Thread Number: 73864  /  Tag: Other Home Products or Autos
1964/5 RCA CTC-17XE Color TV Problem
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Post# 975728   12/27/2017 at 10:43 (296 days old) by speedqueen (Harrison Twp, Michigan)        

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Well my mom finally did it, 6 months of leaving the television on almost 12 hours a day as background for the living room killed it. I've spent the last month poking around trying to find out why it made a loud pop and the brightness fell off sharply. Yesterday I got my answer. I powered up the set after replacing a few other parts only for it to flash a pinkish-purple on the screen and (gasp!) in the neck of the CRT. On another power up, only the green gun was working.

Luckily I have a replacement CRT lined up for it. My deadline for the repair is the first of January because we have a late Christmas party to host.

Here are a few pictures of the chaos in my living room.

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Post# 975735 , Reply# 1   12/27/2017 at 11:21 (296 days old) by RP2813 (The Big Blue Bubble)        

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Keep us posted!  I farm out my vintage TV repairs to a local guy I found on the antique radios forum.  I kind of wish I knew how to do it myself.

Post# 975741 , Reply# 2   12/27/2017 at 12:21 (296 days old) by speedqueen (Harrison Twp, Michigan)        

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I'm no expert either(I can barely call myself a novice), I get a lot of advice from a friend who knows about this kind of thing.

The thing with TV repair is that you need a lot of extra test gear beyond a volt-ohmeter or DMM. For convergence, you need a pattern generator(I have a Sencore VA48 that does that and is also a sweep generator for alignment among other things). A high voltage probe is a necessity. It is also good to have a capacitor tester that has a high voltage(at least 100v) leakage resistance check function.

Post# 976080 , Reply# 3   12/30/2017 at 02:35 (293 days old) by tolivac (greenville nc)        

Used to have a TV similar to that one.With the generator connected to the TV its on life support.Have the TV test devices-but haven't used them in years.At least that RCA is "fixable"!Remember those late night purity and convergence sessions on my old set.Traded it in on a Sony Trinitron 27".

Post# 983381 , Reply# 4   2/19/2018 at 10:57 (242 days old) by speedqueen (Harrison Twp, Michigan)        
Deadline Shmedline!

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Well, after backburner-ing TV for a few months, I finally got around to fixing it and here is the result. I resoldered a few solder joints and it decided that it was going to work, I still think that the CRT is bad and liable to internally arc again, but I do have a spare in case that does fail terminally.

The color bars test pattern is courtesy of a local public access channel. Ignore the moire patterns.

  Photos...       <              >      Photo 1 of 2         View Full Size
Post# 983384 , Reply# 5   2/19/2018 at 11:25 (242 days old) by Ultramatic (New York City)        

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What a great set!

Post# 983397 , Reply# 6   2/19/2018 at 12:00 (242 days old) by speedqueen (Harrison Twp, Michigan)        
If you think this one is good...

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One of these days I'll get my '65 Zenith 25MC33 color roundie fixed. It blows this set out of the water and just about anything new, too!

Post# 983415 , Reply# 7   2/19/2018 at 13:35 (242 days old) by rp2813 (The Big Blue Bubble)        

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Nice troubleshooting!  An easy fix for a TV that a professional would advise to junk in favor of a new "smart" flat screen -- a true throw-away item in comparison.

Post# 983459 , Reply# 8   2/19/2018 at 18:34 (241 days old) by speedqueen (Harrison Twp, Michigan)        

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Hopefully later this week I'll create another thread on replacing all the resistors on my '37 Zenith console radio. Why all the resistors, you may ask, they are all of the old "dogbone" shaped variety which are notorious for drifting in value. Someone had already, before I bought it, changed almost all the old capacitors. It sort-of works, currently but has trouble pulling in all but the strongest signals. I already took apart the volume control and switch which wouldn't click into the off position and had to be unplugged to turn the radio off.

Post# 983483 , Reply# 9   2/19/2018 at 19:39 (241 days old) by Ultramatic (New York City)        

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I wish I had my folks Du Mont 25" color console from 1969. What a set that was. It was still working when it was disposed of. I remember fiddling with the color hue controls to get the colors just right. Until this day, I haven't found any ads of Du Mont sets from the late 1960's.


I'm looking forward to see more of your color sets! 

Post# 983507 , Reply# 10   2/19/2018 at 21:36 (241 days old) by dartman (Portland Oregon)        

If you replace the tube find a compatible number with a V in the number as that should be the later high brightness phosphors and the picture will be a LOT brighter and have better black levels and color. RCA must have been one of the first to use a square tube too I guess as most every set I worked on of that vintage had a round tube. I actually rebuilt a few and sold them cheap, plus my Step Dad liked the cabinet one of them had so he put it in his bedroom and used it a while. The later CRT should have the shadow mask painted black rather than grey which also helps the overall picture just like the Zenith later Chroma Color sets and tubes did. I think they invented that idea but I know between the two they really looked nice.
Of course I always try to tweak and modify anything I own to work better than it did when new.

Post# 983515 , Reply# 11   2/19/2018 at 23:02 (241 days old) by speedqueen (Harrison Twp, Michigan)        
Black Matrix Tube

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I haven't so much as found a replacement tube, but rather have a doner set that can contribute the tube. While that set works, it does so terribly(for example, the color won't lock until 1.5 minutes after power up, I changed the 6GH8a near the color crystal and it helped a little, but not much) as there are so many weak tubes. The CRT is fine, however. The doner set's cabinet isn't the finest either.

I used to have a Zenith ChromaColor II w/ black matrix tube. While I personally thought it produced a better picture than this RCA, my mother says that she can see this TV better.

Post# 983728 , Reply# 12   2/21/2018 at 16:13 (239 days old) by firedome (Binghamton NY & Lake Champlain VT)        
25CM33 Zenith

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mentioned above, does have a good reputation. We have one in an MCM Danish cabinet "Hi-Fidelity" version here in central NY that we're selling, with a good crt but otherwise unrestored, just too unfamiliar with these, they're unlike the stereos I'm used to working on!

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Post# 983790 , Reply# 13   2/22/2018 at 01:08 (239 days old) by norgeway (mocksville n c )        
Round tube color

When properly set up produces the most beautiful color, much softer and more lifelike than the harsh glaring sets today.

Post# 983793 , Reply# 14   2/22/2018 at 02:03 (239 days old) by speedqueen (Harrison Twp, Michigan)        
I agree about round tube color

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With the 20 minutes that I ran my 25MC33 before a filter cap went intermittent and sent the color at the sides of the screen haywire and dragged down the HV, it produced the best color picture I have ever seen. It handily beat out this RCA and my old ChromaColor II as well as any modern set I have seen. I will however admit that the resolution of modern sets beats this simply due to the limitation of the NTSC system. LED color can never approach CRT phosphors.

Post# 983848 , Reply# 15   2/22/2018 at 12:58 (239 days old) by firedome (Binghamton NY & Lake Champlain VT)        
round tube vintage TV

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to me is like tube audio, nothing like it!
I'd love to restore ours, but at my skill level and age not sure when it'd get done. The TV collectors all seem to agree the hand-wired Zeniths of this vintage are the best of the best in picture, easy of repair, and reliability. For sure the current high-tech sets are comparatively hard to watch in comparison, at least imo.

Post# 983933 , Reply# 16   2/23/2018 at 01:03 (238 days old) by dartman (Portland Oregon)        
4k sets

Someday you might want to check out a 4k HDR set running a true 4k HDR video. The picture can be stunning on a well designed set with excellent black levels. I bought a cheap Hisense 55H8C with a VA led full array local dimming panel and for a dirt cheap set the video quality is stunning, especially on true 4k HDR playback. A OLED set would be even better but is at least 1k more, probably much higher if not on sale.
I loved those old Zenith sets, they ran forever, always had a excellent picture, and were fairly easy to fix. But 4k is a whole nother level if you can afford it. If you want to watch older SD videos a good old tube type set will give you the best experience as it's not trying to up convert low resolution stuff to a much larger picture format and showing all the faults by blowing it up like a low quality low resolution jpeg picture when you make it a lot bigger.
If that backup set you have is the exact same model you might want to leave everything as is on the other CRT and just swap it out as is then maybe the purity and convergence adjustments will be close and save you a ton of time. The pictures you posted it actually looks like the tube in the set is actually in pretty good shape as they loose focus and get bad color and weird luminous fringes on everything and get really dim if super bad.
If you can find a old Belton CRT rejuvinator they can zap the guns or just clean them and bring back a marginal tube if you know how to use it. I have a couple here, last time I used it was probably over 10 years ago on a Sony 36" HD CRT set. It did OK for a while but Sony tubes never took a rejuvenation very well.

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