View Full Version : I'm new here. Looking for advice.


matt99
12-08-2015, 09:51 PM
As stated in the title, I'm new to this forum. I am 16 years old. My interest is primarily in early color TV. Just that the technology of these TVs was designed and built in a way that allows them to be restored and function 55-60 years into the future from when they were built. Wow. Currently I own nothing. What I am wondering is how all of you learned to repair and restore TVs. What resources helped you? Can you please recommend books, websites, and/or videos, and other resources that I could learn from? My plan is, after learning the basics, to start with B/W TVs, which in theory should be both cheaper and less complex than color TVs. Eventually, I would like to own something CTC-5 or earlier. Someday, someday... Anyway, for now I would like to learn the basics so your recommendations are appreciated.
Thanks.

Findm-Keepm
12-08-2015, 10:36 PM
Welcome!

Websites I can recommend - V-K (of course), Phil's Old Radios, Antique Radio Forums (has a TV subforum)

Videos - check out Bob Andersen's Youtube channel - he posts all kinds of good informative stuff - https://www.youtube.com/user/bandersentv

And don't forget to ask! No stoopid questions here - ask anything non-political and you're probably good with the moderators.

Cheers,

Olorin67
12-09-2015, 12:11 AM
simpler is better if you're just starting out, do a simple radio first, then one of the later b&W TVs. better to get your feet wet then dive in head first. Just be careful on hot chassis sets. Then you'll have learned enough to tackle a color set successfully. Another approach would be to find a set that's already more or less working, then you can restore and re-cap it, knowing that the major systems are OK. Guys on here who've been collecting a while might sell a set to make room occasionally.

Electronic M
12-09-2015, 02:43 PM
I'm 24 and started with 30's-60's era radios back around when I was 10. I bought my first tube TV when I was roughly 14 (the thing was a 'dog' of a set and only got to the point of working decently yesterday), and kept buying monochrome sets....Eventually I had a working (on original parts) one, and by junior year of high school I managed to fight through my first successful TV restoration. Up until my first year of college most of my knowledge was what I'd learned on tube radios and read in period repair books, etc, then my college gave me a laptop and forum reading built significantly on that knowledge (mostly in the troubleshooting area). I believe it was late in that first year of college that I restored my first color set (a Silvertone CTC-15 clone), that set alone taught me a LOT about troubleshooting.

I'd recommend if you want an early color set (after learning on radios and monochrome sets) to look for a CTC-4 or CTC-7 and ignore the CTC-5 entirely. RCA tended to start with over engineered overpriced sets in any category and cheapen them up.....Since RCA was selling color at a loss to try to build the market the cheapening was precipitous. The CTC-4 was a sensible simplification from the CTC-2, and a good first 'from scratch' 21" color set chassis, but the CTC-5 was RCA hitting bottom in terms engineering cheapness....It was a poor design that often struggled to produce 18KV of high voltage when the (known to be somewhat dim when driven to spec) CRT it drove expected about 25KV give or take about 2KV. The CTC-5 had issues with blooming (HV becoming loaded down by picture, and raster changing size, accompanied by loss of focus), problems with brightness and contrast interacting (worse on some versions) such that it was hard to set them, etc.

Titan1a
12-09-2015, 03:20 PM
I learned a great deal from my Dad. He did teletype repair in the Air Force and loved radio and electronics. It must be genetic? I love old radios and have two portable CRT color sets. Following my father, I studied electronics in the Air Force. I also enjoy vintage computers.

matt99
12-09-2015, 05:47 PM
I learned a great deal from my Dad. He did teletype repair in the Air Force and loved radio and electronics. It must be genetic? I love old radios and have two portable CRT color sets. Following my father, I studied electronics in the Air Force. I also enjoy vintage computers.

Interesting point about genetics. My dad is kind of into hifi, speakers, turntables, that kind of stuff. Not necessarily repairing it, to my knowledge, but owning it nonetheless. Some of that stuff is probably 40 years old. Not quite the same as me but the overall hobby is electronics.

matt99
12-09-2015, 05:55 PM
I'd recommend if you want an early color set (after learning on radios and monochrome sets) to look for a CTC-4 or CTC-7 and ignore the CTC-5 entirely. RCA tended to start with over engineered overpriced sets in any category and cheapen them up.....Since RCA was selling color at a loss to try to build the market the cheapening was precipitous. The CTC-4 was a sensible simplification from the CTC-2, and a good first 'from scratch' 21" color set chassis, but the CTC-5 was RCA hitting bottom in terms engineering cheapness....It was a poor design that often struggled to produce 18KV of high voltage when the (known to be somewhat dim when driven to spec) CRT it drove expected about 25KV give or take about 2KV. The CTC-5 had issues with blooming (HV becoming loaded down by picture, and raster changing size, accompanied by loss of focus), problems with brightness and contrast interacting (worse on some versions) such that it was hard to set them, etc.

So was the "resurgence" in quality in the CTC-7 due to the new 21CYP22? I'm guessing they had to re-engineer the chassis for the new tube. I didn't know the CTC-5 had these problems. With this in mind I'll never specifically go out and buy one, but if one comes my way cheap or free, well...
Thanks for the reply.

matt99
12-09-2015, 05:57 PM
simpler is better if you're just starting out, do a simple radio first, then one of the later b&W TVs. better to get your feet wet then dive in head first. Just be careful on hot chassis sets. Then you'll have learned enough to tackle a color set successfully. Another approach would be to find a set that's already more or less working, then you can restore and re-cap it, knowing that the major systems are OK. Guys on here who've been collecting a while might sell a set to make room occasionally.

I like the idea about starting with a radio. Hadn't thought about that, but I guess the chassis would be even more simple than a B&W TV. But it would introduce me to electronics from the time period. Thanks.

matt99
12-09-2015, 05:59 PM
Welcome!

Websites I can recommend - V-K (of course), Phil's Old Radios, Antique Radio Forums (has a TV subforum)

Videos - check out Bob Andersen's Youtube channel - he posts all kinds of good informative stuff - https://www.youtube.com/user/bandersentv

And don't forget to ask! No stoopid questions here - ask anything non-political and you're probably good with the moderators.

Cheers,

That youtube channel looks like a gold mine. Thanks!

Electronic M
12-09-2015, 06:30 PM
So was the "resurgence" in quality in the CTC-7 due to the new 21CYP22? I'm guessing they had to re-engineer the chassis for the new tube. I didn't know the CTC-5 had these problems. With this in mind I'll never specifically go out and buy one, but if one comes my way cheap or free, well...
Thanks for the reply.

Yes the CTC-7 and later were decent sets performance wise. The 21AXP22, 21CYP22, and the later 21FBP,FJP,GUP....etc. were all basically electrically interchangeable* so there was no major chassis redesign to accommodate the newer ones. Generally speaking RCA had a tendency to push their flyback transformers rather hard (some chassis had it worse than others) and thus those sets tend blow those parts I'm also not a fan of TVs with circuit boards (which RCA jumped on early with the CTC-4) so I tend to prefer Zenith sets, and recommend them to those wanting to put many hours of run time on a set with minimal need for upkeep.
That said I own a CTC-4 project set (and have a good idea of what it can do), 2 CTC-15 clones, a clone which is like a CTC-16 roundy but drives a rectangular CRT, and a local (arcanine) dropped off CTC-16, and CTC-20 roundys (saying get one working well, and keep the other)...So at the rate I'm going I'll probably see every tube RCA color cross my bench by the time I hit retirement..... The CTC-16 and later I don't recommend either the design of the HV cage is kind of retarded on those sets and flyback failure is too common on those for my taste (they are the kind of sets that like the CTC-5 I'll never be actively looking for, but would take for cheap if happened upon).

*The 21AXP had a metal bell at HV potential (IIRC it was the only MASS-PRODUCTION metal cone color CRT) so later sets with metal CRT mounts would be too much of a pain to modify to accept that tube (plus if you have an AXP you could probably trade an AXP for 2-4 FBPs scarcity/value wise), but the opposite, putting an all-glass round CRT in a AXP based set is easy to do on many early sets (trust me I've done it). The CYP was an odd duck having 2 HV connectors on it (one connected to the other thru a resistor), but aside from needing a change in HV lead ends a CYP can work in any set and other glass tubes can be subbed for it easily.

matt99
12-09-2015, 07:31 PM
I see, it was the flybacks that caused the problems, not necessarily corners being cut on the rest of the chassis, if I understand you correctly. From other posts I've read on here, it seems universally accepted that Zeniths performed best. I may have to try to get a Zenith first. Given their minimal upkeep I would guess on average there are fewer issues that need to be addressed to get one running.

Username1
12-09-2015, 07:52 PM
Good to see another "kid" getting into tv repair/restoration. I was a tv repair person
starting at about 12? I Donknow. My town use to pick up "junk" each Friday. As the bus
took us home, my eyes were always pealed ! My dad was in the army, and had tons
of old radio and tv books around. He also took a few correspondence courses after
the army, so all those kits were kicking around the house. I studied the books, and
there were sooooo many tv's thrown out, I had a new one each week to play with.

I would fix them and then sell them, Later in high school, I went to BOCES a trade school
Late 70's they still had TV Repair as a class. I think it was a great youth, not something
you see today. I had competition for the thrown out tv's there was 2 other kids in town
that I had to beat to the "good Stuff" Back then good stuff was newer stuff - easier
and more likely to be able to sell to someone.... Smaller too....

It would be best if you learned how these things worked before you get too
far into something and made mistakes, or got frustrated. Check out ebay,
look for tv repair books by Sams, they were pretty good, I learned using them,
we had them in our BOCES class, theye was one book for B&W TV, and one for
COLOR ! Ours was a 2 year course, so If you learned on 50's B&W sets, and
resold what you fixed, you would learn a lot, and not have too many B&W
sets you may not want sitting around, and then got into color sets....
B&W are easier, less weight, you can get some 9T240's for almost nothing.
And you'll build some good muscles working on it, especially if you can't
leave it out all the time....

And don't listen these replace everything nuts, replace the power supply
capacitors, if you must, then turn it on and get it working right, then
replace parts that they will all line up and tell you you MUST replace or it
will EXPLODE and burn your house down...... geeezzzz.

I never did this restoration stuff, I've fixed them, made sure the circuits are
working right, and let them alone. Balance it out, not every part needs to be
replaced, and replacing parts till you get the bad part is not the way to do it...

Take your time, learn radios first, get a few cheap 5 tube radios off ebay
and learn how to fix them, by fixing them you'll understand how they work...

Anyway, good luck....

.

bgadow
12-09-2015, 10:46 PM
A vacuum tube chassis color tv is a fascinating device & something of a wonder. It's amazing that they worked when new, and to have them work today is incredible. I've been tinkering with old radios and TV's since I was about 12-over 30 years now! The resources we have available today make this hobby much, much easier.

Lots of good advice above. I'd agree with starting with a radio; anything fairly simple from the 30's-60's would be okay. Get a schematic (Riders for earlier models, Sams for later) and study it. Recapping it will teach you some simple yet valuable skills. When you move up to a TV, get the Sams Photofact for it (often available cheap or free if you ask.) There were lots of good TV repair books put out in the 50's-60's. Even the simple ones, with titles like "TV Repair at Home in 10 Minutes" can be helpful when you're starting out. When you move up to color, look for a copy of the RCA Color TV Pict-O-Guide; they show up on ebay regularly.

Oh, and I'm a fan of the CTC-5...but it's a different animal than what followed, for sure.

matt99
12-10-2015, 12:11 AM
Take your time, learn radios first, get a few cheap 5 tube radios off ebay
and learn how to fix them, by fixing them you'll understand how they work...
.

Definitely a good place to start for someone like me. After that, something like a 9-T-240 or T-100. Sounds good. Thanks.

matt99
12-10-2015, 12:23 AM
A vacuum tube chassis color tv is a fascinating device & something of a wonder. It's amazing that they worked when new, and to have them work today is incredible. I've been tinkering with old radios and TV's since I was about 12-over 30 years now! The resources we have available today make this hobby much, much easier.

Lots of good advice above. I'd agree with starting with a radio; anything fairly simple from the 30's-60's would be okay. Get a schematic (Riders for earlier models, Sams for later) and study it. Recapping it will teach you some simple yet valuable skills. When you move up to a TV, get the Sams Photofact for it (often available cheap or free if you ask.) There were lots of good TV repair books put out in the 50's-60's. Even the simple ones, with titles like "TV Repair at Home in 10 Minutes" can be helpful when you're starting out. When you move up to color, look for a copy of the RCA Color TV Pict-O-Guide; they show up on ebay regularly.

Oh, and I'm a fan of the CTC-5...but it's a different animal than what followed, for sure.

Yeah I bet having this forum and all its members available makes troubleshooting a bit easier. And besides, without the internet, I don't see how I personally would have ever become interested in this stuff in the first place. I've found some good books, such as one by Art Margolis from the 60s. Hopefully it will help.

Electronic M
12-10-2015, 02:05 AM
I see, it was the flybacks that caused the problems, not necessarily corners being cut on the rest of the chassis, if I understand you correctly. From other posts I've read on here, it seems universally accepted that Zeniths performed best. I may have to try to get a Zenith first. Given their minimal upkeep I would guess on average there are fewer issues that need to be addressed to get one running.

On the CTC-5 it was not just the flyback....Though most RCA color sets of the tube era were hard on their flybacks....

Assuming tubes and caps are good most Zeniths are fairly low maintenance....They will often run till the the tubes that work the hardest get weak, then things will start to not work as well as they should. A surprising number of Zeniths I've owned have worked great to at least good enough to know the essentials are good in unrestored as found condition. If you want a newer hybrid set that really performs look for a Zenith 12B13C52 chassis like I have or a 4 tube Zenith hybrid. They were among the first sets with Black Matrix CRTs (Zenith called it Chromcolor) which was along with Sony's trinitron were probably the greatest advance in CRT technology since color CRTs came out. Zeniths of that era produce sharp well focused pictures and those Chromacolor delta-gun CRTs are nearly immortal.

matt99
12-10-2015, 08:35 AM
Oh that's what Chromacolor meant. Thanks for letting me know.