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The Set: Pete Deksnis's Site about the CT-100

Restoring a Vintage Color Television Set


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3-14-00 Just found your site. I am glad to know I am not alone. Over the years I have had the Westinghouse version and two CT-100's. The Westinghouse is long gone and one CT was sold to RCA in Indianapolis. I still own the other, but it is loaned out to a radio museum in Bowie, MD. I also sent a spare chassis and two spare CRT's (of unknown condition) to them. They said they would restore the set and test the tubes in it.

The set was working to a point until its vertical collapsed partially. I shut it down. The CRT in the set had a very weak red gun, but was working.

A short service note on my CT-100. At one point just after getting it, I went away for a weekend. When I returned, the set was on! It turns out that the caps across the AC line can short out and completely bypass the power switch. Obviously re-capping is the cure, but for those just starting, watch out for this problem.

Glad to read the reports from the other contributors. Add me to your list of frustrated owners and fans of early color sets. Right now I am trying to get in touch with a guy who might have a Philco 15" set. Stay tuned.

Hi Dave,
It's always great to hear from another vintage color collector. Am particularly curious about the sale of your CT-100 to RCA. Can you fill us in? Sounds like a cool story for the site. Could it be the one in the current RCA ad for HDTV?

3-15-00 Actually, my first set was traded to RCA in 1978. A local appliance dealer friend of mine in Rockford, Ill took it in on trade about 1975 and gave it to me. I used to direct his TV commercials at a local station. It was running when I got it and just needed tubes and adjustment. It would pick up Madison, WI (90 miles) on rabbit ears.

Eventually, it burned up a vertical output transformer. I could not find one to save my life (or the set's) so I called RCA in Indianapolis to see if they were interested. Remember, in 1978 this set was nothing special. I remember that a local parts distributor still had original picture tubes in stock.

RCA offered to trade me their first home VHS color camera, the RCA CC001 for the set and I agreed.
[I still have the RCA BW001 from the same year. -- Pete] A few days later, the local RCA Factory Service driver showed up and took the set away. I never saw it again, but I still have the camera. How crude that thing is now.

As for the commercial, it's possible that it is the set, but I would be surprised if they would ship that thing around to a film studio. It would be just as easy for them to rent one somewhere. Prop supply houses are amazing at finding things.

[For story continuity, I've reproduced the following e-mail from Steve received 3-21-00 -- Pete]

[3-21-00 I was checking out your website tonight and noticed the speculation about the CT-100 in the RCA ad. I know where that set came from. When I was visiting the Thompson headquarters in Indianapolis last fall, they were in the process of taking the 15GP22 out of the CT-100 they have in their "Museum" (actually a lobby) so that the set could be shipped to Hollywood for a commercial. The tube remained in Indianapolis. On another topic, I am now restoring a Philco TV-123, a 1955 21 inch set with a 21AXP22. About 500 of these sets were made. The picture tube is good, and the cabinet is in great shape. Right now I am waiting for some tubes I need to complete it. --Steve]

3-23-00 I'M FAMOUS, sort of, I guess. I wonder if they would trade the 15GP22 back to me for the camera they gave me in the first place. It's historic now, too. If anyone knows of an e-mail address or phone number for them, I would love to chat with them. Please let Steve know that I have two of the Philco TV-123's, one here and one on the way. I am talking to a friend in Vermont tonight who might take one of them. If he does not, it will be available. The chassis is good, the bulb tests good, the cabinet is a wreck. Your Famous contributor, Dave

3-29-00 Pete, I have been in contact with Indianapolis, and have received several mails,
this one is quite interesting. Feel free to post. Looks like my set may be close to me in NYC. Detective work is fun. I also have a CTC-2B with a minor horizontal problem, but looks strong.

7-5-00 [
FYI -- Sold for $202.50 ] To: THE_SET@.att.net Subject: CT-100 cabinet. Date: Wed, 5 Jul 2000 16:54:44 -0400. Pete, I never did hear from anyone interested in my cabinet, so I have listed it on ebay as item #375012899 if anyone is interested in following it. Thanks and keep up the good work, Dave A.

2-18-01 Pete-- Got down to see my set today in Bowie, MD. A check of the back and under the escutcheon shows I have number 522. The set is in perfect condition after 15 months of visitors walking up to it. A tribute to the Maryland Radio Historical Society and their staff.

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