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 Post subject: Zenith Model TV - Looking for help + advice!
PostPosted: Jan Sat 27, 2018 3:01 am 
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Joined: Jan Sat 27, 2018 2:37 am
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Hi guys, I've been googling all afternoon and found myself here at the recommendation of someone else who told me they got advice for restoring and identifying their vintage/antique television.

I have no idea what I'm looking at to be honest. I just know I'm in love with it because the video gamer child in me kindled with that nostalgic feeling of playing OLD video game consoles on this baby.

The only identifiers I have available to work with is that it is a "Zenith Space Command Advanced System 3" with a model number of "SA1961W". What perplexes me the most is from my scourings on ebay and google I have only be able to find people selling mono(?) speaker variants and this one in particular is a stereo version? (There's four speakers on the inside, I wish I had pictures but I only took videos to share with my friends on facebook while I was using compressed air to blow out the nasty dust bunnies that were residing in it). I'd love to hear from someone who could tell me what I have on my hands right now. My girlfriend thinks it's just a cool vintage tv to play my retro video games on but I feel like there's more to this than meets the eye.

While I was at it I also saw some of Zenith's commercials for the time period, pretty cool ! Lol, as far as Star Wars and stuff goes you know?! Haha.


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 Post subject: Re: Zenith Model TV - Looking for help + advice!
PostPosted: Jan Sat 27, 2018 4:01 pm 
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Joined: Apr Sat 06, 2013 2:18 pm
Posts: 397
Location: New Hampshire
Its been a while but IIRC the set isnt stereo. If you look at the back there is
a knock out for a "ready plug". That is for the antenna switcher & other add ons.
For stereo there is usually an RCA jack for IF output & usually another pair of
RCA's & a switch to use the speakers with the adapter.
It was a quite good set but didnt sell well. The model under it was the bread & butter
due to cost & the extra width for the speakers.

73 Zeno 8)
LFOD !


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 Post subject: Re: Zenith Model TV - Looking for help + advice!
PostPosted: Jan Sat 27, 2018 4:26 pm 
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Joined: Jan Sat 27, 2018 2:37 am
Posts: 4
Thanks for the reply zeno!

I’m currently on my way home from work but I’ll update with a picture from the back. I do recall seeing a stereo switch with a R and L plug near the top. I do also remember seeing the redi plug knockout hole, it wasn’t punched out already so I’m guessing this didn’t come with any extras.

My original plan is to use the tv for retro gaming with a RF modulator to RCA/AV for most devices and then connect a RCA/HDMI converter cable for any hdmi devices.

I’ll have to open it again at some point and look for a chassis code from what I’ve gathered from understanding other threads to get the blueprint or manual for servicing. It’s my first venture into restoring a TV but I’m slightly mechanically experienced and overall tinkering with the innards of these kinds of things interests me much.

-------------------------
Edit: So now that I see these I'm not actually sure how to work/utilize them?

So the stereo adapter would require a Female to Male Adapter to output audio to my chosen external speakers?
But then what does the Speaker Input do?


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 Post subject: Re: Zenith Model TV - Looking for help + advice!
PostPosted: Jan Sat 27, 2018 6:52 pm 
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Location: Ann Arbor, MI
It looks like the Stereo adapter jack is an output of the raw received sound meant to go into an add on stereo adapter. The output of the stereo adapter would then go into the speaker input jacks.

If you connected the stereo adapter output to an external sound system, you would find that it would not sound very good. TV sound is broadcast with the high frequencies boosted and TVs have a filter to remove that boost. As the un-decoded stereo information is sent as frequencies above normal human hearing, the stereo adapter output would be unfiltered.

Apparently this set was made before the specifications on how TV stereo was to be broadcast were finalized.

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 Post subject: Re: Zenith Model TV - Looking for help + advice!
PostPosted: Jan Sat 27, 2018 7:59 pm 
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Hm, that's interesting then. I guess it was an super early 1984 model then by that suggestion. So if I understood your explanation right Tom, you're saying the TV can output raw stereo audio, but I need to wire it back into the tv's speaker input to actually hear said stereo sound?

I wonder if there are newer/younger variations of it in the wild then. I found an RF adapter for a sega dreamcast and toyed around with that earlier, picture seemed good, not too bright. I had all the dials turned left/low as possible and only messed with the variations of Video Filter/Color Sentry/Off and the Black Level and Picture dials.

Also I can't tell, but are there supposed to be knobs/dials on the T, CL, and BR holes? I feel like there should be. It looks odd with three random holes but conveniently placed text.


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 Post subject: Re: Zenith Model TV - Looking for help + advice!
PostPosted: Jan Sat 27, 2018 8:08 pm 
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Location: Ann Arbor, MI
Lamtt wrote:
Hm, that's interesting then. I guess it was an super early 1984 model then by that suggestion. So if I understood your explanation right Tom, you're saying the TV can output raw stereo audio, but I need to wire it back into the tv's speaker input to actually hear said stereo sound?

You would have to run the raw output through an add on stereo decoder and then run the output of the decoder back into the speaker input. Such a decoder may or may not have ever been made by Zenith. They were made by other companies.

None of the digital converter boxes that I have have bothered to encode stereo into the output intended to connect to a TV's antenna terminals, so such a decoder would not be useful these days. But they all have stereo outputs that could be connected to your speaker inputs.

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 Post subject: Re: Zenith Model TV - Looking for help + advice!
PostPosted: Jan Sat 27, 2018 9:17 pm 
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Joined: Apr Sat 06, 2013 2:18 pm
Posts: 397
Location: New Hampshire
The IF output needs to go to a stereo adapter. Then you can use the sets speakers or another pair or a stereo.
Zenith did sell at least one model. After all they did invent MTS audio ( along with FM stereo) !
The IF output is just a splitter off the tuner IF output. I will see if I can find the model ## if
you want one but its pretty useless now.

There are no chassis numbers in this era Zenith. Everything is by model. Techs refer to main module
part numbers often. Yours is either a 9-181 or 9-214 based set. See layout chart or little
tags on the board.

For gaming use the off air setting & normal AFC. If not working right try different combos.
If too dark there is a screwdriver adjustment marked "BL" on the front control panel/ Try turning it
up a little. Also a few screen shots ( preferably off a VCR or DVD ) will speak 1000 words. Oh yeh,
keep the color sentry off & run manual. The color will be better.

73 Zeno 8)
LFOD !


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 Post subject: Re: Zenith Model TV - Looking for help + advice!
PostPosted: Jan Sat 27, 2018 11:27 pm 
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Joined: Jan Sat 27, 2018 2:37 am
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I would assume a Fred III Recoton would work well for a stereo adapter? Not that I would want to use extra external speakers but the allure of buying this particular set from the thrift store was the capabilities of the extra set of speakers for stereo audio haha.

So far I have Sharpness/Tint/Color Level turned as low as possible (To the Left) with varying combinations of Black Level (Is that the BL you speak of?) and Picture to get good video. Don't seem to have any trouble with the audio and both sets of speakers seem to be functional (can hear audio from both sides of the tv set). Switches are set to CATV, Manual, Norm.

Still not sure what the T, CL, and BR represent next to the Tone knob but when I get some more free time I'll have to tinker with it some more!

Also screenshotting with a VHS/DVD? I've been using my Iphone and transferring to my PC and auto-resizing the photos down to the specified max limits on heightXwidth / file size to upload to my posts.

For background information I am a 24/yo with no real technical experience with electronics besides for my overall general curiosity haha. This TV set is actually older than I am.


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 Post subject: Re: Zenith Model TV - Looking for help + advice!
PostPosted: Jan Sun 28, 2018 5:19 am 
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Joined: May Thu 14, 2015 4:15 pm
Posts: 1026
Location: Dallas, TX
Although the set isn't what I would call vintage, it is old enough that there might be some bad electrolytic capacitors in it. Don't expect it to be 100%.
It might be best to see if you can get a good picture using a DVD player with a RF modulator or a VHS which contains one. Nearly no place has over the air (OTA) broadcast stations today. Latter sets have a video input connector.

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It's not the Destination, It's the Journey.


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 Post subject: Re: Zenith Model TV - Looking for help + advice!
PostPosted: Jan Sun 28, 2018 7:04 pm 
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Location: Ann Arbor, MI
Lamtt wrote:
I would assume a Fred III Recoton would work well for a stereo adapter? Not that I would want to use extra external speakers but the allure of buying this particular set from the thrift store was the capabilities of the extra set of speakers for stereo audio haha.

I have two of the Recoton decoders. One with the power amp and one without. They came with a probe that you could put inside the TV near the circuits for use with sets without the sound output jack. That is how I had to use mine. I am still using the one with the power amp with separate speakers on a TV that has really bad internal speakers. Fortunately that Recoton box has stereo input jacks so that the power amp can be used by itself. I am feeding it from the stereo outputs of the digital converter box.

Lamtt wrote:
Still not sure what the T, CL, and BR represent next to the Tone knob but when I get some more free time I'll have to tinker with it some more!

Before you tinker with those, carefully mark their current settings. Those may be intended only for use by TV service people.

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 Post subject: Re: Zenith Model TV - Looking for help + advice!
PostPosted: Jan Sun 28, 2018 9:49 pm 
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Joined: May Thu 14, 2015 4:15 pm
Posts: 1026
Location: Dallas, TX
Lamtt wrote:
Switches are set to CATV, Manual, Norm.


I would switch the band to "VHF/UHF". Some CATV channel frequencies are mapped to different frequencies than VHF/UHF channels. Channel 3 and 4 I think are the same so it isn't extremely important.

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It's not the Destination, It's the Journey.


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 Post subject: Zenith Model TV Looking for help advice
PostPosted: Feb Sun 04, 2018 4:08 pm 
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Location: Finland
Does anyone know where I could get a mag for a john deere model E ? working or not. Thanks


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