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 Post subject: Newb with Zenith porthole questions
PostPosted: Oct Sun 13, 2019 9:50 pm 
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Joined: Oct Sun 13, 2019 9:44 pm
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I'm sorry to be the new guy who jumps in to get help with an item he saw on CL, but here I am, hoping to avoid making a big mistake. I ran into a Zenith porthole console with TT and radio in a pretty nice cabinet. I can probably get it for 100...all parts appear to be there and in good shape cosmetically. I love the look of the porthole, especially the stand alone tv units and am wondering if the console models are as collectible as the non consoles. I have noticed the tubes and the "flyback" can be issues. I've repaired old jukes, pinballs and lots of old audio but never a TV, so I'd have to do some learning to repair it. Any guidance is appreciated. I can try to post a couple of photos later as I know forum people love photos. Thanks in advance.


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 Post subject: Re: Newb with Zenith porthole questions
PostPosted: Oct Mon 14, 2019 2:38 am 
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Joined: Jan Thu 01, 1970 1:00 am
Posts: 2031
Location: Lafayette, CO
That's going to be a cool set. Picture tubes are getting scarce but do turn up. Flyback problems, not unusual with any set. Capacitors are the main problem. Do test the crt if you can. One of those was my first set to find and fix up back in the early seventies. Where are you located? Craig


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 Post subject: Re: Newb with Zenith porthole questions
PostPosted: Oct Mon 14, 2019 2:52 am 
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Joined: Oct Sun 13, 2019 9:44 pm
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I'm near Chicago. About how much do you expect the whole unit weighs? 300? Are the consoles less desirable than the tv only units?


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 Post subject: Re: Newb with Zenith porthole questions
PostPosted: Oct Mon 14, 2019 2:53 am 
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Joined: Oct Sun 13, 2019 9:44 pm
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Here are a couple of photos.


Attachments:
zenith 1.jpg
zenith 1.jpg [ 91.06 KiB | Viewed 766 times ]
zenith 2.jpg
zenith 2.jpg [ 93.36 KiB | Viewed 766 times ]
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 Post subject: Re: Newb with Zenith porthole questions
PostPosted: Oct Mon 14, 2019 4:14 am 
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Joined: Jan Thu 01, 1970 1:00 am
Posts: 28168
Location: Detroit, MI USA
The TV only units are much more desirable, and have more value than the combinations.

$100 might be a reasonable price provided that you are allowed to test the CRT first to be certain it's usable. While used CRT's do turn up from time to time, they no longer rebuild any CRT's and the metal types used in the Zenith portholes are among the hardest to find. Flybacks for these round screen Zeniths were failing when the sets were just a few years old, and in recent years finding any new aftermarket replacements that didn't get used decades ago has been challenging.

Due to the complexity of a TV set like this one, it would not make a good first TV restoration project. You'd probably want to do something simpler first as a learning experience before diving into the Zenith.

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Dennis

Experience is what you gain when the results aren't what you were expecting.


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 Post subject: Re: Newb with Zenith porthole questions
PostPosted: Oct Mon 14, 2019 9:26 am 
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Joined: Apr Sun 08, 2007 6:47 am
Posts: 4483
Location: British Columbia
tunerfish wrote:
I'm near Chicago. About how much do you expect the whole unit weighs? 300? Are the consoles less desirable than the tv only units?


Yes:
At least these days they are, when they were new they were some of the more expensive models, now they take up too much real estate in the room for the average laymen, and even collectors. Radio collectors don't tend to like combo units, and I don't think TV guys are much different. Personally I would not lay out $100 for this unit without verifying that the picture tube is still good, not strong necessarily, but at least usable. Replacement tubes are hard to find, can be expensive and without a workable TV section it's just another near worthless radio-phono combo unit.
With regard to the porthole brand Z TVs, the largest issue is the metal glass picture tubes they used. Since the CRTs used 45 degree deflection they had a long bell on them, on a 10''-12'' tube this wasn't an issue, but the larger the screen became the more glass had to be used, and the heavier they became, so they came up with the metal glass idea to cut the weight. Usually you are O.K on the smaller M-G tubes, up to 17'', but the larger ones tended to loose their vacuum. Some early 50s RCAs had the same problem, the ones with rectangular tubes.
The only other issue is that some of the early Brand Z TVs had weird power supplies, rather then using a proper power transformer, or making them series string, they used an autotransformer. An autotransformer is an transformer with one winding, and a bunch of taps for various voltages, they work but there is no isolation from the power line with these, much like a series string set. The flyback issue has been brought up before, I don't know about the porthole sets but the early rectangular models were notorious for burning up flybacks. I would do a search on old threads on this topic, see how common it is and how it was dealt with.
Regards
Arran


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 Post subject: Re: Newb with Zenith porthole questions
PostPosted: Oct Mon 14, 2019 1:49 pm 
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Joined: Oct Sun 13, 2019 9:44 pm
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I appreciate the wisdom. I'll pass on it, mostly due to it being a combo.


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 Post subject: Re: Newb with Zenith porthole questions
PostPosted: Oct Mon 14, 2019 4:54 pm 
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Joined: Nov Thu 11, 2010 6:03 pm
Posts: 1027
Location: Pewaukee, WI
Most TVs don't have much value. Don't buy to profit or flip (it's damn hard to do), buy to keep and enjoy.

There is one nice virtue to a combo. If you get sick of pick one (radio, phono or TV) you can switch to one of the other two without grabbing another device.


Last edited by Electronic Memory on Oct Wed 16, 2019 3:34 pm, edited 1 time in total.

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 Post subject: Re: Newb with Zenith porthole questions
PostPosted: Oct Tue 15, 2019 11:12 pm 
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Joined: Feb Thu 17, 2011 11:27 pm
Posts: 13358
Location: Long Island, N.Y.
It's one of those "labor-of-love" sets. If you really liked it and have the space, you'd have to put a lot of money into to properly restore it without concern about it's value. Many collectors will do that, including myself, which is the right way to go about the hobby. I recently put 3 times the value of the set to restore a battery portable. I have no concern about making money on it in the future. Besides the complications of a restoration of this combo, that is one heavy set. Two things that will keep serious TV collectors away. The small TV only "porthole" consoles and tabletops are mush more desirable.


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