Whats a good TV to look for to restore?

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Whats a good TV to look for to restore?

Post by willy3486 on Tue Jul 31, 2012 8:54 am

I was wondering what would be a good TV to restore? Here is what I am looking at to decide. One thing I have to look at is I am in rural Tennessee. I have not seen many TV sets made before about 55. I would like a small TV like a tabletop. I like the older Halicrafters or motorola tabletops but they are rare here. I use to have some old Zenith 20 inch B&W TVs as a kid and liked them. They were probably early 60s and the tube sockets were mounted on a steel frame. The only thing is they are big. But I might be interested. I would like to stay away from ones with known design flaws. What I mean by that is one that has some issue in its design that causes it to act up often.

I don't really want one too complicated but one that would be good to learn how TVs work. Its been 20 years since I worked on them much so I forgot a lot. I also never got as comfortable working on them as I did radios. I mainly want one to get going so I can display in my workshop. I would like a metal case or wooden, I really not into the plastic ones. I would do a plastic one, I have a small plastic one I may restore first since I have it. I have set up my shop like a old radio/TV shop museum so to speak. I have been buying stuff used in old TV shops to display in there. A lot of folks younger than myself have never been in a TV shop. My daughters friends are amazed at the old TV stuff.

I have set it up as to pay homage to these older fellows who helped me get started as a teen. Most now are in at least their 80s or already passed. I have a large collection of new TV tubes so I am not too worried about ones I may need unless its one of thise "rare " ones . Also if I found one of the TVs that are smaller like the Motorola or Halicrafters tabletops does anyone have a idea of the cost to ship? Are there types or models to stay away from? Thanks in advance for any advice.


Last edited by willy3486 on Wed Aug 01, 2012 9:51 pm; edited 1 time in total

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Re: Whats a good TV to look for to restore?

Post by Guest on Tue Jul 31, 2012 6:44 pm

I mostly work with radio, so I wouldn't be able to advise you on what kind to get, but a decent source of old television sets is on Craigslist. A lot of folks use the site to clear out their family collections. You wouldn't have shipping damage to worry about as well.

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Re: Whats a good TV to look for to restore?

Post by Bill Cahill on Wed Aug 01, 2012 3:26 am

How about a nice Admiral? Or, for simplicity, Bendix?
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Re: Whats a good TV to look for to restore?

Post by willy3486 on Wed Aug 01, 2012 9:50 pm

I have been looking on craigslist and another site where I live. They are few and far between and if they are there they have the Ebay complex. Thats were someone sees a TV show or ebay price and price it really high. To give you and idea someone posted locally a radio console from the 70s as vintage with a 500 buck price. Even if its perfect in this area I have seen them for sale at 50 or less.

As far as TVs Bill I am open. I mainly want a old one to fix up so it plays . I want to display it in my shop. The smaller the better. I am setting up my shop as a tribute to all these TV guys who put up with me as a pesky kid who was mesmorized by what they could do. They helped me get my start in repair and I owe a lot to them. I do have a small plastic case that has tubes. I may start with that one. I am not in a hurry just wondering what to look for and what to stay away from. Thanks for the replies.

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Re: Whats a good TV to look for to restore?

Post by Bill Cahill on Wed Aug 01, 2012 10:14 pm

No problem. Always happy to help.............
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Re: Whats a good TV to look for to restore?

Post by cwmoser on Sun Aug 05, 2012 10:05 am

You might want to consider attending the Early Television Convention next May. They have a regular auction, silent
auction and folks selling TVs. You get to see a lot of
variety there. I attended for the first time this year and
I think its a great event.

Carl

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Re: Whats a good TV to look for to restore?

Post by Bill Cahill on Sun Aug 05, 2012 4:43 pm

Thanks, Carl. Wish I could go to one of those shows. People that have have said goodies gallore are there!
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Re: Whats a good TV to look for to restore?

Post by willy3486 on Sun Aug 05, 2012 5:56 pm

I would love to go to the museum but for me its out of the question. I work full time,my wife and I are the ones who do for her 83 yr old mother, and we have a child in college. I think that it is in Ohio and at this time a trip from where we are is probably out of the question. I do this as a hobby and try to keep the costs down.

I mainly want to find one in my area so there will be no shipping and no traveling. But I would ship before I could travel. I do go to the meets in my area. I haven't seen a TV at one but that doesn't mean I won't. I am in no hurry but if I found one today I liked and with a decent price I would buy it. My issue is I do not know what is out there worth having,what to stay away from because its unreliable or a pain to fix. I have worked on TVs some in the past but not as a profession.

One thing I have no idea of value on them. The last time I bought them I would go to yard sales and pay no more than a buck or two back in the 80s. What price do they usually run. I wouldn't mind a hallicrafters as I have a few hallicrafters radios. I also like the tabletop motorolas.

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Re: Whats a good TV to look for to restore?

Post by holmesuser01 on Tue Oct 16, 2012 7:57 pm

Where in rural Tennessee are you? I'm in Western North Carolina.
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Re: Whats a good TV to look for to restore?

Post by willy3486 on Tue Oct 16, 2012 8:51 pm

I am in the Middle TN area. Its called Smithville and about an hour southeast of Nashville.

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Re: Whats a good TV to look for to restore?

Post by holmesuser01 on Tue Oct 16, 2012 9:41 pm

Hmm. I used to live in Nashville.
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Re: Whats a good TV to look for to restore?

Post by Ken g on Mon Dec 31, 2012 9:13 pm

Zenith tv sets are usually the best to get fixed .

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Re: Whats a good TV to look for to restore?

Post by Guest on Mon Dec 31, 2012 9:26 pm

cwmoser wrote:You might want to consider attending the Early Television Convention next May. They have a regular auction, silent
auction and folks selling TVs. You get to see a lot of
variety there. I attended for the first time this year and
I think its a great event.

Carl

Is this the one in Huntington West Virginia? If so when in May is it? I may attend.

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Re: Whats a good TV to look for to restore?

Post by Tony V on Tue Jan 01, 2013 1:27 am

Its in Hilliard, Ohio
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Re: Whats a good TV to look for to restore?

Post by holmesuser01 on Tue Jan 01, 2013 2:58 pm

willy3486 wrote:I am in the Middle TN area. Its called Smithville and about an hour southeast of Nashville.

I remember Smithville. If you ever watch WZTV in Nashville on Ch. 17, you've seen my handywork.

I'm restoring a DuMont 17" set that was built in 1950. Other than being totally loaded with capacitors to replace, it's going very well. I'm almost half-way through it at this point, and every time I turn it on to see how things are progressing, I see an improvement! Now, all the deflection problems, and bends in the picture seem to be gone. Replaced a few capacitors in the video output circuit yesterday, and am noticing an improvement in the picture sharpness today!
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Re: Whats a good TV to look for to restore?

Post by willy3486 on Tue Jan 01, 2013 4:16 pm

holmesuser01 wrote:

I remember Smithville. If you ever watch WZTV in Nashville on Ch. 17, you've seen my handywork.

Handywork?? What kind of handywork if you don't mind me asking. I work with a guy now who worked at the PBS station in wcte in Cookeville. He told me that and I remembered his voice when he did some of the announcements in the 90s. I watched WZTV years ago but I don't watch much now, I like the old shows mostly. Usually my wife watches shows I don't get into so I goto the web and watch the old pre reality stuff. I do like the Tennessee crossroads program. They even sent me some posters I have in my shop.

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Re: Whats a good TV to look for to restore?

Post by holmesuser01 on Tue Jan 01, 2013 7:29 pm

I helped wire the transmitter building, worked in programming, and ran the film editing department until it shut down. Now, they are a FOX station, and don't run much old TV anything anymore.
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A good TV to restore

Post by dan88king on Fri Oct 18, 2013 3:55 pm

I used to repair TV's back in the 1960's for several years. My mother worked for a charity thrift shop and I would try to fix up their donations, which were all the older tube types, mostly consoles, some in beautiful cabinets with doors. I started this when I was still in high school, building my own tube tester from a Knight-Kit, and later bought a Hickok 600A. I had a Mercury TV picture tube tester and rejuvenator that was fun to use and saved a lot of picture tubes. Later, in 1965 I worked for a TV repair shop, just out of college with a degree in communications electronics. We handled only tube-type black and white sets. My favorites were the 1950's Zeniths. At home, I had a 16 inch porthole console that played very well. Also a 9 inch Philco table model from 1949, I think it was. Philco made a 21 inch split chassis model in the early 1950's that, at that time, was reliable and easy to work on. I seem to remember them having an especially rugged tuner, with clip-in channel strips. Many cheaper sets just used wafer switches inside of a metal case, and they wore out. I remember some good Motorola 21 inch models with copper-plated chassis. The ones I hated to see come into the shop were Sears Silvertone, Wards Airline, and Muntz. Those series-heater sets always seemed to have problems and weren't worth the labor and parts to fix. For something unusual, the Raytheon continuous tuning models are visually and technically interesting. I have worked on, in more recent times, a 7 inch electrostatic deflection Sentinel table model, TV-800U, I think it was, two 1949 Motorola 7 inch electrostatic deflection portables, and a table model Motorola with the same chassis. The Sentinel played but with some sort of video pattern interference, but all the Motorolas had problems with RF and IF signal handling, plus the electrostatic deflection sets use three or more high voltage capacitors, rated at about 6,000 volts DC, and they are expensive. The 7 inchers all use a 7JP4 picture tube that is getting hard to find. I haven't the room for collectable TV's, but it is good to know that some are being preserved. We junked out quite a few back in the day. The thrift stores would get the non-working or too old trade-ins from the TV shops and I got a lot of experience with sets that, at that time, nobody wanted unless they played well.

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Re: Whats a good TV to look for to restore?

Post by Bill Cahill on Tue Oct 22, 2013 3:11 am

Yeh, when I think of the sets I used to junk just because they didn't work, or, the jug was too far gone...
I had a 21" Westinghouse table model that with 3 boosters on jug you could barely see a dark silvery picture in a compltetely dark room....

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Re: Whats a good TV to look for to restore?

Post by Eliot Ness on Fri Oct 25, 2013 3:44 pm

This is an old thread but I'll add my 2 cents.  I had a lot of fun restoring a 1948 3" Pilot TV-37:

http://antiqueradio.org/PilotTV-37.htm

(note, that is not my site, just a good description of the set).  The pros are they are extremely light weight compared to other T.V.'s from that era, they are small, fairly easy to find, and pretty easy to work on.

The cons are the 3" screen makes viewing pretty much a novelty, and if you have a bad CRT they are getting harder to find, except for the green version used in old o'scopes.

If you can replace caps and resistors you're pretty much good to go restoring one of these.  Since the CRT is in a filament string with the other tubes I would suggest isolating it, bringing the set up on a variac, or installing a current clamping device across the filament (all of those have been documented).  

I was fortunate enough to find the optional carrying case and an original magnifier for my set.  When first restored it I hooked it to cable and got a real hoot out of watching it..... for about 20 minutes.  Then for an open house for our local radio club I played an old Laurel and Hardy tape from a VCR I had hidden.  

There are T.V.'s that look a lot cooler than the Pilot, but their size, weight, and ease of restoration make them hard to beat.  I once found two at a flea market in Ohio and carried them both back to my car w/o breaking a sweat or having to rest.  Unfortunately eBay may have driven the price up on these, but there were a lot made so it is still possible to find one in the wild.

John
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Re: Whats a good TV to look for to restore?

Post by Bill Cahill on Fri Oct 25, 2013 5:07 pm

Yes, I have to admit they are neat little sets.. Wish I had one right now......

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Re: Whats a good TV to look for to restore?

Post by willy3486 on Fri Oct 25, 2013 8:39 pm

I picked up a 48 philco from Ron Ramerez in the spring, I wasn't sure if I had posted about it yet. Still waiting for me to take the first look at it.

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Re: Whats a good TV to look for to restore?

Post by Bill Cahill on Fri Oct 25, 2013 9:55 pm

I don't think you did. Weld love to hear about it, and, pics. welcome.

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Re: Whats a good TV to look for to restore?

Post by willy3486 on Fri Oct 25, 2013 10:52 pm

Here is a picture. As I said I haven't even looked at it. I put it on this cart when I got it and it is still on it. Hopefully in the next year maybe I can. The thing is heavy. It feels like it is heavier than a XL100 from the 70s.



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Re: Whats a good TV to look for to restore?

Post by Bill Cahill on Fri Oct 25, 2013 11:18 pm

I"d expect it to be. It's tubes, with a steel chassis.
Nice tv, by the way, but, hv section is dangerous. Caution. The hv gets it's ac from the power transformer.....

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