1977 Aphelion (Telefunken)

Aphelion Designed by: Steve Foster
Chassis used in this version: Telefunken 712
Notes: This set has the Chroma IIA with TDA 2140 & TDA2160, Chroma IA with a TDA 2150. Also fitted with the early Infra Red remote option.
Year:1977 – This is evidenced by the 197 stickers on every module, this I have found out means it was produced in the 19th week of 1977.
System:625 Line
Original List Price : £000.00 ( to be ascertained but was very expensive)
Valves: None
Transistors: Yes
Integrated Circuits: Yes
CRT: Telefunken A66 500X

General Info: 

This is an iconic British designed set using the German Telefunken 712 chassis.  No brochure for this set but if you have one please get in touch. For quite a while I had been looking to add a 70’s “space age” iconic set to my television collection, such as the Keracolor or the the Murphy “Accoustic-Deluxe”. The Keracolor was basically a Decca Bradford in Glam-frock, the Murphy you just don’t see coming available. Then there was the rugby ball, oval shaped Aphelion, these also occasionally crop up and I quite liked its excuse the pun, odd-ball and quirky look. When an opportunity arose to acquire one coupled with the fact it had the superb Telefunken 712 chassis, that was the one I opted for.

The condition of the set is quite amazing with no damage, the electronics are original with some minor surface rust in places suggesting it has been garage or shed stored for a number of years. The set is big and I mean BIG later on in the blog you will see what I mean with it on top a BRC2000 which is no small set in itself. My jaw dropped when the specialist courier arrived to off-load the TV on my drive. It somehow looked so much smaller in the photos before I purchased and the ones I’ve taken below don’t really give the right impression of its sheer size until you see it with the BRC2000. Due to the shape this TV is a two man lift, absolutely no way to move on your own. Its a 26″ CRT and the whole the thing is a weighty behemoth.

Background to the Aphelion and Steve Foster

This set was designed and initially released in the 1970’s by Steve Foster (with whom I have been in contact with, thanks for the info Steve) and due to the chassis he used, is a high-quality receiver. Steve designed and made the cabinet for a company called ‘Rayleigh service centre’ based in Rochford Essex. It seemed that whatever colour he made when placed in the outlets window, which was the “Colour Centre” at Marble Arch, was the colour that sold. Many celebrities bought the Aphelion and it was featured many times on top of the pops. The Jo Brand show for example and it showcased at the ideal home exhibition, It is also featured in a design icon book.

Telefunken was the TV chassis Steve mainly chose for the Aphelion but he did use two other chassis’, Grundig & Philips. The TV’s were completed in a ratio as follows:-

  • 80% used a Telefunken chassis (the 712)
  • 15% used a Grundig chassis
  • 5% used a Philips chassis

None of the cabinets were numbered. Steve estimates for the original 1st gen Aphelions, he made approx 200 units and they came in White, Fawn (the one I have), Black, Pink and some specials. The colour split was roughly as follows :-

  • 70% white
  • 15% fawn
  • 8% black
  • 7% pink
  • One red
  • One yellow
  • One purple

Steve relaunched the Aphelion TV in the early 1990’s using the more modern 28″ Thomson Nicam TV chassis with SCART connectivity, these are frequently touted on e-bay as the 1970s version when they clearly are not. Therefore if you are looking for a first generation Aphelion beware, pay particular attention to the chassis that is fitted.

In this second run using the Thomson Steve estimated he made only around 120 units. This means its fairly safe to say in total, less than 400 Steve Foster Aphelion TV’s were ever made.  From that number probably very few survive and especially the earlier 70’s production run like this one and I would imagine even less are to be found working.

Finally Steve informed me he had planned a noughties revamp of the Aphelion with a flat panel LCD as there is still a lot of interest in the design and not all folk want to hang a TV on the wall. Sadly this never came to fruition, that ends the story of the Aphelion. If however your taste buds are well and truly whetted, then why not follow the progress of my 1st gen Aphelion as I return it to health here on the blog.

Introducing My 1977 Aphelion

First of all before we get into the repair, here are a whole batch of photos for you to have a look at, then we’ll get into the faults.

tef15  tef14 tef16tef04 tef05 tef06 tef07 tef08 tef09 tef10 tef12

Before We Start

The CRT needs to be tested, I’m sure most who follow these repairs know but for those who may have just dropped in here first, we test the CRT at the outset because the heaters may be o/c, there could be internal shorts or the cathodes very low emission. If any of these scenarios prove to be true then we will have saved much time, effort and components, no point wasting time if the set is a non starter. Of course if the CRT is low emission there is always the option of rejuvenating but the results are dependant  on if its has been bopped before, this option is a last resort and should never be done until the TV has produced a raster.

The A66 500X is a 26″ In-Line tube with quick heating cathodes ( 5 seconds). The deflection angle is 110 degree and the tube is a 20AX. The “20AX” system is the first in the world to achieve a self-converging system for large screen sizes up to and including 26in in the 110° format. The 110° tube system achieves a more compact picture tube by deflecting the beam through a wider angle, allowing a usefully shorter neck and considerably reduced cone bulk.


In the case of this Telefunken A66 500X, I can confirm its a good one so the repair job is viable. Filaments are intact, no internal shorts, emission is good, tracking spot on and life tests show it to be a cracker. Remember the tube has likely been asleep for nigh on 30+ years, the emission will improve with use and this was further evidenced with the tube left running on the B&K, the meters showing a steady increase on all guns.

tefcrt01 tefcrt02


Finally with some help from a neighbour the Aphelion has made it into the workshop. Now an assessment of the electronics will be undertaken before applying power. You can begin to see now just how big this set is. Its sitting atop a 25″ Ferguson 3700, a BRC 2000 chassis based console colour TV. Anyone who knows the BRC 2000 console sets will know they are huge themselves, the Aphelion dwarfs it.


Without the aid of a manufacturers servicing manual I managed to figure out how the TFKN 712 chassis withdraws from the cabinet and folds. Underneath the main chassis I could see left and right were two substantial plastic side rails. Also underneath were two grooved bars, theses bars are pivoted on one end. These are swung left and right which unlocks the two plastic side rails. You then gently lift from the front and the side rails slip into the rails allowing the whole chassis to be extended out from the set by about a 1½ feet, this now gives plenty of clearance front, back and sides.

The two upright side panels have a locking hinge bar, when this is unlatched each panel can be swung down to a horizontal service position. Finally the Line stage cage can be hinged up giving access to the the components within. All in all superb access is afforded to the service engineer, I’m sure many who were called out to this type of chassis would have been grateful for the access give by the designers.

Now I can start to visually assess each panel and look for anything untoward, dry joints etc before applying first power

tfk1 tfk2 tfk3 tfk4 tfk5 tfk6 tfk9 tfk10 tfk11 tfk7 tfk8

The Telefunken 712 chassis like most sets of this period including British ones, employed a modular chassis design. As mentioned above the chassis is modular design, the modules being grouped in three main assemblies.

1) The signals board which has Video, I/F, sound, Tuner Chroma I, Chroma II and RGB
2) The deflection board which has the vertical output, vertical oscillator, E/W pincushion, Sync and power supply module
3) The Line output board

I can now use the bench microscope to inspect all the daughter boards fro problems.

Some of the boards removed for inspection.

tfbd3 tfbd2 tfbd1

Found and replaced one of those notorious WIMA’s (C401) in Power supply module I, which was blown. Tested the main smoother (C403) which is looking good. Next onto Power supply module II

Power Supply II, the Thyristor regulator module. An in circuit test revealed C427 10uF @ 100V was o/c. Removed and confirmed. I’ve fitted a 10uF 400V. Also The large can C441 2200uF @ 40V read as leaky everything else checks out OK. Perhaps these 3 cap failures in the power supply modules are the reason the set was retired. Checked C441 on the bridge at rated voltage yep its totally o/c.

Inspected, tested and cleaned the deflection modules today, Sync,E-W correction, Vertical Osc and Vertical output. The only cap to fail as leaky was C492 2200uF 35V on the Vertical output module. If anyone is keeping tally on the purple perils, on this suite of modules six purples tested with one failure. Total tested thus far including the PSU modules, 10 with 2 failures. There’s still a load more on the I/F, sound, RGB and line timebase.


Chroma IIA


Chroma IA


Removed the RGB module from the signals board, tested the three electrolytics, all passed.Upon inspection under the bench scope a dry joint was found on one leg of C345 in the blue drive. Hard to see in the photo but when waggled, the leg moves in the pad. Other than that all appears OK.


rgb1rgb2 rgb3

Power Supply Module I

tf2 tf3 tf4

Power Supply Module II




E/W correction


Vertical Oscillator


Vertical Output


Next up for testing : Line timebase

Unlike the rest of the set the Line timebase panel is fixed to the right hand frame. From the vertical position its frame can be swung to latch at 45 degrees or 90, thereby affording good access. I’m beginning to really like the thought that has gone into the design of this chassis. Telefunken went even as far as to include expected waveform diagrams at the test points on the print side, in the form of additional screen print.Anyway back to the status, C584 1000uF 50V was the only electrolytic found to be faulty, it was leaky and replaced.


Line Timebase

8 10

Its difficult to get across just how well thought out this chassis is, the modular approach is taken to a new level with virtually every element of the set broken down like a circuit block diagram but represented as daughter boards. You can remove every element, RGB, Sound, I/F, Chroma I and Chroma II. Simple interconnect edge pins, a few locating screws and out they all pop. Makes testing and isolating a complete breeze. Then over to the two PSU modules which again are simply removed via a couple of screws and interconnects. The Deflection board is the same story, with the sync, e/w correction, vert osc and vertical output. finally the line timebase is the singular largest module.

Not forgetting that the modules can be mounted in the reverse side of the signals ground plane board which eases the ability to do in-circuit testing on the chosen board. This is a great idea and one I have encountered before on the thorn 9000 series chassis but not to the degree available on this set, all very impressive.

All the modules were re-installed and the set powered up, presented with a rather Red but full screen raster.

4 1

The fire up the Test Card generator, fed in test card F.Well the decoders working but the colours are not great due to the dominance of Red. I Need to do some checks maybe its been twiddled or perhaps some voltages/waveforms are astray, we shall see.Well the decoders working but the colours are not great due to the dominance of Red. I Need to do some checks maybe its been twiddled or perhaps some voltages/waveforms are astray, we shall see.

2 3


There is a problem with Red drive, this is confirmed with the scope.

1 2 3 4 c

There has been much confusion with service data and my Chroma IA and Chroma IIA boards with regards to component variances especially the IC’s. The only service data I have is the Trader sheets and Radio & Television Servicing, both show different IC’s and number of. A fellow member found me data from another model which appears to be a match for my set up.

The boards varied mine being populated by Telefunken TDA 2140, TDA 2150 and TDA 2160 and are more akin to the 714, the rest of the set matches the 712. Below the Chroma IIA from the 714


From the waveforms above it would suggest IC302 – TDA2160 the Synchronous demodulator and RGB matrix is faulty.


After much in-depth testing on the IC it was found to be innocent. The fault turned out to be far simpler but odd, a track in the Red circuit had been deliberately cut, quite why will remain a mystery. Track repairs were performed resulting in the red drive being restored.

Red drive virtually non existent


Bread board piggy backed onto Chroma IIA IC output for red transposed to green circuit, if the IC is faulty then Red will work. It didn’t this test confirmed the IC was not faulty and the error condition must exist on the RGB board and the red circuit.


Cut track found, why was it cut?


Close up under bench microscope


Now for the repair. Old tracks each side of the breach prepared and ready for new copper.

1 3 4

Red drive restored


Bread board and hard-wires removed, IC socket reinstalled along with the IC, low and behold we are in business.


Update: Almost time to put the back on

Picture centred, to adjust the picture shift, you need to short-circuit two pins ( SV562) on the E-W module. You then adjust R452(Vertical Freq) on the oscillator board for centre. Then adjust R517 ( for full width), R561 ( to correct trapezium distortion) and finally readjust width via R518 for slight over-scan. SV562 on the module fitted to this set was labelled SV502.

Then it was re-grey-scaled, result below.



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8 years ago

Cannot help with any info, never saw any Telefunken sets. It looks clean and tidy.

8 years ago

Hi Chris I do recognise the chassis. I must have worked on a few years back but in conventional cabinets. I would remember if I had worked on one of these versions I am sure!

The design was probably a bit too way out for the taste of the people here in the fens! I remember struggling to sell white G8s and 205s what they would have thought to one of these is anyone’s guess! I don’t know if the German sets were any more reliable than the British sets of the time, The Japanese sets certainly were.

A lot of European chassis of the time used Thyristor line output stages and due to the amount of current flowing often suffered dry joints around the wound components as a consequence. Drys on the combi-coil seems to ring a bell..

I will follow the sets progress with great interest !

8 years ago

These were a vast improvement over the 711/711A. There was a 712 PIL chassis as well, these were for the 20″ in line PIL tubes

8 years ago

The shop I used to work in commissioned a firm to take some sets away for conversion to oval sets Telefunken, Nordmende, Philips, G11, Saba, Grundig CUC & Barco all had the treatment.

The most common was black then White they were also very expensive at the time especially the Barco models. The shop was called the colour centre formerly known as 70’s colour vision.

7 years ago

it seems that it is a 70’s Aphelion television set designed by Stephen Foster. More information on the internet are now easy to find.

Reply to  Giovanni
7 years ago

Thank you for the information, I have contacted Stephen Foster asking for further production information about his sets. I’m currently awaiting further correspondence from him.

The information I’ve found so far on the internet regarding the Aphelion television, shows a TV with the same cabinet but different CRT, controls and chassis. The one it shows was a reintroduced in the 90’s, in a limited quantity of 250 sets by special order. It used a 1990’s 28″ Thomson Nicam chassis with SCART connectivity, a different beast internally.

My TV’s electronics are clearly much earlier, using a mid to late 1970’s Telefunken 712 chassis. The control panel indicating that too and it has a 26″ A66 500X.

The contact info I’ve acquired for Stephen has him stating his claim to fame was this unique styled TV, he further states he started making these sets as early as 1973. It is therefore reasonable and possible to assume that if he did make this sets that early, he would have used technology of the time.

I will update the comments if and when I get a response from Stephen confirming either way.

7 years ago

What a cracking picture well done.

I remember these oval set as they used to be called other makes were given the same treatment all 26″. The Philips G11, Sony KV2704 Nordmende Barco, Saba Grundig CUC. I think that these were made exclusively for the Colour Centre 64 Edgware Road London but cannot be sure.

I know they were made to order particularly the Barco’s as their sets triple system PAL SECAM NTSC and would often be exported.

Nice one brings back memories
Thank You

7 years ago

Hi GEC2110,

Thanks for you words of encouragement, its good to know others find these sets being repaired interesting. Thanks also for the additional info from back in the hey-day.

On another note I had to add your comment above manually myself. You submitted it twice but it was rejected as spam because each time you neglected to tick the box “I’m not a Robot” after which you have to complete a simple task for your comment to be queued for publishing. This is necessary so as to avoid spam bots flooding the site.

7 years ago

There must be other set like it out there but not necessarily TFK
The G11 would be nice set to have in white or Black. also the Grundig
The Colour centre sold many of these sets in this style. and were very expensive. its amazing how you got hold of a rare set as that and that it has survived all this time .
PS. Thanks for correcting the post, I thought that it had gone so wrote it out again

7 years ago

Hi Chris

Apologies I didn’t see your earlier post about help about your lucky find! I had been working away. I could have assisted you, but you have done very well with this set, with a top result. As you have found, both the performance and service accessibility is superb. Its a great pity that more TFK 712 Chassis sets were not saved. Where did you find the set? was it costly to courier? I still have my portable 1973 Telefunken 614 with the 511 Chassis, still looking for the standard cabinet versions of the 712, models 746 or 846. Also the 711/ 711a, 743, and even a earlier hybrid 709 chassis. no luck so far after extensive searching.

great work!



vic warburton
vic warburton
7 years ago

Hi Chris,
Great tv, i am fortunate to own the later reproduction aphelion which you mentioned, i have owned it for quite a few years now with out any issues up until this week, my set has started to make a cracking sound for want of a better word and the picture goes off only to return without any sound, if i switch it off then turn it back on it returns to normal. I live in Bolton near Manchester and wondered if you could recommend an enthusiast close to me to repair it, i can not even see how you get access to the internals,

kind regards Vic.

7 years ago

Hi Vic,

Sounds like your set might be experiencing EHT ( Extra High Voltage) troubles.

CRT (cathode ray tube) TV’s need around 25,000Volts generated for the scanning system. This is produced via the flyback (Line output) transformer and in conjunction with a tripler. There are many things which could be causing your trouble. Simple one being filth and deposits having accumulated around the final anode connection cover to the CRT. This can cause EHT tracking and flash-overs. However it could be the tripler/lopt or flyback tuning caps.

When these high voltage events occur there will be “cracks” heard as it discharges. I would suggest as your set uses a newer chassis there are greater protection circuits, it is likely these kicking in and shutting the TV down. Your set will also contain a greater number of I.C’s ( integrated circuits- Chips) as well as the usual huge array of transistors. None of these fair well when exposed to EHT flash-overs.

I would respectfully suggest you are getting away with it for now, by powering off and on. However its just a matter of time before it will cause significant component failure. I would therefore suggest you refrain from using the set.

I won’t tell you how to open the set up as these sets as I mention above contain lethally high voltages and unless you know what you’re doing with the back off I’m not going to be responsible for your death.

I have a friend over in Manchester who is a TV engineer and is a member of my site. His name is Mike, I will contact him to see if he might be prepared to offer you some assistance.


vic warburton
vic warburton
Reply to 
7 years ago

Hi Chris,
Many thanks for the reply, i would appreciate any help as like yourself i appreciate the vintage things in life, i also have a weltron 2007 hi fi from the same space age era as your set, I have seen an earlier aphelion being used as a prop in a boutique in Cornwall, it has been sat there years i always pop in and check if its still there when on holiday.

kind regards Vic.

7 years ago

Hi Vic

I can probably take a look at this set for you. The only problem being that I’m away from this weekend (10th) until the 18th of December. If you PM me your contact details I’ll see what I can do

vic warburton
vic warburton
Reply to 
7 years ago

Hi Mike,
Great stuff, just give me a ring or contact details when convenient, no urgency, I live in Bolton.

many thanks Vic.

Reply to  vic warburton
7 years ago

Hi Vic

I will give you a call tomorrow evening.

Best regards

Mike C

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