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Old 1st Aug 2017, 9:53 pm   #61
vinrads
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Default Re: Pilot PT650 "Spacemaker" Television

I am more of a radio man myself but I do remember the fireball tuners the first time around as an apprentice it was my job to clean the contacts on all sorts of tuners , well done with the restoration so far . Hope I don't get the T/V bug I will keep taking the tablets . Mick.
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Old 1st Aug 2017, 11:22 pm   #62
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Default Re: Pilot PT650 "Spacemaker" Television

Hi Tony,
What a great story: It's hard to believe that there was a time when these things were only a few years old. Mind you, there was a time when I was only a few years old!
John (Heatercathodeshort) commented that frame timebase faults were common very early on in these sets live's. Hardly surprising when you look at where they put it- right on the top rail of the chassis and directly behind the huge mains dropper The chassis rail itself is only 1/2 inch from the cabinet top so there was no air flow. The poor Hunts capacitors must have been boiled to death pretty quick!!
This has been a fascinating chassis to rebuild for many reasons, partly due to the bizarre layout of the components- you have to ask the question ' why on earth did they do it like that'! Surely with a bit of thought, they could have done a much better job both in terms of ease of assembly and reliability!
How well the actual circuitry will perform remains to be seen- some of that is also a bit strange.
I love hearing people's personal memories of these sets from when they were still current- it makes the process of bringing one back to life somehow more 'real'.
Cheers
Nick
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Old 2nd Aug 2017, 5:12 am   #63
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Default Re: Pilot PT650 "Spacemaker" Television

It brings back memories for me too. The first TV my parents had (back in the early 70s) was an Ultra VP17-72. Much the same chassis in a grey case with a carrying handle. I think a 17" CRT. My father was given it by a friend, non-working- and I remember him borrowing an AVO VCM and spending a couple of evenings testing all the valves. Not the way I do fault-finding now, but...

I am sure he replaced valves that would still have worked in the set. I seem to remember him replacing both valves in the Fireball tuner, the frame output valve at the top, the line output valve and EHT rectifier (but not the booster diode). And possibly a few others.

Anyway, the set was in use for about 5 years before it failed again and was replaced by a Philips dual-standard set. The Ultra, alas, got stripped for parts, and I doubt I still have any recognisable bits from it. I remember the odd layout, the big metal rectifier under the chassis at the bottom, the loudspeaker mounted on spring-loaded pillars so it was pressed against the case, the swing-out PCB with the IF strip on it, etc.
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Old 2nd Aug 2017, 10:07 am   #64
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Default Re: Pilot PT650 "Spacemaker" Television

It is odd how little remnants of memory hang about in the ageing brain. I remember the field output valve being a 30PL13 and wishing that it had instead been one of the numerous Mullard valves I had to hand instead of this exotic device. I never to my knowledge came in unfriendly contact with another 30PL13 though I do recall the 30PL12.

As for the fireball, its great advantage was its size, which meant it could be slotted in by the makers in positions too cramped to take a standard turret. It was a tricky device to work on due to its high component density but fortunately, I had little trouble with them over the years, apart from valve failure.

I knew there was another make of set associated with the Pilot but I could not remember that it was Ultra. I should have known, if only by the Mazda valve line-up. My guess is that Ultra built them and they were badged 'Pilot'.

As you point out, Nick, once these sets were new. It is hard to believe, for me at least, that the last time I worked on the Pilot was well over fifty years ago. It was at that time a quite beautiful looking receiver, very 'modern' with its incredibly high gloss woodgrain cabinet and uncluttered exterior surfaces - but I suspect the cabinet came first in the design procedure and appearance placed ahead of reliability of performance considerations when the chassis was produced to fit that cabinet.

Tony
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Old 3rd Aug 2017, 11:56 pm   #65
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Default Re: Pilot PT650 "Spacemaker" Television

Quote:
Originally Posted by Aerodyne View Post
It was at that time a quite beautiful looking receiver, very 'modern' with its incredibly high gloss woodgrain cabinet and uncluttered exterior surfaces - but I suspect the cabinet came first in the design procedure and appearance placed ahead of reliability of performance considerations when the chassis was produced to fit that cabinet.

Tony
Hi Tony & Tony!
Many thanks for sharing your memories of these sets I got the Pilot along with several other sets as a 'job lot' from a fellow forum member for not a lot of money.
I was so taken with the look of the Pilot and the incredibly small footprint it took up that despite it's dire condition I just had to give it a second chance It really does deserve the 'Spacemaker' name!
The 1950's was still a time of great austerity and those Victorian morals were very much still to the fore. I think that was reflected in the TV designs of that period- functional but rather dull! Most Tv's tended to be a square box with two knobs on the front and a plate glass implosion screen.
Things changed radically in the '60's. It was all about fun, style, design and freedom: the older folk must have been terrified
Compared to the sets of 1958, the Pilot must have looked really radical and probably appealed to a younger generation of customers who were furnishing their homes in a new modern style, very different to the preceding decade.
I assume the chassis was designed for the slightly more conventional Ultra V17-70 set. There was probably more space inside the cabinet so maybe heat build up wasn't quite so bad.
It was then shoehorned into the Pilot with a 21" tube- the cabinet almost touches the chassis in places!
A portable using this chassis would be interesting to see- you probably needed a strong arm
Anyway, I am now in the process of cleaning up the crt and rubber surround before reuniting it with the chassis. This will make the chassis more rigid and allow the rest of the bits and wiring to be re- attached.
All the best
Nick
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Old 11th Aug 2017, 11:32 pm   #66
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Default Re: Pilot PT650 "Spacemaker" Television

Good evening!,
Well the chassis and CRT have been reunited at long last The rubber mask was removed and given a good clean. It's lovely and supple with no sign of degradation so I've no idea what it's made of- its similar to the door seals on washing machines!

The front Perspex moulded implosion screen was in a terrible state- it was covered in scuffs and deep scores and a multitude of scratches. Luckily there were no cracks and it was still clear.
Starting with 400 wet & dry, the damaged areas were sanded down with a block until smooth. Then 800 then 1500 grade used wet. Having access to bodyshop equipment, the next process was 4000 grade wet pads on a random orbit sander and finally polishing with 3M Fastcut compound and an electric mop.
The end result, though I say so myself, is perfect. A perfectly clear, scratch free screen with no noticeable undulations! I did the same to the GEC 2000 DST with the same result so I was well pleased
So the re-assembly is continuing with more and more bits gradually being added to the chassis. It's starting to look more like a TV again rather than a pile of bits!
What I would like to do, if anyone can help, is to re-create the Mazda CRT label which is missing. There is a mark where it was and it looks to have been about 5" by 3". It is a CME2101 CRT. I am not sure how to do this as my computing skills are woeful so even if I had a picture or a scan of a label, I would not know how to print it out the correct size. So if anyone can help, I would be really grateful!!
I also need the the black plastic bit that pushes over the pins and locates the CRT base socket- I've nicked one off another tube temporarily. Also the spring that earths the dag on the back of the tube has rotted away so I need one of those as well. I'll put a wanted post in the relevant section with more details.
Here are some pictures of the latest progress.
Many thanks
Nick
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Old 11th Aug 2017, 11:36 pm   #67
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Default Re: Pilot PT650 "Spacemaker" Television

And one more for luck
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Old 12th Aug 2017, 9:57 pm   #68
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Default Re: Pilot PT650 "Spacemaker" Television

Looks fantastic!

Regards,
Paul
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Old 13th Aug 2017, 10:27 am   #69
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Default Re: Pilot PT650 "Spacemaker" Television

I know it has been said before about this restoration, but I can't help repeating my admiration for the amazing work you have carried out. The term 'well done' barely seems adequate.

Tony
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Old 13th Aug 2017, 1:00 pm   #70
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Default Re: Pilot PT650 "Spacemaker" Television

Nick, that looks astonishing. Are you sure you've not substituted a 'ringer' in its place?
Really incredible work, the sense of satisfaction must be considerable..

Oliver
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Old 23rd Aug 2017, 11:59 pm   #71
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Default Re: Pilot PT650 "Spacemaker" Television

Many thanks Paul, Tony & Oliver for the encouraging comments
I must confess, I'm pretty happy with it myself- I think when it's all finished, it should look much like it did when it left the factory! That's my goal anyway.

I've reached an important milestone tonight- The valve heaters are lit for the first time!!
The original mains dropper was totally knackered so I've hooked up a temporary one with the correct resistance for 240V mains- In the 21st century there will be no requirement to run it of a wide variety of voltages although in my experience (as an electrician) the mains is usually about 245V and occasionally nearly 250V.
Currently, here the mains is 244V and the heater current is 305ma. The voltage across the CRT heater is 12.10V so all pretty much spot on.

Hopefully, tomorrow night I can wire up the HT rectifier. The original metal rectifier had been replaced with an ancient diode and series resistor mounted on a bit of tag strip. It looks like it was done a very long time ago so the metal rectifier must have failed quite early on in the set's life.
I will use a new piece of tag strip and a BY133 with a 1000pf 1000V cap in parallel with it. I have increased the value of the mains dropper by 25 ohms or so but will probably have to play around with the value to get the HT about right.

I also plan to give the LOPT a gentle cooking to drive off any moisture. I did the overwind a little while ago but I will do the primary as well just to give it the best chance of survival.

So if all goes well, this time tomorrow night we might just have a raster!! (LOPT willing of course!) I've still got various things to attend to on the IF board and the tuner from a wiring point of view so actual pictures are still a few days away but it's all getting very exciting
Watch this space!
All the best
Nick
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Old 24th Aug 2017, 1:27 am   #72
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Default Re: Pilot PT650 "Spacemaker" Television

Nick,

I think you have done a great job on the restoration so far and I seldom say that to other TV restorers because generally I'm unimpressed with the work. Many folks neglect the chassis rust and don't deal with it properly, resulting in a sub-standard restoration. Every rust crystal must be eliminated.

The method I have chosen after years of restorations with very rusty chassis is fine glass bead blasting followed by the process of Electro-less nickel, which doesn't rely on an electric field, so it plates into corners & down holes. Then a coat of clear lacquer after any earth points are masked. You can see a very rusted 904 chassis & parts here :

http://www.worldphaco.com/uploads/HMV__904_ARTICLE.pdf

and what it looks like after this process. It has a great satin silver look to it. I'm not sure how easy this is to get done in the UK though.

Again, very well done on your set.
Hugo.
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Old 24th Aug 2017, 3:38 am   #73
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Default Re: Pilot PT650 "Spacemaker" Television

Hugo,

I agree, Nick has done a wonderful job of restoring this rusty mess.

But I'm sorry that the TV restorers on this forum don't impress you. Frankly, I find your efforts are overdone.

Personally, I would rather see an honest restoration that preserves the work of the people that made the set than a rust-free-ego project.

Each to his own, but on a Repair and Restoration forum I find your attitude snotty and demeaning.

Tony
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Old 24th Aug 2017, 4:39 am   #74
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Default Re: Pilot PT650 "Spacemaker" Television

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a Repair and Restoration forum I find your attitude snotty and demeaning.

Tony
Try not to over react, it is only my opinion, everyone has one, you don't have to subscribe to it. But I think it is always good to give credit where its due to those like Nick who are prepared to put in the extra effort. The harder road traveled often brings more rewards.
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Old 24th Aug 2017, 11:04 am   #75
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Default Re: Pilot PT650 "Spacemaker" Television

Let's keep things friendly please. Personal comments are unacceptable here.
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Old 24th Aug 2017, 2:32 pm   #76
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Default Re: Pilot PT650 "Spacemaker" Television

I had a set this shape in the early '70s , I can't be sure if it was the same model.

I converted it to an effect oscilloscope for our mobile discotheque, it was certainly "different". from the usual sequential PAR38 bulbs (we had those too).
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Old 24th Aug 2017, 11:16 pm   #77
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Default Re: Pilot PT650 "Spacemaker" Television

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Hugo,

Frankly, I find your efforts are overdone.

and....... a rust-free-ego project.

Tony
Tony,

I will address these remarks in a friendly manner as suggested by the moderator.

There are no official standards for restoration techniques and for the most part we are all self taught in this area. And whether a restoration is over or underdone is a matter of conjecture and healthy debate.

I have been fortunate to be doing restorations since the early 1970s' and I had the late John Stokes (author of 70 years of Radio Tubes & Valves) as my mentor in those early days. Over the decades that followed I worked to perfect techniques to bring valve gear back to its former glory. It hasn't gone unnoticed, I have been awarded prizes twice by the American Wireless Association.

You might like to look at the under chassis photo of this TV restoration, an Andrea KTE-5 which was bought back from the dead, all capacitors re-stuffed and re-wired with matching fabric covered wire:

http://www.worldphaco.com/uploads/TH...DREA_KTE-5.pdf

So while it could be said that my restoration work is overdone, perhaps another way to interpret it is that, with hard work, I have got it to an excellent standard. This has always been my target for restorations. And just because a person sets a high standard for their work, doesn't mean it is an "ego" thing, it is just the drive to get a job done as perfectly as possible. It probably would be better labelled an obsession, if one wanted to put a label on it.

So when I see someone like Nick doing the hard work too, it does really impress me, because I know how hard it is, and I can't make any apologies for not being impressed at other times.
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Old 24th Aug 2017, 11:37 pm   #78
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Default Re: Pilot PT650 "Spacemaker" Television

There will always be a range of opinions as to what constitutes 'restoration'. I hope that all approaches can be discussed here without animosity.

To add some perspective, please bear in mind that professional museum conservators would be horrified by many of the techniques used by forum members - electrolytic stuffing, fake wax capacitors etc. We are essentially repairing equipment rather than preserving it in a pristine condition without subsequent modification, which is what a museum specialist would expect.
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Old 25th Aug 2017, 12:11 am   #79
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Default Re: Pilot PT650 "Spacemaker" Television

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We are essentially repairing equipment rather than preserving it in a pristine condition without subsequent modification, which is what a museum specialist would expect.
Paul,

I wouldn't like to think that any of my restorations ended up in museums. Much of a museum's collections remain out the back in storage and the displays seldom have working vintage electronic apparatus. I have donated electronic instruments and appliances to museums before and they have disappeared into storage without trace. Though for other types of objects & art museums are great.

My hope, being a custodian of vintage TV's, is that my restorations will as the decades pass stay in the hands of private collectors. And remain in good working order for demonstration purposes to answer questions like : What did a TV image look like in 1939 ?

To that end of course it does require that all the capacitors, resistors, tubes etc are in good working order. It is a shame that ultimately gas will infiltrate the CRT's but there may be a solution for that later.

Hugo.
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Old 25th Aug 2017, 12:46 am   #80
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Default Re: Pilot PT650 "Spacemaker" Television

I think we have to remember the starting points here.

This was a set that would most likely have been raided for a few bits and scrapped. The actual outcome is a set that preserves the work of its creators as well as possible without the inevitable continuing decline had the rust not been treated and the excellent restoration carried out.
Much the same for Hugo's HMV of which we have both before and after photographs, and his Andrea.

I have to register an interest here as I restored a Murphy SAD94L which had been a home to mice for many years, and had a chassis which was half red-rusty and half intact. In fact it was scrap.
The rust removal and subsequent re-spray removed all the old ink stamps and all traces of Murphy workers' personal involvement but now the set still exists many years later.
Yes, I could have scrapped it or found another chassis but then even less of the original would exist, as I still sought to keep as much as I could of the actual original, despite it being easier not to do so.

Had I cleaned it up and "got it working" it would be impossible or even gone beyond hope by now. The only comment it has elicited from those that that have seen it was that I'd painted the chassis the wrong colour... although I actually had it matched with the surviving original paint - which wasn't actually any shade of blue.

We do what we do and what we think best to the best of our individual abilities, and if it gives personal satisfaction and pride while saving stuff from oblivion by putting it back whole, why not?

It's our hobby, after all.

So why did I spend so much time on a run of the mill set?... because I wanted to.

Pete
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