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  #1  
Old 06-14-2007, 02:48 PM
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mattdavala mattdavala is offline
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Zenith roundie story

Hi Guys,

Two years ago there was a mid 60's Zenith color roundie on ebay being sold in California. The seller did not know of its working condition.

I wasn't a AK member at that point, but I did read a post from you guys discussing this TV. I should have registerd and posted, but didn't. Well call me silly but I spent around 400 for freight to get it up here to Hillsboro Oregon. You guys were saying whoever was bidding on it probley has no idea what he's doing. Or something to that effect. I took a big gamble.

I have always wanted a roundie, and even though its a late model 1966 it still had a hand wired chassis. I knew the CRT and flyback worked before it was shipped, the owner taking photo's. Screen was all fuzz.

Got it home and took the back off the TV. VHF leads had fallen off the terminal. Attached them. Bingo. Beautiful picture!!!

Man did I luck out! The TV had sat unused in storage for 30 years, and the CRT was replaced the the previous owners uncle. Really low hours. CRT bias control is full counter-clockwise, and red screen control is maybe 1/4 of a turn before I got a red line.

Its been a daily viewer for two years now, and only had to replace the damper, HV rect, and regulator. I just put a picture of it on my Avartar. I have no other way to post pictures of it because pic size is over 800KB.

I'll see if I can look back in the old postings to find the discussion.

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Davala
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  #2  
Old 06-14-2007, 03:24 PM
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compucat compucat is offline
1949 Motorola 9VT1
 
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These sets are expensive to acquire and restore but boy are they worth it. My restored Zenith 1965 25MC33 is a great set. The picture quality is incredible for a non solid state set with relatively simple circuitry. I had the CRT rebuilt and that makes all the difference. I also replaced the horizontal and high voltage tubes. Just a week ago the vertical output transformer failed but a new one is on the way. The handwiring definitely contributes to the reliability and the overall build quality is tremendous. Please try to post detailed pics of your set. I'm curious as to which chassis you have and what the cabinet looks like. I for one can neven hear and see enough about these round tube wonders.
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  #3  
Old 06-25-2007, 03:10 PM
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Jeffhs Jeffhs is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by mattdavala View Post
Hi Guys,

Two years ago there was a mid 60's Zenith color roundie on ebay being sold in California. The seller did not know of its working condition.

I wasn't a AK member at that point, but I did read a post from you guys discussing this TV. I should have registerd and posted, but didn't. Well call me silly but I spent around 400 for freight to get it up here to Hillsboro Oregon. You guys were saying whoever was bidding on it probley has no idea what he's doing. Or something to that effect. I took a big gamble.

I have always wanted a roundie, and even though its a late model 1966 it still had a hand wired chassis. I knew the CRT and flyback worked before it was shipped, the owner taking photo's. Screen was all fuzz.

Got it home and took the back off the TV. VHF leads had fallen off the terminal. Attached them. Bingo. Beautiful picture!!!

Man did I luck out! The TV had sat unused in storage for 30 years, and the CRT was replaced the the previous owners uncle. Really low hours. CRT bias control is full counter-clockwise, and red screen control is maybe 1/4 of a turn before I got a red line.

Its been a daily viewer for two years now, and only had to replace the damper, HV rect, and regulator. I just put a picture of it on my Avartar. I have no other way to post pictures of it because pic size is over 800KB.

I'll see if I can look back in the old postings to find the discussion.

-
Davala
Congratulations. You were very fortunate to have found a TV that still works as well as yours seems to, even after being in storage for 30 years. I had a similar experience with a 1963 Zenith b&w console in 1969. It was a trash day find, seemed to be in good condition as far as the chassis and cabinet went, but someone had filched every one of the tubes (all but two, actually--the CRT and the 1J3 HV rectifier) and I had to replace them all. But it was worth it--the set worked extremely well after I put the last tube in, plugged the set in, connected an antenna, and turned the TV on. Beautiful, razor-sharp picture on every Cleveland network station. I was using just the attic antenna in my home (no cable in '69; we didn't get cable where I lived at that time until 1982), but I tried the set on rabbit ears and it worked just as well. Just goes to show how well Zenith TVs were made in the '60s.

The picture on your Zenith roundie looks good, but it doesn't quite fill the screen vertically. Have you tested the tubes since you've had the TV? The vertical osc/output tube might be a bit weak; however, until you can get a new tube, you can compensate for a weak tube by adjusting the vertical height and linearity controls (they interact with each other, so you may have to fiddle around a bit to find the proper settings); also, any adjustment of the vertical controls may and probably will have an effect on the convergence. A color bar and dot generator is required to properly reset screen convergence; I wouldn't try to do it by eye--not again, anyway, as I will explain. I tried that once with a 1964 Silvertone roundie I got from one of my neighbors in my hometown in 1970; even using the horizontal line produced when the service switch is in the "service" position, I couldn't get it right.

I don't know what vintage your set is, but since it's a roundie I'd personally spot it somewhere in the '60s. No matter. Zenith TVs of any vintage from the '60s through about 1980 are well-built sets, great performers and very reliable. By the mid-'80s or so, however, the quality of these TVs started to slide downhill and have been doing so ever since, especially since Gold Star bought out Zenith in the late '80s. Those "Zenith"-branded GS sets are terrible, in performance and reliability, so I've read in these forums. Also, the CRTs in almost all Zenith TVs made in the '90s are prone to early failure, mainly by shorting after about two years. The short takes out much if not all the video circuitry as well.

I have a Zenith 19" table model remote set in my bedroom, however, that seems to be the exception to the rule. That set still makes a beautiful picture, still has its original CRT and works very well, even though the TV was made in 1995, twelve years ago. The set has only about four actual years of usage, though, as it was my main watcher at my previous residence; when I moved to where I live now, a small one-bedroom apartment in a small town 35 miles east of Cleveland, the Zenith went in the bedroom and I bought a new (at the time, seven and a half years ago) RCA CTC-185 for the living room. However, the Zenith is now used mostly (almost exclusively) for cross-checking when I have trouble with my cable service, although I used the Zenith for about two weeks when the RCA was in for repairs. I test the Zenith every few weeks just to see if it works; it still works as well as when it was new.

Again, congratulations on finding a Zenith roundie that works as well as yours does. That's rare, as anything that's been sitting around idle for three decades is bound to have some problems when it is put back into use. Enjoy your set and for heaven's sake, hold on to it, as they don't make them like that anymore. It seems to me that it was well worth the $400 or so you spent to have it shipped to your place in Oregon from California. That set is living proof that, in Zenith's heyday, "the quality goes in before the name goes on."
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  #4  
Old 06-29-2007, 10:26 AM
domfjbrown domfjbrown is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Jeffhs View Post
The picture on your Zenith roundie looks good, but it doesn't quite fill the screen vertically.
Isn't that a widescreen film on the screen? The aspect ratio of the actual picture looks OK, so I'm assuming the black bars are letterboxing?

Nice find though - shame there's only about 10 roundies here in the UK
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Old 06-29-2007, 06:03 PM
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Jeffhs Jeffhs is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by domfjbrown View Post
Isn't that a widescreen film on the screen? The aspect ratio of the actual picture looks OK, so I'm assuming the black bars are letterboxing?

Nice find though - shame there's only about 10 roundies here in the UK

Ooops! My mistake. I looked at the picture of that Zenith roundie a few minutes ago (after having read domfjbrown's post) and did in fact see two blank spaces above and below the picture, which does in fact indicate letterbox formatting. Many TV shows here in the US, in fact all shows telecast in HD, appear this way on standard analog 4:3 TVs using digital cable boxes. Starting early February 2009 this is how all TV pictures will appear on older analog sets using cable boxes, satellite or ATSC OTA converters. I think there will be a huge market for these ATSC converters once digital takes over from analog in 18 months as there are still literally millions of analog 4:3 TVs in active daily use in the US, many if not most of which are nowhere near ready for the landfill yet.

I was one of the early adopters of digital cable when, in 2006 or '05 I think, I first heard about the plan to phase out analog TV. It threw a scare into me, especially after reading that "all existing analog TVs will go dark in 2009 and must be replaced by high-definition flat panels"--words to that effect. I did not realize at the time that analog sets would still be able to receive digital signals through the use of a digital cable box, satellite receiver or ATSC set-top converter, so I immediately called the cable company and had my service upgraded to digital (the lowest level of digital service they had; the cable operator in my area offers at least three levels of HDTV service, each more expensive than the last). I now have Time-Warner digital cable and am ready for anything that comes through the cable connection in my apartment. I am aware that the picture I see on my analog TV (from a digital channel) is not and will not be HD, but it will have to do for the time being since I am not in a position to purchase a flat-panel set at this time. I suppose I could get one tomorrow if I wanted a 15-inch picture, but as I see it, if I replace my 19" analog TV with a FP HDTV I want a set that is at least that large. Most 19-20" HDTV FPs are outside my budget right now, but perhaps in another year or so....who knows? I'll just have to wait and see, I guess.

BTW, I wonder why NBC Nightly News, which claims to be presented in HD, still appears as standard definition (i. e. 4:3 aspect ratio) on my set? I doubt that NBC (or for that matter WKYC-TV, the local NBC affiliate here in northeastern Ohio, whose newscasts, claiming to be HD, show as full-screen SD on most standard TVs) is downconverting its HD image to SD just for the nightly news. (The other networks do this with their nightly news programs as well.) Another question: Three local TV stations in Cleveland are now broadcasting their local 6 and 11 p.m. newscasts in high-definition, but the CBS affiliate is still showing its local newscasts in 4:3 standard definition. Isn't there a rule that states that all TV stations must now transmit all their programming, local as well as network, in HD? The deadline for the digital transition isn't that far off. How long is that station, which went on the air just 22 years ago, going to wait before it retools its operation for the digital age? Time is running out.
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Old 06-30-2007, 12:37 AM
3Guncolor 3Guncolor is offline
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There is no rule that any station must transmit HD they only have to switch to digital. Just as there is no rule that a station has to transmit color on analog. It will be the market that will drive HD broadcasts. Some stations might want to transmit 7 or 8 SD channels it will be up to the owners.
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Old 06-30-2007, 02:53 AM
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Also, there's no rule that cable has to switch to digital. I expect that most cable companies will continue analog NTSC basic channels well beyond the over the air NTSC shut off.
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Old 06-30-2007, 10:31 AM
3Guncolor 3Guncolor is offline
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You are correct about cable. Where I live the cable system is 100% digital and they still have the basic channels going out analog. There is no plan to cut off analog at this time.
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