View Full Version : 1948 Admiral 20X122 10” Bakelite mini console

01-04-2017, 03:29 PM
Hey guy’s. December was apparently my month… Picked up 2 great old Televison set’s. This Admiral is one of them. (The other’s a working original 57’ RCA 14” portable, with a PT!)

Well, I’ve been wanting a mini console like one of these for quite awhile, ever since I noticed them as a kid. I always thought these Bakelite sets were interesting, especially with them being the largest piece of bakelite made. That, and these things are small for a console, and can fit almost anywhere!:thmbsp:

Christmas day, I got a tip off from a family friend about a small Admiral bakelite console at an antique shop in Rockford. He was telling me about it, and it sounded great! He didn’t look close, but he told me there was no obvious damage, and that it looked complete to him. (All knobs, original metal back,yadayadayada) I knew I had to check this out, to find out more. I knew there were a few different models that used the bakelite cabinet’s, and a few different cabinet styles as well. We all went over there last Wednesday, so he could show me the set, and he wanted to check out some other stuff too.
I checked it over and bought it!:smoke: Had, what I thought, a good price compared to what I’ve seen around. Nice cabinet, and everything is complete, other than the mesh screen that covers the bottom of the chassis inside the cabinet. It even has the original antenna, with the 3 position set up!:thmbsp:

Got it home, and first thing I did was clean it up. Off came the back, I found that it’s full of tubes, and that it had been quite awhile since anyone had been in there. Really dusty, and of course, full of cob webs. Also cleaned the cabinet with some house hold stuff…and it really has no luster.:sigh: I’ve got to find out how to clean it properly and then maybe, polish it up. I saw something about using brown shoe polish….
Now, on the tag, it did say it didn’t work…So that told me, “it’s probably been plugged in”, so I went “what the hell, I’m gunna power it up and see what happens”. I checked it over, and made sure nothing looked off underneath, and up above. Looked all right, original except the filter’s(someone filled it with newer Mallory cans at one point) and a few plastic Sprague’s.
So, I hooked my multi meter up, got the dim bulb tester out, and the variac. Slowly powered it up, and found it had nothing but normal looking lit up tube’s. Sound had a little scratch, when the control was played with. No high voltage. That section sounded dead, as I can always hear that high pitch whine and this had none.

After some discussion, and figuring that it’s not going upstairs, I put it at the top of the resto list. Why? Because I won’t have a non-working tv set in one of the 2 living rooms. So, after I got the little Admiral all together, and declared it “finished”... I pulled the 20X1 chassis, and on the table it went.

I thought I had more pics of it, before I disassembled it, but all I had was this one.

01-04-2017, 03:48 PM
Well, more cleaning. There was some actual dust ball’s(bunnies to some) still hiding on the chassis. Well, I pulled and tested tubes and found a good mix match, so this set’s been well used. No signs of new CRT so I was hoping it was good, or that tags were takin off the replacement. A number of tubes were in ok shape. None that tested real good except the hv rectifier. Had 5 or so that needed changing. Still got one in that I don’t have on hand, and of course, it’s the worst out of all of them. The Horizontal Output 6BG6G, V15 on the sams, is only at 20%. I don’t know how the set actually works with it….oop’s:tongue:, your not supposed to know that yet…:rolleyes:

Anyway’s, on to the close inspection under the chassis. I initially found that the L18 coil was open. The end of the plastic wrap thing, around the coil was peeled away, and 2 thin coil wires were sticking out. Soldered them together, rechecked, and I had my 36ohms of resistance.
I also found the fuse underneath was bad. Odd though, it doesn’t appear blown(blackened), it just looks like it wore out, and a section just slowly cooked away…
There was also an original cap, that wasn’t connected on one end. I think the previous service guy accidently left it out, because it looked connected, but a poke was all it took to show it wasn’t. That was cap C58 on the sams.

Welp, On with the usual re-cap! I changed all the old wax/paper and the few plastic caps that someone previously put in. Also put brand new E-caps in as well. Had to relocate some, hopefully that’s all right. I also replaced a number of resistors. As I pulled the caps out, I was testing the resistors that were then disconnected from the circuit on one lead.
Did my final under chassis checks’ and then replaced the fuse. I did not have the right fuse on hand, so I alligator clipped the lead to my meter, since that shouldn’t have more than 250v on it. (original fuse250v, .25amp).
Attached the speaker, and just to be safe, got the dim bulb tester out again and powered up using that. I got the same as before. I did hear the hv spool up some, but didn’t quite sound right. Everything was stable and nothing smoked or blew up so I hooked it to full power.

That got me a rastor, but still very little sound. After adjusting the ion trap a bit, I figured I got lucky with this 10BP4. It’s the brightest one I’ve seen!:banana: And I’ve got 2 other sets that use them. Anyway’s I hooked up some signal…the SNES! After stabilizing the vertical, I had to stabilize the horizontal from the back of the chassis. Horizontal does actually lock, but is sometimes shaky. Picture, actually looks GREAT. Great linearity, great contrast, pretty sharp and crisp. I’ve got to get some photo’s of that, but there is an issue.

Picture is bloomed out. When messing with the controls, it will sometimes zoom out a bit then zoom back in and if you knock vert or horz off you can see the surrounding edges then, that can’t normally be seen when it’s stable. Is that due to the real low value hor-output tube?
Another question about this…I had my meter connected to the line that the fuse is on. There is nothing on the sams (which I’m using) or the rider’s about the voltage on this line. The fuse is rated 250 but the line is actually at about 350v. Should it be 250v or is it high? Would this be part of my blooming issue?
And, how could I get more bass, and a little more volume out of the sound? I’ve got good sound, but I figured it’d get a little louder than it does. It doesn’t even go into distortion…if I’m remembering correct.


As I said before, I need to get more pic's. Here's some before shots...and a few during that only show a pile of old caps sitting outside the chassis

Electronic M
01-04-2017, 04:41 PM
A fuse limits current not voltage...The voltage spec is almost irrelevant (a 5A 240V fuse will change with a 5A 120V and vice versa and behavior should be almost the same).

Riders indicates it is being fed through the focus coil by the 365V main B+ rail so 350V seems to be in the ballpark of what it should be.

Reduced horizontal over scan (or under scan) and blooming can be a symptom of a weak horizontal output.

The sync issues could also be caused by it (though there are many other thing that can cause sync issues). Change that tube, then address what, if anything, remains.

01-07-2017, 01:29 AM
I didn't know a fuse limited anything. Just supposed to blow if the power surges too high or the circuit shorts out somewhere.
Well, I actually found some fuses with the rating I need for this thing. It'll get one, when I pull the chassis back out for some finishing touches. I put the set back together to get the chassis off the table.

I noticed that(w/365vB+line) but what the fuse was rated at, threw me off.

I got a new HZ output tube on the way.

I'm not having sync issues. Only time I had a sync issue was before I made the adjustment to a control on the back of the chassis. No, I had said that I'm SURPRISED I don't have a sync issue with how bad the hzo tube is.

I've got to look into the sound circuits or make an adjustment somewhere... It sounds good, not much buzz, but it don't get as loud as I figured it would...
Before I also thought I was lacking bass...Now that the speaker's back in the cabinet, it sounds fine, in regards to bass..

01-10-2017, 05:11 PM
well, yesterday I got the "new" 6BG6G Horizontal Output tube. Odd enough though... there was no change:scratch2: huh...
Well, since it ran good with the old one (even though it's junk according to my tester) I put it back in.
Then I just adjusted the picture size with the width and height controls. Also readjusted my centering coil. That's interesting with the four screw/spring mounting... I like the idea of the later style, with the adjustment stick. Much easier...
Anyway's, all seems to be great now!:thmbsp: The set is a great little watcher! This has probably been one of, or even the easiest electronic tv restoration i've done!:D Most the time I come across some problem I cant figure out, then I get po'd with it...

I still have the cabinet to go over. What can I do to make it look nice? There's no bad problems, just that it still looks dirty and smudged up after I already cleaned it with a household cleaner. Also some weird spots on the top, and in general, it looks lackluster.

01-11-2017, 05:22 PM
Nice job! Those Admirals are some of my favorite sets. Easy to work on and good performers. I've often found tubes that test very weak still work well in a set. Might as well use up them old tubes until they die.

Dave A
01-11-2017, 07:15 PM
I have always believed that all the wide-ranging adjustments are there to compensate for tube drift and circuit drift. So your tube goes to what...turn this control a bit further. As for the finish, I use Novus #2 plastic polish on any number of finishes. Plastic, varnish, lacquer. Give it a shot from a good hardware store.

Bakelite seems to have a finish on top of the compressed base that can erode and you are then looking at the base. No polish will fix that. Shoe polish may cover it a bit.

01-14-2017, 09:17 PM
I agree on both Banderson. This set is such a performer. I ran it for 6 hour's today. 2 movies and a few shows on it, while I was working on a Motorola set. and when it comes to the tubes...Why toss em' if it's still dong the job?

Yea, I still got more room I can go with those adjustments...hmm Novus, I tried looking for that stuff a week ago or so when i was at menards, and the guy I asked looked at me like I was the dumby... I guess that's something i'll have to get from online.
So that's a polish? I thought it was a cleaner, and then you'd use something afterwords as a polish. I've even heard of some waxing bakelite after cleaning and/or polishing it.

Eric H
01-14-2017, 09:40 PM
3M makes Plastic polish and it may be more readily available than Novus.

I've also used 3M Rubbing Compound and Machine Polish on plastics like the Predicta covers with good results.