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Katie Bush
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Hi all,

Just my idle curiousity, but does any know how many (actual figure or estimated) 405 lines only television sets were still in service at the cessation of 405 lines broadcasts in the UK?

I've been pondering this for some time, and had even wondered if the numbers of currently available vintage TVs could be in part, attributable to people saving their old 405 lines sets as an insurance against their newfangled "BBC2" sets breaking down.

It would seem likely that many 405 lines sets would have been retired in working order when their owners bought the newfangled sets, and with the old sets having little or no value, they would make a good backup set in the event of the fateful day when the new set needed repair.. Very probably, sets saved in this way would have been in working order, and very likely, never saw any further service.

It would be intersting to know though, how many were actually still in use, right up to the end.. Or were the broadcasters playing to an empty house long before then?

Marion

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Topic starter Posted : 21/03/2014 1:13 am
Panrock
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If it's any help, I was known as "the viewer" at Sutton Coldfield, since I was the only one in the Midlands known to ever ring the BBC with reception queries and complaints.

One of the first things I did when I acquired the house at Sedgeberrow in 1981, was to have a Ch4 'X' made by Southwest Aerial Systems. It was put up on the chimney by a local aerial fitter, Mr Huntley, who said he had hadn't done any others like that for years!

The set was a 50's Peto Scott table model. I remember how at the start, the picture was creamy smooth and immaculate, but later it became slightly noisy as the radiated power went down. Still, I had three years of 405 bliss... :)

Steve

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Posted : 21/03/2014 11:27 am
Anonymous
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Early 1970s quite a few used as bedroom or other 2nd sets. Maybe they could have had switch off any time between 1975 and 1980. If there had been pressure to re-use the Band III spectrum for an extra 625 channel(s) (Maybe 2 possible going by Irish Band III) and Band I for Mobile Radio I guess they could have had switch off in 1970.

It was a bizarre political decision to turn it on in 1946.

1970 to 1972 I had no difficulty selling lots of 405 sets I repaired for £10 to £15 in the Belfast Telegraph classifieds. I wish I had kept them, though I can't imagine where I would have stored them. As it was the repaired "stock" often outstripped rooms to put them in and letting the purchaser only see one in the Kitchen.

I didn't have any by 1975 and didn't know anyone that did.

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Posted : 21/03/2014 11:37 am
Brian Cuff
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It was a bizarre political decision to turn it on in 1946.

If you consider what the economic situation was after WWII, in my opinion, it would have been a waste of money to re-design and equip AP for 625 (say) with the little benefit the higher line structure gave considering the studio sources. Telecine may well have been up to getting most of the improvement in picture quality but the Emitron cameras? - I doubt it. Also it would have made the electronics companies spend more on research before they could even start selling sets.
If you remember, to get things going, the government had to announce that there would be no change in TV standards for the foreseeable future so that the great British public would buy new sets to stimulate the industry. Once growth was back, then money could be spent on research - to generate sets for sale in Europe initially.
It was NOT a technical decision but hard-headed economics.

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Posted : 21/03/2014 12:05 pm
Anonymous
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It would seem likely that many 405 lines sets would have been retired in working order when their owners bought the newfangled sets, and with the old sets having little or no value, they would make a good backup set in the event of the fateful day when the new set needed repair.. Very probably, sets saved in this way would have been in working order, and very likely, never saw any further service.

Sadly back in 1964 loads of single-standard sets were put out with the bins. Myself and my mates had plenty of material for conversion to oscilloscopes and so on. Yes, I do regret the wanton vandalism of the time. However the early years of the 60s saw an increase in disposable income after the post-WWII 50s austerity, much of which found its way into TV dealers' ringing tills, as well as the burgeoning HP market.

Pete

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Posted : 21/03/2014 2:53 pm
ntscuser
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I had three very different 405-line receivers dumped on me by various donors in the early 1970s. None worked at all or could be easily repaired which suggests the owners kept them in service until they were totally beyond economic repair.

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Posted : 21/03/2014 6:33 pm
slidertogrid
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I would agree that most people had moved on to 625 by 1985.
My grandfather still had a 405 Dynatron as his only set as late as 1978/9, he went straight from 405 to colour.
I found that during the 1970's when I was selling 405 line sets to mates at school, Anglia was very grey and flat on 405 compared to BBC1, which came romping in on a short length of wire.
I don't know if this was due to the quality and signal strength of the transmitted signal or the tuner valves in the old sets being a bit down.
I would agree with Marion that a lot of 405 sets were put away "just in case" I have a Murphy V879 which I bought locally from the son of the original owner. It was put away around 1970 when his parents bought a colour set.
Assuming it was made around 1965, that means it was only around 5 years old when retired.
Much too new to throw away but as it was an unconverted 405 only set, probably not worth selling?
I think a lot of early convertible sets were probably scrapped under 10 years old, some engineers couldn't wait to be rid of the dual standard stuff at the time and probably convinced owners to buy one of the new 625 sets, which lacking the complexity had better definition, were more reliable( Unless you bought a Rank A774 ! :ccb ) and of course would impress the Jones's!
It still surprises me how many 1950's to late 1960's sets keep turning up, but as the sheds and lofts are cleared this will surely slow down as time goes on?
Coming back to Marion's original question I would say not many sets in major towns and cities but maybe a few in the more rural areas where UHF reception was patchy ? probably... :aab
Rich.

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Posted : 21/03/2014 6:40 pm
Terry
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... Assuming it was made around 1965, that means it was only around 5 years old when retired. Much too new to throw away but as it was an unconverted 405 only set ...

No, it would have been older than that!

Sets produced from late 1963 on were fully dual standard, although probably only sets sold in the London area came with UHF tuners as standard.

Sets produced in the previous couple of years to that would have been so-called convertible models and shown some sort of awareness of dual standard operation.

For example, the Bush ranges I was familiar with went, year on year:

TV105 series - dummy 405/625 buttons only
TV115 series - dual standard timebase
TV115L series (late version of the TV115) - fully dual standard but no UHF tuner
TV125 series - fully dual standard but only sets supplied with a U suffix came with factory fitted UHF tuner.

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Posted : 21/03/2014 7:01 pm
Anonymous
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Sets produced from late 1963 on were fully dual standard, although probably only sets sold in the London area came with UHF tuners as standard.

So did sets sold in my area (Cheshire/Liverpool) served by the Winter Hill transmitter. Of course that shiny new UHF aerial on the chimney was an obvious status symbol.

I did see BBC2's opening day on a neighbour's new dual-standard TV, and of course the blackout caused by a fire in the tunnel carrying the power cables feeding BBC Television Centre from Battersea Power Station.

Pete

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Posted : 21/03/2014 10:17 pm
mark pirate
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Not only was I still using a 405 line set (Bush TV85), I stayed up to watch the closedown in 1985 :ccg
The saddest part though, was seeing loads of good working sets piled high at the tip :aai
If we only knew then that one day there would be a little black box to get them working once more.....

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Posted : 21/03/2014 10:24 pm
Katie Bush
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The saddest part though, was seeing loads of good working sets piled high at the tip :aai
If we only knew then that one day there would be a little black box to get them working once more.....

This is only too true,

I can remember a few sets that we didn't have room for anymore, and they were left outdoors with obvious consequences.. One, was a Bush TV24, and guess what I bought five months ago? - A Bush TV24. :ccb

I remember watching the 405 lines shutdown, and then going back night after night for about a week, just to see the final caption (frozen on screen but still being broadcast).. It read something like "This television service has now ended", then one day, even that was gone.

I saw a news report on "Look North" about a chap who was still using a Bush TV22, and the mass of electronic kit in the back bedroom.. A massive effort of a standards converter which had taken this guy years to build from scratch, and had cost an astronomical sum.. That to me, was the signal that said I would never see images on 405 lines again.. How wrong I was. :ccg Sadly though, it left a lot of otherwise viable tellies at the mercy of the tip, and wanton vandalism. :aaf

Marion

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Topic starter Posted : 21/03/2014 11:25 pm
ntscuser
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Considering how many perfectly good analogue sets were thrown out after DSO, would that many 405-line sets really have been saved if something like the Auroroa had been available in 1985?

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Posted : 22/03/2014 4:17 am
mark pirate
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I have managed to get most of the 405 sets that I had all those years ago, but would still like to find a Bush TV85, I pulled mine apart after the 405 switch off :ccb

Going back to the mid 70's, I used to go to a couple of TV repair shops after school and bring home the best set that I could find, most were in working order, but were mainly late 50's to late 60's sets.
It is only over the last 8 years that I have obtained all my late 40's/early 50's sets, a few have come from boot sales, forums and ebay.
I am still hoping that one of my house clearance contacts will turn up a pre-war set.....

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Posted : 22/03/2014 10:48 am
Focus Diode
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That to me, was the signal that said I would never see images on 405 lines again.

Many of us felt this way at the time Marion. I ran two BRC 1400 sets for both domestic and DXTV purposes. I'd modified them to give 625-lines VHF for the latter purpose. I went as far as to remove the system switch from the HMV 2640 and wired it permanantly to the 625-line posistion after the switch off thinking this would prevent possible fault conditions. Thankfully with the amount of scrap chassis around it was re-installed by 1990!

Much interesting info in this thread. I recall, certainly in North East England, most I knew with dual standard push buttoned sets used them exclusively at 625-lines UHF following the opening of BBC1 and TTT from the early 1970s having had a suitable UHF aerial erected.

Brian

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Posted : 22/03/2014 11:06 am
slidertogrid
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[quote="slidertogridFor example, the Bush ranges I was familiar with went, year on year:

TV105 series - dummy 405/625 buttons only
TV115 series - dual standard timebase
TV115L series (late version of the TV115) - fully dual standard but no UHF tuner
TV125 series - fully dual standard but only sets supplied with a U suffix came with factory fitted UHF tuner.

Hi Terry
This might be a subject for another thread, but I would appreciate it if you could throw some light on this series of Bush / Murphy models for me.
The Murphy I have has a dual standard metal chassis I.F panel but no UHF tuner fitted, just the dummy buttons.
I assume then around the same age as the Bush TV115L?
I also have a Bush with a similar chassis but a Transistorised PCB I.F panel, transistorised uhf and vhf tuners, but still with a plate glass implosion screen, this was the set in the auction at the last Harpenden, it has the Model number TV135R on the back, but I think it may have the wrong back on it as the set only has one contrast control but the back has holes for two ?
I also have a later Bush with a direct view tube, this has a transistorised I.F panel and also a PCB on the timebase chassis with frame and audio amp on it. this also has transistorised tuners.
Could you give me an idea of date of manufacture for these models ? it seems odd that they did this chassis with transistorised panels but then when the A640 came out they were back to a valve I.F panel again ?
The only ones I remember back in the 70s were the metal chassis IF either as you say 405 or switchable. Were the pcb models short lived as far as production was concerned?
I really like these sets I had loads back in the day one shop gave me six in one go! That took some pleading with my parents! They gave up in the end though and Dad even got the car out and fetched them for me.
It would have taken me all day otherwise one at a time on my go-cart!
Happy days!
:thumb
Rich.

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Posted : 22/03/2014 2:54 pm
colly0410
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I was given a 405 telly (thorn 850 I think) in 1979, used it in the bedroom until 1982/3 when it went phut, went to the tip (hang my head in shame)..

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Posted : 22/03/2014 3:16 pm
Terry
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[quote="slidertogridFor example, the Bush ranges I was familiar with went, year on year:

TV105 series - dummy 405/625 buttons only
TV115 series - dual standard timebase
TV115L series (late version of the TV115) - fully dual standard but no UHF tuner
TV125 series - fully dual standard but only sets supplied with a U suffix came with factory fitted UHF tuner.

Hi Terry
This might be a subject for another thread, but I would appreciate it if you could throw some light on this series of Bush / Murphy models for me.

I'll do my best ...

The Murphy I have has a dual standard metal chassis I.F panel but no UHF tuner fitted, just the dummy buttons.
I assume then around the same age as the Bush TV115L?

TV115 & TV115L (1962-3) had provision for a rotary UHF tuner but the following year's model (1963-4) -TV125 - had a reconfigured front panel which accepted a 4-button UHF tuner.

I also have a Bush with a similar chassis but a Transistorised PCB I.F panel, transistorised uhf and vhf tuners, but still with a plate glass implosion screen, this was the set in the auction at the last Harpenden, it has the Model number TV135R on the back, but I think it may have the wrong back on it as the set only has one contrast control but the back has holes for two ?

That implosion screen bothers me!

I wonder if it's a hybrid in a TV125 cabinet?

I've never seen a TV135R but we did have a handful of TV125Rs for some reason - the R is for rental (which we didn't do) and the 125R was identical to the 125 except for a cheaper cabinet.

The TV135 (1964-5) followed on from the TV125, the main differences being the Rimband tube, transistorised I.F panel and tuners. However, there is no physical reason why the electronics cannot be transplanted into a TV125 cabinet ...

The holes for two contrast controls suggest that the 135R had a valved IF strip and tuner like the 125 but I would still have expected a Rimband tube this late on - perhaps someone could confirm that either way ...?

I also have a later Bush with a direct view tube, this has and also a PCB on the timebase chassis with frame and audio amp on it. this also has transistorised tuners.

The following year, Bush stopped playing around with R suffixes and went the whole hog with two entirely separate ranges. The TV141 series was all valve (except for the UHF tuner) and mostly built on two PCBs.

On the other hand, the TV145 series, again built on two PCBs, was hybrid with a transistorised combined UHF/VHF tuner - perhaps this is what you've got?

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Posted : 23/03/2014 1:27 pm
peterscott
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I remember watching the 405 lines shutdown, and then going back night after night for about a week, just to see the final caption (frozen on screen but still being broadcast).. It read something like "This television service has now ended", then one day, even that was gone.

I got it in my head that it would be switched off following the Queen's Christmas Message and set-up my old HMV to take photos of her. (I didn't have a video camera back then.) I was rather displeased when transmissions (from Kirk O' Shotts) continued for a week or two thereafter and I missed the real shut-down.

Peter :aab

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Posted : 23/03/2014 1:53 pm
Hurty
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Hi All. I have been reading this post with interest. I worked for Thames Television (based at Euston) and was on the evening that ITV 405 line ceased transmission. We had a problem a few weeks earlier with the 405 line convertor which was I believe at Crystal Palace so the reserve convertor was switched in which had hum present all over it (It may have been the modulator and not the convertor?) so we had to have it switch back. There was a dual standard Pye TVT11 broadcast monitor fed off a Thorn WJ12 television rack mount receiver (which I still have) in the Master Control Room (MCR) that monitored this service full time. When we enquired as to how many complaints we received about the switch off it was two! one we believe came from the Dulwich area. The fault never did get fixed fully.

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Posted : 26/05/2014 7:39 pm
peterscott
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Welcome to the forum Hurty. Reminiscences are always interesting and welcome.

Thanks for posting.

Peter

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Posted : 27/05/2014 1:44 am
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