May 5, 2018
Last edited April 7, 2019
We are pleased to open this page on our timeline website. The Westinghouse H840CK15 represented the pinnacle of American technology in 1954 and was the second all electronic color television receiver offered for sale to the American public.
An advertisement from Life Magazine, April 26, 1954.
This author disputes some of the commentary in the podcast. We believe the first all electronic color television title belongs to the Admiral C1617A, which first appeared in stores for sale on January 6, 1954 and possibly earlier.
From the Early Television Foundation:
The Early Television Museum located in Hilliard, Ohio, is probably the preeminent authority on early television hardware. An excerpt from their website:
“This set was the *first color set for sale*, in March of 1954. It was priced at $1,295. Westinghouse ran a full page ad in the New York Times introducing the set, for sale at 60 stores in New York. Not one of the stores reported a single sale.
In April the price was cut to $1,110 after only 30 sets had been sold. Only 500 were built, and most were never sold, because there was very little programming in color at the time, and the set was expensive and temperamental. This is one of only a few of these sets still in existence.”
* Added by author. We respectfully point to the fact that it appears the Admiral C1617A was the first all electronic color television offered for sale. See this page. The Westinghouse H840CK15 may have been the first electronic color set sold, but no one knows for sure. We found evidence that an Admiral C1617A was in a dealer showroom as early as January 6, 1954 and evidence the first documented sale (discovered by this author) was sometime prior to May 16, 1954 in a restaurant and “a few sets were in installed in private Chicago area homes” earlier. How much earlier? As to the Westinghouse H840CK15, the earliest evidence of a purchase found by this author so far, was sometime prior to April 27, 1954.
UPDATE, OCTOBER 1, 2018
We have an article, indicating initial startup production of the H840CK15 was slow, taking 16 hours to assemble one set. There were 200 employees at the production plant to start, increasing to 375 shortly thereafter with the goal of reducing inspection time. Hand assembly and scarcity of parts were cited for the slow production. Production increased to about 24 sets a day.
Based on the below articles, the Westinghouse H840CK15 was in production approximately 187 days and production on a limited basis was serveral dozen sets a day. We will call it about 24 sets a day. If we accept this information, Westinghouse produced about 4488 color sets in 1954 more or less. If we account for slower production at the start and the waning days, perhaps about 3500 units? Further investigation is required to support or deny this information.
Westinghouse Starts Production January 10, 1954
MARCH 1, 1954
Earliest advertisement I’ve found so far of the Westinghouse color set for sale.
March 23, 1954
This next newspaper article states as of March 23, 1954, fewer than 36 H840CK15 color sets had been sold according to Westinghouse Division Plant Manager, T. J. Newcomb. The initial shipment of a few hundred sets went out to the greater New York-New Jersey area. Distribution outside of this area had not yet taken place. By comparison, Admiral’s first shipment of C1617A color televisions were already displayed and for sale in stores in the East, South, Midwest and Western states starting in January, February and March, 1954. Initial Westinghouse color set production was by hand and took more then 16 hours to assemble one color set. The inspection of one color set took another eight hours. The assembly plant had about 200 employees at the date of the article.
April 3, 1954 Westinghouse Cuts Price.
This article, courtesy Early Television Foundation, indicating the Westinghouse was introduced early March, 1954 and only 30 sets have been sold. The date of this article is unknown to author.
First documented sale (I’ve found so far) of the Westinghouse H840CK15. The set was delivered April 27, 1954 and purchased sometime prior.
Admiral Stops Production
As of July, 1954, Westinghouse color sets were on sale in the New York/Jersey area, Boston, Philadelphia, Chicago, Cleveland, Detroit, Baltimore, Milwaukee, Los Angles and San Francisco. Courtesy Star-Gazette, Elmira, New York.
Author: If we are to believe the above article and it comports with both Admiral and RCA both having stopped production of their 15 inch color sets about six months after production; then this article is in conflict. We know that Westinghouse put into limited production, a 19 inch version Model 890CKU19 color set after halting the 15 inch production. Examining the black and white photo and the two color photos below, we can see several differences in the chassis design. For one, there are two support rods at the rear of the chassis, presumably to support the heavier 19 inch CRT. Additionally, the front supports look larger. The black stripe around the front of the CRT looks thinner. The size of the CRT next to the women compared to the first color photo below looks much larger. If the tube is a 19 inch, it would have to the CBS “205”. We can’t verify based on this black and white photo.
By September, 1954, Westinghouse reduced the price of the H840CK15 to $595.
The Westinghouse H840CK15 on the production line. Photos courtesy of Popular Science Magazine, July, 1954. Westinghouse assembled the 15GP22 at the “Horsehead” plant in New Jersey. Our 15GP22 was made between March 22-26, 1954. Our chassis was the 147th produced.
APRIL 24, 1955
Amazing price reduction of the now discontinued Westinghouse H840CK15.
According to this article, it was estimated that about ten thousand color televisions were in use by the end of the first year of color television, 1954.
We were searching the old posts at the VideoKarma forums and found this posting from Roger Dreyfoos.
”Yesterday, we went to a Best Buy store to see a Samsung 3-D LCD model set up for demonstration. It actually brought back a memory from 1954, of our dad taking us downtown to see a COLOR TV (Westinghouse) set up in the window of a department store – probably the only color TV in Wichita – other than a broadcast monitor back at the transmitter. We were part of a small crowd straining to see the washed out picture (summertime, about 7PM) of Ed Sullivan’s Toast of the Town show from the local CBS affiliate, KTVH. If that was color TV then that demo would never sell any.”
MAY 5, 2018
We just acquired a Westinghouse H840CK15 at the annual Early Television Convention auction held on May 5, 2018. We know absolutely nothing about the history or prior ownership of this set. If anyone that attended the convention knows something I’d appreciate hearing from you. The auction was streamed live on YouTube and the below photo captures the auctioneer (in black jacket and cap) at the precise moment the hammer fell, SOLD! We we’re trilled, as this set escaped us five years earlier.
This photo, courtesy of Wayne Bretl at the convention.
The set was described as having an “excellent” 15GP22 CRT with a complete, but unknown chassis condition. Three photos of the flyback area look clean. As always, tap on image for larger size.
The set will be crated with five layers of protection. I asked Larry at the museum to make sure the chassis’s bolt are tight and secure. When the 21CT55 arrived, we found two bolts on the cabinet floor. No damage occurred because the set was immobilized in such a way that the set could not move within the crate. We are doing the same for the Westinghouse with a “floating” isolation platform on a pallet.
This time I won’t have the pleasure of uncrating the Westinghouse, instead, it’s going directly to Mike’s ranch about 50 miles Northwest of me. That will save him three trips to my home. Mike will be doing the restoration as I do not have the skills to work on a television of this complexity.
A word about Mike Doyle, a Videokarma member.
I met Mike in 2011 on EBay after calling his phone number to talk about a recapped Sony Micro set he worked on and which I purchased. His next project for me was bringing back to life a SONY TV 8-301W, followed by a RCA 21CT55 and a RCA CTC-7.
Mike started out his career as a television repairman. Over the decades he worked on well over a thousand televisions, both color and black and white of all brands. He told me he has repaired over 500 flybacks and never had one fail within their normal lifetimes.
Mike moved on and began work for CalTech. He was an engineer on the team that designed the prototype Hubble space telescope. He worked on the “4 shooter” project. Later, he worked at the Mt. Palomar Obseratory in Southern California. He also taught electrical theory to his students at Palomar Journal College.
Tap on images.
FRIDAY, FEBRUARY 1, 2008
Say goodbye to Palomar
After a combined 47 years of service to the observatory Mike and Barbara Doyle are saying goodbye to Palomar.Mike served mostly as an electronic technician before moving up to assistant superintendent. During my brief term of service here I have known him to be a dedicated and vital part of the Palomar team. He has provided great support and advice to myself and the observatory’s public outreach program.
Barbara has worked in the observatory’s accommodations for the astronomers, known as the Monastery, and also has been the powerhouse behind the observatory’s gift shop. She has professionally greeted and explained the observatory to many thousands of visitors over the years.
I join the entire Palomar staff and our team of docents in wishing them well in their new venture. They will certainly be missed but their hard work, commitment to doing things right and friendship will linger with us for some time to come.
Mike is now enjoying his retirement with his wife on their ranch. He also collects vintage television and a few of his sets can be seen on the “ViewersTV page. We have high confidence in Mike’s abilities to restore this set. Still, we will undoubtably reach out to the vast data bank of information possessed by the members of the VideoKarma forums. More to come.
Update, July 11, 2018
After a long delay, the Westinghouse H840CK15 is finally on its way to Mike in Arizona. Here you see the set crated. The only way to go when shipping 2000 miles.
Update, July 20, 2018
The Westinghouse arrived at Mike’s place today. Below, the meeting and unloading operation.
The meeting at Exit 20 Interstate 40.
Pix 1 and 2. A smooth transfer from the FedEx truck to my truck.
Pix 3 loaded and strapped in and ready for the trip on 12 miles of dirt road. SLOW
Pix 5 A 1954 loaded in the back of a 1974
Pix’s 6 and 7 Rigged and ready to unload. This is really a lot safer than it looks.
Update, July 21, 2018
Uncrating completed. Good news, no apparent visual damage. We won’t know more until basic testing. Full recap will be done prior to attempting to light the tube. More photos to come.
Update, August 7, 2018, Day 1
The cabinet is in dire need of restoration as seen below. Mike will bring the cabinet to me for refinishing. The chassis and CRT will stay with Mike for the electrical restoration. Tap any image to open the image carousel. Tap the full resolution icon for full size.
From Mike: “OK, here are the pictures of how I tested the CRT. Picture #1 is before anything is disturbed. Note that the screw on the right side of the centering coils was found below resting on the chassis. The one on the left (shown removed) by me.
Picture #2 centering Coils removed.
Picture #3 CRT neck cleaned of dust and ?
Picture #4 My universal cable that I made for my tester. Wires for Filament 1, Filament 2, Cathode, Grid 1 and Grid 2. These are needed for the test of the individual guns. Filament voltage is 6.3 Volts.
Picture 5 Red gun hookup.
Picture 6 Green gun hookup
Picture 7 Blue gun hookup.
The numbers were RED .825
Green .6 and
Authors note. We can’t understand the manufacturers reasoning for placing the hue control at the rear of the cabinet. What were they thinking? It’s attached to a long cable, so it may be possible to reroute the cable and control to the pencil box. More to come.
UPDATE, AUGUST 10, 2018, Day 10
Tonight I began the chassis removal process. I am collecting photos which will come later. I was very disturbed to discover that there were NO CHASSIS BOLTS at all holding the main chassis to the cabinet.
The chassis serial number is on a tag glued to the high voltage cage and it appears to be ME000147
I take that to be the 147th one produced. The ME is likely a location code of where it was built. Any ideas?
No serial numbers on the crt neck or socket but the code date (which is visible in your picture) is 4-13.
I take that to be the 13th week of 1954 which likely makes this the original crt.
Thanks for the numbers, I agree. More to come.
UPDATE, August 12, 2018, Day 12
From Mike. OK, onward to removing the chassis and crt. This will be sent over a few emails due to the number of pictures.
Pictures 1 and 2 Front panels and knobs being removed.
Picture 3 Broken knob (the white one). Not sure of its function just yet.
Picture 5 and 6 show magnetic shield mis-alignment bottom and then top. I believe when this piece is properly installed it should mate nicely with the other parts.
Picture 7 These pieces fell out from under the chassis as I removed it from the cabinet. One screw that I might likely find the place for later, the second looks like a tuning slug from one of the tuned transformers. (the next picture shows where this possibly came from). And then, what looks like a broken tuning slug core from some tuned transformer.
Picture 9 Chassis top left.
Picture 10 Degassing coil plug.
Picture 13 Blocking the face end of the crt before removing screws. This insures minimum loading on the neck of the tube as the screws are removed.
Picture 14 Removing the necessary 3 screws on each side to unmount the crt from the chassis.
Picture 15 CRT removed.
Picture 17 Serious issues with the quality of the aquadag on the CRT.
Picture 18 These flakes of “DAG” were found on the chassis after the crt was removed. I guess it’s a good thing that I purchased a supply of aquadag liquid from Scott Avitt before he closed up Hawkeye. This issue, I’m sure, will be a very easy part of the restoration process.
Picture 19 The chassis bottom.
Thus far, I have been doing some thinking on how this restoration will go. I will be doing this one a lot differently than ever before. Most of the repairs will be done without a crt at all and using only test equipment to breath life back in to the individual circuits. That way the CRT stays “safe” until I am ready for it. I may use a monochrome crt mounted to the chassis for some of the testing process. The signals from the individual circuits can then be patched in to the monochrome gun one at a time so the quality of the images can be seen as needed. This way, the Luminance and Chrominance signals can be evaluated without the use of the 15EGP22 being in the set.
Let the games begin.
Good Afternoon Mike,
As always, tap on any image to open the image carousel. Tap icon again for full resolution images
UPDATE, AUGUST 13, 2018, Day 13
From Mike: I have been studying the Westinghouse documents and learned that the degaussing ring on the front of the crt is in fact the opposite. Interesting to me, it is a gaussing coil that actually sets up a magnetic field that is adjustable, at the faceplate of the tube. So, I think we can change the wording on the page. IF I learn differently I will let you know. And again, Let the games begin. This will likely be the biggest accomplishment yet for me in my restoration projects. I remain optimistic. And it looks like I have a lot of parts to order for this one.
A piece of the wiring fell out of the high voltage cage when I set the chassis on the bench. It looks like a wire from one of the filament leads to a high voltage rectifier but I have yet to figure it out for sure. Also, I noticed that the metal cover is missing from the high voltage cage on the right side. This will be easy to make but it will not be of the original material unless I can find copper clad of that size locally. Not a big deal, just an observation that I will have to deal with. I suspect that a tech has left it off to give more cooling to the flyback. Maybe not a bad idea to leave it off but we can discuss that sometime.
I’d like to point out in pix# 2, a user “convergence” control. Pix #8, notice the cable leading to rear mounted hue control. I’d like to rig the cable forward and exiting at the bottom of the cabinet. In this way I can actually see the adjustments on the screen. The mirror idea seems ridiculous on a restored set. For purists, we can easily restore to it’s original position. Pix #13, blocking while releasing tension loading.
We shall see as the restoration progress’s.
UPDATE, AUGUST 26, 2018, Day 26
From Mike: Greetings Marshall. We are packing up the cabinet and brass pieces today. We should leave here by around 8:00 on Monday morning and see you by 11:00 or so. FYI, in case you want to research it, and in case we need it later, the Westinghouse part number for the flyback is:
We never know what might show up out there and it would be a very, very good thing to have a spare, if possible. Before I can do anything on this set I will be building a bigger workbench. So as soon as the cabinet is in your hands I will have the space to press on. I have done some visual examination especially around the high voltage and flyback area and learned that the wiring around all of the rectifier sockets is very poor so that will have to be addressed early on in the restoration stage, after I get the power supply somewhat working. Also, my plan is to eliminate the filament wiring for the H.V. rectifiers and convert them from the original 3A3 tubes to solid state devices such as ECG508 Sylvania/Phillips devices. I am on a mission to find QTY 3 of those now. The focus rectifier tube will also be replaced with a solid state device of some type as well. By doing these modifications it not only eliminates vacuum tube heat, it also eliminates a lot of unnecessary wiring that has the potential to cause arcing which of course is very undesirable.
See you tomorrow.
Author: Okay, see you tomorrow. We will place the cabinet in the garage as I will be taking it to our community wood shop for refinishing. I will post this in VK in hopes of a lead. Sad about Senator McCain.
In the garage today. Soon, I will be taking the cabinet to our community workshop for refinishing.
We found a cabinet number and some sort of serial numbers on the tag glued to the inside of the cabinet.
SEPTEMBER 6, 2018, Day 37
Due to the enormous Westinghouse chassis, Mike rebuilt his work bench to accommodate it. Here you see the main and sub chassis. I’ve seen Mike’s test equipment which are not shown in these photos, and it looks like these photos were taken shortly after completion of the bench. Power supply parts have been ordered and the restoration begins.
“The “beginning”. The bench is complete with power strip and overhead shelf for test equipment. The giant color chassis fits the new bench well. I noticed that the copper plate cover that I retrieved from the cabinet is not the one that I thought it was. It is actually the one for the bottom of the flyback area so we still need to find out if the original is available from ETF. I have allowed room on the new bench for yet another “jig tube” for when I get serious about testing the operation of the chassis after I get the power supply and sweep circuits going. I will be using the oscilloscope for much of the early testing of the power supply and sweep circuits. And I will pay especially close attention to safety of the flyback transformer.
UPDATE, SEPTEMBER 13, 2018, Day 44
From Mike: I hooked up a variac to the chassis a couple of days ago and started it at 25 volts. Then about 5 minutes later I set it to 50 volts and watched the power supply tubes start conducting. They are a set of 5U4’s and there are 3 of them for the different voltages that form the power supply. The purpose of this exercise is to determine the exact running voltages that were originally designed in to the system using the 5U4 vacuum tubes. I got the voltage up to the nominal 120 VAC after many small steps and I got smoke from one of the resistors in the power supply. NOT a surprise at all. The reason for the smoke is an “open” capacitor in the power supply section of the circuitry. As it turns out, Westinghouse made this chassis such that the “power supply” is not limited to the chassis below in the cabinet. That chassis is only the first stages of the supply, which is rectification and “preliminary” filtering of the pulsating DC that is created from the rectifier tubes. There are a number of places in the chassis where they placed “redundancy” filtering to make sure that he DC was always pure everywhere in the system. I will be doing a lot of re-capping as a result of diagnostics in an effort to methodically bring this thing back to life. Once I determine what the “actual” operating voltages are, I will be installing solid state rectifiers in place of the 5U4’s and then applying resistance values in the system to reproduce the proper and “original” DC supply values. This placing of resistance values is necessary due to the fact that the solid state rectifiers are much more efficient than the original 5U4’s that are very inefficient by comparison.
I just placed a very large order for capacitors so I can press on to the next phases.
UPDATE, SEPTEMBER 14, 2018, Day 45
I live in a retirement community which has its own wood and metal shop. Today friends helped move the Westinghouse cabinet and we drove it to the wood shop.
UPDATE, SEPTEMBER 24, 2018, Day 55
Greetings Marshall. I have recapped the main power supply and verified the design voltages as they are at this time. They will likely be lower during later tests since I have the sweep circuits disabled for the preliminary testing. For the foreseeable future, and maybe permanently, I will be leaving the original design in place with the 5U4 tubes. We will see how that goes later. OK, now for the pictures.
Picture #1 shows a couple of caps replaced but except for that, the chassis is as I received it. Mostly “untouched” which is how I like to get them. These caps were actually broken off at the terminals so I went ahead and replaced them. They can be seen as orange and brown components at the lower left.
Picture #2 is the main power supply chassis before re-capping.
Picture #3 is the main power supply chassis after re-capping.
Picture #4 shows my oscilloscope screen showing the waveform of the grid drive to the Horizontal Output Tubes (6BG6’s).
This tells me that the horizontal oscillator is running and the drive signal to those tubes is good even before recapping. This signal on the scope is about 200V P-P and the Photofact refers it to be 150 V P-P. Given the fact that most of the running voltages are a bit high right now because I have the main power to the sweep circuits disabled, it is expected that the signal would be a bit high. This is good at this point.
This step is important because it means now, that I can do some testing of the flyback transformer. It won’t tell me everything about it, but it will tell me a lot.
UPDATE, OCTOBER 2, 2018, Day 63
Hi Marshall. I spent some time this evening working on the distressed wiring in the High Voltage cage. The purpose of the “wiring fix” is to allow me to test the circuit as designed before I make any modifications during the restoration process. The wiring fix involved “putting back” some of the wires that had simply fallen off of places from age and from the “trip”. Anyway, I am now able to confirm that the flyback is “alive” at least to the point of generating High Voltage. I got 20 KV on the final anode lead with the regulation tube disconnected. Obviously this is a critical thing to verify early on in the restoration process. It is now time to test and replace tubes and then look at a bunch of other signals with the oscilloscope as we proceed. It is also time to start replacing a lot more capacitors. At some point, probably very soon in the process, I will return to the High Voltage section and do some more work there. But this test verifies a lot of components like the “doorknob” capacitors and insulators in the High Voltage section.
Mike: Yes, that is what the nominal HV should be at the 2nd anode. The actual HV generated should be, I think, more like 22.5kv or more. This is due to the function of the 6BK4 Shunt Regulator that keeps the regulated voltage at the 2nd anode at roughly 20KV at all brightness levels. The overhead voltage is so the shunt regulator can do that job at different beam currents. I made this test with no shunt regulation at all. I believe that the initial HV will come up quite a bit after some recapping and tube replacements like the 6BG6 Horizontal output tubes. I still have to go through the tubes and test them all. But this tells me that it is now OK to move forward with the whole project
UPDATE, OCTOBER 3, 2018, Day 64
Let’s add clarity
OK. I have studied 3 different schematics.
The Photofact for CT100 RCA calls for a primary transformer DC resistance of 1200 OHMS There are 2 secondaries. Secondary #1 calls for 1800 OHMS and secondary #2 calls for 7200 OHMS.
The Photofact for Westinghouse chassis calls for Primary DC resistance of 1000 OHMS. Secondary #1 is 3200 OHMS and secondary #2 is 3800 OHMS.
Westinghouse factory schematics calls for Primary DC resistance of 1000 OHMS. Secondary #1 is 1350 OHMS and secondary #2 is 375 OHMS.
I realize that these are DC resistance values and the actual IMPEDANCE for the components is not really called out on the schematic. BUT, these numbers should agree to a much greater degree of precision before I believe that the RCA part is the same as the Westinghouse.
I ran out of time tonight but I will be doing DC resistance checks tomorrow night in an effort to sort this out.
UPDATE, OCTOBER 11, 2018, Day 72
Unfortunately, the VDC transformer tested open in both secondaries. We are told that the transformer we need has been rebuilt in numbers. This rebuilt transformer, Westinghouse part number 241T1 has been installed successfully in RCA, Westinghouse and other 15 inch early color sets.
Mike explains: “RCA recognized possible faults in the wire insulation and maybe they anticipated the failures. The physical construction difference is interesting. However, the real difference to me is that the “impedances” are different. John (Folsom) explains that his aftermarket transformer was custom built as an “average” impedance match to satisfy both RCA and Westinghouse models. The impedance match is critical for proper operation of convergence and it is also critical to surrounding components in the sweep circuits. Mostly for proper “resonance”.
Thankfully we found a source, ordered the part and it’s on the way back to us. Recapping continues with bad resistors found along the way.
UPDATE, NOVEMBER 14, 2018, Day 106
After a brief hiatus, recapping continues. Under the RGB Adders and amp circuits was a big resistance array mounted to terminal strips. This bank of parts prohibits access to the bottom of the chassis where the RGB adders and amp circuits are. After some study I determined that I can disconnect 4 wires that were going from the resistance array down to the RGB circuits and then remove the screws on the mounting plate allowing the entire array to “fold away” and “down” from the part of the chassis that I needed access to.
Picture #1 The new VDC transformer mounted but not yet wired.
Picture #2 Shows my “impossible access” to the capacitors that need replacing.
Picture #3 Shows the assembly pulled away and folded down after disconnecting the 4 wires. Full access to the components is now possible.
Picture #4 All new caps and some new resistors installed.
Picture #5 The assembly re-installed and the wires re-connected.
UPDATE, NOVEMBER 16, 2018, DAY 108
The cabinet restoration begins.
UPDATE, November 27, 2018, DAY 119
Good progress on the cabinet restoration. All that remains is to detail the channel selector and volume control knobs. They are brass.
UPDATE, NOVEMBER 28, 2018, DAY 120
The cabinet restoration completed and back home, waiting for it’s chassis. Mid-Century styling at its best. Tap on images for full resolution.
UPDATE, December 4, 2018, Day 126.
The Process continues ….
Greetings Marshall. The process continues. There are 2 more electrolytic “cans” that I need to replace and the screen grid resistor for the horizontal output tubes that is chassis mounted is also in need of replacement. These types of resistors are obsolete so I will be mounting terminal strips to the chassis where the original resistor is in order to make that repair. Also, the modification to the ON/OFF switch with the added relay will be necessary and I need to find one of those relays before I can do that mod. I will be servicing the tuner also, while the chassis is in this position on the bench. I hope to start firing things up within the next month or so in order to determine the condition of things. So far, a lot of capacitors and resistors have been replaced, all in hopes of a positive outcome. When I am finished with the “bottom” of the chassis, at least for now, I will begin the component replacements on the top. Some of those are in the High Voltage cage and there are several others in different circuits that I need to explore. I have attached 2 pictures. The first one is an image of the parts that I have replaced so far. The second is the bottom of the chassis showing the new parts. The image can be compared with the original that I sent previously before the restoration was started.
UPDATE, DECEMBER 9, 2018, DAY 131
Progress continues. There was a power resistor in the screen grid section of the horizontal output tubes that showed very intermittent results with the ohm meter test. It had to be replaced. The original was a chassis mount which is unobtainable. I replaced it with a modern day film type flameproof resistor and it is mounted on to terminal strips. Also, today I finished wiring in the new Vertical Dynamic Convergence transformer. It was necessary to extend the leads in order to make them fit to the proper terminals under the chassis. I also installed a plastic grommet where the wires feed through to the bottom of the chassis from the top. Then I used electronic lacing tape to further strain relief the wires so they are out of the way and close to the top of the chassis. During the process, I replaced the two 6 KV capacitors that are part of the tuning circuits for the convergence adjustments. The wiring from the techs before me was a real mess. I’m sure that if you compare the original bottom view, you will see what I mean. The following pictures are:
1. The modified screen resistor. The one on the towel in the foreground is the one that was removed.
2. The underside showing the plastic grommet where the high voltage wires feed through from the new transformer. One wire is already connected here.
4. The finished transformer wiring with the newly installed 6 KV capacitors.
UPDATE, DECEMBER 20, 2018, DAY 142
Greetings and Merry Christmas Marshall and family.
The relay that takes the load off the main on/off switch has been installed. The relay is installed on the top of the power supply chassis. There was absolutely no room whatsoever on the bottom of the main chassis and there was plenty of room on the power supply chassis. The brown wire is the one that brings in the power from the main interlock which exists on the main chassis. There were no spare connections available on the original plug assembly. The brown wire has its own separate connecting plug. 3 photos show the placement of the new component on the power supply chassis. Next is the task of removing the tuner, rebuilding it and re-installing it. Then we can get on with powering up the chassis with the sweep circuits disabled. This will allow testing of the tuner, I.F. strip, sync circuits, video amplifiers and hopefully, more.
UPDATE, DECEMBER 30, 2018, DAY 152
Greetings Marshall. We are finished with the bottom of the chassis, at least FOR NOW. Picture #1 is the top of the chassis again, and it shows nice clean capacitor cans that have been replaced. The rest of it still needs a lot of cleaning and yet, some more components replaced. For now, it is time to rebuild the tuner since the lubricants have long ago turned to something more like plastic rather than grease or oil. But first, I have snapped a picture of the “HUE” control that you speak of and have asked it to be moved to the front of the chassis. This is not going to happen. The HUE control is NOT a POT. It is a coil. There is a flexible cable that is manufactured to fit the top of the slug of the coil and that is their method of changing the phase relationship of the colors. I do not see a “good” way to move this control. It would be problematic since the controls on the front panel are all below the “plane” of the chassis. Anyway, Picture #1 shows this issue. Picture #2 shows the chassis with the nice new electrolytic cans and a “somewhat” dirty chassis. This will be cleaned up a bit during the next restoration phases.
Picture #3 is before the tuner removal.
Picture #4 is the tuner removed.
Picture #6 Channel strips removed.
Picture #7 Inside tuner main shaft removed.
Picture #8 Tuner contacts and body cleaned. And all resistance values checked.
Picture #9 Main shaft and Fine Tuning shaft before cleaning.
Picture #10 Fine tuning shaft, contact spring and detent wheel before cleaning.
Picture #11 Parts ready for re-assembly.
Picture #13. All strips re-installed, the cover is on and the tuner is ready to re-install.
UPDATE, JANUARY 18, 2019, DAY 171
Hi Marshall. Now that I have things squared away on the *“mountain tops”*, I am back to the Westy. During the dismantling of the set you might remember that I mentioned a powdered iron core slug that I found in the ventilating screen after removing the chassis. Well, I FOUND OUT where it came from. It came from the Hue control coil (Burst amplifier). I will need to remove the transformer and likely manufacture a new slug assembly for it. The pictures are as follows. 1) and 2) The broken piece that I found. 3) and 4) Shows more cleanup of the top part of the chassis. The deflection yoke has been removed so it can be cleaned and serviced separately. There is still one large axial type capacitor that I need to find and it is seen just above the white wires from the new VDC transformer. 5) and 6) shows the burst amp transformer bottom view and top view that I will need to remove in order to rebuild the iron core that is broken. The 2 horizontal output tubes (6BG6) are separate manufacturers and the date codes are many years apart and they should be replaced with a matched pair. Also, there are 2 damper tubes which by design are 6AX4 type. These are really tubes from the “black and white days” and that is why they used 2 in parallel instead of the usual 1. One has been replaced with a 6AU4 type , which is the “stronger” version of the 6AX4 and was designed for use in the newer color sets that were made after the Westy. Bottom line is, these should also be replaced with a matched pair of 6AU4. I will be purchasing these for replacements before I fire up the chassis to do any further sweep circuit testing. My next steps will be to “look” into the high voltage section and do a lot of work in there. I have already purch ased a new matched set of 3 high voltage rectifier tubes for that section. I originally was going to convert these to solid state however I have changed my course of action on that decision for a number of reasons.
* Author: Servicing the various communication repeaters in Mohave County, Arizona.
Feburary 1, 2019, Day 185
Next! The high voltage cage. I have received the matched pair of 6BG6 JAN (joint army navy) mil spec tubes for the horizontal output stage of the sweep circuit. I still need to find a nice pair of 6AU4 damper tubes to compliment the output tubes but the damper tubes are not as critical as the outputs as far as “matched pairs” go. The focus rectifier tube will be replaced with a solid state selenium type such as what was used in the CTC15 RCA sets. I have purchased a matched set of qty 3 (1B3) rectifier tubes to replace the High Voltage rectifier/tripler set. I will be replacing the capacitors in the high voltage cage and I will be replacing the resistors with modern type film resistors as well. After these restoration procedures I will be ready to start powering up the chassis with the sweep circuits disabled in order to test the individual circuits. I will use an oscilloscope for that process. The signal source will be either antenna TV signals or crosshatch signals from a color generator.
UPDATE, FEBRUARY 24, 2019, DAY 2019.
So, here we goOOOOO.
We are truly going where NO MAN HAS GONE BEFORE.
Author: Well the Britt lead turned out to be a bust. No response.
From Mike: “Greetings Marshall. In communicating with Bob Galanter, he sent me a link to a company in the U.K. They have been no help at all. I get a message from them after the “cart checkout” that my address is invalid. I sent the company an email and asked them what I need to do to place the order. That was 3 days ago. I have not heard a word. So that is not looking good.
So, I started thinking real hard again, as I do when I am “stuck”. And my thoughts took me in to my earlier days of television repair. By earlier, I mean the 70’s. I remembered that the age of solid state was booming and that the high voltage systems had changed dramatically from the 60’s and earlier. I then remembered that those sets from the 70’s often times implemented ceramic substrate focus controls. BINGO. I did some searches using the simple words “RCA focus control” and “Zenith focus control”. And where did I end up, but ebay with a listing for 40 megohm ceramic substrate focus control part number 63-7145. This part, I am almost certain, will work in the position for the Dynamic Convergence Pot which is designated 50 megohms. A very easy adaptation, I think. Let’s not get too excited yet, but I bought it and it should arrive in a few days. I have also purchased $$ a number of high voltage resistors of different values to aid me in rebuilding the high voltage circuits where these pots go. I am also going to replace the focus control, although it checks reasonably good. It is buried behind the Convergence pot so I should go ahead and replace it if I can find something of the 70’s vintage in the form of a 5 megohm for that position. I have also purchased a 5 megohm 2 watt pot that I think I can modify in case I don’t find the real thing in ceramic so I think I have this covered. I am definitely “on” to something here, though, by remembering my days before Palomar. I have not discussed this with Bob yet. I want to get it in the mail and make sure it will work first. I will have to invent a new mounting scheme, but that is really no surprise. The fact that I was able to find ceramic 40 megohm pot for the convergence is a really good thing if it works. It will mean that I can pass this information on to the other people that are working on these sets.
Cheers, and onward!
From Mike today: “Greetings Marshall. This is just an update on the attempt to find the parts I need to continue. I received a Zenith component and an RCA component yesterday. I found these on ebay. Neither one is a perfect part for the circuit but they are close. They might be close enough but I won’t know until I adapt them in to the chassis and “fire” things up. I am also waiting for one more possible candidate for the convergence pot which is a mid 80s RCA part. When it comes, I will evaluate that one. I shared my “find” of the RCA part that I received yesterday with Bob and he was very optimistic (as I am) that it will work. He was very happy since this may actually help him with his project as well. I have also ordered an assortment of High Voltage resistors of different values which will help me adapt the pots to the circuit. I expect the other RCA part to show up on Monday. I am hopeful that it may possibly be a “better fit for the circuit. I will then have 3 choices to choose from for the next steps. All of this part of the restoration takes place inside the High Voltage cage where the flyback is, so I need to be very careful about my choices of components and the placement of them.
Author: We are experiencing unusually cold weather near the Phoenix Valley. It snowed in North Scottsdale yesterday!
UPDATE, FEBRUARY 26, 2019, DAY 210.
Greetings. I will be moving forward on a plan to install a new Focus pot and a new Convergence pot into the High Voltage cage. My exact plan is not yet in place, but it is close. The following pictures show preliminary steps for the process.
UPDATE, MARCH 6, 2019, DAY 218
Greetings. While I am waiting for more parts for the high voltage cage rebuild, I have taken a step back in order to repair the Burst Amp coil that I previously reported to be broken. I found the iron core in the bottom of the cabinet when I removed the chassis a few months ago. I later learned where the core came from. The powdered iron core was mostly intact and all that was needed was JB Weld Epoxy, and then fine sanding in order to restore its original cylindrical shape. The JB weld worked equally as well on the coil form repair.
Pict. #1 Broken coil assembly
Pict #2 Broken core and bent lead screw
Pict #3 Broken coil form
Pict #4 Repaired and straightened iron core and coil.
Pict #5 The finished coil re-assembled and ready to install in to the chassis
The high voltage cage rebuild will be completed next.
UPDATE, MARCH 12, 2019, DAY 224
The surgery continues.
Greetings. The first “pass” at the high voltage cage is finished. I say “first pass” because the convergence pot issues are still experimental and I will likely need to make some component adjustments of the high voltage resistors that form the divider circuit on either side of the new pot in order to bring the convergence in to range. The reason for this is that the original pot is 60 megohm and the new circuit with the Zenith 63-7145 only has a swing range of 20 megohm. Some resistance is already built in to the Zenith part so that has to be considered in the calculations. I hope that convergence can be achieved within this new range. If not then I will be experimenting with the values a bit. The important thing that I need to adhere to is the original divided resistance value of the circuit since the 3 circuits (Focus, High Voltage Regulation, and Convergence) all interact a small amount by existence of these resistance values. The total value that I removed was between 230 and 240 megohms. My new value across the divided network is 219 megohms and there is a 7 megohm resistance built in to the new pot at the swing arm so that introduces some need for experimentation which I hope is soon to come. Also, I will soon need to address the issues with the crt socket. I have found a vendor but they are not responding to my queries about availability and cost. I may have to attempt a rebuild of the original socket.
Pict. #1 Old convergence pot left and Zenith 63-7145 right, mounted to the original bakelite panel with nylon screws and plates.
Pict. #2 The new circuit with experimental values shown.
Pict. #3 The original Focus pot which cleaned up nicely and seems to be OK. New wiring to the pot along with new capacitor (yellow) and High voltage 8 megohm resistor (blue) hard to see behind the cap.
Pict. #4 High Voltage cage with some, not all new wiring is complete. Note that the original 1AX2B focus rectifier tube is now solid state. (white stick near center). And the control shaft coupling to the new convergence pot was accomplished with a high quality piece of silcone rubber tubing. (lower right, orange) . And finally, all 3 of the H.V. rectifier tubes are replaced with a matched set of JAN Mil. spec 1B3’s.
UPDATE, MARCH 21, 2019, DAY 233
From Mike: Here is the latest. I have received word from Steve McVoy at ETF that he has NOS sockets for 15GP22 crt’s. He is sending me one and only asking for a donation to ETF of $20.00. I sent him $25 as a donation and the socket should be here soon. The recent action on the restoration is that I installed a line fuse on the primary of the power transformer (where it belongs). The fuse is located on the top of the chassis next to the horizontal output tube sockets. The other progress is the new covers for the deflection yoke. I purchased 2 sheets of ABS plastic 1/16 inch thick to make the new covers.
Picture 1. The newly installed line fuse.
Picture 2. The ABS sheets.
Picture 3. The old yoke cover repair.
Picture 4. The old covers removed.
Picture 5. New ABS parts.
Pictures 6,7 New parts installed with nylon screws and spacers.
APRIL 7, 2019, DAY 250
From Mike: Greetings. The socket has arrived from the Early Television Foundation. A real nice, high quality socket and a bag full of connector pins. So, I have to find the proper wires in order to complete that task. I could just use any wire and any color, but that is just not my way. The wires need to be the proper color and stripes for their function of the signals. It makes troubleshooting a lot easier in the event that it becomes necessary, and it retains the original equipment manufactured specifications.
I have assembled the new crt socket. It is ready to install.
Picture 1. The “kit”
Picture 2 and 3. The assembled socket with all new wires.
UPDATE, APRIL 9, 2019, DAY 252
We have video! First images.
From Mike: “Hi Marshall. The jigging process went as planned. The focus voltage is missing and I’m not sure why just yet. I ran out of time tonight. There is a LOT of GOOD NEWS though. The image is there. It is in good vertical and horizontal lock so the sync circuits are working and the chassis is actually sweeping a raster. With no focus voltage, the images are very blurry. I will sort that out when I return from my vacation. The other good news, is that the convergence voltage (on the wire that is not connected to anything), is swinging from 5 KV to 8 KV with the convergence pot. That means that I hit the numbers quite close with my calculations on the first pass. Very, very good news in my book. I am pleased with the results tonight even though there is an issue with the focus voltage that I did not expect. Also, I have not installed any purity correction yet and there is no static convergence installed yet. And, the images here are showing a “ring” in the foreground. That is the chassis portion that normally carries the deflection yoke. And there is no way to keep it out of the picture. All I wanted to do tonight is display an image. So here they are. Likely the first images that this set has displayed in many years. We are winning.
UPDATE, APRIL 25, 2019, Day 268
From Mike: “Greetings. Here are the first “in focus” monochrome images of the set when jigged to a 21FBP22 crt. This is a milestone in the restoration process. There has been a minor setback with the Vertical Convergence Transformer and it has been bypassed in order to allow proper focus voltage to the crt. This jigging process will now allow me to do troubleshooting on the chroma circuits. There is no sign of color bars or color at this point.
Picture #1 Crosshatch pattern through the yoke frame with many vacuum tubes lit up keeping me warm in the shop.
Picture #2 Crosshatch pattern closer. Only center convergence and purity settings are possible with the 21FBP22 tube.
Pictures 3,4,5. Images from a show on antenna TV.
Author: Definitely a milestone Mike. We now know the chassis circuits are working to produce a picture. The convergence transformer is arching internally. We are working to resolve the problem.
UPDATE, APRIL 29, 2019, DAY 272
On day 272 of this restoration, we have color!
From Mike: “Greetings! Please share my excitement in the event of first color on the old Westy! The color is not “correct” color yet, but it is color. This is a major milestone of progress in this endeavor of restoration. There is still much to do. I need to figure out what is going on with the proper phases to make the color correct. The dead color circuits turned out to be a failed filament in the bandpass amplifier tube. All tubes were tested several months ago and the 6BA6 tube was fine then but it evidently died soon after. No wonder the voltages checked OK but the signal was not passing.
UPDATE, MAY 2, 2019, DAY 275
From Mike: “Greetings again. I have no images this time however I have improved the phases of the color by a fair margin. I have now learned that there are I.F. alignment issues that need to be addressed next. I spent the evening studying the schematics. I will be moving the chassis to the alignment bench next. I expect to find a real mess on the oscilloscope screen when I hook it up. Even though the monochrome picture has good detail and appears to display a good picture, the chroma signals are suffering where they enter the video amplifier.
Author: I remember the the poor scope waveform images from the 21CT55 prior to your alignment. Ultimately you achieved a “textbook” curve.
UPDATE, MAY 6, 2019, DAY 279
From Mike tonight: “Greetings. The alignment was a success! And it was a real mess. Remember, images are not in focus because they are being displayed on a 21FBP22 crt and the voltage from the Westy is not quite enough to reach the proper value. The images themselves are much clearer now, and the color is much better. The jig method is telling me what I need to know for now.
Photo #1 The alignment curve before alignment.
Photo #2 and 3 is after the alignment
Photos 4,5,6 are real time antenna tv photos.
Photo 7 is a color bar pattern.
I am very happy with the results of this restoration so far.
We are getting there.
Author: Looking at photo #3, half way up on the left is the CHROMA signal of 42.17 MHZ. Next in the middle of the waveform is the center of the 6 MHZ wide video signal of 44MHZ. Next, down half way on the right upper sideband is the 45.75 Video carrier and finally on the far right is the 47.25 MHZ trap for adjacent sound., as taught to me by Mike from the previous alignment of the 21CT55 chassis. What a difference from photo #1 and #3. Photo #2 is identical to #3 except flipped horizontally. A very nice textbook alignment waveform.