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Vintage Television and Video Vintage television and video equipment, programmes, VCRs etc.

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Old 6th Jul 2017, 4:19 pm   #1
fetteler
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Default Why did folk always unplug the telly at night?

Yep, why did people always used to do this?
In the back of my mind there is a reason - a real reason relating to the risk of failure in a particular component and an associated fire risk. Am I making this up? It was something to do with the off switch not isolating said component due to the way TVs used to be made...

I'm sure one of you knows what I'm going on about

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Steve.
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Old 6th Jul 2017, 4:29 pm   #2
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Default Re: Why did folk always unplug the telly at night?

I think my dad did it in case of lightning, but then he never unplugged the aerial!
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Old 6th Jul 2017, 4:30 pm   #3
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Default Re: Why did folk always unplug the telly at night?

I have a vacuum cleaner that had a RIFA across the un-switched mains.
It had to be changed after it kicked up a stink and set the fire alarm off.
Perhaps someone had reported the same with a telly.
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Old 6th Jul 2017, 4:47 pm   #4
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Default Re: Why did folk always unplug the telly at night?

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Originally Posted by emeritus View Post
I think my dad did it in case of lightning, but then he never unplugged the aerial!
The lightning hit the aerial, said no TV connected so went away......HA HA..

My insight was that people had a fear of electricity They could not smell or see it. Most of my customers always removed the plug from the wall at night. This gave problems when we installed a VCR (the clock is flashing at me). Now leaving a set in standby is the norm.

Bob
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Old 6th Jul 2017, 4:48 pm   #5
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Default Re: Why did folk always unplug the telly at night?

I think it was common during the war for safety, so a live wire won't be cut by bombing etc., and it carried on for some years later. Most appliances were just plugged in when you needed them as you probably only had one unswitched socket anyway.
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Old 6th Jul 2017, 5:18 pm   #6
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Default Re: Why did folk always unplug the telly at night?

We were the same,unplugged in case of a storm but never the aerial!
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Old 6th Jul 2017, 5:29 pm   #7
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Default Re: Why did folk always unplug the telly at night?

We still unplug ours.
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Old 6th Jul 2017, 5:38 pm   #8
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Default Re: Why did folk always unplug the telly at night?

So do I. Can't say why except I hate things being left on standby and ours plugs into an always on multi strip as we have to keep the BT box on.
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Old 6th Jul 2017, 6:23 pm   #9
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Default Re: Why did folk always unplug the telly at night?

And I unplug mine (really unplug it, not just turn off a switched socket). In fact the only
things left plugged in at night here are the fridge and the DVD/hard disk recorder.

It is probably overkill, the risk of leaving it plugged in and in standby or plugged in and turned off at the socket is minimal. And yes I know I am much more likely to be run over when crossing the road than killed by the TV. But it is so easy to remove that risk that I might as well do it.
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Old 6th Jul 2017, 7:06 pm   #10
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Default Re: Why did folk always unplug the telly at night?

As a youngster my grandmother told me we had to unplug the set to prevent, "The power going in to the socket".

Some sets had components and fuses before the on-off switch. More famously the Pye hybrid colour range had the live mains lead connected to the PSU before the on-off switch. Some parts of the set would be live with the on-off switch in the off position.

I still believe it's good practice to remove the plug from the wall outlet socket.
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Old 6th Jul 2017, 7:33 pm   #11
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Default Re: Why did folk always unplug the telly at night?

I don't unplug mine, but it's a switched socket which I always switch off overnight.
It just seems a sensible precaution with no downside.
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Old 6th Jul 2017, 7:35 pm   #12
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Default Re: Why did folk always unplug the telly at night?

One could question the use of switched sockets? Why are they needed?
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Old 6th Jul 2017, 7:40 pm   #13
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Default Re: Why did folk always unplug the telly at night?

The Granada continuity announcer used to remind viewers to switch off and unplug the set at closedown. I think the advice to unplug was dropped around 1980, perhaps ROSPA concluded that encouraging people to crawl under their TV sets was actually causing accidents.

On balance I think it was good advice, as we know there was plenty of scope for a set to be faulty and seem to be switched off, but to be far from safe.

Also "standby" is not a new phenomenon, some Thorn chassis (800?) sometimes had a three position mains switch, the centre position ran the heater chain at half whack with the HT off, but there was no clear indication to the viewer that it wasn't properly off. I think Red Arrow marketed the feature as "Instant TV"

Probably poisoned all the valve cathodes too, come to think of it.
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Old 6th Jul 2017, 7:41 pm   #14
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Default Re: Why did folk always unplug the telly at night?

My father always unplugged ours in case of fire. In the days before fire alarms.

Regards, Robin.
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Old 6th Jul 2017, 7:45 pm   #15
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Default Re: Why did folk always unplug the telly at night?

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The Granada continuity announcer used to remind viewers to switch off and unplug the set at closedown.
From what I remember a loud tone was broadcast just before close down, so if you'd fallen asleep during "The Epilogue" you soon woke up again.
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Old 6th Jul 2017, 8:03 pm   #16
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Default Re: Why did folk always unplug the telly at night?

It never made sense to me; perhaps it paralleled an old James Thurber story where people were worried about electricity 'dribbling out' of the sockets at night?

Nobody took time to remove the batteries out of their radios/flashlights at night, after all.
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Old 6th Jul 2017, 8:04 pm   #17
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Default Re: Why did folk always unplug the telly at night?

I think it was more of a case of making sure the set was actually turned off. Some chassis had the on/off switch on the brightness control. This could be turned down but not actually clicked off. It was quite easy to leave a receiver switched on after close down so if the plug was in the socket, it was on!
There was also the fear that 'something might happen' if the plug was left in. Most sockets of the 50's did not have on/off switches.

In our own case we had a Ferguson 236T console. Mum and Dad did not go to bed until the top of the cabinet had 'cooled'. It would make a mechanical 'clunk' as the wood expanded and contracted. One clunk during viewing and another about 15 mins after switch off. It was safe to retire when the clunk was heard.
Television was still very much a mysterious box of tricks and most viewers knew they contained high voltage. 'If you unplug it, you know it's off'.

I don't think many unplugged due to the lightning risk. After all if lightning had struck the aerial even with the receiver unplugged, it would have devastated the living room anyway. This takes me back. John.
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Old 6th Jul 2017, 8:06 pm   #18
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Default Re: Why did folk always unplug the telly at night?

I remember the tone they transmitted after "close down". It used to send our cat bonkers.
It would be about 800/1000Hz at a guess.
Alan.
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Old 6th Jul 2017, 8:11 pm   #19
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Default Re: Why did folk always unplug the telly at night?

Quote:
Originally Posted by rambo1152 View Post
"standby" is not a new phenomenon, some Thorn chassis (800?) sometimes had a three position mains switch, the centre position ran the heater chain at half whack with the HT off, but there was no clear indication to the viewer that it wasn't properly off. I think Red Arrow marketed the feature as "Instant TV".
I had forgotten that one. Red Arrow was the name for their rental models.
It was the Thorn 900 chassis that had the so called standby feature but very few customers used it. The 900 chassis dispensed with the mains dropper replacing it with a heater auto transformer thus reducing the internal heat to a low level making it somewhat safer.

There was a small neon indicator that glowed in the mid way position.

John.
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Old 6th Jul 2017, 8:17 pm   #20
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Default Re: Why did folk always unplug the telly at night?

Probably just a hangover from simpler times. People didn't understand it, so took no chances. Don't forget to put the sheet over the screen, so no-one can see in!
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