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 Post subject: Troubleshooting a Safari (Prev- For $30 I'll roll the Dice)
PostPosted: Sep Fri 08, 2017 2:54 am 
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Location: Redlands CA
Browsing eBay a couple nights ago and cam across a Philco Safari for $29.99 and the shipping was only $24 from Florida to California so I figured what the heck, not much to lose, experienced seller and 100% positive feedback.

It's missing the hood of course and the antennas busted but the case looks decent, stitching intact and all knobs present, and it displays a raster.

Tracking # shows it's in transit so hopefully it gets out of Florida before Irma hits.


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Last edited by Eric H on Sep Mon 18, 2017 10:32 pm, edited 1 time in total.
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 Post subject: Re: For $30 I'll roll the Dice.
PostPosted: Sep Fri 08, 2017 3:58 am 
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I have one of them. All original, and it works. No capacitors were replaced. Maybe they (Philco) had good stuff then?

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 Post subject: Re: For $30 I'll roll the Dice.
PostPosted: Sep Fri 08, 2017 4:18 am 
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Location: Albion, CA, USA
Nice! I would have bought that in a heartbeat! Seems like the CRT is often good as most didn't get too much run time.


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 Post subject: Re: For $30 I'll roll the Dice.
PostPosted: Sep Thu 14, 2017 1:56 am 
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It's here, in one piece too! Well it's in pieces now because I couldn't wait to check it out.

I would describe it as being somewhat rough, the plastic top is scratched up, the black paint on the bezel is peeling, the antenna is broken and the brass plating on the base is peeling, but those are easily fixed things, the important stuff like the case and the knobs are all in pretty good shape, the other stuff can be polished, replaced or painted.

It's really a well built looking thing, the PC boards look very nice and it's laid out neatly.

I'd like to check the CRT, does anyone know off hand if it checks like a standard tube? It seems to have a regular button base and the label on the tube seems to say it's a 6.3 volt. 145mA heater. I have no idea how I'd get to it to test without doing some tear down.


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saf3.jpg
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 Post subject: Re: For $30 I'll roll the Dice.
PostPosted: Sep Thu 14, 2017 2:00 am 
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One other thing, I always thought these were basically Mirror in Lid sets but it seems to be more of a Projection set.

Someone correct me if this is wrong but the CRT seems to reflect off a front coated mirror at a 45 deg angle onto a curved screen at the back of the set, the mirror is not opaque so you view the screen through the back of mirror, rather odd and ingenious.


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 Post subject: Re: For $30 I'll roll the Dice.
PostPosted: Sep Thu 14, 2017 8:42 am 
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Location: San Jose, CA USA
Hi Eric,

I've restored several of these and I really like them. As pointed out above, they are often functional without any recapping, so they had some very good quality electrolytics.

CRT is almost certainly good. Never even occurred to me to try to test the ones I've worked on. The odds are it has not really been used many hours.

I'll have to take a close look at the viewing optics again. I had thought it was basically mirror in lid, but your description has got me thinking about it again. I believe it's a curved mirror, not a curved screen behind the window.

You can make a battery holder with 5 C batteries that fits into the slot. I may have even gotten 5 D batteries to fit. Something quite fun about actually using them on batteries.

Overscan was rather excessive on two of these I worked on, so I used aluminum foil wrapped around the neck of the tube to reduce horizontal deflection.

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 Post subject: Re: For $30 I'll roll the Dice.
PostPosted: Sep Fri 15, 2017 10:33 am 
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They are a fun set. I too got a working one a while back. You just put an alligator clip onto the antenna from a video source. Not the best picture, but watchable, especially when you look straight on from a distance where the viewing screen is completely filled. One interesting thing about them is the timer control on the right side that appears to not be hooked-up to anything. It's just a reminder for the user to keep tabs on how many hours are on the batteries.


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 Post subject: Re: For $30 I'll roll the Dice.
PostPosted: Sep Fri 15, 2017 2:35 pm 
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Given the rural electrification program had yet to reach many places I wonder how many of these became 'Farm TVs'?

These are great sets. The clip to the antenna method sorta works, but a Blonder Tongue modulator transmitting wirelessly to the set works much better.


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 Post subject: Re: For $30 I'll roll the Dice.
PostPosted: Sep Fri 15, 2017 9:16 pm 
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Actually, the "timer" knob on the side is for keeping track of charge/recharge cycles, not time. The "rechargable" alkaline battery was supposed to be good for 5-10 cycles, and you could keep track of that with this knob and know when to buy a new battery.

Picture is really quite good, I think.

With the alligator clip method, I find it works best with one clip on the antenna, and one clip on the brass ring around the middle of the case, which is grounded to chassis.

I had thought that rural electrification was pretty much done by 1958. Don't see too many "farm" table radios after about 1950. Was there still a significant population of farms with no electricity in 1958? (I may be off by a year or so on the Safari starting date)

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 Post subject: Re: For $30 I'll roll the Dice.
PostPosted: Sep Sun 17, 2017 1:12 am 
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Wikipedia says that REA projects had wired America's farms by "the late 50s". 1959 advertising and magazine articles indicated that the Safari was a battery operated portable television.

In the early 1980s, I worked at a TV/appliance dealer that served many rural customers who lived on farms and ranches. A common sight on these farms and ranches was a tall tower with a large TV antenna on the top. These antennas didn't directly receive any television stations, they picked up TV signals from translators; the reception was usually somewhere between poor and horrible.

In 1959 or early 60s, there is no way that a portable television on a farm or ranch would have received any useful television signals with a rod antenna, even if they had TV signal translators back then.


Last edited by Zenith_Guy on Sep Sun 17, 2017 3:25 pm, edited 1 time in total.

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 Post subject: Re: For $30 I'll roll the Dice.
PostPosted: Sep Sun 17, 2017 2:03 am 
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Location: Long Island, N.Y.
I just watched my Safari today. They are indeed a fun set. I heard these were a total novelty at the time and most were put aside once the original battery wore down. Things changed so fast that within a few years it was a dinosaur compared to the new battery portables from Japan. People who had the money to buy the Safari likely just moved on to the newer models.


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 Post subject: Re: For $30 I'll roll the Dice.
PostPosted: Sep Sun 17, 2017 3:39 pm 
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I had a Zenith battery operated portable TV from the early 80s with a 5 inch CRT and AM/FM radio, with a bigish speaker. It came with a rechargeable 12 volt gel-cell pack, the battery pack could be removed, and eight D cells could be inserted, it could also be powered by a cigarette lighter cord. There were also 300 ohm antenna terminals. Where I lived at the time, I had a large "deep fringe" TV antenna, and the power would go out pretty regularly, so it was very handy.


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 Post subject: Re: For $30 I'll roll the Dice.
PostPosted: Sep Sun 17, 2017 11:58 pm 
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Joined: Jan Thu 01, 1970 1:00 am
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Location: Phoenix, Arizona
I had a flawless Safari which I sold a while back.

The plastic parts are very brittle. Electronically they were good design. I understand Philco spent more for the transistors than the set sold for.

They are hard to watch staring into the tunnel.

45 degree curved mirror in the back of the top with a clear glass on the front as I recall, gave the effect of a 14 inch CRT.

I had an original battery with mine.

they are not truly solid state as I believe there are two or three 5642 HV rectifier tubes in there

They were the first but not very practical

Jim


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 Post subject: Re: For $30 I'll roll the Dice.
PostPosted: Sep Mon 18, 2017 2:19 am 
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jimmc wrote:
.....45 degree curved mirror in the back of the top with a clear glass on the front as I recall, gave the effect of a 14 inch CRT.
Jim

I wouldn't say a 14" screen. I would definitely say it's like watching a 7" screen when you watch it dead on and just far enough back to fill the entire screen. It's a goofy thing for sure, but I would recommend one to any TV collector. They are interesting and very watchable. I like that they don't seem the have the audio issues typical with old Philco TV's. The audio is very nice on them.


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 Post subject: Re: For $30 I'll roll the Dice.
PostPosted: Sep Mon 18, 2017 3:33 pm 
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The optics actually increase the apparent screen size the farther you move back from the set. The advertising literature said that from a certain distance back 'it had the same apparent image size as a 17" set at the same distance'.


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 Post subject: Re: For $30 I'll roll the Dice.
PostPosted: Sep Mon 18, 2017 5:59 pm 
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Location: Phoenix, Arizona
I always thought something around 14" but as said, it depends how far back you get.

My set had plenty of brightness and the beam spot was fine enough that it could blow up a good amount.

The tuner worked better than most Philco's of the period but you would not want to spray anything in it to clean it.

The basic chassis design was reliable and I naver had to solder on the one I had.

The antenna was easily damaged, and the plastic hood plastic was very fragile. My set had the flap door.

The original battery was rechargeable several times but you had to use the time knob to keep track of viewing time to know how long to recharge it.

The sound worked fine noting the Philco Predicta I have in my dinning area pops and crackles and buzzes until it's been on a while. I suspect tube sockets, PC board solder, and capacitors as it has never been apart for the restoration.

In the case of the Safari there is no heat from tubes and not much mechanical mass so the PC boards last longer.

I do watch my old TV sets often which is a problem in that you can't take your Safari to the beach unless you have a battery powered converter.

Jim


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 Post subject: Re: Troubleshooting a Safari (Prev- For $30 I'll roll the Di
PostPosted: Sep Mon 18, 2017 10:44 pm 
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Now that I have it apart I'm going to have to pick some brains to figure out why it's not running.

The sellers pictures showed a Raster on the screen but now all I get is a low hum from the speaker (not affected by the Vol control)
No high voltage, no 280 volt boost from the Fly, I'm guessing the Horiz Osc isn't running?

It took a hard drop in shipping, the CRT mount was bent backwards enough that the CRT was half out of the mask, I got it out and tested it and it checks good other than not getting any cutoff response from it, I just set the cutoff in the center and the emissions are good so it should do something.

checked the boards over closely, nothing cracked or broken, nothing shorted together that I can see.

The power supply seems to be working, I'm getting -10v on the collector of the H Output transistor, the -5v source seems to be at -10v also, is this because there's no load or should it be correct regardless?

Nothing is smoking or getting hot that I can see.

I also found out by accident if you leave some of the screws out of the i.f. board it'll oscillate and squeal loudly from the speaker so something is alive.

I have the PDF of the Sams but there seems to be two version of the chassis and I'm not sure which one I have, there's no number that I can find.


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 Post subject: Re: Troubleshooting a Safari (Prev- For $30 I'll roll the Di
PostPosted: Sep Mon 18, 2017 10:50 pm 
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Here's a cropped version of the sellers picture showing a raster, seems to have been working at some point, hard to imagine what could knock it out in a solid state set.

I checked the HV rectifier tubes and they look fine, they are those miniature pencil type and are glued in place pretty securely.

The bottom of the chassis is dented slightly right where the Choke is mounted, it could have been like that previously and in any case it's hard to imagine it damaging the choke, though it's so tightly packed I can't see the side with the wiring.


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 Post subject: Re: Troubleshooting a Safari (Prev- For $30 I'll roll the Di
PostPosted: Sep Mon 18, 2017 11:29 pm 
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Location: Phoenix, Arizona
Sad the shipper messed it up. surprised the plastic hood is intact.

I quit buying antique clocks on ebay for shipping problems.

A few other TV's used the 5642 HV rectifier tubes, I doubt they have failed they usually last forever.

Hard to judge brightness in that seller photo. but the set I once owned had a good bright picture. If you hear hum maybe the internal power supply needs some filters. There is that switch on the back. Check the battery cable, that could short to the chassis.

1959 thereabouts, those electrolytic's from that era don't last so long especially the little ones they used in transistor radios.

Jim


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 Post subject: Re: Troubleshooting a Safari (Prev- For $30 I'll roll the Di
PostPosted: Sep Tue 19, 2017 3:50 am 
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ARF member bandersentv has several excellent videos regarding his Philco Safari. The unboxing video is here:
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=k0C6NPws39o

and the 4-part repair series starts here:
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=zRCU6T8Twoo

They are great videos, and he's a knowledgeable guy. Definitely worth your time to watch all the videos!

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