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Vintage televisions, anyone? Post pics here!

Discussion in 'The Display Case' started by airgrabber666, Feb 14, 2011.

  1. airgrabber666

    airgrabber666 One of the Regulars

    Anybody on the board into vintage televisions? Like from the 1930s into the '60s? I don't have one but I've always wanted one since I was a kid. If you have a vintage set, post pictures here!
  2. I'm always looking at Ebay and RadioAttic.com for antique TV's. Some day . . . I'll own one. For a television to be a real antique as far as I'm concerned, it has to date from no later than 1951 to 53. Preferably it should have a wood or bakelite cabinet, and have no wider than a 17 inch picture tube. One type I continuously ogle and covet is the all in one home entertainment unit. They typically have a gorgeous mahogany cabinet (or blonde wood, which was real big in the late 40's and early 50's), a small TV (often as small as 10 inches), a turntable, sometimes with two tone arms (one for 78 and a separate for 45's) and a radio, preferably AM and FM.
    They're big and cumbersome, which makes shipping horrendous, and often require a lot of restoraion, both of the wood and the electronics.
    But they're soooo elegant and cool.
  3. [​IMG]

    This is my living-room TV, rescued from the dump in 1986. It was one of the first television sets in my home town -- we didn't get television at all until 1954, and this model dates to that fall. When I found it the neck was snapped off the picture tube from being tossed off the back of a truck onto the skip, but it was otherwise in working condition. I replaced the tube, using one salvaged from a junkyard, and then got around to re-capping the chassis about ten years ago.

    Does everything I need a TV to do, plus it helps keep the living room warm. What more could I want?
  4. martinsantos

    martinsantos Practically Family

    Got a Strauss Tv set (no, you never heard about this brand. Made in a family business here in São Paulo. Factory closed in 1963) from 1959/60. I still didn't get the patience and time to work with it... I don't like much Tv and don't like much the voltages, too. The diagram says 22 KV on the tube. This makes the voltages in radios (usually the top is 400 V) just a child's play (got once a chock of 300V. Not funny).

    Wonderful set, Lizzie!
  5. ChadHahn

    ChadHahn New in Town

    I used to see some nice old TVs. I saw a real nice Crosley in a red lacquer cabinet with Chinese decorations on it. If it hadn't been $350 I might of bought it. Sorry, no pictures.

  6. My folks had a Hoffman, with that nifty mesh covering the speakers. It lasted for a couple of decades, going upstairs to the den when the color tv was bought. It weighed about as much as a refrigerator.
  7. :eusa_clap:eusa_clap:eusa_clap
  8. So, Lizzie, can one of these babies be restored by just replacing any tubes that are defunct, and recapping? (Plus, of course, cosmetic work on the cabinet)? Or do you really need to know what you're doing?
  9. It depends on what condition they're in. If you have to replace things like the flyback transformer (which creates the high voltage for the picture tube), or the horizontal/vertical output transformers (which deal in critical settings that require an oscilloscope and the knowledge of how to use it), you'd better know what you're doing first.

    Most mid/late '50s black and white sets are simple circuits that are easy to work on, and there are plenty of textbooks if you want to study theory before digging into them. Avoid sets that have tightly-packed chassis, though, and sets with early printed-circuit boards -- that's stuff for advanced technicians, not beginners. And if you're a beginner, stay far away from Predictas. They were a technician's nightmare even when they were new, and they haven't improved with age.
  10. I've got a Pilot TV-37 - the first compact set.
    It was rolled out in mid-1948 as the Candid, but that name is not used by collectors.
    It hasn't been on in years but worked fine when last operated, needing only some truing up and retuning.

    One day when my ship comes in I'll have a cabinetmaker build me a copy of the RCA Victor Field Test cabinet from 1936, then have TV and other goodies put in.
    Last edited: Feb 15, 2011
  11. martinsantos

    martinsantos Practically Family

    Just a little advice... Take a lot of care when opening any of these old Tv sets. Them use a lot oh HIGH VOLTAGE components. Some very early Tv tube got voltages as high as 27.000 Volts. Capacitors can storage eletricity for several years, sometimes several decades, ever if never turned on again.

  12. Mmmm . . . yeah. I think I'll leave this sort of stuff to the pros.
  13. The voltage sounds scarier than it actually is. Postwar television sets had high voltage on the picture tube anode, but it was very low current. It won't kill you, but it'll give you an awful jarring, perhaps enough to drop the set on your foot, which will hurt even more than the shock.

    Prewar television sets, on the other hand, and one or two cheap off-brand postwar models, used step-up transformers to generate their high voltage off the power line, and these *will* kill you if you touch the wrong point. Best to leave these sets to professionals.

    Aside from the picture tube circuit, there's the usual 350 volts or so of DC that you find in any vacuum-tube equipment, radio, television, or whatever. The current is low enought that this won't kill you either, but it'll knock you across the room if you get bitten by it, and your arm will be numb for a week.
  14. martinsantos

    martinsantos Practically Family

    :eusa_clap :D :D

    Of course the picture tube is the very high voltage (I wrote "Tv tube"); usually tubes works from 150 to 300V/DC. Saw once a high-end audio amplifier with almost 700V in the top of a pair of 6SN7, but this is the exception.

    But what I think scary about these Tv sets is that usually they are off for a long time. A cord can be broken inside, etc, so when you touch a usually "safe" point you can get a full high voltage.

    I got once a shock of around 300/350V directly from the power transformer of a radio. It hurts! :eusa_doh: (the radio was on because I was tracking the signal).

    I think the biggest danger is with the capacitors. Even with the set off, the eletricity is there. And is a quick and strong discharge - and I think the amperage here isn't small as when the set is on. My RCA Tube Manual says to "disconect" all very high voltage capacitors (and to short-circuitry to ground the high voltage ones) before working with a Tv set.
  15. The easy way to deal with that is take a heavy screwdriver, solder a piece of anode lead to it, and an alligator clip to the end of that, and clip it to the chassis. And then touch the positive terminal of each cap with the screwdriver to draw off any remaining charge. Do this until it stops sparking, and you should be fine.

    Don't forget to do this to the anode terminal on the picture tube, too -- that's where the biggest charge will be found.
  16. Don't use a tang thru screwdriver........
  17. I have my Grandmother's Dumont RA-112 that she bought in Dec. 1949. (Still has all of the papers, and the power cord tag)

    It's quite interesting with the continuous radio type tuner and green cat's eye on the dial.
    I lucked into a full Dumont factory TV shop binder with all their schematics, and repair bulletins.
  18. It would be cool if you could pull in (from outer space somewhere) some of the old Dumont shows, like good old Captain Video, and the original season of Your Show of Shows.
  19. martinsantos

    martinsantos Practically Family

    In a little book about electronics, from 1932, a schematic of a Tv set. No picture tube, but a disc with lens and lamps and a motor.

    I would love to see the results of anyone who tried to make a Tv in those days... (probably it won't work today because the number os lines, etc).

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