Back in October of 2010 I got a phone call from a friend who was contacted by an old lady to say that she had her deceased husbands 'home made' TV set in her garage that she wanted to give away. Naturally I was the first person he called!
So I made the trip to her place and she told me the story about how her husband who was a TV technician and worked for Broadcasting would make a trip every few months or so to the UK for training/courses/seminars to keep things in line with television broadcasting here in NZ at the time.
Not sure how/why or when he decided to make a TV of his own, guess he had the knowledge and the fact that TV sets were rather expensive back in the 1960's so it more than likely prompted him to do it.
Apparently so the story goes that when he went to the UK, he would bring bits of it back in his luggage. He once got interrogated by Customs as to what these parts were and when he told the Customs Officer that it was television parts, the officer laughed and said "Television Parts? We've only just got Television so these cannot be!....Bugger Off!"
So the set was made up of what seems to be very much an English Thorn chassis and from what other information I've gathered the yoke and picture tube are Pye. The cabinet is custom made and the speaker and grille are Philips. Interesting also how the chassis is split rail, one up top and the other down below, makes for easier servicing and the top panel hinges up.
This would definitely be a 'one off' television set and I highly doubt there would be any others, unless he built another for some reason. I have to admit thought it is quite nicely made although some of the wiring and the wires going to the yoke/crt base etc are quite short which does make working on it a bit tedious.
I did fire this up using the variac not long after I got it, confirmed that it had EHT and an image of some sort - frame collapse and looking at all those horrible little hunts caps all over the place I didn't run it for too long and having no vertical drive didn't help either. Started poking around in the vertical section and found the vertical oscillator blocking transformer to be open circuit one side. Discovering that transformer was faulty kind of stopped me for going any further with it and I just put it back together and left it.
Fast forward to one year later when in 2011 another radio friend who knows I collect TV's was offered some old pictures tubes and TV chassis/parts from someones attic which he took and put aside for me. Little did I know that one of these chassis's would end up being almost exactly the same as the one in the home brew TV and even better it came with a service manual and circuit and the best part was is that it had the transformer I needed! I couldn't believe it out of all the odd ball things you come across what are the chances that another complete donor chassis would be in amongst it all!
This is also how I identified the chassis as being a Thorn variant thanks to the guys on the UK Vintage TV & Radio forum.
But this is as far as I've gotten with this home brew TV...I might make this my next project as I feel it does deserve some attention.
Plenty of photos added...so thats all on this one for now..... Watch this space! :-)
Updates coming very soon...I have doing work to this beast...7/6/2013
|Right hand side|
|Left hand side|
|Line output section|
|Underneath top chassis|
|Underneath bottom chassis|
|First attempt at powering up..good signs apart from no vertical.|