoms of the feet so the legs couldn't wick up any water when sitting in back of my truck. A gentleman at the sale offered to help me load it up and tipped him for his help. Its always easier to get a 2nd hand when it comes to moving these sets than fumble around with the appliance dolly and tip the sets on all sorts of angles.

Once I got home, I safely unloaded it and got it in the garage without a drop of water or snow touching it. Today was the day I'd see what this set was all about. The back cover looked undisturbed. I powered it up and to my amazement I am greeted with what was essentially a perfect color picture without touching a thing. The CRT is bright and razor sharp even though it has a little bit of bubbly cataracts. It's certainly a low hour set. So I popped the back cover off to take a look inside. Once I looked inside, it was immediately apparent that this set was NEVER used and it was never serviced. The TS-918 chassis is like the day it left Franklin Park when it was built in October, 1966. All original tubes, just a slight bit of dust which was almost nothing considering it's been almost 50 years... Wires were all clean and tack free, all labels and tags still bright and clean as well and a bright shiny high voltage cage. This CRT is the original EIA-836 code making it a National Video Corp made tube for Motorola with a matching October, 1966 date code. This was the infamous "bad tube" but this one is basically perfect. So it leads me to wonder why this TV was never used? Either they watched TV somewhere else, didn't watch TV at all, or perhaps Mr and Mrs. Dombek (the original owners) were frightened by the color TV x-ray scare scam that hit the news around 1967 and they never felt comfortable to touch this TV ever again? Nobody knows. Unfortunately Mr and Mrs. Dombek have both passed away. Mrs. Dombek was a widower for the last 30 years and passed away at age 92. Their old Motorola TV will live on though.

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drh4683
11-22-2015, 11:34 PM
additional photos:

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Arcanine
11-23-2015, 12:09 AM
You always find the nicest sets. This one is pretty with that wooden case it lives in. I actually really want to find a later 1960's rectangular set much like this one to go with my RCA Roundy, since i can only squeeze two large sets like these in to my life.

radiotvnut
11-23-2015, 12:19 AM
Another excellent find and I always reading the stories about how these sets were found and their history.

hi_volt
11-23-2015, 08:57 AM
Man, that is an amazing find. It's incredible that it still works after almost 50 years..and the chassis looks like new. Great score. Thanks for sharing. :yes:

kf4rca
11-23-2015, 09:09 AM
I remember those from the late 60's. I was in high school working p-t at a repair shop. But as best I can remember they didn't make as good a picture as other brands of the time. I remember the shop owner saying they had bad red phosphor from the factory.
I hadn't seen one in years. Thanks for sharing!
Next time, scale those pictures down. They take f o r e v e r to load!

WISCOJIM
11-23-2015, 10:01 AM
Next time, scale those pictures down. They take f o r e v e r to load!

Keep the pictures large! Many of us love the great photos and seeing the fine details in them. AFAIK they load instantly here. Maybe you need to get a decent internet service?

.

LovesZenith
11-23-2015, 11:07 AM
I do like that one! The cabinet on it is actually very tasteful, unlike most Early American/period sets. My family being in antiques, "true" french provincial is the white and gold painted stuff. Unlike most period sets, I enjoy the cabinet on it. It isn't gaudy or overly ornate. It is amazing that the set hasn't been touched in 50 years. Original tubes and everything. Those "as found" shots are always a pleasure to see. I can see why those are called the "bad" CRT. The picture quality is mediocre for the day. It looks very "streaky" in the picture showing Stephen Colbert.

dieseljeep
11-23-2015, 12:58 PM
In the first picture, I see the street sign, Tripp Av. Is that were the Tripp-lite firm is or was.
I like the looks of the building on the corner. It looks to be both commercial and residential.
The home, where the TV was located, I wouldn't mind calling mine, either. :thmbsp:

Kamakiri
11-23-2015, 01:17 PM
Very very nice score! :yes:

LovesZenith
11-23-2015, 03:17 PM
In the first picture, I see the street sign, Tripp Av. Is that were the Tripp-lite firm is or was.
I like the looks of the building on the corner. It looks to be both commercial and residential.
The home, where the TV was located, I wouldn't mind calling mine, either. :thmbsp:

I do enjoy the corner building's concrete decoration blocks. I love the carpet in the living room, it looks very "mod"! I think my aunt had the same harvest gold couch that the flash is bouncing off of when she first moved out in 1970. That wall paper looks as if it belongs in a dining room however...

tvcollector
11-23-2015, 07:32 PM
Excellent find, and the story behind it makes it more charming... I doubt there is a 60s set like this sitting in a home in Florida untouched like this.. You're so lucky to find stuff like this and have the room for it.

dieseljeep
11-23-2015, 08:34 PM
I do like that one! The cabinet on it is actually very tasteful, unlike most Early American/period sets. My family being in antiques, "true" french provincial is the white and gold painted stuff. Unlike most period sets, I enjoy the cabinet on it. It isn't gaudy or overly ornate. It is amazing that the set hasn't been touched in 50 years. Original tubes and everything. Those "as found" shots are always a pleasure to see. I can see why those are called the "bad" CRT. The picture quality is mediocre for the day. It looks very "streaky" in the picture showing Stephen Colbert.
I've seen and worked on the early rectangular Zenith sets and the picture wasn't that much better, especially the 22" sets. Those CRT's were very short lived. The RCA's of the day, were much higher maintenance. I've replaced CRT's in RCA's that were less than two years old. That's the reason that most of the industry went to a two year warrantee. Admiral went to a three year warrantee, because their CRT's were that bad.
The picture on the set in question, seems to be very good, considering that the set was asleep for so many years. Try that with many others.
I wouldn't do anything with the cataracts, until they get a lot worse. :scratch2:

stromberg6
11-23-2015, 08:42 PM
Thank You for a post that brightened my otherwise gloomy day!! SO happy that you have saved that TV, and that it provides a great picture before re-capping.
Kevin :D

old_tv_nut
11-23-2015, 09:26 PM
OK, so now we know you really are a time traveler. Great find!

MRX37
11-24-2015, 11:57 AM
What's up with the picture tube? Cataract?

WISCOJIM
11-24-2015, 12:10 PM
What's up with the picture tube? Cataract?

From the first post: "The CRT is bright and razor sharp even though it has a little bit of bubbly cataracts. "

.

dieseljeep
11-24-2015, 12:57 PM
From the first post: "The CRT is bright and razor sharp even though it has a little bit of bubbly cataracts. "

.
I, personally wouldn't fool with the cataracts or any, so-called restoration. There is little or no hours on the set.
Regarding picture quality, there was a time that a few TV manufacturers, wouldn't allow a dealer to demonstrate competitive makes, next to one another. Magnavox and Curtis Mathes, come to mind.

Jon A.
11-24-2015, 02:43 PM
I've seen and worked on the early rectangular Zenith sets and the picture wasn't that much better, especially the 22" sets. Those CRT's were very short lived. The RCA's of the day, were much higher maintenance. I've replaced CRT's in RCA's that were less than two years old. That's the reason that most of the industry went to a two year warrantee. Admiral went to a three year warrantee, because their CRT's were that bad.

Geez, did Admiral do anything right in color sets before their SS sets?

Anyway, although that's not my style for any set, it's still a nice save.

MRX37
11-24-2015, 06:24 PM
From the first post: "The CRT is bright and razor sharp even though it has a little bit of bubbly cataracts. "

.

Right. missed that. Sorry.

Username1
11-24-2015, 08:32 PM
OK, so now we know you really are a time traveler. Great find!

I Told you guys ! ! Dammit ! ! So is Robb ! !

Again Doug Great Presentation ! ! Good to see a 23EGP showing a nice picture !
Great looking set ! Another clean chassis...... Gotta be a Time Machine Trip !

.

Captainclock
11-24-2015, 08:59 PM
OK, so now we know you really are a time traveler. Great find!

Maybe he's the real Dr. Who! :scratch2:

drh4683
11-24-2015, 09:49 PM
Thanks guys! I'm glad everyone enjoys the posts and photos. The number of "time capsule" houses that still exist here in Chicago is a rather unique phenomenon.

I know my screen shots can be rather misleading on this particular set as having only a "fair" picture, but part of that is mainly with my camera and how I have to adjust the brightness and color on the set to get the photo to turn out half way decent. When the set is adjusted for a normal picture, it's indeed quite nice and sharp with no bluring or detail loss. Its hard to get a good photo on a TV screen when things are constantly in motion.

I plan on keeping this particular set "untouched", including the CRT with it's cataracts. The set is completely untouched and makes for a great historical reference item, like a classic car with it's original paint. All this set really needs is a touch up on the purity and convergence, otherwise it's like 1966...

bgadow
11-24-2015, 11:23 PM
Amazing how clean that chassis is. Another outstanding find!

sampson159
11-25-2015, 10:11 PM
i wouldnt change that set in any way.beautiful and deserving to be untouched and housed by a real connoisseur like doug.i am always amazed and looking forward to his finds

Jon A.
11-25-2015, 11:46 PM
Agreed, nothing should be done to a working unused Moto with a 23EG. The occasional run to keep the caps good will suffice. Perhaps it should have a special display place with a placard that tells about its history.

dieseljeep
11-26-2015, 10:56 AM
Amazing how clean that chassis is. Another outstanding find!

Not being used, no heat, no convection currents, no dust!
Of course, coming from a clean, non smokers home, helps a lot too. :thmbsp:

BigDavesTV
11-26-2015, 07:47 PM
Thanks for sharing another great find! It's absolutely amazing, and it's very nice to see another good working, original 23EGP CRT. I completely agree with WiscoJim, I really like the large pictures,and the historical documentation that Doug includes with his finds. It's as close to being at the sale, without being at the sale, for those of us in the audience!

zenithfan1
12-13-2015, 12:56 PM
Gorgeous moto Doug! I wish they showed up at the estates like that around here.

Sandy G
12-13-2015, 07:49 PM
"There are a MILLION stories in the Naked City.."

kf4rca
12-14-2015, 08:28 AM
All I ever see around here these days are foreign built sets from the last 10 years.

dieseljeep
12-14-2015, 10:08 PM
"There are a MILLION stories in the Naked City.."

And this has been one of them! :D

Sandy G
12-15-2015, 02:59 PM
And this has been one of them! :D

Ayup !