View Full Version : Modern CRT in 1960s 23" set


dano
04-26-2016, 06:13 PM
Please don't flame me for asking this - I plan to make this the livingroom set and it will get a lot of use. I do plan to eventually restore the set at some point in the future.

I have a 1969 (or so) Zenith color console with a 23" picture tube. I would like to install a modern chassis/crt in the cabinet and I'm concerned about finding something that will line up with the mask and mount properly. As I mentioned, this will be our main TV where it will see a lot of use, and I would like to preserve the stock chassis/tube. I would also like to have a composite input. I've started looking at craigslist and it seems like 25" is a common size. I measured my set and it looks as though the full 23" is viewable, I suspect that a newer set would have less than the full advertised size viewable, is that a safe assumption? Has anyone attempted to mate a newer CRT to a mask from this era? Are there any makes or sizes that work better, or that should be avoided? Has anyone encountered a modern set that mates up to the 23" tube mask nicely? I would hoping to hear from someone else who's tried this before I start buying used TVs for trial-and-error fitment.

Electronic M
04-26-2016, 10:30 PM
You can get all you want from the stock chassis/CRT. Replace the caps, get strong tubes in it, add a cooling fan to the fly and chassis, and it should live as long as the CRT. Most Zeniths are easy to add a composite video input to...Just add a switch or (better yet) relay after the video detector diode to switch between the diode and your input. Having a spare set on hand is advisable when using tube sets as daily drivers....I generally run 2 at once so if one dies I can turn it off and finish the program on the other set.


I've used the crap out of my 1971 Zenith CCI 11 tube hybrid...It has been a daily driver for about 6-8 years and it has been decent, except for a couple of annoying issues related to parts your set is probably too old to have. It has had at least 4 hours a week and some months has had 8 hours a day every day.

TUD1
04-27-2016, 12:28 AM
Electronic M hit the nail on the head. There is absolutely no good reason to defile a vintage TV by stuffing modern plastic crap in it. I've been using my 1966/67 RCA Victor CTC-25 for several months now, and I've had no problem whatsoever.

JB5pro
04-27-2016, 12:37 AM
Seems like your idea may use up all the thinking and doing energy that could get the set working as original. Those zeniths are proven reliable and have awesome picture quality. Great sound too. If you stuff that modern jazz in there the good stuff may get lost or put off to the first of never :tears:

dano
04-27-2016, 10:29 AM
You have to understand that getting the stock chassis going has been my goal all along. I have had a complete "parts" set sitting in the shed for years where I have been intending to start working on it. Having a spare set on hand really isn't an option, this will go in the living room where my wife will the main person using it, our current set sees hours of binge watching when I'm not home and we just don't have space for a backup TV in the same room. Best case would be if I were get my parts TV going, swap the chassis, then start in on the chassis from the good set as a backup. That way I could at least get it going again in an evening should the chassis act up.

Another option (remember, no flames) is a mid-80s System 3 set on craigslists in one of those pressboard cabinets. I can't tell the screen size, but would the picture tube interchange or at least be the same size/contour?

I also want to be clear, there will be no defiling, whatever I install in this cabinet can easily be removed and the stock chassis installed.

maxhifi
04-27-2016, 10:51 AM
I had a 1969 RCA CTC 38 as my main tv for about a year and a half. I only changed it to a flat screen on account of needing floor space for stereo speakers, such are priorities... It was for the most part reliable but I think it's possible it could generate some bias against the hobby if someone less enthusiastic about old TVs has to rely on it, plus all the binge watching could be hard on it. A newer RCA or Zenith console will look similar enough and work reliably, the zenith can be for fun in another room.. That would be my strategy in your shoes. RCA and zenith made consoles up to the early 2000s for old people who were replacing old sets and wanted a new console. Just keep eyes open for one there's lots of them out there. I was really tempted to buy one of those RCA end of line consoles from the early 2000s, to me it seemed insane at the time that there was still a market for them at all!

dano
04-27-2016, 03:02 PM
The Zenith is currently in another room where it doesn't belong and can't stay. If it doesn't go in the living room, I would have to pay for a storage unit or get rid of it. Everything else is full!

The whole reason for wanting a 60's console is the mid-century styling as well as the love for old TVs. This set is made of real wood, unlike the more modern stuff. The sets from the 70s through the 2000s just look like junk to me, sorry. I may just drop $10 on a modern 25" set just to see how difficult it would be to retrofit into my console case. Again, the Zenith is a "use it or loose it" situation, I love tubes and would love to have this thing as part of the "collection" but the living room set is more of an appliance at this point so I'm just trying to see if there's an easy way to make things work. Look at it this way, I'm buying the newer Zenith like you suggest, and hiding it in a 1960s case that is stored (in the living room) until I get time to work on the project set. THIS SET WILL GO BACK TOGETHER at some point, I have 3 pictures tubes and 2 chassis for it, so please don't misunderstand my intent.

For now I'm really just hoping to hear from someone who knows if any other CRTs from the 70s, 80s, 90s, or 2000s will mate up to the mask designed for a 23" color CRT. Anyone?

jr_tech
04-27-2016, 05:46 PM
For now I'm really just hoping to hear from someone who knows if any other CRTs from the 70s, 80s, 90s, or 2000s will mate up to the mask designed for a 23" color CRT. Anyone?

Look carefully at the dimensions and mounting configuration of your set and the set considered for retrofit. At some point in time the "25 inch" (which was about 23" viewable) tube grew slightly to the "25V" size which means an actual 25" diagonal viewing area, not 25" diagonal outside dimension of the faceplate glass panel.

The system of implosion protection varies as well, some jugs use a bonded-on piece of safety glass, while others rely on a high tension band strap (something like 1500 lbs tension) to place the faceplate panel in compression for strength. Mounting dimensions and methods vary. Whatever you do, DO NOT cut the tension band off of a jug that requires one for implosion protection.

jr

maxhifi
04-27-2016, 06:33 PM
I would be looking at some of the cheapest sets from the 1990s, like GE and Philips, they had the most "rounded" screen profiles. By that point square corners were a mark of quality .

jr_tech
04-27-2016, 07:47 PM
Having a spare set on hand is advisable when using tube sets as daily drivers....I generally run 2 at once so if one dies I can turn it off and finish the program on the other set.

I think that says it all about using vintage tube sets as daily drivers.... don't expect great reliability. If you desire reliability, substituting a solid state set guts or (gasp, dare I suggest a modern LCD set) is IMHO a better way to go.

jr

Electronic M
04-27-2016, 08:05 PM
I think that says it all about using vintage tube sets as daily drivers.... don't expect great reliability. If you desire reliability, substituting a solid state set guts or (gasp, dare I suggest a modern LCD set) is IMHO a better way to go.

jr

It is only about once a year on average that a given set needs maintenance, so it is not a big deal (often it is a same day repair), but they have failed at some of the worst times. It is nice to have a spare to drag out or turn on when you rather finish that awesome show that is premiering, your favorite film, that news cast that is telling you there is an a truckload of man eating rabid wolverines that escaped in your neighborhood, etc... Perhaps more of a reason for me to run 2 at once is that any set will have it's strong and weak points versus another. I like the color rendition of my roundy Zenith much more than my CCI but the CCI has better fine detail so I can read super small text on it easier.

If I did not like comparing images I'd probably only run one at a time to use less power.

A Zenith of that era would probably be good for a 1-1.5 years on average between repairs with poor cooling, add fans to the chassis and don't let the room it is in get too hot and you could probably double or triple that.