hey folks, heres the result of my latest project: excavating and reactivating my dads old tv, which had spent the last thirty years in the attic collecting dust. it reappeared miraculously during our last move into our current house, and fascinated by the awesome futuristic design (by famous italian designer rodolfo bonetto) i asked my dad if i could keep it. the next three years the telly spent on a shelf in my room, simply serving as a decorative object.
i want to apologize for the poor quality of some of the pictures, i mostly had to take them without flash because otherwise you couldnt see any picture on the tellys screen.
when i first turned it on i was relieved to see that it was still working and the picture tube wasnt damaged. but as theres no analogue tv program anymore i couldnt tune in any channel of course.
so i – who didnt have any knowledge about technical things, the least tvs – did some research how to get some input signal into this old baby. first of all it was clear, that the only place where something could be put in into the tv were the sockets at the back into which its original antennas where plugged. those sockets recieve a uhf (ultra high frequency range) and a vhf (very high frequency range) signal from the antennas, so – i thought – it should be possible to emulate those signals and plug somehing else into those sockets, shouldnt it?
my further research led me to buying a uhf modulator, which does exactly this and was cheap to get (ca 15 euros). the source can be chinch or scart, so it was no problem at least to get the sound connected (simply took a chinch-to-stereo-plug cable). the video signal had to be additionally modulated from digital to analog before being led into the vhf modulator, so i had to by another modulator (ca 50 euros) which takes a vga signal from a pc or laptop and can be connected to the yellow chinch input on my vhf modulator. expensive, but it works without problems.
the biggest challenge however was how to get the vhf modulator output into the tv. the modulator can be connected to a scart cable or a coaxial (antenna) cable for output. well, so i need an adapter for coax cables and uhf/vhf plugs, right? this isnt that easy, i tell you. it took me weeks of searching the net and asking people, being weirdly looked at and laughed at in electrical retail markets and so on, until i finally got the critical hint where to look for such a thing. eventually i bought the adapter you can see in the pictures in an online shop specialised in old tvs from the GDR!
the first test of this whole ensamble of gadgets was disappointing, as the tv was playing sound but no picture. i took it to the audio/video technician who usually fixes our stuff, but he just told me to take the thing to a museum – no chance for spare parts, and no economic invest after all. so i searched for technicians specialised in vintage devices and luckily found a guy who fixed the telly for me in less than a week – and without using any spare parts, as just the line synchronisation wasnt set correctly and the sound controller was producing some noise when being turned.
so today i got my telly back and it worked perfectly. i watched some stuff from my laptop on it and enjoyed this very authentic experience. a lot of people cannot understand why i love using vintage devices, and they say, why do you keep that old scrap, why dont you just get something new? but hey – if it werent a 40 year old tv but a ’65 ford mustang, i guess nobody would say that!
so i keep telling people that turntables, amps, tvs, clocks and telephones are my ford mustangs – and i dont care whether they laugh or not, because i know there are lots of people out there who share my passion :-)
- better pictures and more info on the voxson 1202 here and here on franks blog Obsolete Technology Tellye !
- more pictures in the virtual design museum
- and even more pictures here, by teddy qui dit on flickr
- and here you can buy the uhf/vhf plugs!