View Full Version : Zenith Remote Control


VA561
03-12-2017, 03:42 PM
I have a '64 Zenith console, "The Chancellor" with a 25LC20QS chassis. I have the correct space command 400 remote for this set however this remote was bought separately. I am trying to find out how to get the remote to function with this set. I am enclosing a picture of what I think is the remote section on the back of the tv. What is the manual/automatic switch at the top? I couldn't find anything in the sams about this. A picture of the remote is in the nearby vertical centering thread. Any help appreciated. Also an unrelated issue, I can't seem to fine tune the picture. Regardless of which way I turn the tuning knob, it seems to have no effect.

Electronic M
03-12-2017, 04:21 PM
Manual disables the remote, Automatic enables the remote. It is a fail safe insace a relay sticks, and it also allows power savings on vacations, etc.

It was not uncommon for Zenith to shuffle the remote rods arround or use different ones on different years/models. Do any of the remote buttons activate any relays on the set?

I generally troubleshoot remotes by plugging in the set's mike to a scope to confirm the mike works. Then I try to follow that signal through the remote chassis with the scope. I often use an audio generator that can go up to 20-30KHz to replace the mike while signal tracing....You can also dial the signal gen around to see if the relays work, but happen to be tuned to different freqs. If it works on different freqs you can compare them to the ones in the hand unit and see which functions on the set best match the rods and tune those functions to those rods (and later reshuffle the rods the buttons operate so that the labels match).

The fine tuning mech in your tuner may need work.

VA561
03-12-2017, 05:19 PM
Channel lower button works. Volume/on-off button does not work. Sound (mute) button works. Channel higher button does not work.

Findm-Keepm
03-12-2017, 05:34 PM
When one or two functions on ultrasonics fail, it is usually the remote - the rods corrode, the mounts deteriorate, or the striker has deformed. Got another remote to try? If not, take a close look at the rods and mounts in your remote. Post pix if you can - I've seen just a speck of encrusted dirt kill a function on the clicker remotes.

3/4ths of your remote receiver are known good if you have any functions working.

VA561
03-12-2017, 06:53 PM
Took remote apart to inspect and clean. Pictures are before I used contact cleaner to carefully clean any gunk out. Inside looked surprisingly clean. After cleaning it still does the same thing. I noticed inside the remote section there looks to be a possible sensitivity adjustment? Have noticed when I hit the channel higher button, I hear nothing in the remote section as I do with all of the other buttons. Volume/on-off button makes a sound in the remote section like the rest of the good buttons but does nothing.

Findm-Keepm
03-12-2017, 07:04 PM
Agree on the cleanliness - spotless! Be careful with any adjustments - I'd follow the alignment procedure for the remote chassis - do you have a Zenith manual for the remote chassis? Sams is awful with their alignment procedures for remote chassis (at least for RCA and Magnavox...).

If that is indeed a sensitivity control - be careful - too sensitive and some features will quit working, as the gain is increased to the point of saturating the amp, and causing the control pulses to widen. Also, too much sensitivity can cause it to respond to other sounds - keys jingling on a key chain, the phone, etc.

Cheers,

VA561
03-12-2017, 07:27 PM
Don't have the zenith manual for the remote chassis. You would think that if it was a sensitivity issue that none of the buttons would work or all would work.

reeferman
03-12-2017, 07:38 PM
and want to see if the remote is working, get out your key chain and shake vigorously in front of the set. If the tuner or any control moves, you can bet the rest of the functions work. At least that was the way it was in the 60's when we serviced the things. Great way to change the channels at home if the remote isn't handy.

VA561
03-12-2017, 08:12 PM
Tried the key jiggling method. Nothing.

VA561
03-12-2017, 08:41 PM
I tried to use the remote about an hour ago and nothing. No buttons worked. Tried it again a few minutes ago and the same buttons that worked before worked again. Why would it stop working all of a sudden and then start working again? Sams wants an additional $22 for the remote chassis photofact, 705-4A.

TUD1
03-12-2017, 09:02 PM
In my SC500 table model set, one dead electrolytic in the remote chassis killed all the remote functions. I don't know how it is on those, but you may consider checking the caps.

EdKozk2
03-12-2017, 09:36 PM
I tried to use the remote about an hour ago and nothing. No buttons worked. Tried it again a few minutes ago and the same buttons that worked before worked again. Why would it stop working all of a sudden and then start working again? Sams wants an additional $22 for the remote chassis photofact, 705-4A.

PM me your email if you need a copy of 705-4a. It's four pages.
Ed

bgadow
03-12-2017, 10:14 PM
If the remote chassis uses tubes, they could be pretty weak by now. Remember that they would have stayed on 24/7.

EdKozk2
03-12-2017, 10:29 PM
Bryan, His remote is mechanical, uses 4 ultrasonic chimes. Range seems to be 36-42 Khz.

bgadow
03-12-2017, 11:10 PM
Bryan, His remote is mechanical, uses 4 ultrasonic chimes. Range seems to be 36-42 Khz.

But the remote receiver chassis would have to either have tubes or transistors. I remember having a Zenith that used, I think, 2 tubes and they were pretty dead. By '64 they might have gone solid state for that subchassis?

zenithfan1
03-12-2017, 11:30 PM
That chassis is solid state, and likely needs recapping and an alignment. doug Harland (drh4683) has a great video on youtube about how to align a space command chassis for best or proper operation. Your remote looks like it would be just fine.

zenithfan1
03-12-2017, 11:33 PM
Also, if it is an original SC400 color remote, be careful with the buttons. The design of these is poor and they are easy to break. It is very hard to even find this version of SC400. The buttons hinge the opposite way from the later and improved design of the SC600. It took me years to find the same remote for my set that also has the 25LC20QS chassis. Most people, including back when these sets were still in use, used a SC600 remote when the 400 broke.

EdKozk2
03-12-2017, 11:53 PM
But the remote receiver chassis would have to either have tubes or transistors. I remember having a Zenith that used, I think, 2 tubes and they were pretty dead. By '64 they might have gone solid state for that subchassis?

Sorry Bryan,
I must be loosing it, I missed the part about remote receiver chassis, I was thinking in terms of remote control only.Your're

correct the receiver is transistorized, 2N218 types PNP.

EdKozk2
03-13-2017, 03:04 PM
VA561 I just emailed the info.
Ed

VA561
03-13-2017, 09:56 PM
Mission accomplished!!!! I got lucky on this one. Nothing major. After looking at the sams that Ed sent,(thanks Ed!) I decided to look inside at the remote chassis. I took some fine grit sand paper and lightly sanded all of the contacts for all relays. Then I took some no residue contact cleaner and sprayed where I thought it would make a difference. After that I took the deoxit with lubricant and lightly sprayed where I thought it would work best. I kept the chassis uncovered and sat down on the sofa and tried the remote. I had channel up and and mute and now I had channel down but still no volume/on/off. I could here the relay trying to work. Then I took the remote and went to the back of the set while I hit the volume button. It seemed to be stuck so I nudged the contact wheel and it started working.I tried it several times and everything works great. The volume works like it should and turns the set off and on.

drh4683
03-13-2017, 10:43 PM
This isn't the same chancellor set that Captainmoody had it is? If so, it was mine before Dwight got it.

Fine tuning issues is one or two things. This era of Zenith used an "O-ring" as a drive belt for the fine tuner. Typically, the original O-ring breaks due to age. A simple hardware store replacement works just fine. The 2nd issue is that the fine tuning gear that's attached to the shaft (inside the tuner) that is driven by the O-ring belt develops a small hairline crack and the gear spins on the shaft, thus not enabling fine tuning. It's a splined shaft that the gear is pressed over. It doesn't actually need to be replaced, but rather, remove the fine tuning gear, find the hairline crack alone the gear tooth (typically easy to find), add a drop of super glue in the crack and spin the shaft to spread the glue until the gear adheres to the shaft and you're good to go.

EdKozk2
03-14-2017, 01:36 AM
Good to see you got it working.

old_coot88
03-14-2017, 11:10 AM
..find the hairline crack alongs the gear tooth (typically easy to find), add a drop of super glue in the crack and spin the shaft to spread the glue until the gear adheres to the shaft and you're good to go.
It's better to first remove the gear and degrease thoroughly before gluing. We always used a smijjin of epoxy. Never had a failure thereafter.

VA561
03-14-2017, 12:51 PM
Thanks for the tuner info doug. It is the same set that you owned. It now has a permanent home in Norfolk. Its fitting because Norfolk is a Navy town and that Zenith set is a Nimitz class console! I've never picked up a heavier set in my life. It has to be solid oak wood. Its a big one. I understand that this model (the chancellor),was their top of the line for '64. Dwight said that you picked it up from a wealthy homeowner in Chicago and that he had it delivered to his home straight from the Zenith factory in Chicago. Its a beautiful cabinet and in great shape except for a few water rings on top which I plan to take care of. Any additional info you can give about the history of the set would be greatly appreciated.

Steve D.
03-14-2017, 07:39 PM
From the Zenith catalog:

-Steve D.

VA561
03-14-2017, 08:28 PM
Thanks Steve. So its walnut, not oak. Either way its a hernia maker.

VA561
03-14-2017, 10:38 PM
My '64 Zenith (see space command remote thread) was working great last night. I had all of the buttons on the remote working. I could turn the tv off and on, volume worked, mute button and channel up and down. I turned the set off for the night with the remote and the tv off/on button pushed in. I then unplugged the set. This is what I did today that apparently caused the set not to work. A friend gave me a set of cables that allow me to play music on my smart phone through the tape outputs on the back of the set.You plug the cables into the tape output jacks and the two cables go into one which plugs into the earphone jack on the smartphone. I turned the tuner on with the tape button pushed in then was playing music. I did have the volume fairly high for a short time. After I finished listening to music, I turned the tuner off and about three hours later I tried to turn the tv on with the remote. Nothing. The set would not come on. I tried to turn the set on with the tv on/off button and nothing. When I put the remote chassis switch from automatic to manual, I could turn the tv on. If I try to turn the switch back to automatic while the tv is on, it turns the tv off. Somehow there must be a connection between playing music through the tape outputs and the remote chassis. I don't know what happened. HELP!!!

EdKozk2
03-15-2017, 12:23 AM
I dont, think the audio connections had any thing to do with your power issue. You may have a stuck or out of sequence ratchet relay. Check M7 and M5 as per the schematic I sent. You may have to replace the electrolytic caps throughout the receiver. The collector circuit of every relay driver transistor has one.

Electronic M
03-15-2017, 07:56 AM
That volume/power ratchet was seized, you freed it but made no mention of lubing it so it has probably re-seized from sitting a few hours. The audio input should have nothing to do with the issue. If it is plastic find where it was lubed, clean the old lube and apply white lithium grease or something similar to the original lube.

Jon A.
03-15-2017, 08:16 PM
If that is indeed a sensitivity control - be careful - too sensitive and some features will quit working, as the gain is increased to the point of saturating the amp, and causing the control pulses to widen. Also, too much sensitivity can cause it to respond to other sounds - keys jingling on a key chain, the phone, etc.

Cheers,
No kidding. That reminds me of what happened in the storage room with my Sanyo. I don't recall exactly what I was doing but it caused a pile of remotes to take a spill, and boom, the TV came on. I checked the remotes I knew I had tried batteries in, none had any.

VA561
03-15-2017, 08:17 PM
I put the lithium grease (lightly) on a couple of gears and rechecked all of the connections. I know that the chassis needs to be recapped but as of this writing, everything seems to be working again.

Electronic M
03-16-2017, 07:48 AM
No kidding. That reminds me of what happened in the storage room with my Sanyo. I don't recall exactly what I was doing but it caused a pile of remotes to take a spill, and boom, the TV came on. I checked the remotes I knew I had tried batteries in, none had any.

Response to randomly generated ultrasonic tones is the nature of the beast....My SC600 Avanti comes on by it's self any time I vacuum in the room it is in.

drh4683
03-16-2017, 08:26 PM
Glad to hear the set found a good home! I found that set at an estate sale in a very large stately old home in the wealthy suburb of Hinsdale, IL back on 9-21-2013. Here's a photo I took of the set when I found it at the sale, still in the living room. The water rings on top were always there. That model and also the "Emperor" which was it's rectangular screen counterpart are the heaviest combos I too have ever moved. The original owner, Mr. John Webber was an accountant if I remember right. His wife Dorothy still seems to be with us at age 96. From what I recall, she moved to assisted living when they had the estate sale. They had another Zenith combo in the basement, a '67 model, but it was badly water damaged from the floods we had in the Chicago area during an April 2013 rainstorm that dropped 7" of water in less than 8 hours. Anyone who lived here had some form of water in their basements during that event. It was terrible.

https://c1.staticflickr.com/1/663/33441473146_becf7b173b_h.jpg (https://flic.kr/p/SX7hTd)DSC02916 (https://flic.kr/p/SX7hTd) by drh4683 (https://www.flickr.com/photos/135332734@N02/), on Flickr

drh4683
03-16-2017, 09:03 PM
Is the set at least responding to remote signals? Do you hear the volume stepper relay clicking when you press the on/off volume button on the remote? Do any of the other pilot relays click when you press the remote buttons?

For what it's worth, sometimes the volume stepper relay gets stuck, not from lack of lubrication, but because the friction tape the factory wrapped around the relay armature as a noise dampener gets a little tacky and thus "sticks" to the stopper bracket when it's in it's resting position. It will literally get stuck within hours even if you pop it free if you don't clean it or re-tape it. I just wrap a new piece of electrical tape around the armature to stop the sticking. Heres a photo showing the black tape on the armature on the stepper relay (upper right in this photo). Even if this isn't the case, it's something worth remembering as it's been a known troublemaker to stop the stepper relay from working.

https://c1.staticflickr.com/4/3824/33099476710_9389be36b0_b.jpg (https://flic.kr/p/SqTtfW)DSC04564 (https://flic.kr/p/SqTtfW) by drh4683 (https://www.flickr.com/photos/135332734@N02/), on Flickr

VA561
03-16-2017, 09:22 PM
Thanks for the info doug. I will definitely use the electrical tape to re wrap the volume stepper relay. I do hear the relays trying to respond to the remote signals.

VA561
03-16-2017, 09:29 PM
Thanks Doug. Its really nice to know the history of a tv. You've given me a lot of good technical advice also. Much appreciated. The set will be well taken care of. I was just watching an Ed Sullivan color show with the original commercials. It looked really good on this set. As you already know, these vintage sets are a work in progress. Just trying to preserve a little tv history.

Electronic M
03-17-2017, 09:26 AM
Please keep conversation on this combo limited to one thread. It makes it harder to follow your work if you keep making new threads about it, and clutters the forum with basically duplicate topics.

-Dictated, not read MGMT. :D

WISCOJIM
03-17-2017, 10:10 AM
Please keep conversation on this combo limited to one thread. It makes it harder to follow your work if you keep making new threads about it, and clutters the forum with basically duplicate topics.

Thank you!

.

VA561
03-17-2017, 11:41 AM
Will do. Sorry about that.

Jon A.
03-17-2017, 11:57 AM
Response to randomly generated ultrasonic tones is the nature of the beast....My SC600 Avanti comes on by it's self any time I vacuum in the room it is in.
Yup and they can be defiant buggers too. Triggering them deliberately without a remote is very hard in my experience.

I should vacuum that room soon... perhaps I will pull the Sanyo's main power switch beforehand to see if anything happens. I vacuum the main room fairly often - I have to as I frequently make a mess working on stuff - but my Heathkit GR-2000 is never powered on by the sound.

VA561
04-13-2017, 09:07 PM
This isn't the same chancellor set that Captainmoody had it is? If so, it was mine before Dwight got it.

Fine tuning issues is one or two things. This era of Zenith used an "O-ring" as a drive belt for the fine tuner. Typically, the original O-ring breaks due to age. A simple hardware store replacement works just fine. The 2nd issue is that the fine tuning gear that's attached to the shaft (inside the tuner) that is driven by the O-ring belt develops a small hairline crack and the gear spins on the shaft, thus not enabling fine tuning. It's a splined shaft that the gear is pressed over. It doesn't actually need to be replaced, but rather, remove the fine tuning gear, find the hairline crack alone the gear tooth (typically easy to find), add a drop of super glue in the crack and spin the shaft to spread the glue until the gear adheres to the shaft and you're good to go.

I took the tuner out. Does the o-ring go around point one and two? Fine tuning is done by pushing in shaft (arrow one) and then turning. Any assistance appreciated.

drh4683
04-13-2017, 10:02 PM
You're exactly correct in how the fine tuner works.