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Old 03-07-2006, 01:43 AM
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Adam Adam is offline
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Best side of the road TV finds?

I was inspired by the last thread. What were some of the best side of the road, in a ditch, in the trash, at the dump,... TV finds you all have had? How many really great televisions are still being found on curbs and such places?

My best was probably a 1970 Zenith b/w metal cabinet set, followed by two sets I don't have anymore an all tube '71 Zenith b/w with space command (without the remote) and one of those Zenith color 4 tube hybrids. Once I almost got a Portacolor, but when I went back for it a few days later, it was gone. I've got several System 3 consoles that I don't have anymore. Once I saw an Admiral color roundie cabinet, but I didn't pick it up, I just don't have the room to keep empty cabinets. I've found others, but those are probably the only ones really worth mentioning.
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Old 03-07-2006, 02:29 AM
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A Silvertone B/W console, sitting on top of it was a Motorola bakelite set. both sets were from the early 50's and the Motorola still worked quite well as found. The Silvertone only needed minor repairs to get it going. I also once found a 1959 Admiral 21" B/W console on the curb a few blocks from home. there wasn't a scratch on the finish anywhere, and when I got it home I found it to be in perfect working order! These are the oldest sets I've ever found on the roadside, too.

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Old 03-07-2006, 03:18 AM
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Jeffhs Jeffhs is offline
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Trash-day TV finds in Cleveland

In the late '60s, I found a 1963-vintage Zenith 23" b&w console up the street from my home at that time. Someone had filched the tubes, all but the CRT and 1J3 HV rectifier, so I had a job finding new ones (finally found them all at a Radio Shack in the next town east of me). It was worth the effort, though, as the TV worked, showing that great Zenith picture on all three Cleveland network stations, as soon as I flipped the switch after installing the last tube. I had the set for about three years (it worked very well all that time), but had to get rid of it in 1972 when I moved. Hated to do it, especially after all the work I put into getting it working again (I had even patched an FM tuner into the audio stages to take advantage of the set's fantastic sound channel--6BN6 gated beam detector and 6BQ5 output, with a 6x9 oval speaker), but...oh well.

Another trash-day find, this time in the mid-'70s, was a 1969 Zenith SC300 portable, minus the remote hand unit. This one worked as soon as I got it home, and worked very well after that for about the next year or so. However, the set developed an AGC problem which caused a very washed-out picture on all three local stations, which I think was caused by a gassy horizontal output tube (throwing the AGC circuit into full overdrive, which in turn overbiased the grids of every tube in the signal channel from the tuner going forward to the video amp). Couldn't find a new HO tube, so I put the set in my basement and bought a new Zenith 12" solid-state b&w portable the next day. The Zenith went to the trash (from whence it came) shortly thereafter. Never got the remote circuitry to work, though. Could not find the proper remote hand unit; besides, I think the power tuning mechanism was either stripped or had been removed, as I could turn the channel selector by hand with no resistance--moreover, the manual channel selector shaft was missing, although there was a hole in the back cover where it should have been. Even more of a mystery was the lack of any kind of manual channel selector button or bar anywhere on the front panel; this is what makes me think the mechanical tuner drive mechanism had been removed, as there was no motor or gear drive anywhere to be seen on the back of the tuner either.

I found many old sets on curbs in the late '60s and very early '70s as well, none of which I have anymore. At one point I had one entire half of my basement full of old TVs in various conditions (a number of them wound up as parts sets). All but three of them returned to the trash when I moved (the first time) in 1972, but even those sets wound up being trashed when they developed serious problems, among them a Sears Silvertone (RCA CTC15 chassis) in which the video output tube socket broke out of the video PCB, just three years after I got it working. Oh well. When I returned to my hometown in 1975, I found a small-screen Sears metal-cabinet color set which worked (I don't remember how well, though; that was thirty years ago), but it stayed in the basement all the time I had it (a couple years, IIRC).

Since I've been at my current residence, a small apartment in a small town some 35 miles east of Cleveland, I've seen a couple TVs on curbs (a 1980s-vintage RCA portable just up the street from my apartment and a late-'70s RCA color console just down and across the street from here), but I didn't grab either of them. I suppose I could have grabbed the RCA portable and found room for it somewhere in my place, but that RCA 25-inch console probably would have been out of the question as I had no way of getting it home. Another find would have been two stereo consoles (Morse Electrophonic and, IIRC, RCA, both late '70s) just a few doors down the street, but again I had no way of getting them home, so they stayed just where they were.

Oh well. Perhaps I'll get the bug again and start collecting vintage portable TVs from the curbs and trash piles around here. Hmmm. No room for consoles, but I could put several small portables in corners of my bedroom and other spots. One set I'm looking for, and have actually seen on ebay on several occasions (but haven't bid on yet), is the 5" Zenith portable TV with AM/FM radio. They show up quite often and in working condition much of the time, so I wouldn't have to be concerned with repairs if I got a good one. This wouldn't take up much room and could be the start (the cornerstone, if you will) of my soon to be (I hope) vintage portable TV collection.
Jeff, WB8NHV

Collecting, restoring and enjoying vintage Zenith radios since 2002

Zenith. Gone, but not forgotten.

Last edited by Jeffhs; 03-07-2006 at 03:21 AM. Reason: Change to post
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Old 03-07-2006, 07:41 AM
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Kamakiri Kamakiri is offline
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I found an absolutely stone mint RCA 8T241 curbside on the way to work about 4 years ago. I thought I was dreaming!
"Restoring a tube TV is like going to war. A color one is like a land war in Asia."
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Old 03-07-2006, 02:23 PM
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kx250rider kx250rider is offline
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A CBS-Columbia 360 1954 color set (with 19VP22 CRT)... Dumped in a catch basin in Chatsworth, CA in about 1992. I had to pay off a guy who was in the process of dragging it to his van to get the mahogany wood off it!!!!!!!!!!!!! Miracle: Set was undamaged! It was missing the big wood cover below the doors, but I had one made for $100. TV is now in Dr. Dan's collection.

But another of us on this site, (remaining nameless unless he chooses to speak up), got an experimental 1937 RCA mirror lid RR-359 TV from out back of a gas station in Santa Monica, CA for $40! I bet nobody will top that luck!

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Old 03-07-2006, 03:47 PM
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I guess the best overall I've done was in the early 90s at the town dump, over a period of weeks I got a CTC-15 in a beautiful cabinet & a rough but working Admiral roundie. I junked the Admiral but eventually put its crt in the -15 when that one went to air. The -15 is one of my favorites today. Another time I found a -15 combo on the curb but I parted it out. Today I would save it but this was before I knew about cataract surgery and that thing had the worst I'd ever seen.
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Old 03-07-2006, 03:59 PM
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wa2ise wa2ise is offline
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A few years ago someone tossed the RCA 21T8395 I now have. It even worked, but I recapped it anyway. Was at the curb about 1/3 a mile from where I live. See it at
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Old 03-07-2006, 04:40 PM
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Big Dave Big Dave is offline
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My curbside and road finds.

Silvertone round color combo
Zenith 21" metal tabletop
Sylvania round color
Admiral color
The world's worst TV restoration site on the entire intranoot and damn proud of it.
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Old 03-08-2006, 01:00 AM
frenchy frenchy is offline
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All I ever run across on the roads out here are much newer sets that look like they were heaved out of the car window at 60 mph : )
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Old 03-08-2006, 02:01 AM
southernguy southernguy is offline
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Here is my best side of the road find, Found a ctc31 on a curb side in August of 2000 left over from an estate sale. This set worked from the get go, had to replace the vertical cap sp far. After a good cabnet refinishing and cataract surgery here recently, I decided to put it into the living room.
Attached Images
File Type: jpg ctc31a.JPG (19.5 KB, 89 views)
File Type: jpg ctc31b.JPG (40.4 KB, 143 views)
Bruce Janey

Last edited by southernguy; 03-08-2006 at 02:11 AM.
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Old 03-08-2006, 05:49 AM
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2DualsNotEnough 2DualsNotEnough is offline
The Goodbye Look
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Didnt someone on here a while back find a ctc-5(I think) in great shape curbside?Its a great story.
Current System:Cambridge Audio 640 Azur v2/NAD pp-2/,Oppo DV-970HD dvd/cd/,Luxman T-12 Tuner,Technics SL-1200 Mk5/Grado Red,ADS L810.
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Old 03-08-2006, 06:01 AM
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2DualsNotEnough 2DualsNotEnough is offline
The Goodbye Look
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Ok,I found it.
Current System:Cambridge Audio 640 Azur v2/NAD pp-2/,Oppo DV-970HD dvd/cd/,Luxman T-12 Tuner,Technics SL-1200 Mk5/Grado Red,ADS L810.
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Old 03-08-2006, 03:28 PM
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captainmoody captainmoody is offline
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I found a CTC-5 with factory stand in the trash back in October 2004, It even worked still! I believe the thread is still on this forum from that date.
Unfourtunately I had to ebay it as the bills never stop coming in and it seems we are always short of money...

Last edited by captainmoody; 07-04-2007 at 11:48 AM.
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Old 03-08-2006, 07:19 PM
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I found an RCA Victor set during one of my junk runs. It is made of cherry wood, has a big screen, is sort of cube shaped, and works! It does need a little restoration, which I hopefully can get to eventually. I researched the model number 21-T-303 to be from 1953.
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Old 08-17-2006, 11:59 PM
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truetone36 truetone36 is offline
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This year's annual spring claenup which is held every April was a major goldmine for me.
I seem to be the only one in this area interested in old t.v.s and I was fortunate to have a bunch of neat stuff follow me home. Here's a list,
Admiral 21" b/w console, ca. 1954
Sony KV1201
Sony KV-1500
Zenith 23" b/w console, ca. 1962-63
Admiral 19" b/w portable, ca.1959-60
Zenith 19" b/w portable, ca. 1959
Sears (Sanyo) 12" b/w hybrid portable (1977)
HUGE Philco stereophonic radio/phono console, ca. 1958-59
2 RCA Videodisc players and 10 Videodiscs
Quite a week, huh?

Dumont--First with the finest in television.
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