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 Post subject: Truetone TV thoughts?
PostPosted: Apr Mon 13, 2020 4:21 pm 
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Joined: Feb Sun 03, 2019 5:59 pm
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Location: Howell, MI 48843
My father in law gave me this TV and I want to eventually bring it back to life. The TV is a TrueTone (by western auto) circa early 1950s (1951?) He had stored it for years before recently giving it to me since he knew I was interested in repairing radios.

His family purchased this TV new and used it many years. He told me at some point in the 1970s it was still working when it was put into storage. At one point the speaker and one vacuum tube was stolen from it for use with a guitar amp. The tube IIRC is a 12AT7 which I already located a replacement. Speaker I still need to hunt down. No power cord but that shouldn't be too tough to do. I can't tell for sure but maybe there was supposed to be a cover for the high voltage cage area?

There are a few missing knobs but aside from this it is complete and to the best of our knowledge nobody has messed with it since. Sorry for the pics its been in my garage awhile and a little tough to get to. I'd really like to bring this back to life but am still a bit intimidated to tackle a TV. I've talked to to one fellow at a recent show and he indicated I shouldn't be too intimidated as long as I'm careful with the high voltage and replace all the caps. I haven't pulled the chassis or anything but I would imagine if the picture tube was still working when stored then barring physical damage its probably still ok?

Of course I have a few radios to finish up before I touch this but its possible I could get to it before the year is out. I did order a photofact document that is around here somewhere. Can't recall the model number; I just looked at the cabinet and there was a warranty label but couldn't find the model number.

Any thoughts on this TV or advice for a novice? Obviously I'm no stranger to changing out caps and cleaning up a chassis. I don't have a CRT tester currently. I do wonder if there is anyone in the Detroit area willing to help out if I get stuck. I think it would be really cool to get this working but again it would probably be at least a few months before I would tear into it.


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 Post subject: Re: Truetone TV thoughts?
PostPosted: Apr Mon 13, 2020 4:25 pm 
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Location: Detroit, MI USA
You want to start out by using a dedicated CRT tester to determine whether yours is good enough to use. If it's not, then you would want to source a replacement before investing any time into the chassis.

Note that metal shell CRT's like that one have a really poor survival rate compared to all glass ones. If the last time it worked was in the 70's I wouldn't expect it to still be good, which is why you need to test it first.

Most Truetone TV's were built by Wells-Gardner or other independents. It's probably an OK design but proprietary parts are far more difficult to source than they would be for one of the major brands. The missing HV cage cover doesn't affect operation in any way and if you wanted to fabricate something to install there, you could, or just leave it open.

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 Post subject: Re: Truetone TV thoughts?
PostPosted: Apr Mon 13, 2020 5:46 pm 
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Location: Dallas, TX
It just looks like the top of the HV cage is missing. The top probably would have been just a flat piece of sheet metal and not very difficult to make.
There is a quick and dirty CRT test that has been mentioned on this forum. I am not much of a fan of that but if no other chance to barrow a tester turns up you might try it. There could be a radio club in your area were you can barrow the use of a tester.
Looks like an interesting project.

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


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 Post subject: Re: Truetone TV thoughts?
PostPosted: Apr Mon 13, 2020 7:28 pm 
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Notimetolooz wrote:
It just looks like the top of the HV cage is missing. The top probably would have been just a flat piece of sheet metal and not very difficult to make.
There is a quick and dirty CRT test that has been mentioned on this forum. I am not much of a fan of that but if no other chance to barrow a tester turns up you might try it. There could be a radio club in your area were you can barrow the use of a tester.
Looks like an interesting project.

Metal CRTs tend to fail of vacuum leakage and the quick and dirty test your thinking of won't catch that... unless the tube is completely down to air.


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 Post subject: Re: Truetone TV thoughts?
PostPosted: Apr Mon 13, 2020 8:14 pm 
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Yeah, that thought did occur to me after I posted.

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


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 Post subject: Re: Truetone TV thoughts?
PostPosted: Apr Mon 13, 2020 8:23 pm 
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It looks like the 5U4 has gone to air, that's a very easy tube to find.
The CRT looks like a 16AP4, and as mentioned they are often bad, at the very least you could remove it, clean off the beck and check the Getter to see if it's gone white. Use care removing the connector as the base tends to be loose after 70 years.


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 Post subject: Re: Truetone TV thoughts?
PostPosted: Apr Mon 13, 2020 8:27 pm 
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Location: Detroit, MI USA
Given the width of the CRT face in proportion to the size of the cabinet, this could even be a 19AP4. When I first looked at the photos I wondered if it was a 16" with a small cabinet, or a 19". There should be a number somewhere on the neck or base of the CRT, or on the tube layout chart if one is present.

If you need to use a CRT tester, we'll find a way to make that happen, there are several ARF and MARC members within driving distance of your location who have such testers.

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 Post subject: Re: Truetone TV thoughts?
PostPosted: Apr Mon 13, 2020 10:42 pm 
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Dennis, I think you're right that it's a 19 inch CRT. I found a 1951 newspaper ad photo for a Truetone 2D1089 which was advertised as a 16 inch set, and you can see that it doesn't fill the width of the otherwise identical-looking cabinet. https://chroniclingamerica.loc.gov/lccn/sn83045462/1951-11-08/ed-1/seq-29/
A little further sleuthing should turn up more data.

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 Post subject: Re: Truetone TV thoughts?
PostPosted: Apr Tue 14, 2020 2:57 am 
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Joined: Feb Sun 03, 2019 5:59 pm
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Location: Howell, MI 48843
Thanks everyone;

So if I can get ahold of a CRT tester I should be able to test the tube without any major disassembly right?

If i'm lucky and the CRT is still ok I can proceed with work. Looking at it however, It looks a little tricky to get the tube detached to work on the chassis. I would have to be very careful to get the tube off without damaging anything.

As far as these tubes going bad; does that just happen with age where they lose vacuum/pressure? I know a bad picture tube can be a deal breaker for many TVs.


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 Post subject: Re: Truetone TV thoughts?
PostPosted: Apr Tue 14, 2020 3:02 am 
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The only thing you need to do to test the CRT is to unplug the socket from the CRT base, carefully. You want to be careful doing so because the glue which holds the base onto the neck is sometimes dried up and no longer effective in holding it together. What you don't want to do is accidentally pull the bakelite base off the CRT neck.

Looks like the CRT comes out with the chassis, and you'd definitely want to remove it before turning the chassis over to work underneath. There's going to be a strap around the face, which fits into a groove in that thick plastic insulator. You would unfasten one end of the strap, or both ends, disconnect the CRT socket, remove the ion trap from the neck after taking a photo and measurement showing where it sits, then the CRT gently lifts out of the cradle and comes forward out of the yoke, provided it's not stuck.

Metal CRT's have problems where the glass screen is bonded to the front of the cone, and where the neck funnel is bonded to the small end of the cone. The process used to fuse the two together during manufacturing turned out to be less than perfect a few decades later which has resulted in many of them not holding vacuum. In fact it's fairly common to find them with the neck funnel perfectly detached from the metal cone, but not physically broken.

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 Post subject: Re: Truetone TV thoughts?
PostPosted: Apr Tue 14, 2020 5:57 am 
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Location: Belrose, NSW, Australia
Well the advantage of a simple CRT test is you will know for sure if it's bad.
viewtopic.php?f=3&t=331576&hilit=How+to+test+a+CRT

There is not enough voltage here to ionize gas so gas won't disturb the results.

Any reading at all, particularly if you see it come up over about 30 seconds, means the tube is alive and probably good enough to show a picture.

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 Post subject: Re: Truetone TV thoughts?
PostPosted: Apr Tue 14, 2020 10:14 am 
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I repaired a good looking 1956 upright console silvertone black and white 21inch. It played great and had strong picture tube. About 3 years later the flyback smoked. It made me sick I couldn't get a flyback. I don't know if I can rig something up. That old insulation couldn't hack it no more hahahaha all that new electricity. Don't spend too much on it. See if a flyback is available if the picture tube is good


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 Post subject: Re: Truetone TV thoughts?
PostPosted: Apr Tue 14, 2020 10:44 am 
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Location: Long Island, N.Y.
The pluses are it's a lesser seen manufacturer, it's a "double-D" "roundie" CRT, and all the cosmetics are there and in good shape. Definitely worth preserving. I've collected vintage for decades and can say that more than not, the CRT's are good. That's the first big hurdle, although getting a replacement is not impossible. Good ones sell for about $100+. A collector friend I know is a long-time TV repairman who does my chassis work. Almost all vintage TV's, unlike radios, will not immediately be up and running with a recap. The early one's are usually finicky and require rather frustrating trouble-shooting. Once the issues are addressed, they're reliable performers though.


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 Post subject: Re: Truetone TV thoughts?
PostPosted: Apr Tue 14, 2020 6:27 pm 
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Mr. Detrola wrote:
Metal CRT's have problems where the glass screen is bonded to the front of the cone, and where the neck funnel is bonded to the small end of the cone. The process used to fuse the two together during manufacturing turned out to be less than perfect a few decades later which has resulted in many of them not holding vacuum. In fact it's fairly common to find them with the neck funnel perfectly detached from the metal cone, but not physically broken.

I suspect that large temperature swings play a part in these failures. People often store these old sets in attics and garages. In the northern states attics can range from over 160 degrees in the summer to lower than zero in the winter. If an old CRT is still good it will probably be good forever.

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 Post subject: Re: Truetone TV thoughts?
PostPosted: Apr Fri 17, 2020 5:43 am 
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That's a nice looking old TV I was wondering what to do about mine. I spent so much time on it making it perform good. I guess I'll just have to keep looking on the internet for an FBT anyone have a silvertone FBT?


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 Post subject: Re: Truetone TV thoughts?
PostPosted: Apr Fri 17, 2020 6:48 am 
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Location: Belrose, NSW, Australia
Try ETF.

Or post the relevant part of the schematic and a picture of the flyback? I have a few NOS flybacks, one of them might just work.

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 Post subject: Re: Truetone TV thoughts?
PostPosted: Apr Fri 17, 2020 8:06 am 
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I have an old speaker of that era that might fit. I'm not sure the impedance it's 8" and thank you for the tip irob2345


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 Post subject: Re: Truetone TV thoughts?
PostPosted: Apr Fri 17, 2020 8:44 am 
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Location: Belrose, NSW, Australia
Speaker?? Thought you were looking for a flyback?

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 Post subject: Re: Truetone TV thoughts?
PostPosted: Apr Sat 18, 2020 12:08 am 
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Yeah, I'm confused. If you are looking for a flyback, post the model number or the chassis number or the flyback part number from the Sams in a Want To Buy WTB ad in the classifieds. If you want to discuss your set you can start another thread about it and leave this thread to the discussion of the OP's set. Less confusion.

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 Post subject: Re: Truetone TV thoughts?
PostPosted: Apr Sat 18, 2020 12:33 am 
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irob2345 wrote:
Speaker?? Thought you were looking for a flyback?

The original poster, resurgent cineribus, needs a speaker.

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