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Pye 697 chassis. Was it so bad after all?

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Till Eulenspiegel
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There was a spare 697 timebase board among the various bits and pieces I took to Mikey's bash in Solihull.
Many of you will know I often have a go at commenting about the Pye CT205, mainly it was one of the sets that started off the rot in the retailing side of the trade. In 1975 the CT205 was flogged off by the big stores for £199. Not good for independent retailers because we were paying almost that figure for the same set from wholesalers.
However, when you examine the printed circuit timebase board it isn't in construction quality terms all that bad.
The PCB has metal stiffening bars around the sides so the assembly is quite robust. Also examining the print artwork it would appear to be an early type of CAD. It's those edge connectors that seemed to be the problem because of the the results of bad handling and servicing. Nevertheless, I still prefer the metal timebase unit.

Till Eulenspiegel.

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Topic starter Posted : 18/05/2016 12:45 pm
Anonymous
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I liked them, like anything else they had issues, a thermistor burnup was possibly the worst as it often holed the PCB in it's eagerness, some edge connectors similar but not as severe but... most problems could be diagnosed on the way to the house from reading the card and then repaired quickly. Brownie points with the customer. :)

Only a few items near the bottom were hard to access, I ended up getting the Invictor variety for our home TV.

The Towering inferno type had lost favour when we nearly Burnt Billy Wilson's house down in Morley (a local Fireman) by letting one self destruct.

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Posted : 18/05/2016 2:52 pm
malcscott
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The unswitched mains was a very bad idea

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Posted : 18/05/2016 3:28 pm
Cathovisor
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The unswitched mains was a very bad idea

From my very brief exposure to a CT205 - before I scrapped it and used the CRT in another set - if memory serves, there was a PCB-mounted fuseholder at the top of the line timebase PCB that was before the on/off switch, along with live PCB tracks. Is my memory correct, or is it failing?

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Posted : 18/05/2016 3:38 pm
crustytv
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Your memory is correct Mike

As to the main thread question, in 1978 LLJ wrote an article about the PYE 691,693 and 697. He stated they were normally no trouble, well no more than the 3500, G8 etc and he should know.

You can read the article here

I can't speak for what they were like in the day just how they are now. Perhaps now many years (45+) later, they don't stand up as well as some of the others. But I doubt any of the original designers envisaged these things still in service in 2016 so we should not judge them so harshly.

My own CT203/1 is a bit of a PITA, constantly coughs up problems and the timebase panel has an intermittent fault where it red plates the line output valve. Got to the point where I couldn't be bothered to turn it on to anymore due to the frustration. I will get back to it one day.

I also have a 721 ( 697 with the addition of tint, tone, sharpness and wired remote) chassis waiting in the wings for bench time, this is in the form of a Dynatron CTV18. I've fitted a new CRT as the original had been necked.

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Posted : 18/05/2016 3:48 pm
Cathovisor
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Thanks for confirming that - I always thought it was spectacularly cr*p! Thing is, of my childhood memories of early colour, the people who owned Pye sets definitely had the best pictures - much nicer to a seven or eight year old's eyes than Bradfords or G8s. Also from my memory, Pyes were the most common sets.

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Posted : 18/05/2016 4:05 pm
crustytv
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of my childhood memories of early colour, the people who owned Pye sets definitely had the best pictures

When set up right and running well the picture from a 697 is very good as you also correctly remember.

This was the CT203/1 when it was set up and running at its best, no doubt it could be a lot better as it was my first attempt at colour telly repair.

Below is the G8 after I repaired it on the day I got it, no set up whatsoever, pretty impressive picture. Its not missed a beat since so for reliability the G8 kick's the 697's arse

However the best picture I've seen on an early CRT set where all the frequency gratings are resolved , is on my Baird M702. Not bad going for a first gen set from 1967 and full respect to the Radio Rental engineers who designed it :aap

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Posted : 18/05/2016 4:12 pm
slidertogrid
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No I don't think it was that bad. yes there were a few fires.. the CDA board burn up is well known. we had 100's of them on rental at the first place I worked they were overhauled as decontrolled rentals in 79/80 and plodded on until they were disposed of in around 1987 most still worked when they were changed over.
I sold one that had been properly done with a new tube, button unit, CDA and all the common faults done in around 1980 it went for 10 years without fault. when it did go wrong the owner bought a new set from me and gave me the Pye. It was only the on/off switch failed and it still had a belting picture on it. I gave it to a friend who wanted a telly for his flat. even though it was ancient by then I couldn't scrap such a good set!
The trouble is engineers only remember the bad ones..
I thought the G11 was laughingly unreliable when it first came out, especially after what had been promised in the Len Briggs lecture on it. we all thought we would be out of a job! :aak
Splat! pop! drift.. click- frame collapse and worse of all Crack! Hiss... tinkle.. :cch Plenty to do! :bba
But they weren't all that bad, the later sets with infra red remote were better, some despite the red smoother kept their tube neck for years and never went wrong. Even the early sets by time they were a few years old and had been reworked a bit they came into their own and went on and on.
I don't think the 697's were that bad in retrospect especially for the price. Any other make £200 was 19" money!
Rich.

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Posted : 18/05/2016 6:03 pm
Focus Diode
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They were certainly easy to repair with just about every fault known documented.

Brian

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Posted : 18/05/2016 6:41 pm
Nuvistor
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I wonder what the difference in build cost between the two PSU Assy was, there was still a lot of manual Assy required for the PCB version.

Frank

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Posted : 19/05/2016 2:06 pm
Anonymous
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I think there is also a 'familiarity' aspect.. if you work on a particular item regularly, you learn it's foibles and see it as no problem since you can understand it and fix it with little trouble.

Where if you only see one or two, each is a problem to be solved by analysis and testing each time.

I used to accept the 3000 series repairs because I had done loads, when other engineers ran away screaming "iechyd da" or similar I ended up sorting them.

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Posted : 19/05/2016 2:57 pm
Nuvistor
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I think there is also a 'familiarity' aspect.. if you work on a particular item regularly, you learn it's foibles and see it as no problem since you can understand it and fix it with little trouble.

Where if you only see one or two, each is a problem to be solved by analysis and testing each time.

I used to accept the 3000 series repairs because I had done loads, when other engineers ran away screaming "iechyd da" or similar I ended up sorting them.

Very true

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Posted : 19/05/2016 5:58 pm
Nuvistor
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The 691/3/7 were bread a butter sets for me so I got to know them well, mostly forgotten now.
The 697 chassis..
I regard the mains on the PCB as not a problem for me, I knew it was there and took care. However not sure how it passed BEAB with power being on the set 24/7 were it should have gone through the switch first.

The edge connectors gave problems on that Assy, not sure why unless they were cheaper that the 691 chassis type.

The passivated coating on the metal chassis holding the CDA/Frame/decoder caused me problems with the CDA earthing, it caused a change in hue from left to right, again not a problem in the earlier chassis. I used to wire permanent wire links which seemed to cure it, cleaning just cleared it for a short while.

The 1043 tuner unit was also a problem with intermittent faults, easy to find, but I never managed to fix one. I sent them off for repairs or bought new, both options cheaper and quicker for me, maybe others managed ok with them. The Varicap push buttons also gave problems but that was standard for most sets of that era.

I had virtuall no trouble with the IF or decoder boards, I think I had a luminance delay line go O/C once.

The Texas, think it was Texas, SN???? sound chip with a finned heat sink gave problems.

No doubt there were other problems but I don't think they were any worse in general than ither UK sets, unfortunately the Japanses sets showed the way on reliability, until Hitachi brought out its directly heated CRT.

Frank

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Posted : 19/05/2016 11:20 pm
PYE625
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I was astounded at the picture quality that the PYE 69.. series of chassis can produce. I don't think I have ever seen a delta CRT produce such life-like and sharp images.

Here is living proof....

viewtopic.php?f=5&t=11553#p120045

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Posted : 19/05/2016 11:45 pm
crustytv
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The Texas, think it was Texas, SN???? sound chip with a finned heat sink gave problems.

Frank

SN76013N

No doubt there were other problems but I don't think they were any worse in general than other UK sets
Frank

There were and it wasn't https://www.radios-tv.co.uk/pye-ekco-sstd-stock-faults/

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Posted : 19/05/2016 11:48 pm
Nuvistor
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That was the sound chip, at least nearly all problems could be fixed in the home without a trip to the workshop. I think the only reason I took them in was the CRT although I have changed those in the house if I knew it was safe to do so. That is no children/pets and was left alone to get on with it, especially the 26inch ones.

The ones with Mullard 4 year guarantees I took in, removed the CRT and went to Hollingwood, I think , it was near near Oldham. There was a Mullard dept were they would test them while you waited and replace it, back to the shop and fit and return to the customer same day.

Frank

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Posted : 20/05/2016 12:46 am
Till Eulenspiegel
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The SN76013 audio amplifier chip was also used in certain Fidelity record players, possibly other makes as well. This Texas Instruments IC was more reliable in the 697 series TV than it was in cheap record players.

Till Eulenspiegel.

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Topic starter Posted : 20/05/2016 2:50 am
Cathovisor
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I fixed a lot of those record players in my teenage years. The death mode seemed to be that Mum moved the record player to dust underneath it and unplugged the speakers before putting it back in place. When the next person came to play a record, they noticed the lack of sound and plugged the speakers back in with it switched on. The spike from plugging in a pair of speakers - via a fat electrolytic - was enough to kill a chip. sometimes two...

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Posted : 20/05/2016 3:05 am
Nuvistor
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The record players with the Texas IC, been there, done that. At least they were easy and quick to sort out, always some profit in those if not much.

The 691/3/7 series, the frame circuits were only just enough, it worked but I always felt it could have done with just that bit more power. There was also a frame fly back mod that came out to blank out Teletext at the top of the screen, probably some one as details.

Frank

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Posted : 20/05/2016 10:32 am
crustytv
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a frame fly back mod that came out to blank out Teletext at the top of the screen, probably some one has details.

Frank

That's what the main site is for, a one stop shop for vintage CTV info etc https://www.radios-tv.co.uk/remove-teletext-lines/ :bba

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Posted : 20/05/2016 10:42 am
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