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 Post subject: 1953 Admiral Television help
PostPosted: Feb Mon 19, 2018 11:46 pm 
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Joined: Feb Mon 19, 2018 11:33 pm
Posts: 53
Location: Lafayette Louisiana
Hello all!

I am new to this forum and new to the television restoration hobby. I have been watching several youtubers for years now and always wanted to buy one already restored but never had the money. I recently purchased a 1953 Admiral and restored the cabinet the first day I got it. Now I'm ready to make it come back to life but I don't have any of the equipment or tools to do anything and cannot afford to pay anyone to do it for me even if anyone COULD do it in my area. Bandersentv sent me here to see if anyone would like to help advise me.

I sure would appreciate the help anyone willing.

-James Mercer


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 Post subject: Re: 1953 Admiral Television help
PostPosted: Feb Tue 20, 2018 2:41 am 
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Joined: Jan Sat 16, 2016 10:03 pm
Posts: 351
Well you are certainly in the right place for advice. There are a lot of former pro television repair/service technicians who worked on sets for a living during the 60s, 70s & 80s and then their are hobbyist like myself who are for the most part self-trained who are members of this website. Most television hobbyist like myself begun this hobby by first restoring antique/vintage radios and then moved on to televisions after acquiring enough skills to do so. You will need adequate equipment/tools but nothing over the top or too expensive to restore a few radios.

My advise is to put that television on temporary hold and concentrate on a few radios. Televisions can also be dangerous to work on due to very high voltage. I got zapped once by a radio B+ voltage once and I never got zapped again, you might say, I learned my lesson. You will be surprised how much you will learn on your first radio.

I'm sure others will cast their opinions here and many of those individuals are much more knowledgeable than I.


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 Post subject: Re: 1953 Admiral Television help
PostPosted: Feb Tue 20, 2018 7:16 am 
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Joined: May Sun 07, 2017 11:35 am
Posts: 281
I concur. Start with a radio!

A TV is a big jump unless you have the experience.

See if you can find an early edition copy of "Basic Television" by Bernard Grob. That will be a good start, once you've tackled a tube radio or two.

Before you power ANY vintage electronics up, read up on how to do it safely and without destroying anything that's made of unobtainium. The Early Television Foundation site has some good articles on this.

http://www.earlytelevision.org/restoration_advice.html

This is generally good advice but I don't agree with the water wash technique he uses! Insulation, especially in old transformers, is hygroscopic. Unwise to allow water near it IMO, despite any subsequent bakeout. It's asking for trouble. But, whatever floats your boat (or maybe not...)

Make yourself a Dim Bulb Tester (google it). It's the inexpensive, safe, drama-free way to bring up old gear.


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 Post subject: Re: 1953 Admiral Television help
PostPosted: Feb Tue 20, 2018 8:06 pm 
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Joined: May Thu 14, 2015 4:15 pm
Posts: 753
Location: Dallas, TX
Welcome to the forum James.
I agree that restoring SEVERAL radios from the 50's would be a good thing to do first.
It will take some patience until you will have the TV done. Along the way you can gather the tools and test equipment while working on the radios. This is a very good forum for restoring radios in particular, but I should also point out another forum dealing more exclusively with TVs, Video-Karma. I'm on both.
How about telling us what part of the world you are at? It might be possible for someone to help you with something at some point.
What model of Admiral TV is it you are interested in restoring?
Above all ask plenty of questions. Hopefully ask before you get into trouble.
There are many good things to read about the subjects, including online. There are sometimes more than one way to do something.

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


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 Post subject: Re: 1953 Admiral Television help
PostPosted: Feb Tue 20, 2018 11:30 pm 
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Joined: Aug Thu 12, 2010 6:25 pm
Posts: 168
Location: Durham, NC
As others have said, let us know where you are, and see if there are antique radio/tv enthusiasts nearby who can provide some mentoring for you.

It occurs to me that, if you refinished your TV's cabinet in a day, you might trade some of your refinishing skills for electronic restoration. Woodwork is a skill that some of us don't have, compared to our electronics expertise.

_________________
Mark Nelson
A collector of TV signal boosters and UHF converters -- God help me!
tv-boxes.com


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 Post subject: Re: 1953 Admiral Television help
PostPosted: Feb Tue 20, 2018 11:35 pm 
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Joined: Jan Thu 01, 1970 1:00 am
Posts: 5256
Location: Woodinville, WA USA
Welcome to the forum. It's an excellent idea to practice the basics with a simple radio project (or projects) before you tackle a complex TV. My website has lots of info about both radio and TV restoration. Here are some starting places:

https://antiqueradio.org/begin.htm

https://antiqueradio.org/FirstStepsInRestoration.htm

This page lists a bunch of restoration articles about particular radios and TVs:

https://antiqueradio.org/restoration.htm

Many of those articles involve rather complicated sets, but some simpler ones are sprinkled in, as well.

This website has an online copy of one of my favorite vintage radio servicing books, Elements of Radio Servicing by Marcus & Levy:

http://antiqueradios.com/archive.shtml

That book is good for learning basic servicing and diagnostic techniques, as they were practiced when these sets were fairly new. Note, however, that the passage of decades has created problems (mainly, mass capacitor failure) that were not issues when the book was written. Nowadays, it's pretty standard to replace all of the old electrolytic and paper capacitors in a radio or TV, because those caps degrade with age whether or not the set was used. You won't read about this sort of "recapping" in the Marcus & Levy book because it wasn't necessary back in the day. Imagine that you just found a 6o-year old car in a barn; you wouldn't expect to just top off the gas and race off on a cross-country trip. Many things will need attention because time has taken a toll. Same with old radios and TVs.

Finding a local mentor is a great idea, and you can ask radio/TV collector clubs in your area if anyone is interested. Here's a list of radio/TV clubs in the USA:

http://antiqueradio.com/clublist.html

Even if the nearest club isn't next door, they might know someone closer to you. Radio/TV collectors live everywhere, not only in big cities.

Regards,

Phil Nelson
Phil's Old Radios
https://antiqueradio.org/index.html


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 Post subject: Re: 1953 Admiral Television help
PostPosted: Feb Wed 21, 2018 2:25 am 
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Joined: Feb Mon 19, 2018 11:33 pm
Posts: 53
Location: Lafayette Louisiana
Some basic info about me and the project:
I am from Lafayette Louisiana

The television is an Admiral model 221DX16A

Sad note: The seller plugged it in and turned it on about a week ago before I purchased it to test it out. The tubes light up, there are sounds coming from the speaker (scratchy) and the gun lights up but not the CRT although it might have, he didn’t turn any knobs or leave it on long. I hope it’s not destroyed.

It is missing what appears to be the absence of a flip down door that covers 4 pots/knobs but the knobs are missing, only 4 stems protrude.

Clsoca, thank you for the advice. I am very excited to get the television working but if you and the others suggest starting on a radio, I guess I will put the television on hold for now. It needs some knobs and decals at some point that will probably take years to find so I guess I’m not too bummed out about the delay. I will have a beautiful radio out of the deal in the end so I guess that’s a huge plus.

Irob2345, I will find a copy of the book you suggested. Thank you. A very unfortunate thing happened before the seller and I met up. He plugged the television in and turned it on. I seriously hope nothing bad happened. I have photos of the tubes lighting up and a dim light coming from the back of the gun. I will post pictures of everything when I get out of probation on this website. I don’t know what the bulb tester is used for but I will make one this weekend and learn how to use it.


Notimetolooz, thank you for your welcome. I have a lot of patience and I love collecting antiques and learning all about them so I will have fun with the radio when I eventually find one. I will check out Video Karma tomorrow and subscribe there. The television I am restoring is an Admiral model 221DX16A. Will share a link to my youtube video restoring the cabinet when I am out of probation. I want to clean the chassis next but the television was powered up a few days ago so I’m afraid it’s probably holding a charge.

Aj2x, thank you for your reply. I would love to trade labor for knowledge any day. I have asked these types of questions on my local craigslist and googled antique radio/tv/phonograph repair many times but no one in the state of Louisiana seems to come up.

Philsoldradios, first off, thank you very much for your reply. Secondly, I LOVE your website. I spent about 8 hours last week reading through everything and seeing your restoration examples. I will definitely look for the book you mentioned.


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 Post subject: Re: 1953 Admiral Television help
PostPosted: Feb Wed 21, 2018 4:36 am 
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Joined: May Fri 29, 2009 4:35 am
Posts: 2039
Location: Chicago, IL USA
A missing control door is common for Admirals of this era. You're not missing any knobs - that's the way they made them.

Here's what a vertically oriented version looks like.

Image

A dim bulb tester limits current to the set in case something is shorted. It's just a light bulb in series with the set. One like yours probably draws around 175 watts so you will a pretty high wattage bulb.


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 Post subject: Re: 1953 Admiral Television help
PostPosted: Feb Wed 21, 2018 5:43 am 
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Joined: Feb Mon 19, 2018 11:33 pm
Posts: 53
Location: Lafayette Louisiana
Hey Bandersen. Thanks for the info on the knobs. I'm glad I'm just looking for the door now. Do you have a clue where the logo would be on this model? It hasn't got any except on the back.


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 Post subject: Re: 1953 Admiral Television help
PostPosted: Feb Wed 21, 2018 6:47 am 
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Joined: May Sun 07, 2017 11:35 am
Posts: 281
At the moment I have a 1957 vintage HMV F3 on the bench. This TV hasn't been powered up for at least 40 years. It has a mains transformer - the method will suit any TV that has a transformer, i.e. not series heater. I think your Admiral is in this category....

Here is how I go about it, using the dim bulb technique...

1. Attempt to re-form the electrolytics.
This is always worth trying because, particularly in this case, replacing the electros would have been very expensive. NOS replacements will need this treatment anyway.
Look for physical signs of chemical leakage from the cans. In this case there was none. Leaking electros are not candidates for re-forming.
Remove the deflection and audio output tubes. Leave rectifier(s) in place. You don't need the yoke or CRT to be connected.
Connect power to chassis via a dim-bulb tester with a 75 watt incandescent lamp. The lamp should give an initial flash, fade for a while and then get a bit brighter after a few minutes.
Measure the B+ at the rectifier cathodes. It will probably start at zero and slowly climb over an hour or so to about 50 volts.
Feel the electro cans for temperature rise – there should be none.
If it's OK so far, leave it running overnight. Don't worry, if something breaks down the lamp will protect the rest of the chassis from damage..
Next morning the lamp should be dimmer. If so, remove all the other tubes with the exception of the rectifier(s). The lamp will get dimmer and the B+ voltage will start to slowly rise.
Leave the chassis in this state until the B+ stops rising. It will generally get to about 250 volts DC.
Run the chassis like this for another couple of days to give the electros a good re-form.

The advantage of this method, rather than using a variac, is that you don't have to be there monitoring the chassis while it's happening.

If your chassis doesn't follow the script you will probably have to replace the electros.

2. Replace all the wax paper capacitors
Opinion is divided about this step but on this chassis, of the 27 paper caps I replaced, all but 2 of them were leaky and one of the caps that wasn't leaky was open circuit!
Pull out and replace the caps one at a time, being particularly careful that the new part goes back in the same place. Triple-checking this step will save you much heartache later!

Observe the voltage rating on the original part and use a replacement with the same or a higher voltage rating.

While you are at it, replace any resistors that are showing signs of distress.

3. Bringing up the TV
In the dim-bulb tester, fit a 150 watt lamp or use two 75 watt or similar lamps in parallel.
Refit all the tubes and connect the yoke and CRT. Depending on the design of your TV, you may need extension leads so that you can get to the underside of the chassis.
Power up the chassis.
Depending on what happens next, this is where the faultfinding begins!
If there is a major fault, the lamp will light and limit the current flow to a level that will generally avoid the letting out of the smoke!
If the TV shows signs of life and the bulb is at less than half brightness, you should be safe to connect it directly, without the bulb in circuit.

The big advantage of the dim bulb method is that a tungsten filament lamp is a PTC thermistor. The more current you put through it, the more it increases its resistance to limit the current. It behaves a bit like an automatic, self-resetting circuit breaker.


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 Post subject: Re: 1953 Admiral Television help
PostPosted: Feb Wed 21, 2018 3:43 pm 
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Joined: Feb Mon 19, 2018 11:33 pm
Posts: 53
Location: Lafayette Louisiana
I read your reply about 5 times. Looks like I have a lot to learn. I will read and learn how to perform each of your instructions until I'm confident to actually go forward. In the meanwhile I'm ordering the books mentioned and will search for a starter radio project from the early 50s. Maybe an admiral radio. I'm thinking the radio design from the same company will translate well when I do the television. Thank you very much for your advice. This is exactly what I need to know. You folks are so friendly.


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 Post subject: Re: 1953 Admiral Television help
PostPosted: Feb Wed 21, 2018 4:39 pm 
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Location: Chicago, IL USA
dandypanty wrote:
Hey Bandersen. Thanks for the info on the knobs. I'm glad I'm just looking for the door now. Do you have a clue where the logo would be on this model? It hasn't got any except on the back.


Likely the only logo was on the missing control door. That's how it is in the model 26X56 pictured above.


I'm going to disagree with some of the previous advice. I've worked on plenty of Admiral TVs from this era. All the paper caps need to go. I've tested dozens and dozens and they're always leaky. A big maybe to reforming the electros. Even if you can get some life out of them, you should really replace them if you are really going to be using the TV. The Admiral in the photo above is about a year older than yours and every electrolytic was bad. Some leaky, some completely dried out and open. One had been replaced long ago and the replacement was bad too.

1953 to 1957 may not seem like a long time, but I've had much better luck caps from the late 50s being good than early 50s.


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 Post subject: Re: 1953 Admiral Television help
PostPosted: Feb Wed 21, 2018 4:48 pm 
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Joined: Feb Mon 19, 2018 11:33 pm
Posts: 53
Location: Lafayette Louisiana
So I need to just replace all caps and electros. I shouldn't even test them? I will be using the television several times a month.


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 Post subject: Re: 1953 Admiral Television help
PostPosted: Feb Wed 21, 2018 5:32 pm 
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Joined: May Fri 29, 2009 4:35 am
Posts: 2039
Location: Chicago, IL USA
If you're curious and want to learn troubleshooting techniques, sure you can test them. You'll need to get yourself a proper tester than can apply the full rated voltage - as much as 600 or even 1,000 volt to test for leakage.

I'll bet you don't find a single good one though. I've done it in plenty of videos where I'll test a bunch of paper caps for all the doubters and they're always bad. Usually the electros too.


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 Post subject: Re: 1953 Admiral Television help
PostPosted: Feb Wed 21, 2018 6:24 pm 
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Joined: Feb Mon 19, 2018 11:33 pm
Posts: 53
Location: Lafayette Louisiana
I want to replace anything that I can to make the set better. Can I build the DBT and plug it in this weekend? Will that give me any valuable information?


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 Post subject: Re: 1953 Admiral Television help
PostPosted: Feb Wed 21, 2018 6:31 pm 
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Location: Chicago, IL USA
Here is a link to the Riders service info for your set - model 221DX16 using the 19C1 chassis.

The schematic is on the last page. Note that they use the speakers field coil as a filter choke for the power supply. That means the set cannot be operated without the speaker connected.

It also means that if something is shorted and drawing excessive current you could burn out that field coil. Another good reason to not just plug it in!
https://drive.google.com/open?id=1fFLQp ... gECjQd6WlJ


Note there is also a "late" version and 221DX16A and 221DX6L versions that use the 19F1 or 19K1 chassis . Make sure the service info matches your set before doing any work.

I was doing some search for info on your set and came across this book for sale on Amazon

Apparently, it was put out by Admiral back in 1952 and covers installation and service notes your 19C1 chassis along with a few others. Don't know if it's worth $25, but thought you might be interested.

https://www.amazon.com/Admiral-Installa ... B005RG02G4


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 Post subject: Re: 1953 Admiral Television help
PostPosted: Feb Wed 21, 2018 6:34 pm 
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Location: Chicago, IL USA
dandypanty wrote:
I want to replace anything that I can to make the set better. Can I build the DBT and plug it in this weekend? Will that give me any valuable information?


I would pull the chassis and do a visual inspection before even thinking about turning it on. You don't know what state it might be in. I've seen sets where old repair attempts have left cut wires and parts hanging or shorted together.

You might also spot some obviously fried parts or dead tubes.


Any way you can post some photos ?


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 Post subject: Re: 1953 Admiral Television help
PostPosted: Feb Wed 21, 2018 6:50 pm 
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Joined: May Thu 14, 2015 4:15 pm
Posts: 753
Location: Dallas, TX
dandypanty wrote:
So I need to just replace all caps and electros. I shouldn't even test them? I will be using the television several times a month.

The basic answer for any electronics that are earlier than about 1970 is yes. You can get a cap tester (which itself will need to be re-capped, etc.) and test the caps but it just isn't worth the time and effort. I bought a Heathkit C-3 cap tester, restored it, used it a few times and basically put it aside.
I did gain the experience of restoring it. Many replacement FILM caps only cost about 20 cents or so. Half watt resistors can be had for 5 cents a piece or less (buy them 10 at a time). I get many of my parts from DigiKey or Mouser. Shop around. I like the brown colored capacitors but may use the yellow ones. I think the yellow ones are too obvious. One important thing is that mica and ceramic capacitors usually do not need to be replaced.
I was going to recommend philsoldradios but he beat me to it. Finding his site nearly by accident is how I came to realized that there was people that restored old electronics.
If nothing major (CRT, flyback, power transformer, yoke, vertical transformer) is bad and not counting tubes, the parts for the TV wouldn't be over $ 50. There will be a lot of labor though.
I got an Admiral C2236A from 1954 some time ago.
Attachment:
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EDIT: FILM

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


Last edited by Notimetolooz on Feb Wed 21, 2018 7:51 pm, edited 1 time in total.

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 Post subject: Re: 1953 Admiral Television help
PostPosted: Feb Wed 21, 2018 7:10 pm 
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Joined: May Thu 14, 2015 4:15 pm
Posts: 753
Location: Dallas, TX
dandypanty wrote:
I want to replace anything that I can to make the set better. Can I build the DBT and plug it in this weekend? Will that give me any valuable information?

About the only thing that could be checked at this stage with the DBT is the power transformer for a short. You have to remove the rectifier tube(s) first. If the power supply E-caps are bad, and chances are about 95 % they are, they could pull excessive current through the transformer and rectifier tube and damage them. The next step is replacing the E-caps.
Also don't build your expectations too far, the CRT might be bad. Testing that is a separate matter.
I know there are ways of doing this with a few common test items but I'm not sold on that idea. A CRT tester is the best approach but a CRT tester only tests CRTs so that isn't a good investment at this point. Here is where knowing someone in the area with a tester is useful.

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


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 Post subject: Re: 1953 Admiral Television help
PostPosted: Feb Wed 21, 2018 9:34 pm 
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Joined: Feb Mon 19, 2018 11:33 pm
Posts: 53
Location: Lafayette Louisiana
So much helpful information in here guys, thank you so much! I learned how to build the DBT and I'll get it done this weekend.


Attachments:
File comment: As I purchased it
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File comment: this was unfortunate but I didn't know at the time.
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File comment: I thought this was actually a GOOD sign, not a destructive one.
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File comment: after sanding 60, 100, 120 then 220 grit.
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File comment: after stain, waiting for dry day to urethane and fix speaker grill cloth. Not sure quite what to do with the cloth yet.
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