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CTV Dual Standard GEC colour set at last!

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Caution... Long post, my life story! 😀  Back in 1975 or 6 when I was 14 or 15 I would go to the local TV shop every Saturday and if I was lucky would find a couple of Mono sets to take home. If there was nothing worth having I would badger my Dad to get out the Maxi and drive into town to Paul Taylors a larger firm that had a lot of rental sets out. There was a yard around the back where the old sets were put. Often with some or all of the valves removed and often the speaker would be gone as well. They were available for 25p each but were often newer sets than the smaller local shops threw out.

The good news was that often once the missing parts were put back the sets would often work or have a small fault. Being the colour boon I suppose thy had a lot of sets coming back so dual standards were disposed of. I had just finished piling a few sets into the Maxi, probably a couple of rotary tuner GECs an A640 or a VC4 when the service manager came out to the car and asked if I wanted to buy any colour sets? 

I was lead around to the back of the workshop where there was a corridor with a long bench, piled on the bench and under it was a motley collection of dual standard colour sets. 25" G6s 25 and 19" GECs, a 19" PYE with the clunk tuner like the Olympic mono sets, truly massive 25" PYEs and a solitary 22" G6 single standard. I was advised to give the G6s a miss as they would probably be beyond it with a duff LOPT. the Pye sets had been filled with duff decoders CDA boards and frame boards as they were the same as the single standard sets. That left the GECs... No smoke stack, not robbed and "probably working". Bargain price! £25 each. 

I chose one that had a very good cabinet and no "slot meter holes" in the back. (previous experience had told me ex-slot meter sets were usually absolutely clapped out). 

Once Dad had coughed up a loan and the sets in the Maxi tipped up on end the GEC was squeezed into the car.  Getting the set into my shed I found that it did work but the tube was absolutely knackered! Luckily I had been given the tube and chassis from a Baird 700 that a neighbour had stripped out to make a cocktail cabinet, supposedly having a duff LOPT.  After a lot of dismantling and reassembly and getting some plugs wrong I eventually got it working.  After some help with the convergence from the guy from the local shop that I pestered almost daily It worked quite well.

I eventually sold it to a mate at school's parents who had it for many years with only a few repairs. I ended up working for Paul Taylors after I left school and bought a few more D/S GECs at staff rate, a tenner! 

In the later 70's single standard sets became available and the old GECs faded away.... Decades later when I started collecting TV sets I managed to find all of my old favourites, mostly mono mostly dual standard. But I was on the look out for a GEC D/S colour. a couple appeared on ebay  over the years, all miles away and quite expensive.

Recently I sold some colour sets and some other stuff as I really needed the room, but I would still make room for a D/S GEC! within a week I saw Andy (Doz) offering some sets for sale and the rest as they say is history! I have my holy grail!  

A fun afternoon was had today revisiting the chassis and watching cartoons. There is a little work to do, the contrast may be a little low, the picture seems to lack 'punch' but to be honest these early delta tubes were never massively bright. Most dealers had a 'colour room' for demonstration that was dimly lit. none had one running in the window during daylight! The sound is a little low, all part of the fun! 

Anyway, if you have got this far - here are some pictures. 

Thanks again Andy! 

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Posted : 30/06/2024 7:40 pm
Tazman1966, Michael Dranfield, crustytv and 6 people reacted
Posts: 11993
Vrat Founder Admin

Whenever I get to physically see a GEC 2028, I never cease to be amazed at how bloody huge it is for a 19" and the 2030 is just plain ridiculous sizewise. Your 2028 looks great Rich, no doubt the jewel in your collection. 😍.

The question that remains now, as the hunt is over, what other set now tops the "love to find list"?


How is it on 405, I cannot remember without searching the VRAT archives, if Andy had sorted the system switching out?

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Posted : 01/07/2024 5:20 am
Posts: 1118
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@crustytv Hi Chris, yes it is a bulky set. It was quite comical when John and I took it up to the workshop we should have played "Right said Fred" (Bernard Cribbins not that other bloke..!) "Right a bit... Left left left!.... Down.. No no lift your end up a bit... Don't push! 😀 And to think I used to lift them on my own! 

Andy has sorted the system switch, he made a new actuator rod. I have to say it's an excellent job I would never have known it wasn't original. I haven't tried it on 405 yet I am always a bit nervous. Andy did say to be on the safe side switch over with the set off.  I have owned my HMV 2000 for many years and I have yet to summon up the courage to try it on 405! 

The GEC is in my top 5 favourite sets. others are my Invicta 7070U which I have owned since I was a kid, my Marconi 8500 which my parents bought new. The GEC, followed by my Marconi 1400, in mint condition rescued from Cambridge tip in the late '80s. Last but not least, a KB deep scene. Again, there is a story behind why I wanted one of those. This one was "rescued" from a builder who was going to gut it with an angle grinder and sell the cabinet on ebay. (I did explain that plan could have ended badly...) 

As far as what's next, well if I could find a GEC Electra I would buy that, Mick has one and it's a lovely looking set. If I did find one something else would have to go. I'm definitely in the situation of one in - one out! I still have a D/S Philips in the cupboard under the stairs that I bought from the NVCF 6/7 years ago that has never been touched, same as the Murphy Astra in the workshop that I bought at the same time! 



Posted : 01/07/2024 8:46 am