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 Fixing a TV with no tools and no parts!
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 Return to top of page · Post #: 1 · Written at 5:34:04 AM on 22 June 2019.
Fred Lever's Gravatar
 Location: Toongabbie, NSW
 Member since 19 November 2015
 Member #: 1828
 Postcount: 950

While I was writing my autobiography all sorts of memories were triggered and fixing an old ladies TV was one of those.

I was asked to pop across the road and look at old Mrs Soandso's TV as it had died and she could not afford to get it fixed.
The set was in the lounge room which was dark and gloomy you could barely see the walls.
The old girl switched the TV on, it was a 21inch and after a couple of minutes you could just make out a faint glow on the screen, a tiny whisper from the speaker and the glow moved about. She had pulled her chair up closer and closer as the set slowly died!
Apparently she just listened to the sound and imagined what was happening on the screen!

I opened the curtains so at least I could see the set, turned it around and found it was a B/W valve set with the normal special purpose valves 6R3, 6CM5, a couple of 6N3's a couple of 6BM8, 6BL8 and about a dozen 6BX6. Funny how you remember some details. I dont recall what make it was maybe an Astor or HMV, this was around 1970's.
I surveyed the set and reasoned that if video and sound were coming through the signal paths must be intact and something was just dying.
All the knobs were turned flat out just to get that much a flicker and a whisper! I had my penknife so turned the set around and unscrewed the back brushing the cobwebs away!

As the sound was working "ok" I pulled the 6BX6 next to the 6BM8 out, the sound stopped. I then played "valve jockey" with that "good" 6BX6 swapping it in each 6BX6 socket in turn. About 1/2 way down the IF strip I struck gold! The sound suddenly came up (all the knobs flat out) and she said "I can see the picture!". Sure enough there was now a murky grey and white picture bloomed out giant size picture on the front.

That would have been good enough for her, but I was on a roll by now and studied the chassis. I noted the EHT valve barely had a heater glow. I was idly thinking of shorting out the series resistor on the heater or something but then my eye looked over the power transformer and I realised it had 3 voltage settings on a plug in selector. I could not see any markings in the semi dark (no torch) but the selector was plugged into one set of holes , say no 1. I pulled that out and stuck in in no 3 to see what would happen, switched on and had to run to the front to turn the knobs down! We now had an almost B/W normalish size picture and enough sound to allow "normal" viewing. Flushed with success I then looked at the trimpots available and with the penknife held in a hanky (safety first) a twiddeled a couple and struck further gold! I found a control that Blackened up the picture (probably the AGC set) and now we could push her chair back further and more than one person could watch the set!

So there you go, the old lady had her TV back in business and we scored a cup of tea and a nice cake while I checked the set would stay that way. A nice old story about raising a dieing set from the dead by "brute force valve jockey" techniques with out a tool or meter, ok I did have the pen knife! She passed away about a year later and they tell me the set was still there and saw her out.

I wonder if you techs have a similar story about a heroic fix or save with nothing but your wits?


 Return to top of page · Post #: 2 · Written at 5:17:57 AM on 23 June 2019.
Brad's avatar
 Location: Greenwich, NSW
 Member since 15 November 2005
 Member #: 1
 Postcount: 6625

I remember my parents fixing their valve set in the 1970s just by banging the side of it. Of course this usually fixed the issue but probably created others.

A valve a day keeps the transistor away...

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