Author Topic: 1968 Zenith Stereo Theater Console TV  (Read 1146 times)

firedome

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Re: 1968 Zenith Stereo Theater Console TV
« Reply #30 on: March 02, 2019, 12:15:57 PM »
Phil was able to get the knobs apart, seems it is a very common problem in Zeniths that had them. He sanded and got them smooth and it's working better now!

I'm old enough to remember when there was no UHF: Channels 2 - 13 was it!
We had 3 channels in Baltimore that we watched on our '52 RCA B&W: WJZ, WBAL, WMAR.
Happy Motoring! from Roger in NY

Motorola Minion

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Re: 1968 Zenith Stereo Theater Console TV
« Reply #31 on: March 05, 2019, 11:28:36 AM »
I usually see the simpler models, because most who bought Zenith just wanted a reliable TV unlike the RCA of this period, which ate flybacks and pushed service contracts as well. Admiral, Motorola and Sylvania made good color sets around this time but Zenith was out ahead of the pack.

The 1966 model Zenith may be this one. A chassis 25MC36 or 25NC38, both workhorse color sets that put Zenith in front going into the 1970-73 Chromacolor (CCI) years. 

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Dave

firedome

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Re: 1968 Zenith Stereo Theater Console TV
« Reply #32 on: March 05, 2019, 12:30:22 PM »
Looks good! and hopefully has a good CRT and can work without too much fuss!
If/when CRTs for those chassis go bad are they still available to find new?

We're really hoping for a Zenith, pretty much everyone knew they were the best back then. My wife's parents gave us a tube-chassis Zenith 19" portable-on-a-stand B&W set for an engagement present in the summer of 1971 and we used it for over 20 years, until we finally retired it for a color set.. now I wish we had saved it!
Happy Motoring! from Roger in NY

TC Chris

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Re: 1968 Zenith Stereo Theater Console TV
« Reply #33 on: March 05, 2019, 08:19:09 PM »
I usually see the simpler models, because most who bought Zenith just wanted a reliable TV unlike the RCA of this period, which ate flybacks and pushed service contracts as well.

My grandmother's RCA that I finally gave away this past spring had a singed flyback, as it turns out....

Chris Campbell

Bill

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Re: 1968 Zenith Stereo Theater Console TV
« Reply #34 on: March 05, 2019, 11:16:44 PM »
Dave,

Your photo of the Zenith is the same exact set my Grandparents had.  I was 15 when they got it, and that was 1966.  My other Grandparents purchased the 1967 RCA Stereo Theater.  Neither the Zenith or the RCA gave them any trouble.  I now have the stereo theater.

Bill


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Re: 1968 Zenith Stereo Theater Console TV
« Reply #35 on: March 06, 2019, 11:54:58 AM »
My grandparents in Ft Lauderdale had a 1967 Zenith, making a great first impression on me for color. The Miami and Palm Beach combined market had one CBS and PBS but two ABC and two NBC channels, plus a channel 6 (south of Miami) that barely came in yet had the best movies and cartoons listed in the Miami Herald. Just like in the Baltimore-DC market, larger metro-area UHF did not catch on until the early 70s. I remember most how that Early Zenith turned off, with a 3" round multi-color burst fading out at the end, resembling Zeniths circular color logo.

What makes rectangular sets of this early period restorable is that, while flybacks are all different, CRTs were pretty much interchangeable and these regular tubes are more than plentiful in the surviving models. The 25AP22 and its variations used from 1965 into the early 1970's in all the manufacturer's advertised 23" models. 

An RCA stereo theatre around this time used that same CRT but the chassis was likely the "better" version using 4-PC boards, a CTC 21, CTC 25, 30 or 35. The RCA sets sold at discount with plain and metal cabinets used the lesser 2-PCB chassis with even more troublesome 6GH8 tubes to implement color at a low cost. These RCA's were CTC20, 24, 31, 38 and 39 and did not make as good a color picture as the 4-PCB chassis. Zenith did not design-down for the budget color sets and the 21" round one on the left in the ad below, got almost all the same goodies the one on the right did. That left- side 21" set in the ad was another first impression of color on me. My Aunt and family had theirs on all day, every day. It lasted 12 years

The other ad is from a Lancaster-county dealer deep in RCA country, as RCA made orthicons and color CRTs at the plant on New Holland Avenue in nearby Lancaster. It was no surprise to see Zenith store signs proliferate in town after these initial models got everyone's attention, lasting well into the 90s.

RCA rested on their laurels AFTER the 1968 models discontinued the 4-PCB chassis, Victor was dropped from the name in '69 as the logo changed, and the XL-100 was still 3 years away. Solid state development gave a new life to some brands, notably RCA, GE, Sylvania and Magnavox, who implemented it quite well after some forgettable tube-transistor transition chassis '69-72. I will spare Sylvania's hybrids from that last remark though.

Zenith, Motorola, Philco and Sylvania worked solid state into their chassis through the early 70s, leaving tubes to do the heavy lifting of video, vertical and horizontal sections in lower-priced sets. These 4-6 tube hybrids were actually some of their best, according to popular opinion of ex-TV guys who just cannot forget like yours truly::)

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Dave

Bill

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Re: 1968 Zenith Stereo Theater Console TV
« Reply #36 on: March 06, 2019, 09:04:44 PM »
I can remember seeing the back off both Grandparents TV's at some point.  The Zenith being hand wired, the chassis was very large.  The RCA of course used the PC boards but that chassis was huge as well.  Both sets worked pretty much trouble free, had good pictures, and good sound.

Bill

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Re: 1968 Zenith Stereo Theater Console TV
« Reply #37 on: March 07, 2019, 10:28:23 AM »

My grandmother's RCA that I finally gave away this past spring had a singed flyback, as it turns out....

Chris Campbell

Chris,  I am glad you found a home for that RCA. It was a CTC38 as I recall, which would last a while with moderate hours. Time and heat kill flybacks in any set. They CAN be saved if you get them in time, even after they tracked and began arcing externally. The rubber "tire cover" breaks down and carbon-tracks, requiring surgical removal and replacement with a coat of RTV silicone to prevent further arcing, most silicones are rated for High Voltage use.

Zenith HV cages were larger and ventilated compared to RCA (post-1964 models).
 Zenith flybacks sometimes failed when hours are high and insulation breaks down INTERNALLY, with only external checks available to confirm.

Zenith was also plagued by efficiency coil issues, an adjustable slug inductor in the damper tube circuit. The plastic coil form disintegrates, letting it drop and misadjust itself. Mis-adjustment of the is coil increases flyback current on either side of peak (highest impedance at 15,750 Hz rate)

You must catch them before they overheat, winding insulation fails and turns short-circuit. I have a "ring tester" in my Sencore VA48 that will detect that condition on even a few turns, i.e. give you confirmation of death. 
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Dave

firedome

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Re: 1968 Zenith Stereo Theater Console TV
« Reply #38 on: March 07, 2019, 11:53:23 AM »
You clearly know your TVs Dave!
Is it possible to "hot rod" a mid '60s early rectangular color model with a later/better CRT that has improved phosphors,  black matrix, "Chromacolor", stuff like that?
Happy Motoring! from Roger in NY

firedome

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Re: 1968 Zenith Stereo Theater Console TV
« Reply #39 on: March 08, 2019, 04:17:20 PM »
Oh and also was there a point where CRTs stopped having the "cataract" problem due to improved or different technology, that can be swapped in to fix that issue in older sets?
Happy Motoring! from Roger in NY