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SueAnders 01-12-2018 02:19 PM

Hi to VK, here's our new boondoggle aka old color TV!
Hi from Sue (& my hubs, Roger) in Central NY! We love old things of any kind, and not too long ago we got a tube stereo with help from AudioKarma. That's how we found out about this place, and got the idea to acquire this old TV beastie. We think it's a Zenith from about 1966, but that's just a guess. Neither of us had color TV growing up in the '50s & '60s, so color was a must on the theory that it's never too late to have a happy childhood!

It's not coming for a week or 2, but according to the seller it's a model 15331-U. We don't know the chassis type (anyone?) we see here on other posts that chassis number & information is needed for finding service information and manuals. It's a bit bigger set than some that we've seen.

At this point all we know is that it sort-of works, as you can see at least the picture tube does light up green. Other than that we expect to soon find out if this thing will be a fun project (with lots of help!) or a gigantic boondoggle; hopefully not the latter!! Hubs has worked on some radios and he put together kits in the '60s, so at least he can solder, and now being retired he has lots of time! So hello! I just hope this wasn't a giant mistake, we really want to watch the old shows of our childhood on a TV from the same time... See the USA in your Chevrolet... !
Sue in NY

SueAnders 01-12-2018 02:33 PM

5 Attachment(s)
A few more pictures of the '66? Zenith:

Opinions and comments regarding the suitability of this make & model would be welcome! We knew less than nothing when we bought this; talk about going in blind! But we love saving old things and this one would likely have ended up in a landfill!

Jon A. 01-12-2018 02:52 PM


Originally Posted by SueAnders (Post 3194611)
Neither of us had color TV growing up in the '50s & '60s, so color was a must on the theory that it's never too late to have a happy childhood!

Amen to that.

Ah a Zenith, top of the heap for early color sets, and it's a runner, good start. A beginner would probably be totally screwed with an early color RCA, especially if he/she got it with the intention of using it regularly.

broadcaster 01-12-2018 04:32 PM

No older Zenith color set is a boondoggle. Great find!

zeno 01-12-2018 05:41 PM

Welcome aboard Sue.
Zenith is a nice choice. Easiest to deal with. Your chassis number is on
the warning tag on the right. Always use it when asking questions.

First thing is lets get an idea how the pix tube is & take it from there.

There are 5 color controls on the reat to the R of the cord.
On the brown fiber board there is a G & B control. Leave them alone
for now.
On the main chassis there are 3 more R, B, & G usually marked " screen".
Turn all 3 all the way down CCW & remember where the green was.
Turn one way up. It should give that color only.
Turn back down & turn another up should be that color only.
Due the same with the 3rd color. Take pictures of the 3 different colors
& post them.
You can now put the G control back.
Now you can try one more thing.
With the G back where it was turn up the R & B about the same place.
If the CRT is real strong you should get almost a B&W picture.
Tweak the controls & try to make it as B&W as you can.

73 Zeno:smoke:

Celt 01-12-2018 05:56 PM

Welcome! :wave:

compucat 01-12-2018 07:52 PM

I was looking at that set on Ebay just recently. I am glad it is going to someone who wants to preserve it. I have had a 1965 Zenith round tube color tv for the past ten years. It has been in regular use all that time after I restored it. Mine uses the 25MC33 chassis. They are great sets and worth the effort to restore. Once set up correctly, the picture and color quality is unbelievably good. I still am wowed by the color quality on mine and it needs some maintenance. If you want a vintage tv you can actually use regularly and enjoy, Zenith is among the best there is.

SueAnders 01-13-2018 02:47 PM

We can't wait until it comes, weather permitting (we just had a bunch of snow) they hope to deliver it in a week or 2, we're about 2 hours away from the sellers.

Does this model look familiar to anyone?
I think I got lucky, (I hope) since we know virtually zero about old TVs! I'm so excited to fix it up and use it as intended!

Thanks to all for the welcome, and Tom C and Mr. Zeno for your tips, as soon as we get it home we'll try those out!

The only thing I'm not super thrilled about is the cabinet design, which is kind of modern and in a dark wood. We feel lucky to have found this so we didn't hesitate for a second, as we've been looking but there's never been one anywhere nearby, but all of my furniture is a lighter maple-wood, Early American Colonial style, and I would love to be able to put these "guts" into a cabinet that would be a better match since it'll be put in our Living Room and used as our regular set, along with our old tube stereo and other 1950s & 60s vintage Early American maple furniture. Is there anyone with a similar Zenith set but in a maple wood style out there?

SueAnders 01-13-2018 03:18 PM

1 Attachment(s)
Here's my DH's vintage play toy, and he has a few old radios too:

timmy 01-13-2018 03:35 PM


Originally Posted by SueAnders (Post 3194665)
Here's my DH's vintage play toy, and he has a few old radios too:

Nice 68 Chevy, what engine, 250 , 327 . As for the zenith, hopefully all 3 guns are good and not just the green gun.

SueAnders 01-13-2018 04:19 PM

I had to ask hubby what engine it is, he says 327 4 barel? It only has 70 thousand miles and runs like a Swiss watch, and it's as solid as a rock, and pretty much original.

I found an old picture here of the style of cabinet I'd like to find, down below. I wonder if it's possible to find one now, 50 years on!

SueAnders 01-13-2018 04:22 PM

2 Attachment(s)
here's the cabinet style, Early American, that I'd love to have so it'd match our stereo and the rest of our furniture, the Zenith that we found won't fit in with them too well! LOL

SpaceAge 01-13-2018 04:58 PM

Well, the picture isn't that old. See this thread:

People have different tastes but prevailing sentiment around here seems to be that cabinets such as your Zenith are some of the more desirable. Maybe someone will be willing to work a trade with you.

compucat 01-13-2018 05:44 PM

You could probably have the cabinet refinished to match the lighter color of your console stereo. Another likely expensive option is to have a custom cabinet built for it in your preferred style. There are not too many sets I would be willing to do that for but a Zenith roundie is definitely one of them.

old_coot88 01-13-2018 07:00 PM

Something to keep in mind - a vintage tube TV (especially color) is always a 'work in progress' prone to inevitable failures/breakdowns. If you don't have an experienced techie on call for service/repairs, there's always the collective wisdom here on VK. :)

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