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Old 14th Apr 2019, 8:47 pm   #1
Richard_FM
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Default Oddest Imported Set You've Encountered

During a search I found the thread about Colourstar's Swedish Dux TV / Radiogram combo.

https://www.vintage-radio.net/forum/...d.php?p=590026

I wondered what other non-UK market sets members have encountered in the UK, especially if not imported by a collector.

I've mentioned before my old girlfriend's Mum had a late 1990s Philips which she had brought over from Germany in a lorryload of furniture when their gran had to move into a nursing home. Being a recent set it only needed a setting or 2 changing in the on screen menu to work over here.

In other threads I've seen references to imported European & Australian sets being modified to work on System I, something not too hard for a competent engineer to perform.

Even the professionals did some interesting "grey" importing. In the 1970s Granada imported some Tandberg sets not usually sold in the UK & upgraded them in-house, rather than ordering them in UK spec.
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Old 14th Apr 2019, 10:01 pm   #2
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Default Re: Oddest Imported Set You've Encountered

There are quite a few Sony TV-900s here, Its a sort-of half way house between the TV9-90UB and the earlier TV9-306. Late 60s, 625 line single standard, UHF and VHF tuners, usually 5.5MHz sound -presumably imports from Germany. Inside it has a quite neat vertical chassis, early ones had the valved EHT doubler that 306 had, later ones are all solid state. I've seen them with German Siemens transistors in the IF strip from new, I wonder what that was all about.
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Old 14th Apr 2019, 10:17 pm   #3
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Default Re: Oddest Imported Set You've Encountered

Probably a tax dodge -- er, efficiency measure. Import nearly-complete sets minus some important parts that can be sourced locally, but without which they will not work, so they can legitimately be described as parts as opposed to finished sets. You can then finish off the sets using local parts and labour, and sell them as locally-made -- and probably even get a chunk of local government money to build your factory with, in return for promising to create jobs and boost the local economy (people with jobs have got to spend their wages on something) .
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Old 14th Apr 2019, 11:06 pm   #4
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Default Re: Oddest Imported Set You've Encountered

I know it was common for British servicemen to buy things while stationed abroad with the intention of bringing it home with them, & hopefully skirting import taxes on the way.

This was common for cars, & I presume TV sets like the Sony TV-900 also found their way to the UK this way.
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Old 15th Apr 2019, 8:49 am   #5
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Default Re: Oddest Imported Set You've Encountered

When I was still working I modded several European sets sound to 6 Mcs. Came from various sources but usually people who bought them back without realising the difference.
I bought 3 myself as I was interested in receiving continental broadcasts as a hobby.
1st bought a Redson, via Hugh Cocks, which looked as though it was made by Orion in Japan, multi standard PAL/Secam/NTSC. Probably 1984 ish. Later ones came from French supermarkets, again all multi standard and easily adapted by changing ceramic filters for UK sound.
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Old 15th Apr 2019, 12:02 pm   #6
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Default Re: Oddest Imported Set You've Encountered

I have an Italian-made Schneider TV that we brought back from France when we cleared my late brother-in-law's house. I think he had bought it from a supermarket. It is multi-standard: European PAL, SECAM and UK PAL. The standard is selected by a menu option when tuning in a station pre-set. I supposed the UK PAL option would have been useful for customers living in Brittany that could receive transmissions form the Channel Islands. Still in daily use via a STB. Not sure of its date, probably 1980's.
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Old 15th Apr 2019, 4:11 pm   #7
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Default Re: Oddest Imported Set You've Encountered

In 1979, I brought over from across the pond a 525 line Sharp TV/Radio/cassette Tri mate model 3T-59. The ceramic filter was changed and for quite a few years it was used in the kitchen parked on top a fridge freezer. Watching the 4" screen seemed nothing unusual even though the main TV was a tad bigger. It had a removable tinted filter just in case the sun was too strong and a very large loudspeaker in case hearing was a problem.

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Old 15th Apr 2019, 6:29 pm   #8
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Default Re: Oddest Imported Set You've Encountered

In about 1972 my brother-in-law had a secondhand TV shop. He exchanged a German BW TV for a UK made set. The set had been owned by a soldier the sound had been modified for 6Mhz. He had been living down south for a while before moving up north and said the German TV was in good working order, which seemed to be true. However! It was only after the soldier had left the shop did we find out what was wrong with this set that gave a nice picture.
No BBC2! It became apparent on investigation that German TV's only went up as far as Ch60! No good for Winter Hill BBC2 Ch62.
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Old 16th Apr 2019, 10:35 am   #9
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Default Re: Oddest Imported Set You've Encountered

In 1994 when I was in Hong Kong I brought back a Casio TV-3500 with a 3" LCD screen. It can display PAL and SECAM VHF and UHF but unfortunately its lowest VHF frequency is 48.25MHz. It consumes 4.9 watts so when running on 6 x AA batteries it gets through them quite quickly.

I think the only time I've actually used it was in trying to align my aerial on the roof.

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Old 18th Apr 2019, 9:39 am   #10
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Default Re: Oddest Imported Set You've Encountered

I modified a few portable black and white TV's that were bought into the UK mostly by people in the armed services. On earlier sets it was a case of changing a few caps and retuning the 6Mhz discriminator coil or on later sets it was changing out the 5.5Mhz ceramic filter for a 6Mhz one.

One of my hobbies was long distance TV reception so about 15-18 years ago I invested in a Goodmans C520 which small 5" multi standard colour television. It was just made for the job working on the UK, west European and east European 625 line systems pulling in colour pictures on both the PAL and SECAM systems. It would also automatically switch between the 5.5Mhz, 6Mhz and 6.5Mhz sound spacing so you could be watching and listening to an East European TV programme on say on band 1 ch R2 then retuning to E2 you would be watching and listening to a west European TV station on ch E2, the pictures would often be in colour. For French TV signals there was a small switch on the back of the set which switched it over to AM+ vision modulation and AM sound. It just worked so well but sadly its sitting unused in my workshop since DSO.
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Old 20th Apr 2019, 10:10 pm   #11
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Default Re: Oddest Imported Set You've Encountered

Like your Goodmans, I have a NordMende 10" set that will handle PAL and SECAM with auto sound-switching. I present to you, the 'Galaxy 25'. It's such a charming little thing!
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Old 21st Apr 2019, 1:56 am   #12
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Default Re: Oddest Imported Set You've Encountered

Those small, multi-standard portable TVs were popular with caravanners and truck drivers who could use them as they travelled around Europe and beyond. They were usually a lot more expensive than single standard sets, and consequently less common. Large screen multi-standard TVs were rare in the UK until the late 1990s, when mass production of TVs became concentrated in a few countries and multistandard chipsets made it more economical to build a multistandard receiver which could be sold simultaneously in a number of markets.

Multi-system TVs have been the norm in the Middle East for a long time. One oddball TV in my collection is a Sony 14" PAL/SECAM/NTSC 4.43 set which dates from the 1980s. I found it on the local council tip in 1999. It's clearly aimed at the Middle East - the on-screen channel number display can be switched between English and Arabic. Another unusual feature: two aerial sockets, one on the front and one on the back, with a button to switch between them. Presumably the front aerial socket is for temporary connection of a camcorder, game console etc. (this TV has no SCART or AV input)

Also, when I used to scavenge at the tip, I used to see a steady trickle of foreign electrical items, especially since there used to be an American Air Force base nearby. People often brought electrical items including TVs with them, not realising that they wouldn't work over here. A long time ago (in 1997) I picked up a very cheap 9" NTSC 12 volt colour TV from a car boot sale. (I still have it.) The seller told me that he had imported a van from the USA, the TV was fitted inside the van but of course could not receive British TV signals, hence it had been removed. I used it with an NTSC Amiga computer and Nintendo NES game occasionally. In 2008 it was used briefly as a bedroom TV at my parents' house, with an Alba RDVD-1002 DVD recorder acting as a PAL to NTSC standards converter. Subsequently, one of my acquaintances who worked at the dump found a massive plasma screen which was also NTSC only. I sold him the Alba DVD recorder so he could watch Sky TV on it, which he did until the power supply in the Alba DVD recorder blew up a couple of years later.

There's another category of oddball imported TV: those which were made overseas but aimed at the UK market. I'm thinking of sets like the Sony KV-1320UB with its non-standard PAL decoder, and the Teleton VX-1110 hybrid colour portable with unusual Japanese-made Compactron valves.
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Old 21st Apr 2019, 8:54 am   #13
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Default Re: Oddest Imported Set You've Encountered

I seem to remember that the little Sony 13" Trinitron sets in the 1970s had slightly strange colour rendering. I don't know if this was due to the patent avoiding decoder or the screen phosphors but they appeared to give an overall green/blue cast but still reproduced very good vivid reds.

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Old 21st Apr 2019, 10:20 am   #14
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Default Re: Oddest Imported Set You've Encountered

Quote:
Originally Posted by John123 View Post
Like your Goodmans, I have a NordMende 10" set that will handle PAL and SECAM with auto sound-switching. I present to you, the 'Galaxy 25'. It's such a charming little thing!
I had a Thompson 10" that looked very similar to this except with a silver cabinet. Mine was also multi system covering the French system L and systems B/G with 5.5MHz sound. I used mine for DX-TV from the mid 80s until I foolishly sold it around 2005ish, great little set!
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Old 21st Apr 2019, 6:39 pm   #15
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Default Re: Oddest Imported Set You've Encountered

Quote:
Originally Posted by MultiDERrentals View Post
I had a Thompson 10" that looked very similar to this except with a silver cabinet. Mine was also multi system covering the French system L and systems B/G with 5.5MHz sound. I used mine for DX-TV from the mid 80s until I foolishly sold it around 2005ish, great little set!
Yes the set was a recent eBay purchase and I've yet to really delve into it (perhaps it deserves its own thread!). Whilst researching, I found similar models under the SABA brand in Germany. Also a few NordMende models that were black or silver as you describe, but with an additional 10-pin camera socket fitted for monitor use.

There was a later (nineties) model, the 'Galaxy 25 Pro' which had a totally different look with 'Thompson Technology' under the NordMende logo, so presumably an entirely Thompson design.

(Google Image finds attached).
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Old 21st Apr 2019, 6:44 pm   #16
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Quote:
Originally Posted by hamid_1 View Post
Those small, multi-standard portable TVs were popular with caravanners and truck drivers who could use them as they travelled around Europe and beyond. They were usually a lot more expensive than single standard sets, and consequently less common.
Indeed, the set I purchased came out of a caravan and is very low hours. I can only imagine how much it would've cost when new!
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Old 22nd Apr 2019, 11:54 am   #17
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Default Re: Oddest Imported Set You've Encountered

I once had an early 25" Korting TV with German labelling. It used a GY501 EHT rectifier and an overwind but no shunt stabiliser - not unlike the oddball ITT. The overwind had gone so I replaced it with one from a scrap G6 (those were the days!). That produced a massive 33kV and no colour at which point I decided to salvage the tube for another repair...
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