1947/48 Andrea T-VJ12 12 inch B&W TV

This is an Andrea T-VJ12 B&W TV set with 12 inch screen made in USA way back around 1947/48!!! I won this TV set in an Ebay auction and the seller is my mate John who has probably the biggest vintage TV collection in Australia, he has his Cool386 site and I have featured some of his TVs on this page. This TV came with a spare VCR140 radar CRT and service manuals, schematics and a photofact on a few of the VJ12 chassis type TVs.

Anyways the probable story goes with this TV is that it was imported from USA to Australia in the late 1940s for television training purposes during the years prior to the introduction of television in 1956. This TV was Frankensteined as it has no cabinet and the chassis and CRT are mounted into steel frames and the speaker mounted onto a piece of board with a metal grill. The choice of CRT was an unusual one as a VCR140 12 inch World War 2 radar tube with a yellow/green screen was used instead of its proper 12LP4 B&W CRT, I can only guess this was because radar tubes were easier to obtain in Australia and it saves on importing 12LP4 tubes from USA. The disadvantage of a radar CRT is the phosphor persistence as well as the picture being yellow/green in colour. This TV would of had some modifications made as well to be made operatable over here.

Now going into other details on this TV, as mentioned it is using a 12 inch VCR140 yellow/green radar tube instead of it's proper B&W 12 inch 12LP4 CRT, so I am going to have to somehow get this TV to work for the radar tube before I get a hold of a 12LP4. It probably has been already modified to do that. The chassis of this TV looks to be in very nice clean condition with hardly any surface rust except a little on the bottoms of the pots and mainly on the steel framework it's mounted on. The valves and the rest of the circuitry appears to be all there which is excellent! :) The front glass plate with the Andrea logo and the channels is unfortunately broken off on the left side. John has told me this TV actually has channel 1 on there which is a rarity on a B&W TV and was only ever available on the very early post war B&W TVs before channel 1 was no more. The serial number of this TV is 43728 and has Long Island City, New York on its serial plate which is most likely where this TV was manufactured.

Anyways I intend on restoring this TV to working order, I first have a lot to learn with servicing televisions so I am not sure when I'll get started on working on this TV yet but when I do I'll keep you viewers updated. I will be reading through all the servicing notes and schematics first to get myself familiarized with this TV. The plan is to first get this TV working with the VCR140 WW2 radard tube, then the next step is to import a 12LP4 TV tube and get the TV to work with that, then comes the plan to replicate a cabinet for this TV that resembles the T-VJ12 on the ETF site and mount it all inside. It will also be a good idea to find an original replacement glass plate with the listed channels as well, how many are available in USA that are not attached to a VJ12 type TV is anyones guess.

Anyways I am totally honoured to own this extremely rare TV set made over 8 years before the introduction of TV here in Oz in 1956 and I intend on preserving this important piece of Australian television history!!! :D

Anyways here is a series of photos of this vintage TV set in its current Frankenstein state:
Spare VCR140 radar CRT top view
Spare VCR140 radar CRT front view
Speaker with grill
High voltage cage
Serial plate
Right view of T-VJ12 chassis
Rear view of T-VJ12 chassis
Left view of T-VJ12 chassis with adjustment pots
Bottom view of T-VJ12 chassis with components soldered point to point
Front view of T-VJ12 chassis with broken glass plate
Top view of T-VJ12 chassis with valves, transformers etc...
Top view of VCR140 CRT with yoke assembly
VCR140 CRT housed inside a metal frame
Front of T-VJ12 chassis with the VCR140 CRT sitting on top
T-VJ12 service manual with photos and schematics and other tech notes

I have started the first phase of restoration to this TV set which is to replace all of the paper capacitors with mylar capacitors which is standard procedure in restoration of any old electronics as paper caps are very unreliable and generally fail. This TV has a combination of wax and bumblebee paper capacitors, the bumblebees look very much like resistors. Anyhow I have replaced most of the paper caps with mylars which took about 6-8 hours to do, as there were not so common values in the old paper caps I had to combine mylar caps in parallel or series to make up close to the original values. So now that's most of the capacitor replacement job taken care of with the exception of a 0.003uf 1000v paper cap which is a bit more difficult to find a replacement for. Here below is some pictures and a video of the job done:
Chassis before the paper caps were replaced with mylars
Chassis with almost all paper caps replaced with mylars
Close up of some of the mylar caps replacing the paper caps, as seen I had to make up the odd values by combining the mylars in series or parallel
This is a video of me giving an overview of this TV and talking about the paper cap replacement job in this set

I have been doing more restoration work on this telly. I have tested the two mains transformers of this set and have discovered that this set has indeed been modified to run off the Australian standard 240VAC mains instead of US standard 115VAC mains. Also they both are working nice and well without overheat. Next phase was to test the valve heaters to see if the valve filaments light up so I removed the main 5U4G rectifier valves so power goes to the valve heaters only and on power up it appears all visible valves (not in metal cans) light up which is great, I am yet to check the canned valves to see if they're all lighting up but will do so soon. Here below are pictures and a video of the valves lit up:
Valve heater test
Now despite not testing the heaters of the canned valves I jumped the gun and pressed on ahead with the next phase of restoration, I have a bad habit of jumping the gun but anyways... Next phase was to replace the paper caps in the EHT circuit, so I did just that. On observation of the EHT, I notice the high voltage transformer terminal which has the spring that loops around the metal terminal of the IB3 high voltage rectifier valve is broken off but the wire connection still intact, I decided to leave it alone for now. I notice down below the transformer the plastic supports holding a ring of thick wire are broken too but still holding in place. Anyhow here are some pics of the EHT having cap replacement and the broken sections of the HV transformer:
EHT recapped with mylar caps
Broken terminal at top of HV transformer but wire connection still intact
Bottom supports of thick wire ring broken but still holding it up
EHT recapped and assembled and ready for it's cage cover to be put back on
Now I was near ready to further jump the gun and connect the whole frankenstein set together and power it up when I noticed with the CRT yoke the plastic insulation of the wires was brittle, cracked and literally breaking/crumbling off which was not good news. So next phase was to replace those wires with new ones which was a challenging job as I had to feed the wires through the long woven metal shielding which wasn't easy to do. First step was to follow the wires all the way back into the yoke assembly as the colours of the insulation varied due to deterioation from age so I did that and I drew a diagram to strategically mark where each wire connects from A to B for the replacement wires. I wanted to use different coloured wires but only had black wires of the required length so used all black but carefully marked them as I go so I connected them to the correct terminals in the yoke and pins at the socket. Feeding the wire through the woven metal shielding was a slow process, I soldered the 4 wires together at one end and a leader wire to pull it through, as the width of the shielding expands on compression and contracts on tension it was a push pull process to feed the wire through but after a while I got it through. I connected the wires to their appropriate pins and terminals and heatshrinked the ends and so that's a job well done!!!:D Here below are pictures of this wire replacement process:
CRT/yoke assembly
Original yoke wiring with deteriorated brittle cracked plastic insulation
CRT removed from assembly revealing its yoke
Inside of yoke with original wires, as seen the insulation is brittle and breaking off, the sketch to the right is a guide for me to correctly rewire the yoke with new wiring
Original wires cut off leaving some length of wire end stripped back for the new wires to be soldered onto
Original wires, as seen the plastic insulation has badly deteriorated and is brittle and breaking off
The new black plastic insulated wires to replace the brittle cracked/broken insulated wiring
Wire mesh shielding soldered to earth pin of plug
New wires fed through wire mesh (not an easy process as mentioned)
New wires soldered to pins of plug with heatshrink wrapped around
Original brittle/cracked wires removed from inside yoke
New wires soldered inside the yoke to their respective terminals
Yoke wire replacement complete, a job well done!!!:D
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