Westinghouse H840CK15 Color TV Part Two
CONTINUING FROM PART ONE
Last updated, September 30, 2021.
“Cooking process underway”
Author: The “cooking” process started and the first skeletons appear …
“Hi Marshall. I have been running the set from time to time when I am in the shop. Tonight I noticed that one of the damper tubes had no filament. The tube tested fine so the issue is either a bad socket or connection somewhere. The set has qty 2 damper tubes in parallel and it will work with only a single tube but it was designed with both in order to handle the current in the flyback properly. Glad I saw this. Not a show stopper, just another “skeleton” that I am glad I found.
OK, there was in issue with one of the damper tube filaments going dead. The problem is the way the ground takes place on the socket. The method is standard design and the problem is from age and poor soldering techniques during production. Pin 8 (filament) of both of the damper tubes are grounded by virtue of a rivet and solder connection at the mounting point of the socket. This method works fine for a while, usually through the “warranty period”. LOL. Then, the electrolytic action caused by the difference between the two metals causes some corrosion. As long as the solder connection between the two is good then everything is fine. But that was not what was happening in this case. The parts were not cleaned well enough and the corrosion, even though a small amount, was enough to cause enough resistance to keep the filament current from flowing. So, the fix is to install a wire from pin 8 of each of those tubes to ground and soldered well at both ends. This fixes the problem forever.
Pix #1 Pin 8 and the rivet in the center of the shot. You can see the poor soldering job and the circle around the rivet proves that the solder did not flow properly.
Pix #2 The other damper tube pin 8 soldering job also doomed to fail.
Pix #3 The repair. The black wire connected to both pin 8’s and terminated to the chassis at a good solder point.
Stay tuned. Mike.”
UPDATE, AUGUST 27, 2019, DAY 388
From Mike: “Greetings Marshall. After spending a few nights doing some modifications to the convergence circuits I am now claiming that it is as good as it will ever be. You might recall that the Vertical Dynamic Convergence transformer that we purchased is not a direct replacement for either the CT100 or the Westy, but an averaged value to satisfy both. The blue near the top continues to be a problem but it is better than when I started. I will get a screen shot to you soon. On another note, I need to order another set of H.V. rectifier tubes to try because the high voltage seems to drop a bit after the set runs for a while, like 20 minutes. It starts out fine but drops to 18 KV or so after a good warmup. These tubes are 1B3’s and it is a set of 3. I replaced them with a matched set of Mil Spec type early in the restoration process. Then there were a series of issues with arcing that I had to deal with so what I am hoping is that perhaps one of them suffered some damage during those times of arcing. I won’t know until I try new ones. I have ordered them but was unable to find Mil Spec types,, Just New Old Stock. Stay tuned!
UPDATE, SEPTEMBER 2, 2019, DAY 394
From Mike: “Hi Marshall. I am working on other small things while I am waiting for the new HV rectifier tubes. So, here are the images of my repair for the tone control knob. I believe that you have the volume/on/off and channel select knobs and they have been re-plated. Question: Are these knobs that I have here which are white in color supposed to be gold in color? This tone control knob looks like it was gold at one time. If so, I can shoot them with some paint to make them match. Let me know if you learn anything about that.
Photo #1 First step. Re-attaching the broken piece to the main part using JB Weld epoxy
Photo #2 The first “real” layer of epoxy over the repair.
Photo #3 I used electronic lacing tape (very strong stuff) , tightly tied around the previously broken part for added strength. Then added a second layer of epoxy.
Photo #4 Finished and ready to re-install the circular spring. Not real pretty, but likely won’t break again. And nobody sees this part.
The other white knob is for fine tuning and they will both be cleaned with a solution of dish soap and water using a small brush. There are two other knobs which are plastic and gold in color and may need polishing. I will be careful if I attempt to do so.
West 32 coming soon. Mike.”
UPDATE, SEPTEMBER 3, 2019, DAY 395
I have been doing detail work. The 300 ohm twinlead that connects the tuner to the back cover was in very bad condition. I have replaced it and given it a path up and away from the chassis. This keeps frequency coupling issues to a minimum. Once again, I used electronic lacing tape to provide the strain relief. Also, a screen shot of the convergence. Still waiting for the new HV tubes. I believe they should arrive on Wednesday. I am a bit concerned with the lack of contrast at times. I will be replacing the video detector diode in the next report. This diode is buried inside a copper can.
Pix #1 The new 300 ohm twinlead path.
Pix #2 The screenshot of the convergence. Still issues with the blue.
UPDATE, SEPTEMBER 5, 2019, Day 397
From Mike” “Upon receiving and installing the new H.V. rectifier tubes, the High Voltage is now, once again, very stable at all brightness levels. YAY. And I have installed mesh screen where the panel was missing on the side of the cage. I could not get a good image of it due to the meshwork. Not sure why. And, I am still not happy with the contrast levels, especially when operating from DVD. The images with antenna TV are mostly acceptable but the contrast control is always rotated all the way up. I would like to get a bit more video drive out of this set if possible. I have decided to go in to the sealed copper can where the video detector diode is, and replace it.
Pix #1 and pix #2 After removing a copper shield on the bottom of the chassis, and disconnecting 2 wires, some screws and desoldering, the can is removed from the chassis.
Pix #3 The video detector diode from 1954.
Pix #4 The new “all glass” version from 2019.
Pix #5 The can re-soldered, sealed.
Pix #6 and pix #7 Re-soldering to chassis.
Pix #8 Re-solder 2 wires on bottom of chassis.
Pix #9 Resoldering the shield/cover on the bottom of the chassis.
Pix #10 Screen shot
Although I feel very good about replacing the video detector diode, since they can be problematic, only a slight increase in contrast has been gained. I will be taking yet another look at what I might be able to do within the video amplifiers in an effort to squeeze a little more contrast out of the set. The photo of the screenshot show up much better then they really are.”
UPDATE, SEPTEMBER 6, 2019, DAY 398
From Mike: “Greetings. In the process of making adjustments in the horizontal oscillator, the trimmer capacitor shorted out. Glad I went through this procedure. I replaced the original mica capacitors with a silver mica fixed value type and a small “air variable”. This worked very well.
Pix #1 Drilling out the rivet that holds the original assembly.
Pix #2 The old failed cap on the left and the new components on the right.
Pix #3 The new parts mounted on a terminal strip.
West 35 on its way.
UPDATE, SEPTEMBER 7, 2019, DAY 399
From Mike: “We have contrast! I changed the cathode resistor in the first stage of video (12BY7). Factory specs calls for 56 ohm. I tried different values downward in ohms and I arrived at 39 ohms which is roughly half the original value. The contrast improved by about 20 % and it did not affect the high frequency response of the amplifier. I am real happy with this improvement. This essentially increases the current going through the tube. Not to worry, we are still way within the specs of the tube, and the contrast control is no longer all the way to its maximum position. We now have “room to spare”.
Pix #1 Oz 1
Pix #2 Oz 2
I think we are now in the “cooking stage”.
Author: Mike nailed it! Much improved from the previous screenshot. The colors are well balanced. Color, gray scale, geometry, focus and convergence are very good in this viewers opinion. I think this will be the last update for now, unless something comes up. We have to be concerned in transporting the monster chassis’s and CRT. Mike has to travel 12 miles on a dirt road from his ranch. SLOW is the key word. Can’t wait for this set to arrive home to me. Our restored cabinet is waiting. 🙂
UPDATE, SEPTEMBER 17, 2019, DAY 409
Hi Marshall. I have been “cooking” the chassis almost every night for about an hour and a half intervals. So far, no more arcing and the stability is good. Warmup for a good picture is about 15 minutes which is mostly for the crt to stabilize. But it starts up well, with color, sound and stable picture. I have done everything that “can” be done for this set and I am certain that it is working as well as it possibly can. During high brightness levels there is some “shadowed” streaking that appears and this is due to the “old” crt which has lost “cutoff” characteristics from age. It is a bit on the weak side, as I stated in the beginning. I am surprised that it works as well as it does considering the emission measurements of the guns. Most of the time, the shadowed streaking is not there. You have seen some images and I think you will be happy with the performance considering the age and technology of the set. Cheers!
My plan at this time is to deliver the chassis on September 30th which is a Monday. Let me know if this works for you. I will be mounting the chassis to a piece of plywood and installing lifting handles of some sort to make it easy and safe for 2 people to carry. I have here, the other knobs, the back cover, NEW chassis bolts! and a big box of old parts to bring with me. Of course I will be bringing the usual tools and equipment that I always bring to a “service call”.
I have enjoyed this “long march” and I’m sure that you know, I have given this my “best shot”
Special thanks to Dave for the crt gun magnets, Bob Gallanter, and John Folsom for their input, advice, parts availability and ideas during this restoration process. Please include Steve McVoy for the crt socket that the ETF donated to the cause.
LONG MAY SHE RUN!
Author: Although I haven’t seen the performance of the set personally, seeing the two screenshots of Oz, especially the facial shot, Mike you have exceeded my expectations. I never thought a 66 year old 15GP22, not to mention one with lower emissions could be capable of an image like that. It’s all due to your expertise, alignment skills and careful controlled step by step diagnostic procedures. I’m anxiously awaiting your delivery and final setup. I should mention that your restoration of my 21CT55 is still holding up well after nearly three years.
UPDATE, SEPTEMBER 29, 2019, DAY 421
Tomorrow is the big day, the Westy comes home! In preparation, Mike mounted the main chassis on a thick piece of plywood and installed handles. We will walk the chassis into my media room. Today I completed refinishing the channel selector and volume/on-off/tone control housings. I will have more on Monday.
UPDATE, SEPTEMBER 30, 2019, DAY 422
The Westinghouse H840CK15 came home today and the final installation went smoothly. I declare the restoration completed, although we know with these old relics televisions it will be a challenge. You can see several photos of the chassis and power supply prior to their insertion into the cabinet. Note the modifications Mike made to the power supply, chassis and high voltage cage. A fan was added to manage the heat inside the cabinet.
The shot of the cabinet is just after final testing and a quick shot of “Maude” which happened to be on at the time. More to come from broadcast and DVD movies.
Video Essential DVD color bars.
UPDATE, OCTOBER 5, 2019
UPDATE, OCTOBER 13, 2019
A little back and forth from me and Mike tonight.
UPDATE, OCTOBER 25, 2019
We were successful shooting a better quality movie with my Sony A6300 camera. The title, “Restoring a 1954 Westinghouse H840CK15 The World’s *First Color Television”. It’s in MP4 format, 60fps. 37mm, 1/25 sec., F20. This video eliminates the annoying shutter bar which discolored the images previously. We are getting better greens and we eliminated overexposure. We also added additional content from the 1939, Wizard Of Oz, three strip Technicolor film. Near the end of the movie, you can see multiple shades of green, a teardrop from Dorothy and you can hear my Golden/Irish drink water at 9:45 into the video. Note to self: Clean lens prior to shooting. 🙂
UPDATE, OCTOBER 30, 2019
Actual screen image from the 1957 Technicolor movie, Gentlemen Prefer Blondes, as appearing on a 1954 Westinghouse H840CK15 color television with 15GP22 cathode ray tube.
UPDATE, NOVEMBER 11, 2019
This video features snippets from the 1948 Technicolor movie, “The Red Shoes” as viewed on the *first color television in the world.A young ballet dancer is torn between the man she loves and her pursuit to become a prima ballerina. The film won two Oscars and numerous other awards. Natalie Kalmus, the color consultant for the film and co- owner of Technicolor, believes this film to be their best work with Technicolor film processing. This film is one of my favorite classic’s because of its refined color palette. I think it presents well here, considering the age of the television and imaged on the first production color cathode ray tube. During the sequences, a fan can be heard droning in the background. It was installed to protect critical components on the chassis. After 45 days viewing this set after restoration, the set is stable, the tuner remains drift free and overscan on the 15GP22 is minimal for a color television from this era.* The Admiral C1617A was the first color television offered for sale. The 1954 Westinghouse H840CK15 may have been the first color set sold.
UPDATE, NOVEMBER 16, 2019
Continuing to audition classic movies on our newly restored 1954 Westinghouse H840CK15 with 15GP22 cathode ray tube. This video features snippets from the 1953 film, “Kiss Me Kate”. The film debuted just 3 months prior to the Westinghouse going on sale, the world’s *first* color television.An ex-husband and wife team star in a musical version of “The Taming of the Shrew”, off-stage, the production is troublesome with ex-lovers’ quarrels and a gangster looking for some money owed to them.The film was photographed using the Ansco color process and printed at the Technicolor lab in Hollywood. This film is a light hearted musical with comedic performances by James Whitmore and Keenan Wynn. Very colorful movie to demonstrate the performance of the *first* all electronic color television offered to the public.* There were two other color televisions available prior to the Westinghouse H840CK15.
UPDATE, NOVEMBER 18, 2019
Now we turn to the performance of over the air broadcasts. In the United States, the digital switch flipped in 2009. The below screenshots were captured today from OTA sources, converted to analogue with a digital converted box. The 66 year old restored Westinghouse H840CK15 does not tolerate commercials. When a bright white field appears, the set will bloom, lose focus and reset. During the program, the set is stable and performs fine. 51 days after restoration, the tuner has not drifted once, rock solid. My other three RCA color roundies from 1955, 1958 and 1963 all drift periodically. The faint grey vertical stripe visible on the center of the screen of movies I’ve posted, is not visible on broadcast television. I think it’s an rf problem. I bought an inexpensive Sony DVD player which requires an rf modulator. You can see the irregular silkscreen phosphor application and a purity problem in the lower right portion of the 15GP22. Mike tried his best to remove it. These screenshots from a 1992 “Jonny Carson” show. Carson would retire from the show 3 months later.
UPDATE, NOVEMBER 25, 2019
We shot this video last night, the live telecast of the 2019 American Music Awards show, as displayed on our restored 1954 Westinghouse H840CK15 with 15GP22 CRT . This set is considered to be the *first production color television by the collector community.
* See the Admiral C1617A page of this site.
UPDATE, NOVEMBER 29, 2019
Watching the Macy’s Thanksgiving Parade on our “new” Westy.
UPDATE, DECEMBER 8, 2019
This video, displays a short clip from a live broadcast, 6 PM (MST) of the 2019 Ms. Universe pageant on December 8, 2019. The program is very good source material for color reproduction demonstrations and the signal was received from an analog rooftop antenna, just as it would have used in 1954. The television being a 66 year old Westinghouse H840CK15 color model, is reported to be the *first production color set in the world, using an RCA engineered 15GP22 CRT, which was also the first production color tube.
*See the Admiral CK1617A page.
High resolution screenshots from the above same broadcast.
UPDATE, DECEMBER 17, 2019
New, colorful screenshots from the Westinghouse H840CK15. Tap any image to open full resolution image carousel.
UPDATE, DECEMBER 26, 2019.
I hope you are having a happy holiday. Season’s greetings to all. Just a few more screenshots to show this 66 year old set’s capabilities. No adjustments were made to the set during these screenshots which show subtle differences in color rendering like a good color monitor should. Although the Westy is not a monitor, it is my understanding that the first color monitors used in the 30 Rock control room were RCA 15GP22’s in CT-100’s.
UPDATE, JANUARY 1, 2020.
Since the beginning of this restoration, I’ve been anxious to create this video. Most of you know the story. For the record, the NTSC color format in the United States was finalized December 17, 1953 by the FCC, (Federal Communication Commission.) NBC broadcast the first nationwide color telecast on January 1, 1954, but no one was able to see the color telecast of the Tournament Of Roses Parade in Pasadena, California in that year because no color sets were available to purchase except one set*. RCA and NBC however, arranged to have public showings of the parade by invitation. Most showings were private for broadcast personnel, television industry dignitaries, friends and families. These viewing locations were typically at television stations, hotels, convention centers and movie theaters. A few television appliance stores had prototype RCA, Admiral, Westinghouse and Raytheon color sets available for the public to see on the day of the telecast.
Westinghouse as well as other manufacturers were in a race to bring to the public the first color television receivers for sale. *Admiral was the first with it’s C1617A on December 30, 1953. Twenty seven days after the first nationwide color telecast, (the parade) Westinghouse offered for sale on February 28, 1954, the H840CK15, initially only available in New York and New Jersey. Today, January 1, 2020, 66 years after the first color telecast of the Rose Parade, it gives me great pleasure to present this video of the parade on one of the first available color television receivers available in the United States, the Westinghouse H840CK15. It uses the RCA 15GP22, the first production color CRT. I’m very thankful for Mike Doyle’s restoration abilities, completed September 30, 2019. Without his work this restoration would not be possible. As Mike says, “Long may she run”. We still maintain a mast mounted, roof mounted analogue antenna just as in the “old” days. Today, the live, over the air magic color entered that antenna, traveled down the wire into my house and another magic box converted those digital color signals into glorious color moving pictures just as we remembered in 1954. (That’s Venus below the Moon).
Four minutes, thirty two seconds into the video, we zoom in so you can watch the vivid saturated colors on full screen.
UPDATE, MAY 11, 2020
More experimentation with Westinghouse television photos. Photographers find it hard to capture a properly exposed color television screen and still show the vintage television cabinet in the same shot. I give priority to a properly exposed screen. This series of shots were taken today with a Sony A6300 mirrorless camera, tripod mounted. Time around Noon. The sun was almost directly above the house with viewing room windows facing West. To capture the entire cabinet, required the camera lens to be about 3.5 feet from the screen. As a result the screen is small, especially a 12.5 CRT screen. I placed a light source on the floor to illuminate the bottom portion of the cabinet and controlled ambient light for the remainder. Camera settings: SS 1/20, FL 25, Aperture F14, ISO 3200, AWB. The shots capture the screen light and color okay, but the camera and kit lens lacks the dynamic range to create a properly exposed image as my eye sees it, or the operator hasn’t found the right combination yet. 🙂 I’m dealing with a 16X50 mm. 3.5 kit lens.
UPDATE, SEPTEMBER 30, 2020
One year ago yesterday, we completed restoration of our Westinghouse H840CK15 with 15GP22. Yesterday, we took a few screenshots to commemorate the event and document the performance of the set. It’s holding up well.
UPDATE, DECEMBER 17, 2020
New screenshots from the 1944 Technicolor movie, Meet Me In St. Louis, a Christmas musical about a family considering a move from the heartland to New York City. Starring Judy Garland, looking more mature and beautiful five years after her celebrated role as Dorothy in the Wizard Of Oz.
UPDATE, JANUARY 1, 2021
We shot a 4 minute video of “Meet Me In St. Louis” today. The movie is Christmas themed. I wish I could show it to you in HEVC (H265) or 4K, but don’t have the adaptors to transfer to my iPad Pro. So this MP4 will have to do for now. Please excuse the specks, there not from the television. Somehow some debris got on the camera sensor. Happy New Year.
UPDATE, FEBRUARY 26, 2021
In our quest to extract more color information from 1954 NTSC color television and continued experimentation with the 1954 Westinghouse H840CK15 with RCA 15GP22 CRT, we realized the need for a pro or semi-pro photo editor. The obvious choice was Photoshop, but I don’t own a PC or laptop, just my friendly iPad Pro 2 with P3 color space. Photoshop requires a $10 monthly rental, so we looked elsewhere and found the Affinity Photo app. A one time purchase of $30 and boom, we were in business. I’ve never used a pro editor, so a learning curve was in order. We can choose from 7 color spaces and 7 color profiles, color channels, transitions, A/V editing and much more. Just what we were looking for.
Much has been said about the 15GP22 extended color gamut phosphors, can we see the extended reds and Kelly greens? We used favorite screenshots on this test from the movies, Kiss Me Kate, The Red Shoes, Meet Me In St.Lois, Gentlemen Prefer Blondes and the movie, Wizard of Oz. The movies used three strip Technicolor process.
Wayne B. over at VideoKarma forum suggested we try rendering photos in RAW and processing in Tiff file format to show 1953 NTSC extended color gamut color phosphors. Unlike JPEG, RAW is an uncompressed format, that captures the full dynamic range of the photo and the photographer adjusts the color and light values. It’s similar to video monitor or television color calibration. Calibration is done to reduce clipping, crushed blacks and whites, adjust grey scale, color balance, luminosity, white balance and gamma. We needed an SD card reader to transfer Raw files from our Sony A6300 to iPad Pro 2 with wide color gamut P3 display. We have improved results over the iPhone X and edited the RAW files with the professional Affinity Photo editor similar to Photoshop.
I can say that the greens are rendered as I see them on the 15GP22 with the movie, Wizard Of Oz. With JPEG, the greens are muted. The reds are deeper, but I can’t say with authority that they are 1953 NTSC correct. The below photos were photographed with the Sony A6300, rendered in RAW, processed in Tiff, edited where necessary, and converted to JPEG or PNG to reduce the enormous file sizes of TIFF which are over 115 MB’s. A few are TIFF.
WE PRESENT OUR 1954 WESTINGHOUSE H840CK15 WITH RCA 15GP22 COLOR GALLERY. MOVIES, GONE WITH THE WIND, WIZARD OF OZ, MEET ME IN ST. LOUIS, THE RED SHOES, KISS ME KATE AND GENTLEMEN PREFER BLONDES FEATURED. CLICK ON IMAGES FOR FULL RESOLUTION AND DETAIL.
Update, September 30, 2021
UPDATE, DECEMBER 4, 2021
Continuing to experiment with combination cabinet/lit screen and direct exposures from the Westinghouse H840CK15 with RCA 15GP22 CRT. These screenshots were taken December 2, 2021 from a live Phoenix PBS, channel 8.5 telecast. Camera used was a Sony A6300 atop of a tripod, shot in RAW, processed in TIFF, RGB16, Display P3. Auto developed with post processing by Affinity Photo, auto color, auto color balance, auto contrast and auto white balance. Exposure F4.5, 1/15s, 43mm, ISO 500, CWB. Last three screenshots taken during the Macy Thanksgiving Parade.
Added December 18, 2021.
Happy Holidays from the Valley of the Sun.
Posted December 30, 2022
2022 HOLIDAYS WITH A WESTINGHOUSE H840CK15.