This particular morning we had a frantic phone call from a customer out in the sticks complaining that water was dripping out of bottom of her Dynatron TV. Sam who took the call came into the workshop, while leaving the customer on hold, asked if there was anything we knew of that could cause this problem. Thinking of an over watered vase of flower or pot plant told her to tell the customer to immediately switch off and unplug the set and wait until an engineer could visit.
That particular day was busy for field service calls and the usual engineer had more than he could cope with, so looking at the record card and picking up the Pye 697 series hybrid service kit, made my way out into the country down some narrow lanes and asking the locals where this house was. As is usual no number was given just a name, but with help found this grand three story manor house.
As I rolled up the long gravel drive and approached the house, this massive front door opened and the customer called as I got out of the car, “Am I glad to see you!”. “Good morning Mrs A.” as I grabbed my toolkit and followed her indoors. Waiting for her to close the door I enquired if anything was on top of the TV such as a plant etc. As we walked through to the back room she said, “No, we just keep a few ornaments and photos there, but… over the last month or so the reception on BBC1 has been getting worse while CH4 was fine.”
Finally as I arrived at the set, had a quick look round to see if there was any obvious cause for water leakage such as from the ceiling or heating system. All looked fine but nevertheless a big damp patch was evident on the carpet near the right hand side of the cabinet. Hmm, two and two were starting to make four. When I wheeled out the set, a heavy period style job with Queen Anne legs, it was obvious where the problem originated from.
The aerial plug and socket were very badly corroded while supporting a microcosm of mouldy growths. “Ah ha!” I exclaimed and tried to remove the aerial plug which had seized solid. In the toolkit was a tin of spray lubricant which was generously applied over the assembly. Waiting a few minutes, the plug came free and to the customer’s surprise, a thin jet of water squirted out of the centre pin! Quickly she had a bucket handy to drain the remainder.
Advising the problem was probably the aerial cap had lost its seal, leading to water filling cable air-spaces, I rang the office to see if one of the aerial installers might be available. As it happened they both could do the aerial and cable replacement that afternoon. Fortunately no water had entered the set, so just needed a replacement aerial isolator panel in readiness for the new installation. This was duly fitted together with a new temporary plug on the old cable. Switching on I found signal quality was quite good on all channels although BBC1 was still grainy. “That’s the best it has been for a long time” the customer commented.
I bid farewell and told her the aerial guys would on their way. Next morning back in the workshop I asked them how they got on replacing the aerial. they groaned as had to work at a height of three stories up a very long ladder in the dark. Evidently the sealing cap was completely missing while the connections had badly corroded. Water just filled up the connector box which drained away down the air-spaced cable insulation. After fitting a shiny new Antiference TC18 and new down-lead the signal strength on BBC1 was just over 1mV, not bad in a remote area. The results for all four channels were noted down on the customer’s record card for future reference.
Oh and Mrs A. sends her thanks for your prompt attention.