Early Television Museum
CRT Rebuilding Project
The last remaining picture tube rebuilder, Hawkeye, has closed its doors. Now that they are gone, there is no place to get tubes for vintage TV sets rebuilt. More importantly, the techniques for rebuilding these tubes will be lost forever.
Several collectors have expressed an interest in finding a way to keep rebuilding alive. Scott Avitt, who owns Hawkeye, has indicated that he would be willing to donate his equipment to the museum, and to teach people the secrets of rebuilting tubes. The museum has the space for the equipment. The goal would be to move the equipment to Hilliard, install it, and to rebuild vintage tubes for collectors. Whether this is possible depends on several things, among which are:
1. Finding a person or person who is willing to devote the time to learning the process.
2. Finding people who will coordinate the project, both now and in the future.
3. Raising the money needed to get started.
4. Solving economic issues. On the expense side, the cost of insurance, utilities and supplies must be considered. On the income side, we need to understand what tubes can be rebuilt at a cost that collectors are willing to pay.
To start the process going, there will be a meeting of those interested in the project at the 2010 Early Television Convention, Sunday, April 25 at 11:00 am. If you would like to be part of this project, please be sure to attend.
Progress Report - May 12, 2010
At the meeting on April 25, Bob Dobush (firstname.lastname@example.org) agreed to be the project leader. It was decided that the project would be divided into two steps. First, arrangements will be made to transport the plant to the museum. The largest item is the oven, which could possibly be cut up and only a portion transported. The second step will be to put together a plan to operate the plant. Many issues have to be resolved, including financing, manpower, insurance, liability and management.
If an workable plan is developed, we will move forward on installing the equipment and operating it.
Several people volunteered to visit Haweye before they shut down for training in operating the equipment. The traning session will be videotaped.
Progress Report - September 19, 2010
Scotty has generously agreed to donate the equipment, valued at over $20,000, and Bob Dobush is willing to move the equipment (he needs help, of course). We have room at the museum to store and eventually set up the equipment.
Scotty has agreed to sell us a flatbed trailer which will be loaded with all the equipment. Bob Dobush is getting quotes for having the trailer brought to Hilliard. Bob's estimate is that the project will cost no more than $3,000. An appeal to the collecting community raised over $3,400, and the move is scheduled for the end of September. Donors to the fund can be seen on that page.
As of September 19 we have a balance of $3,357.28 in the fund.
Progress Report - October 2, 2010
We have received additional donations, and have had no addiional expenses since the last report. As of October 2 we have a balance of $4,387.61 in the fund. I have started a Blog for the purpose of discussing the project.
Progress Report - October 11, 2010
To move the equipment we have purchased a semi trailer from Scotty for $1,000, plus $300 for tires. Scotty has finished loading everything in the trailer. Bob Dobush has contacted trucking companies for quotes for taking the trailer to Hilliard. Timing depends on when we get a price for moving the trailer that is reasonable. But now that the equipment is loaded there is no hurry about gettting it to Hilliard.
Bob Dobush will make a trip to Hawkeye with a van to pick up items that remain.
Once we know the date of the move, we will set a weekend for unloading. We will ask for volunteers who can come to the museum on a Saturday or Sunday to help.
After the trailer is unloaded, it is our plan to sell the trailer. We hope to be able to sell it for about what we paid for it.
Progress Report - December 11, 2010
The trailer is now at the museum Bob Dobush finally found a driver who was interested in the job. We rented a tractor from Penske, and the trailer was picked up yesterday and arrived at the museum today. We plan to unload it over the next couple of weeks, then attempt to sell it. After paying expenses for the transport, we have a balance of $1551.42 in the fund. See the a Blog for details.
Progress Report - January 25, 2011
Bob Galanter has designed a preliminary floor plan for the rebuilding facility. A room will be built in the warehouse area, adjacent to the present British/European Postwar display room, to house all of the rebuilding equipment except the oven and bombarder. A glass window will be installed between the new room and the British/European Postwar room for museum visitors to view the rebuiling operation.
Progress Report, May 16, 2012
At the committee meeting on May 6 at the Early Television Convention, the following was decided:
1. The main problem with rebuilding tubes at the museum remains the lack of a person or persons who will take responsibility for coordinating the project.
2. After Nick Williams returns from France (see below), we will modify Bob Galanter's layout to incorporate whatever equipment we hope to get from RACS. A volunteer weekend will be set up to build the room for rebuilding. Chuck Azar agreed to get a list of those who will volunteer, together with their skills. Steve McVoy agreed to make a bill of materials. There is a balance in the rebuilding account, but it is probably not enough for this project, so additional donations will be solicited.
3. It is hoped that having the facilities set up will encourage someone to step up and agree to be the rebuilding coordinator.
4. Jerome Halphen has generously agreed to pay for a trip to RACS by Nick Williams, who will learn the rebuilding process, take photos, and decide, with the help of Bob Galanter and others, what equipment would be helpful for our effort.
Progress Report, August 2, 2012
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