View Full Version : My First Color TV! (RCA CT-100)


vts1134
04-02-2016, 09:34 PM
I took a 1,300+ mile trip yesterday and today and picked up a couple of sets. One of them was my first color set... well, not exactly my first ever color TV, although that was also an RCA. Having already planned a trip up north for another set, I spotted a CT-100 on Craigslist in Vermont listed for $200. I thought surely this couldn't be true.

http://i1075.photobucket.com/albums/w438/vts1134/CT-100/CT-100-page-001_zpseon65agw.jpg

When I saw the ad had only been posted for 2 hours I thought I'd give it a shot. I called the number listed in the ad and talked to the seller. He was a TV repair man for his entire life and was the second owner of the set. I asked him where he got his asking price from and he told me "I just threw a number out there...why what do you think?" I told him I thought it was worth significantly more. He said that he liked being the guy who found the gem in the garage and paid too little for it and that he'd pay it forward and let me be that guy today. We talked a bit more and after asking him four more times if he's ok with $200 I sent him a Paypal payment of $215 to cover the fees.
After a ten and a half hour drive from Pittsburgh to northern Vermont I met Dan and his CT-100. He told me that the set was originally sold by a man named Stan Godell in Montpelier VT (I've yet to research the name). The couple to whom Stan sold the set kept it for only a few weeks, after which they traded it back to Stan for a B&W model saying that they hated color television. The CT-100 then sat in Stan's showroom for 31 years until he retired and gave the set to Dan. Dan owned Dan's TV Service from 1984 until 1993. After Dan retired from TV service he kept the CT-100 around in his house. Sadly Dan shared his home with a K-9 companion that didn't share my passion for original untouched cabinet finishes and left his mark on the lower left side of the set. The rest of the cabinet has the look you'd expect of an old TV that while worthy of saving, isn't looked at as a priceless piece of history. The sun's punishing UV rays fell on the left side of the set more than the right, and errant paint splatter dots the front.

http://i1075.photobucket.com/albums/w438/vts1134/CT-100/331B33E0-8FDD-49E2-A4D7-983AE9841337_zpsml2mjyfw.jpg

http://i1075.photobucket.com/albums/w438/vts1134/CT-100/1280EA3D-AB07-4029-BC62-553696B9760C_zpsshvg34qk.jpg

http://i1075.photobucket.com/albums/w438/vts1134/CT-100/043E8DDF-B135-4DD3-BBC7-5AB7C46B3F7F_zpsme0ialdd.jpg

Eric H
04-02-2016, 09:53 PM
Incredible deal! There's been speculation about who got this set.

The chassis looks pristine, have you checked the CRT yet?

MRX37
04-02-2016, 10:38 PM
Yes, lets see how the CRT is. if that works... a steal is an UNDERSTATEMENT

rca2000
04-02-2016, 10:43 PM
I am sure there are some here...who would probably give 200 just for a good FLYBACK for one of those sets--so YES is a REAL STEAL--even if a dead tube.

TUD1
04-02-2016, 10:47 PM
WOW!! Incredible deal! You did great! Also very cool that you have the backstory on this set. I only know the history of a few of my things.

matt99
04-03-2016, 12:18 AM
Waiting waiting waiting for something like this to pop up around here. Nice find. That yoke cover is immaculate.

Olorin67
04-03-2016, 08:30 AM
wow , thats an even better deal than the CTC5 I found on the curb on the way to work

Pete Deksnis
04-03-2016, 09:31 AM
Great find. Looks like an early production set. When you can share the serial number we'll add it to the master CT-100 list on the ETF website.

Pete:

andy
04-03-2016, 09:42 AM
Amazing find! I happen to be visiting Pittsburgh this week, and have a moving container heading back to Austin in a month. Want to double your money?!

hi_volt
04-03-2016, 10:38 AM
Wow. Nice score. I'd love to add one of these to my collection..:drool:

vts1134
04-03-2016, 02:51 PM
Sadly I don't own a picture tube tester so I don't know if the 15G is good or not. If anyone near the Pittsburgh area has a tester and would like to check it please let me know.

Phil Nelson
04-03-2016, 04:11 PM
You could contact a radio/TV collector club in your area and ask if anyone can help you test the CRT. Here's a list of US clubs:

http://antiqueradio.com/clublist.html

Even if the nearest club isn't next door, they might know someone closer. Collectors live everywhere, not only in big cities

Great score, by the way, regardless of the CRT's condition. More evidence that there are still some great TVs still to be found "in the wild."

Regards,

Phil Nelson
Phil's Old Radios
http://antiqueradio.org/index.html

wa2ise
04-03-2016, 04:19 PM
Someone I think here is maintaining a database of known existing CT100 sets, with serial numbers of the chassis and the cabinet.

miniman82
04-03-2016, 04:33 PM
Pete

That would be this guy ^

Eric H
04-03-2016, 05:37 PM
You could also remove the yoke and check the getters, if they're white then no need to test, if they're still black or brown then there's hope.

jr_tech
04-03-2016, 06:29 PM
You could ohm out the heaters... if they are already open they have likely burned out because the tube has gone gassy. Game over.

If they are not open, you could apply 6.3 volts and see if they light up normal brilliance ... if they do, the tube could be good, further testing is necessary.

If they only glow dim and the neck quickly gets hot the tube is likely gassy... a few minutes of this and they likely will blow out. Been there, seen that :(

Regardless, that is a heckofa good score, congratulations! :thmbsp:

jr

vts1134
04-04-2016, 12:37 PM
You could ohm out the heaters... if they are already open they have likely burned out because the tube has gone gassy. Game over.

If they are not open, you could apply 6.3 volts and see if they light up normal brilliance ... if they do, the tube could be good, further testing is necessary.

If they only glow dim and the neck quickly gets hot the tube is likely gassy... a few minutes of this and they likely will blow out. Been there, seen that :(

Regardless, that is a heckofa good score, congratulations! :thmbsp:

jr

That's a good suggestion. I'll try that soon. I can almost guarantee the tube is bad because I just sold a working 15GP22 to another member here before getting this set, thereby ensuring that I would need one myself in the very near future.

vts1134
04-04-2016, 08:45 PM
Game over. Just another CTC-2 owner looking for a 15GP22.

http://i1075.photobucket.com/albums/w438/vts1134/CT-100/22AE702F-2F2F-40EB-B8B7-0B1084CC930C_zpszk4wwcwi.jpg

SwizzyMan
04-04-2016, 09:10 PM
Nooooooo! :tears: I really wanted to see this one in action someday! You'll find another one.

MRX37
04-04-2016, 10:16 PM
I know the ETF managed to rebuild one... I wonder what hope yours has?

miniman82
04-04-2016, 10:46 PM
ETF hasn't rebuilt anything (yet), they sent a tube to RACS in France and they rebuilt it.

MRX37
04-04-2016, 11:16 PM
That's what I meant. I wonder if vts' tube can be saved

jr_tech
04-04-2016, 11:46 PM
vts1134... a sad sight indeed.

About RACS... gone, old thread here:
http://www.videokarma.org/showthread.php?t=259552

jr

ohohyodafarted
04-05-2016, 02:42 AM
That's a good suggestion. I'll try that soon. I can almost guarantee the tube is bad because I just sold a working 15GP22 to another member here before getting this set, thereby ensuring that I would need one myself in the very near future.

Don't fret too much John; you may not have a good 15G, but you do have the $2500 I paid for the good one you sold to me. Some day another good 15G will come along and you can forward my $2500 to the next guy in return for a good 15G for your set.

I am revealing this for all the collector community to digest, because I want anyone who has a good 15G to understand that they have an extremely valuable item, and that if you have one to sell, you should demand a very steep price for it. There are probably 4 times as many sets needing a good 15G as there are good 15Gs to populate those sets.

The scarcity of good 15G's is why they are so valuable. A while back I was criticized on this forum for suggesting that a pristine, fully restored CT100 with a good 15G should be worth upwards of $10K to a deep pocketed collector. It's all about a good 15G crt. Without it, a CT100 is just another old dead tv set not worth terribly much more than any other old non-operational set.

So, if a good 15G is worth $2500 (and yes that is the current market price now which was set by an actual sale), then it stands to reason that an un-restored, potentially operational CT100 with a good 15G is worth a minimum of $4000-$4500. Now add the cost of having it professionally restored. I know of people that get a minimum of $650 just for the chassis restoration. Add another $500 for professional cabinet restoration. We are now somewhere north of $5500. Resale price would be double that. $10K is not ridiculous. If someone has a pristine, fully restored, working CT100 and sells it for far less than it's worth, that is their business. Some day when CT100's with good 15Gs are no longer being un-earthed, the market price of these sets will greatly appreciate.

And if you are a collector with a CT100 in need of a good crt, hoping to get one at a bargain basement price, you can just keep on dreaming! It's not going to happen, because there will always be collectors like myself willing to pay a premium price for a good 15G.

And if you happen to have a good 15G for sale, put it up on ebay with a starting price of $2500, and I will be happy to place the first bid.

With the 15G I just purchased from John, I now have the potential of 2-CT100's, The Moto 16CK1, a GE 15CL100, and a RCA TM-10 monitor, all fully operational some day with good 15Gs.

Some day we may have a working method to re-seal the leaky 15G's. John Folsom and I have a stash of rebuilt 15G gun assemblies ready to install in our duds when we solve the leaking issues. John Yurkon has already proven that the leaks in the weld can be located, and re-welded vacuum tight. (he did it to a leaker 21AX a year ago and it is still holding vacuum and testing excellent) That only leaves us needing a method of sealing the fractures in the glass where the ultor ring is bonded to the faceplate and funnel. We have a plan but we have yet to try it out in practice. It may be several years before we have trials on that issue and there is no guarantee it will be successful.

And until we get to the point where we can rebuild a leaky 15G, we must suffer with the knowledge that the available pool of 15Gs gets smaller and smaller with each available 15G that is found and purchased by a collector in need of it.

Good luck to all 15G hunters!

vts1134
04-05-2016, 08:03 AM
vts1134... a sad sight indeed...

jr

Don't fret too much. There are always more out there and I'll keep looking. Optimism and tenacity lead me to this CT-100. I know it will lead me to the CRT that it needs to be whole again, and when it does we'll all see another CT-100 light up on VK :thmbsp:.

benman94
04-05-2016, 12:07 PM
So sorry to see the white getters. Hopefully the efforts of Steve McVoy, Nick Williams, and John Yurkon will make rebuilding the 15GP22 a possibility someday.

MRX37
04-05-2016, 12:09 PM
Has anyone ever tried to clone a 15GP22? Theoretically it should be possible.

ohohyodafarted
04-05-2016, 08:51 PM
Has anyone ever tried to clone a 15GP22? Theoretically it should be possible.

The short answer is NO!

Why would anyone even think of doing that? The cost would be so prohibitive that no one could afford to purchase one, least of all the vast majority of UBER FRUGAL television collectors who most of all won't even pay basic market price for a good used 15G. RCA spent many MILLIONS of $ back in 1954 just to procuce about 5000 15Gs

ohohyodafarted
04-05-2016, 08:59 PM
Don't fret too much. There are always more out there and I'll keep looking. Optimism and tenacity lead me to this CT-100. I know it will lead me to the CRT that it needs to be whole again, and when it does we'll all see another CT-100 light up on VK :thmbsp:.


That's the spirit John! I found my first 15G about 10 years ago. A NOS still in the box. Took 10 more years to get the one you just sold me that will go into my GE set. But if we are lucky maybe our attempts to rebuild will some day pay off and then there will be a few more to choose from. MOre likely than not, you may find a CT100 that has a usable tube, rather than a lose tube for sale.

Hope to see you at convention!

Sandy G
04-05-2016, 09:07 PM
I thought that the way the phosphors were deposited on the screen of the 15G was something that couldn't be reproduced, PERIOD. Or at least not w/o laying down some BIG-TIME moolah..

rca2000
04-05-2016, 09:10 PM
But...what is the likelihood...of findng a GOOD GP22 tube--even IF it is NOS?

We ALL hear--or dream...about the tale of a whole SKID full of NOS GP22 tubes...long forgotten and waiting for their chance at glory in one of those sets..But even if there was TEN of these "NIB" tubes...how MANY of them...would actually be in VACCUM?

dtvmcdonald
04-06-2016, 03:28 PM
Another question is "if gassy ... is it a bad weld or a glass crack?" as the
former is fixable and the ETF will eventually be able to regun.

MRX37
04-06-2016, 06:48 PM
So entertain me here...

A 15G can theoretically be regunned. The tricky part is those rare earth phosphors.

So theoretically the ETF might one day be able to build an all glass 15G replica. The phosphors might not match a real 15G but it would make a CT-100 watchable.

And I'm willing to bet that a phosphor formulation can be made to get the colors to match close enough that even CT-100 afficinados wouldn't be able to tell just by looking at it.

Eric H
04-06-2016, 07:30 PM
I thought someone was working on removing the metal joint on a 15G and installing an anode connector

RetroHacker
04-06-2016, 07:38 PM
I know there is an ongoing project to make an all glass 15GP22 - to the point of fabricating most of the parts. There is a write up about it on the Early Television website. Hasn't been any activity on it this year though - but, I mean, it is a long term, complicated project that requires a *lot* of care and a ton of research and testing.

-Ian

jr_tech
04-06-2016, 08:37 PM
Ongoing efforts to rebuild 15GP22s all involve using mostly re-claimed parts from existing tubes. Simply stated, the parts to build clone tubes no longer exist and would be very expensive to re-tool to build. Take for example the glass frontpanel and funnel, it would cost hundreds of thousands of dollars to replicate the special molds that originally produced these parts, and then you would have to get a glass company to agree to make the parts. Same is true for electron gun parts and rodding fixtures to assemble them into carefully aligned guns. Stem pins and molding fixtures to make the 20 pin base feedthrough, big dollars, as well. Phosphor deposition fixtures would also be expensive. Like Bob G. said, start up costs to produce these could run into the millions of dollars.

jr

stromberg6
04-06-2016, 09:06 PM
So entertain me here...

A 15G can theoretically be regunned. The tricky part is those rare earth phosphors.

So theoretically the ETF might one day be able to build an all glass 15G replica. The phosphors might not match a real 15G but it would make a CT-100 watchable.

And I'm willing to bet that a phosphor formulation can be made to get the colors to match close enough that even CT-100 afficinados wouldn't be able to tell just by looking at it.

NO "rare earth" phosphors in a 15G. The avatar in this post shows original NTSC phosphors in an original 21AXP22. First generation 21AX.

bluenorm
04-07-2016, 10:58 AM
a possible rebuilt (in two years time) from etf might be around $3,000 dollars with out counting the failing rate. lets start saving for that>

Telecruiser
04-07-2016, 10:37 PM
For a long time, I've wondered if it might be reasonable to make a few radical modifications to get some of these otherwise dead TV's up and running, even if it isn't authentic. There are tons of rectangular 15"- 17" tubes out there that were used in much more modern sets. It seems to me that you could modify the set to accommodate such a tube. Yes, the tube socket is different as is the deflection yoke and convergence yoke. Maybe I'm completely off base, but I somehow doubt it would be rocket science to substitute these components for the originals. Naturally, it would be important to save the original components in the off-chance that someone (like ETF) figures out how to rebuild the original CRT. I'm sure there would be some serious issues getting good geometry and convergence out of such a radical modification, but I'll bet it could be done, and still be reversible.

It's just a thought. I don't have a chassis to play with, but I think it is in the realm of possibilities. Many years ago, when I was a poor college student, I took the chassis from a Sears (Toshiba) clone of a CTC 10 and mated it with a more modern Curtis Mathis CRT and cabinet. It wasn't perfect, but it made an acceptable picture, which beat looking at a blank screen.

I have my asbestos underwear on, so fire away... :-)

Kamakiri
04-08-2016, 06:09 AM
Heck, I even thought that there's got to be a way to (gulp) mount an LCD panel on the faceplate of a 15G tube to make it watchable.....either with or without using the original componentry.

benman94
04-08-2016, 11:34 AM
There's an old timer in the Detroit area who insists he worked on a CT-100 that was modified to use a later magnetic deflection tube. The convergence assembly and convergence yoke were replaced with parts from a later CTC-4 or 5, and the new CRT was connected to the existing 19.5 kV HT supply. The drive voltages for each gun had to be tweaked as well. He said it didn't work very well, and was really an enormous waste of time and energy.

jr_tech
04-08-2016, 12:25 PM
Even if all the electronic problems could be successfully solved, (the 15GP22 is 45 degree deflection and electrostatic convergence), very serious mechanical and aesthetic problems exist.

The large bezel visible from the front is *not* flat on the backside as are most bezels, there is a circular lip, about 3 inches deep and about 16 inches in diameter that is designed to support and insulate the ultor ring of the 15GP22. One would have to remove significant portions of the lip to install a rectangular jug or (gulp) a flat panel.

Aesthetically, it would be difficult to make the conversion look like the original...remember, the 15GP22 was produced before the process to deposit the phosphor dots on the curved inner surface of the faceplate panel was developed. What is seen from the front is a flat piece of glass with the phosphor dots deposited on it (screenprinted???)... this screen is mounted behind a metal bezel, and the whole assembly is supported *inside* the 15 inch glass faceplate panel, giving that unique appearance. Perhaps something like a porta-pottie jug behind a wooden bezel placed inside a glass 15 inch panel could replicate that appearance fairly well, but where would you get the panel? IMHO, the ugly *black eye* of a flat panel would not be a good choice, a real CRT would be much more appropriate.

I must admit that one time when the chassis was out of my set, I did slide a 9 inch Trinitron in and "enjoyed" the view for a few minutes :) but would never consider a retrofit, mostly for aesthetic reasions. The CT-100 is enjoyed for what it is/was, it does not have to produce a picture to earn its keep.

my 2 cents,
jr

Kamakiri
04-08-2016, 01:14 PM
Agreed. Like I've said before, sometimes it's like unbolting a 13th century Norse canoe from the rafters of a museum and taking it out paddling in the Potomac. Some of them might hold water, some might not, but either way they can be appreciated for the historical significance they represent.

Tom9589
04-08-2016, 05:51 PM
As I posted earlier, The Henry Ford Museum has an 21" RCA on display with a flat screen shoe-horned into the original cabinet. It either had a 21AX or 21CY. It was not a pretty sight and was very obvious.

On the other hand, The National Center for Civil and Human Rights in Atlanta have a number of B&W sets with flat screens inside as well as one color set with a flat screen. All of these conversions looks fairly realistic.

I agree that it would be difficult to retrofit a CT-100 with anything other than a 15GP22 and make it look good.

MRX37
04-08-2016, 06:10 PM
There's a store in Ferndale that has a Hallcrafter's roundie, and I did a double take until I realized they had mounted a 13" BPC TV in the cabinet

Electronic M
04-09-2016, 02:56 AM
I think CT-100 could probably easily drive a ~13" inline gun CRT and look good. There were test jigs that could support the CTC-2 that had similar CRTs. It would be a matter of impedance matching the yoke, and selecting a CRT with a compatible specs gun bias, HV and size wise. One could get an appropriate mask off a monochrome set (there are some that are dead ringers for the internal 15GP22 mask) and select an inline gun that would fit inside the factory mounts and fill the added mask. It would be a lot of work to make such a modification in a reversible manner, but I'm convinced it is possible. Given the time and money many collectors have spent on rebuild work for only glimpses of shaky success, I feel this is probably much less difficult of an undertaking to the right people.

If I had a $200 15GP22 based set with a bad or missing CRT you can bet that would be my course of action till a better alternative became feasible.

Telecruiser
04-11-2016, 10:54 PM
I think CT-100 could probably easily drive a ~13" inline gun CRT and look good. There were test jigs that could support the CTC-2 that had similar CRTs. It would be a matter of impedance matching the yoke, and selecting a CRT with a compatible specs gun bias, HV and size wise. One could get an appropriate mask off a monochrome set (there are some that are dead ringers for the internal 15GP22 mask) and select an inline gun that would fit inside the factory mounts and fill the added mask. It would be a lot of work to make such a modification in a reversible manner, but I'm convinced it is possible. Given the time and money many collectors have spent on rebuild work for only glimpses of shaky success, I feel this is probably much less difficult of an undertaking to the right people.

If I had a $200 15GP22 based set with a bad or missing CRT you can bet that would be my course of action till a better alternative became feasible.

I think I'd give it a try too. I'm not suggesting modifying a perfectly good set, but let's face it, good tubes are very hard to find. I'd rather see an early set making a picture, even if it required a little "cheating," then having it sitting in the corner of someone's basement because parts were not available. It would be important to save and document original components just in case putting it back to original equipment ever became possible. I doubt it would be easy, but if anyone ever attempts it, I hope they are willing to share information about how they went about it.

miniman82
04-11-2016, 11:35 PM
Why not, Lee put a square tube into his Royal Sovreign in a reversible manner and we know how good that turned out. I'm sure a square tube could be made to look fairly decent in a Merrill, and I for one would play my CT-100 a whole lot more if I had a disposable tube in it that I didn't have to worry so much about.

colorfixer
04-12-2016, 02:09 AM
Pete originally suggested the use of a VGA tube over a decade ago when he started his quest. I can remember the 14" Matsushita tubes from the VGA/8514 monitors of the early 90's that had wide(r) gamut phosphors that did hot colors very well. These might make for a good stop-gap.

I always thought something like a zenith FTM tube might be viable too...

Dude111
04-12-2016, 07:08 AM
A real nice find buddy :)

init4fun
05-02-2016, 03:27 PM
A real nice find buddy :)


:thmbsp: Indeed ....