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Regional TV in Australia prior to the 1980s  

 
irob2345
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I have been given a couple of TVs in working order, from 1958 (21" HMV F series) and 1967 (25" Kriesler 79-17).

Both of these TVs are good examples of "deep fringe" designs - they came from the regional city of Wollongong which didn't get local coverage until the early 1960s (they used Band 2 to do it but that's another story)

Wollongong was supposed to be out of range of Sydney transmitters because of the topology but eager residents soon discovered that Sydney could be received from the higher parts of the region, as far as 300km down the coast. 50 foot guyed masts and phased arrays appeared everywhere, almost overnight.

A better than normal standard of TV was needed to work with a few tens of millivolts of signal, with pictures frequently in the snow. The HMV has 4 stages of VIF and the complex but high performance RCA Synchrolock hor. osc. circuit. It also has push-pull ECL82s in the audio and a 12" speaker. The Kriesler has a very sophisticated noise gated sync and AGC system and separate vision and intercarrier audio detectors.

Even after local services began, Sydney reception was still desirable because of the much greater choice of programs.

Here is a link to a rare retrospective video by a mid-western NSW operator CBN8, shows the facilities being built in 1961. Some of the content might be worth a chuckle!

And here are the two TVs:

Kriesler 79 17 1
HMV F Series

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Topic starter Posted : 29/09/2020 2:13 am
Nuvistor and crustytv liked
crustytv
(@crustytv)
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@irob2345 I love the 25" Kriesler, looks to be in wonderful condition too, thanks for showing us it. ?

Its a treat to see examples of TV's from Australia. In fact its not often we get treated to other folks international collections as we've only about 4 members outside the UK, so its very much appreciated. 

How did these TV's gravitate towards you? Are you known by your locals like many of us here, as the "Mad Hatter" who takes old electronics, especially TV's. Is the Vintage TV community in Aus fairly active or are there but a few stalwarts who keep them going?

The only other member we have in your sector of planet earth is Glen over in NZ, he has some lovely home grown sets and often shares his repairs on Youtube.

Crusty's Collection: Read the repair blogsCrustys Youtube Channel: If you want to follow me on Youtube, please consider subscribingVrat FaceBook: Follow us

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Posted : 29/09/2020 6:54 am
irob2345
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@crustytv Thanks. Kriesler made high-end products that were well engineered and well made. The HMV F series you see there is a 1st generation design - it used to be said of it that the engineers studied the textbooks and implemented a textbook perfect TV. Would you believe current feedback in the vertical and as a result there is no linearity control? A very avant-garde method not seen elsewhere until solid state designs.

There are a few of us TV collectors around, more in Victoria. In fact a group of us have got together to bring a container from the US with CRTs and old TVs. So many B&W TVs went to landfill when colour commenced in 1974 and the colour takeup was very rapid.

I got these two TVs through a local forum member ( https://vintage-radio.com.au/ ) who I helped with a radio speaker. Seems this is part of a deceased estate clearout. Haven't picked them up yet.

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Topic starter Posted : 29/09/2020 9:24 am
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RichardFromMarple
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Old televisions in Australia are interesting, partially due to the non-standard channel allocations using System B/G, along with the challenges of broadcasting to spread out population, as mentioned above.

Most early sets seemed to be locally built or at least assembled.

A few days ago I was reading about the brief partnership between Bush and Australian electrical company Simpson.

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Posted : 29/09/2020 10:01 am
Nuvistor
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@irob2345

i enjoyed the video, especially the early years. Great TV sets as well.

Frank

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Posted : 29/09/2020 11:39 am
irob2345
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Between 1956 and the credit squeeze of 1961 there was a huge number of TV brands. I must try to find, or compile, a list, it's a long one. A few were modified US, European or British designs, but most were local designs that took ideas from everywhere. Up until the early 1970s all components were locally made too. TVs were still being made in Australia until the 1990s.

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Topic starter Posted : 29/09/2020 11:56 am
Katie Bush
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@irob2345

That was interesting! Though I'll admit, I was flagging by the time we hit "2000" - I guess that TV programming was changing on a global scale, and modern output doesn't really interest me.

As for a chuckle, well, the news reporter from the 1970s, trying to pick his pants out of his backside - I wasn't expecting that!!

The early content was far more interesting, and interesting to see broadly the same content as we would have been watching over here, but where was "Skippy"?? Glad to see Sooty & Sweep made it to Oz. Out of Curiosity, was the Tingha & Tucker Club as popular in Oz as it was over here? As a kid in the mid '60s, if you weren't sporting the badge, you were out on your own! "Good evening, Auntie Jean" (Jean Morton).

All in all, it was like a sneaky peek inside someone else' memories of the past, and probably better days than today.

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Posted : 29/09/2020 7:46 pm
RichardFromMarple
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I've noticed many earlier Australian sets look very American, as irob mentions some were based on American sets.

There seemed to be a second boom in the mid 1970s when colour eventually made it to Australia, and the take-up of colour was rapid.

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Posted : 29/09/2020 10:27 pm
irob2345
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Yes, the idea behind "aggregation" in the late 80s, that regional viewers should have access to the same programming as city viewers, was a noble idea that had unintended consequences. The major networks picked up the existing and new regional licences and simply played out directly from the major cities to the regional transmitters with selective, automated ad inserts. All regional news and programming simply closed down. CBN8 was one of those affected. Their studio facilities in Orange were dozed a couple of years ago to make way for a car yard.

I suspect there were a few out-takes on that CBN8 reel.

The Tingha & Tucker Club? Never heard of it, sorry, I guess that answers your question.

Skippy was on the 9 network. Possibly didn't run on CBN8. Skippy was shot near to where I live! God's own country, the Northern Beaches of Sydney! The Hawkesbury River shots you see in Skippy are still there today, it's a National Park. I think the Ranger Headquarters building still exists too.

Re US influence in early Oz TVs, the first Admirals were a slightly modified US design. They did make the PCBs here, first in Australia I believe. AWA tended to follow RCA practice. Philips and Kriesler were Philips Holland influenced. HMV's first TV was heavily influenced by British design - it was a top performer when it worked, most of the UK-sourced parts including the CRT had to be replaced under warranty. The following F series (as in the picture) used all local parts and was vastly more reliable. Ekco released the only live-chassis TV to the market. It was panned by service departments - retailers listened and fed back to Ekco, who quickly designed a (quite good) new chassis with a mains transformer! Astor made euro-influenced designs. There was Thorn Atlas, British design but with a mains transformer. STC and Pye went their own way with local designs. AW Jackson made Precedent and retailer badged TVs that were simple, inexpensive but well designed and reliable. Bush - Simpson as I mentioned before built a UK design. Stromberg-Carlson, despite being a US owned company, made local designs that were Philips influenced. Crosley, Pope, Motorola - the same.

That is most of the majors that I can think of. There were quite a few smaller makers as well, KG Harris Industries, Titan, Classic, Ferris are the ones I can think of. Ferris's foray into TV was brief (they were a car radio manufacturer) but they morphed into making replacement TV parts like LOPTs and transformers that were of better quality than the originals. They were kept quite busy making replacement LOPTs for Ekco TVs where the plastic had crumbled away, as they all did, very quickly.

CRT makers? Philips/Mullard, AWV, Thomas, Anodeon and (briefly) Mazda. Philips and AWA also made valves and many TV parts used by other manufacturers. Philips tuners were widely used.

Capacitors - Ducon, UCC, Philips, Anodeon. Resistors - IRC/IRH, Morganite, Ducon, Philips, Anodeon. Semiconductors - Philips, Fairchild, AWV, Ducon (briefly), Anodeon, STC.

Yokes / windings - AWA, Philips, Rola, Ferris.

Yes, by the time we got colour here, there were no valves in the TVs (exception - a Decca UK import) and the technical standards had improved across the board. Pictures looked impressive and reliability was mostly pretty good. Factories were running 3 shifts, 24 hours a day and still not keeping up with the demand. I was in the thick of it in those days, in the service industry.

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Topic starter Posted : 30/09/2020 1:13 am
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RichardFromMarple
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Thanks for the information irob, It's interesting that apart from Philips no other manufacturers from mainland Europe seemed to get involved in the Australian market in spite of using the same standards as many European countries, though with a different channel allocation.

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Posted : 30/09/2020 9:44 am
ntscuser
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Possibly because Warner Philips was in personal charge of Philips Australia from (I think) 1974 onwards.

Classic TV Theme Tunes

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Posted : 30/09/2020 10:08 pm
irob2345
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Yes and that's when the rot set in....

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Topic starter Posted : 01/10/2020 11:34 am
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irob2345
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I forgot Healing from that list. They started with US-inspired designs / valves and gradually moved to Philips - type valves. AWA went that way too as I now recall, particularly after the very successful P1 portable, for which the AWV division started making their versions of some Philips valves.

Here is an AWA corporate film from the mid 1960s - ignore the damaged videotape in the 1st minute or so. It shows valve, CRT and transistor manufacturing. A bit like some of the Mullard films of the time.

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Topic starter Posted : 02/10/2020 12:32 am
ntscuser
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Posted by: @irob2345

Yes and that's when the rot set in....

That's an interesting observation. Can you give us some examples of how? ?

Classic TV Theme Tunes

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Posted : 02/10/2020 2:07 am
irob2345
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I didn't work for Philips but I knew a few people who did and that was their assessment. Maybe a little unfair to blame him, given the virtually overnight removal of import tariffs by the idealogically-driven and inept Whitlam Labor govt. The "rationalisation" broke up some brilliant design teams and closed all plants - Philips, Pye and Kriesler, over a 6 year period. Production was moved to Singapore.

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Topic starter Posted : 02/10/2020 2:59 am
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Kan turk
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Just in the interest of accuracy:
Australia used system ‘B’  on both VHF and UHF -not B/G as incorrectly stated in some sources

Posted by: @richardfrommarple

Old televisions in Australia are interesting, partially due to the non-standard channel allocations using System B/G, along with the challenges of broadcasting to spread out population, as mentioned above.

Most early sets seemed to be locally built or at least assembled.

A few days ago I was reading about the brief partnership between Bush and Australian electrical company Simpson.

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Posted : 23/11/2020 11:28 pm
irob2345
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Analogue UHF channel spacing here was 7MHz on VHF and 8MHz on UHF.

I have a fairly rough unrestored Bush Simpson from 1959 in the garage. It uses a 4 button P/B tuner that was a UK import. Most other parts are local. It's a 21 inch 110 degree with the vision and sound IFs etc. on a small swing-out sub-chassis. Unusual for the time push-thru CRT presentation.

Simpson was very highly regarded for their washing machines and this was used to promote their TVs. The TVs were average performers. The TV division didn't survive the 1960 credit squeeze.

Based in Adelaide, South Australia for 100 years, Simpson is now part of the Electrolux group and Simpson washing machines are now made in Thailand.

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Topic starter Posted : 24/11/2020 12:09 am
Nuvistor
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@irob2345

Bush used the 4 push button tuner arrangement for many years. Faults were valves  or the slide switch dirty. A much later push button tuner had a tuning wand that snapped in two. A plastic rod with brass (I think) ferrules that tuned the coils. Easy easy enough to fix and on the whole Bush tuners I found reliable.

Frank

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Posted : 24/11/2020 8:14 am
RichardFromMarple
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Thanks for filling me in about some details I wasn't sure of.

The early history of television in Australia is interesting in a number of ways, in particular the use of Band II for broadcasting television.  Many countries adopted different VHF frequency allocations and numbering before the CCIR ones became standard, not to this extent apart from maybe Japan, who also used Band II.

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Posted : 24/11/2020 11:31 am