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B&W TV Someone left an Alba out in the rain...

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slidertogrid
(@slidertogrid)
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I said on the thread about the dumped Ferguson 37140 that next time I went to the house clearance place I would have a look to see what was by the skip. My mate goes there more often than me and today he called me to say there was an old set outside by the skip in the rain. Did I want it? It was an Alba, and he thought it was old because it only had 4 buttons, "The big clunky ones"...

An hour later a rather damp Alba 20" black and white set arrived. Thorn 1500 chassis. It really is incredible that these old sets still turn up!  It hasn't been too badly affected by it's time outside, I suspect it had probably come from a shed or something because it is quite mucky and had a nest inside! 

It is now on my dining room table dehumidifying! Nest in the Hoover! I notice it has a Mazda Gold star tube the original silvery screen. 🙄 Fingers crossed it isn't flat! I will give the set a few days to dry out and then give it some mains! 

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Posted : 18/03/2023 4:38 pm
ntscuser, WayneD, Lloyd and 1 people reacted
Jamie
(@jskinner97)
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Looks like a good base for restoration. Shame the cabinet has swelled but I doubt you'd notice all that much. Ironically the worst looking sets often seem to be electronically sound I've found, and the real minters are a pain in the arse! Go figure... 

I've had plenty from outside. One even sat outside for weeks in the snow and survived. 

 
Posted : 18/03/2023 5:54 pm
malcscott
(@malcscott)
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Schedule E. Last run of production.

 
Posted : 18/03/2023 6:13 pm
Cathovisor
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An excellent find there, Rich.

 
Posted : 18/03/2023 7:08 pm
Lloyd
(@lloyd)
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I’ve got one of those!! A T1520 if I’m not mistaken.

Regards,

 Lloyd 

 
Posted : 18/03/2023 7:42 pm
slidertogrid
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Yes that's it. 1520 I wonder if it means 1500 20"? This was a lucky find. If My mate hadn't gone to pick up some items today it would have probably gone or been ruined by the rain by the time I eventually went. It is a late model as Malc says. It has a Blue-Brown mains lead so a 70's model?

I decided it had had long enough to dry out so I put a meter on the HT line, pulled the PL504 to break the heater chain and connected it to the variac.  I brought it up slowly to 100V and then wound the voltage down. The smoother took a while to discharge so it is holding a charge. I did this a few times and then gave it 150V for a few mins.

Then I put the valve back and gave it 200v - Dim heaters sound started to come up. Then I wound it up to 240V. Some light smoke from the dropper. and a spark could be drawn from the top cap of the PL. Then the sound went off...

I turned off the set and saw a spot appear on the screen. Not looking good for the tube! 

I gave it some signal and turned back on. The tuner cams then fell apart. I managed to get one button to tune and got a very blurred mess. Line and frame hold miles off low height and very poor focus! 

Time for dinner! But it sort of wants to live! 

 
Posted : 18/03/2023 8:19 pm
Linescan87
(@linescan87)
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It is amazing the abuse some of these old sets will take. Some of the best performing sets in my collection have come from skips, sheds with no roofs or ditches!

It's the pristine condition one careful owner sets that are guaranteed to give you the most grief.

 
Posted : 18/03/2023 8:40 pm
WayneD
(@wayned)
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"....someone left an Alba in the rain,

Hope it's not gone too far,

As it has a Mazda Goldstar,

I'll let it dry before applying mains..."

😉

 
Posted : 18/03/2023 9:38 pm
slidertogrid
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Yes very true. I have a very clean and tidy Ultra 1500 in my collection it was full of faults when I got it. every Calluns capacitor was either duff or failed fairly quickly. even now the line hold drifts with temperature. The tube is very good though.

Which is more than can be said for this set. I have run it for a while to see if it would improve, no signs of improvement yet and I still have a switch off spot which could be a sign of a clapped tube.

Setting the line and frame hold has produced a yukky picture much worse than it looks in the photographs.  Advancing the brightness makes it go totally out of focus and silvery. The reason the sound went off is that it has sprung the spring off resistor in the HT feed to the audio output valve. Pushing it together makes the sound come back but it is very tinny like the speaker is badly off centre. Other faults are intermittent loss of signal, Probably the rotor earths in the tuner. Crumbling tuner cams, low height, the picture sways slightly, possibly smoothing? And the CRT.  

I have cleaned the set and that has improved its appearance no end. Once my bench is cleared I will get it into the workshop and battle will commence. I will give the tube a run on 7V and see if it can be coaxed to improve it may have not been used for years so I have to give it a chance. Otherwise I can give it a 'bop' on my home made booster and if that fails somewhere I have a spare CRT. 

MacArthur Alba will live!

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Posted : 18/03/2023 9:55 pm
Lloyd reacted
Till Eulenspiegel
(@till)
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Back in the seventies I sold and rented this model, it was far more popular with my customers than the Marconi and Ultra versions which had plastic cabinets. No horror service stories, the most common fault was the mains dropper, particularly the 150ohm section. The actuator bar on the tuner would need resoldering from time to time. Much better to check that part on a service call.

Before the TS1520 came along in 1971? Alba sourced their sets from Philips. 

Till Eulenspiegel.

 
Posted : 18/03/2023 9:57 pm
slidertogrid reacted
slidertogrid
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Posted by: @wayned

"....someone left an Alba in the rain,

Hope it's not gone too far,

As it has a Mazda Goldstar,

I'll let it dry before applying mains..."

😉

😀 Poetry ! 

 

 
Posted : 18/03/2023 10:05 pm
WayneD
(@wayned)
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@slidertogrid That MacArthur Park song entered my head and wouldn't leave until I made a parody version of it!

 
Posted : 19/03/2023 8:49 am
slidertogrid reacted
Pye Man
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I’m so glad that you could take it

’Cause so long ago did someone make it

And we’ll never have that recipe again

Oh no!

Nick

 
Posted : 19/03/2023 6:45 pm
slidertogrid
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Today I put the Alba on the bench. It decided that the intermittent loss of signal should become no longer intermittent! I did the usual tuner earth contacts clean resoldered the tuner bar and sorted the broken cams, I gave the mech a light lubrication. That restored the signals. The tube looked worse than ever so I left it running on 7v while I had lunch on returning it to the heater chain no improvement was noted.

I put the home-made rejuvenator on set to the low setting, this over-runs the heater and passes HT through the gun and usually works without hitting it too hard and causing sparks. It has improved it no end, more brightness and better focus, it has lost the silvery look. But focus in the corners still isn't brilliant. I get the distinct impression that this tube has been reactivated before! Maybe the "10" drawn on the 'dag is a clue? this might be bump number 11! 

The contrast control didn't work, cleaning it provided a cure. Setting the contrast a little lower and reducing the brightness has made the picture very acceptable tube wise I will have to see if it holds up.

I next connected the test speaker to the set which proved the poor sound was due to the set's speaker. This is the most horrid crappy thing smaller than the moulding in the plastic front and fitted with a hardboard adapter gasket. I took it out and gave the tiny magnet a clout with the nut spinner.  Instant cure! loads more volume and lost the distortion. The frame jitters were cured by cleaning the valve pins and socket. the shrinking width was the boost diode. 

Next to deal with is the picture swimming slightly and the inoperative focus control. considering that it still has all of it's original capacitors it is holding up well! it hasn't had a lot done to it in the past. Previous repairs look like no more than a resistor or two and a replacement tripler I think. 

This set has so far needed nowhere near as much work as my previous Ultra 1500 which threw up a different fault every time I powered it up!

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Posted : 21/03/2023 4:25 pm
LSmith and Lloyd reacted
slidertogrid
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I think this is as good as it gets now with this tube. I replaced the 1.5 meg resistor in the focus circuit, that got the control working and improved the picture a bit more. The focus on the left of the screen (in the mirror) is not quite as good as on the right for some reason but the picture is good enough. If the tube holds up I will leave it alone. If I try a harder reactivation I risk killing it, especially if it has been done previously.

The swimming picture was cured by replacing the 12mfd capacitor on the HT2 line. So thankfully the main multi can looks as if it is OK. 

I am undecided on changing the other original capacitors,

there are some Calluns electrolytics which all gave trouble in my other 1500, and there are some of the orange/brown non electrolytic which usually split and fall apart. I am considering leaving it at that to see what happens. 

I need to either find or try to make a couple of end caps for the tuner buttons. I suppose the chances of finding some is fairly unlikely as they aren't the usual Thorn / BRC type. Does anyone know if they were used on 'non Alba' 1500's?.

I am going to put the Alba on the shelf in place of the Ultra 1500 and see if I can find out why the line hold frequency drifts on that set.

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Posted : 22/03/2023 10:47 am
Lloyd
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That’s looking quite good! The tuner on mine has different knobs on it, I’ll see if I can find a picture.

Regards,

 Lloyd 

 
Posted : 22/03/2023 3:02 pm
slidertogrid
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Hi Lloyd That would be useful it would mean I could widen the search I don't want to fit totally the wrong type. 

Well so much for not replacing the capacitors! My Mate who got me the set called round today, the set was still on the bench so I put a Dad's army disc on to show him the set. He was impressed with how good it looked and it even gave a realistic gunshot! There was quite a loud crack from the set but it carried on working. I could smell hot plastic so I switched off and had a look.  C90 A .1 Capacitor had gone bang! I think that this may be why the width reduced slightly when the set had been on for a while. The boost diode was innocent after all! 

I replaced the capacitor, apologised to the original boost diode and refitted it. Not all Mazda valves are guilty it seems! The width is now stable and the picture is getting better all the time. This grotty old Goldstar is picking up nicely. (now I have said that it will no doubt die!)

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Posted : 22/03/2023 5:12 pm
Jayceebee and Lloyd reacted
Lloyd
(@lloyd)
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2008 0512Image0104

There it is 🙂 Picture from 2008, just after I got it from the NVCF. You can see the tuner buttons almost match the knobs.

That's a good blow hole in that capacitor! Your CRT is looking pretty good, mine has focus issues in the corners too. The CRT in mine is a 'Supervision', no Idea if it's a re-gun or they made their own tubes.

2008 0511Image0094

Regards,

Lloyd

 
Posted : 22/03/2023 7:36 pm
slidertogrid
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Hi Lloyd Yes, those buttons are a good match for the other knobs. like the ones on my set not the usual Thorn / BRC ones. If I can't make or find some trims for mine I will keep an eye out for some replacements.  I have never heard of Supervision my guess would be that they were a re-gunner. Sometimes you can see the join on the neck... They could have also been a reseller that bought in tubes and fitted their own labels. This happened towards the end of the black and white era. Solus who were a component (mainly valves I think) seller sold their own label tubes, sometimes they were re-guns other times a relabelled new tube of probably Russian origin.

The 'square screen' 20 and 24" tubes sometimes did suffer with poor corner focus not just good old Mazda some Mullard ones weren't much better. I was changing them in ITT Vc200s and Pye 169s hand over fist in the early 80's.

I have sorted the drifting line oscillator on the Ultra 1500, it was the 6/30L2, a Mazda! It would pick a frequency at switch on, sometimes miles off lock, sometimes not too far and locking after a short time. Since changing the valve it has stayed put. I wasn't expecting it to be that simple! The Ultra has had all sorts of problems - when it's working the picture is really good the problem being that it doesn't stay working for long! Hopefully it will start to behave it's self now! 

 

 
Posted : 22/03/2023 8:27 pm
Michael Dranfield
(@michael-dranfield)
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I have a full box of Thorn speakers that look identical to that but I'm sure mine are 80 ohms. 

 
Posted : 24/03/2023 11:32 pm
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