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Old 04-21-2016, 08:54 AM
RCAZenith RCAZenith is offline
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Zenith V3912W set

First off id like to introduce myself. I'm a newbie to this forum, so I apologize in advance for not using proper terminology. I own several 80s and 90s CRT sets. My favorite by far are a 1997 27" RCA Colortrak console set with speakers to the sides. It is a CTC 177 set, but it was a very low hour set when I picked it up last year. If my wife would let me, this would go in our living room. My second favorite is a 19" table top Zenith Custom Series model #V3912W. It was made in 1987 and is apparently a cable ready set (not that it matters at this point). It is incredibly in very good shape for its age though the CRT is getting a little weak. I picked it up at a goodwill in Slidell, LA while I was in New Orleans for Training for work last week and actually hauled the $6 set ~600 miles back home to Georgia.

Anyhow, I can't find any documentation on these sets despite them being common as recent as 2009. My school system kept a bunch of old Zenith sets with the direct access keypads for VCR carts (which mine has) up to and probably past 2009 when I graduated.
It seems to be similar to the C39xxx sets. I'm kind of wondering if anybody knows anything about these sets and if they were consumer products or intended for professional/industrial/educational use. You can see a great number of Chomacolor II and System 3 sets on YouTube, google images, and other places, but these sets seem to have been the red-headed step child.

If anybody can provide me any information on this set, I would be very grateful.



Sent from my iPhone using Tapatalk
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Old 04-21-2016, 10:01 AM
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Findm-Keepm Findm-Keepm is offline
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You'll find the Sams for your Zenith in Set 2551, folder 2.

As to the RCA, the full chassis number is needed, as Sams lists about a dozen folders for the CTC177 series. A model number would be even better for searching.

Cheers,
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Old 04-21-2016, 11:39 AM
RCAZenith RCAZenith is offline
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Zenith V3912W set

Quote:
Originally Posted by Findm-Keepm View Post
You'll find the Sams for your Zenith in Set 2551, folder 2.



As to the RCA, the full chassis number is needed, as Sams lists about a dozen folders for the CTC177 series. A model number would be even better for searching.



Cheers,


You know, I have never had any trouble finding any information on the RCA, nor am I particularly concerned about it going out. I'd be interested to see an owners manual for the Zenith if anybody has one. Thanks for the reply and I'll certainly get the SAMs if it goes out.
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Old 04-21-2016, 12:19 PM
zeno zeno is offline
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A model V, SV, T, ST, S or SS is not part of the normal Zenith
line up. They were big store models. Made it hard for shoppers
to compare prices. Often they could be had at Mom & Pop
as overruns later on. They almost always had a cheaper look
to them.

Institutional sets like hotel, school, hospital etc. were NOT
from stores & usually quite different than regular line sets.
They were sold by the distributors or factory. They did not
come with labor warranties & often there is a tag on the
back stating that. Yours could be either, you gotta look for
the clues.

Servicing isnt much different as the main set is the same. Add ons
included wired remote, channel blanking, pay TV, alarms,
volume limit, computer monitor cards & other things over the
years.

73 Zeno
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Old 04-21-2016, 12:35 PM
RCAZenith RCAZenith is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by zeno View Post
A model V, SV, T, ST, S or SS is not part of the normal Zenith

line up. They were big store models. Made it hard for shoppers

to compare prices. Often they could be had at Mom & Pop

as overruns later on. They almost always had a cheaper look

to them.



Institutional sets like hotel, school, hospital etc. were NOT

from stores & usually quite different than regular line sets.

They were sold by the distributors or factory. They did not

come with labor warranties & often there is a tag on the

back stating that. Yours could be either, you gotta look for

the clues.



Servicing isnt much different as the main set is the same. Add ons

included wired remote, channel blanking, pay TV, alarms,

volume limit, computer monitor cards & other things over the

years.



73 Zeno




Here is a picture of it with my kid playing Berserk on it. It's all I had on my phone of it. It does kind of have a cheapie look to it. It basically looks like they took a dial set and replaced the dial with a keypad and eliminated the 300 ohm twin lead inputs. Were the "C"
Line of tv's commercial sets or consumer sets?
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Old 04-21-2016, 02:29 PM
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radiotvnut radiotvnut is offline
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I've seen many Zenith's in cabinets like that, in both knob tuned and electronic tuning versions, and that particular style was around from the mid '80's until the early '90's. Some of them were labeled "space command" (for remote models) and some were labeled "custom series." It's been my experience that the "custom series" sets were often bottom of the line and lacked features (such as remote control) that the more upscale sets had.

When I was in school during the '80's and '90's, there were a lot of Zenith "Custom Series" sets floating around; but, there was nothing really special about them that would make me think they were commercial TV's. The ones they had were 25" table model sets in a big rectangular particleboard cabinet. They had an on/off/volume knob (non-remote) and a numeric keypad for channel selection. The only jack on the back was the 75 ohm coax input. These sets were on metal rollaround TV carts and were usually connected to a VHS VCR. In my earlier school days, some of them were connected to a U-Matic 3/4" tape machine.

The Zenith sets from the '90's and newer that I've seen were labeled "healthview" and all of the hospital models had 3-wire power cords.

The Zenith motel sets usually didn't have any wording on them to indicate a motel set. Depending on age, they either said "Chromacolor II", "System 3", or "space command." The only exception is some of the '90's Zenith motel sets were labeled as "new horizons." On the older Zenith motel sets, many of them had a built-in AM/FM radio and some had a built-in alarm clock with red LED readout.

Looking at your set, it probably used a 9-470 main module.
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Old 04-21-2016, 03:16 PM
RCAZenith RCAZenith is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by radiotvnut View Post
I've seen many Zenith's in cabinets like that, in both knob tuned and electronic tuning versions, and that particular style was around from the mid '80's until the early '90's. Some of them were labeled "space command" (for remote models) and some were labeled "custom series." It's been my experience that the "custom series" sets were often bottom of the line and lacked features (such as remote control) that the more upscale sets had.

When I was in school during the '80's and '90's, there were a lot of Zenith "Custom Series" sets floating around; but, there was nothing really special about them that would make me think they were commercial TV's. The ones they had were 25" table model sets in a big rectangular particleboard cabinet. They had an on/off/volume knob (non-remote) and a numeric keypad for channel selection. The only jack on the back was the 75 ohm coax input. These sets were on metal rollaround TV carts and were usually connected to a VHS VCR. In my earlier school days, some of them were connected to a U-Matic 3/4" tape machine.

The Zenith sets from the '90's and newer that I've seen were labeled "healthview" and all of the hospital models had 3-wire power cords.

The Zenith motel sets usually didn't have any wording on them to indicate a motel set. Depending on age, they either said "Chromacolor II", "System 3", or "space command." The only exception is some of the '90's Zenith motel sets were labeled as "new horizons." On the older Zenith motel sets, many of them had a built-in AM/FM radio and some had a built-in alarm clock with red LED readout.

Looking at your set, it probably used a 9-470 main module.


Radiotvphononut, just wanted to let you know I enjoy your YouTube videos. Even though I lack the soldering skills to actually do most of the repairs, I like to at least learn what causes common problems and if something is salvageable or not based on that.

I was in public school between 1996 and 2009, and the school system I went to had a bunch of the TV sets that you described on VCR carts. I would be curious to know if the 25" Particle board sets were sold to consumers. They even had one or two 19" that looked identical to mine, IIRC. Mine has a push in/push out power button (not a on/volume knob, and a random access keypad

BTW, is there any real reason you dislike the RCA CTC-177 sets besides them being from the 90s? I have one that was a real low hour set that I use to play video games on and it is probably the best tv I have ever had. (Granted, most of them have been BPC Funais CRT and LCD, except for an old, Knob tuned GE 13" table top color set and a knob tuned 13" table top B&W Goldstar both from the mid 80s).
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Old 04-21-2016, 03:39 PM
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radiotvnut radiotvnut is offline
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Yes, those rectangular particleboard Zenith's were available to the general public and many of them have provisions to add screw-on legs, turning them into a console.

My biggest issue with the '90's RCA's is the "tuner on board" that has the bad solder connections and the fact that if a component (often surface mount) fails inside the tuner, you are forced to repair it. All other brands used a separate tuner module and when something went wrong with the tuner, you simply replaced it. With that said, those RCA tuner problems were a big money maker for repair shops and besides those issues, they are good sets and the CRT's usually hold up well in them. If you see a '90's Zenith somewhere, you'd best leave it where you found it because the CRT is likely bad.
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Old 04-21-2016, 04:52 PM
RCAZenith RCAZenith is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by radiotvnut View Post
Yes, those rectangular particleboard Zenith's were available to the general public and many of them have provisions to add screw-on legs, turning them into a console.

My biggest issue with the '90's RCA's is the "tuner on board" that has the bad solder connections and the fact that if a component (often surface mount) fails inside the tuner, you are forced to repair it. All other brands used a separate tuner module and when something went wrong with the tuner, you simply replaced it. With that said, those RCA tuner problems were a big money maker for repair shops and besides those issues, they are good sets and the CRT's usually hold up well in them. If you see a '90's Zenith somewhere, you'd best leave it where you found it because the CRT is likely bad.


My parents had a Zenith 27" black plastic high end set with SVideo and possibly composite inputs that they had from 1997 to about 2010. I'll never forget coming home from college, flipping on a Walker Texas ranger marathon on a Saturday morning just to see the colors go screwy. I'm not sure if it was the CRT or some module inside of it. The running joke has been for years now that Chuck Norris killed the TV.

I primarily use the RCA inputs anyhow as it is a dedicated game machine. If the TV dies, my son has a 27" Funai in his room that I might just stuff in the case. Of course, that would probably go first!
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Old 04-21-2016, 06:03 PM
zeno zeno is offline
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Custom series was the low end but they were good sets as a rule.
During that era hi end was call Advanced System 3 & at the
highest end Digital System 3 sometimes with Bose audio.
This is not a digital set as now but digitally processed NTSC.

Modern Zenith model years start with A 1970, B 1971,
C, D, E, F, G, H, J, K, L, M, N, Y, Z, then A, B, again etc.
These are the regular line. Like cars they start coming out
late summer. Always a sales meeting with good food & all
the free booze you could drink before you placed a big order.

Decoding models is like this.
SK1961W
S=remote
K=model year (1979, may be built 1978 )
19 = 19" screen size ( like yours dosnt always stand )
61= level, higher ## is better
W= cabinet flavor. W= walnut. X= white P= pecan etc.
Any numbers after the cabinet are very minor changes service wise.
( SK1961W11 )

CTC177 is from the family of CTC175, 176, 177, 185, 186, 187.
Almost a 100% failure rate of bad PC cons in the tuner area.
Newer ones are better after some solder changes. Otherwise they
were very good sets & predictable. Google CTC 175 class
action suit.
BTW do NOT resolder it if there is no problems, too much can
go wrong ! Very small SMD's in a crowded area & I smoked a few in
my time !

73 Zeno
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Old 04-21-2016, 07:24 PM
RCAZenith RCAZenith is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by zeno View Post
Custom series was the low end but they were good sets as a rule.

During that era hi end was call Advanced System 3 & at the

highest end Digital System 3 sometimes with Bose audio.

This is not a digital set as now but digitally processed NTSC.



Modern Zenith model years start with A 1970, B 1971,

C, D, E, F, G, H, J, K, L, M, N, Y, Z, then A, B, again etc.

These are the regular line. Like cars they start coming out

late summer. Always a sales meeting with good food & all

the free booze you could drink before you placed a big order.



Decoding models is like this.

SK1961W

S=remote

K=model year (1979, may be built 1978 )

19 = 19" screen size ( like yours dosnt always stand )

61= level, higher ## is better

W= cabinet flavor. W= walnut. X= white P= pecan etc.

Any numbers after the cabinet are very minor changes service wise.

( SK1961W11 )



CTC177 is from the family of CTC175, 176, 177, 185, 186, 187.

Almost a 100% failure rate of bad PC cons in the tuner area.

Newer ones are better after some solder changes. Otherwise they

were very good sets & predictable. Google CTC 175 class

action suit.

BTW do NOT resolder it if there is no problems, too much can

go wrong ! Very small SMD's in a crowded area & I smoked a few in

my time !



73 Zeno


So all of the C39xxx sets would have come out in 87? Makes sense. The V3912W must have been a KMart or WalMart set based on what you have said. "12" must indicate it was the cheapest cable ready set Zenith made that year.
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  #12  
Old 04-21-2016, 07:30 PM
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It seems like that in the '96 to '98 models, the green gun would short and smoke the green driver transistor, leaving you with no green in the picture. I never will forget the first one of these that I got. I quickly found the bad transistor, replaced it, and the set had a nice picture. I sold the set to a friend and about 3 days later, he was bringing it back with no green. After a little investigation, I found that the CRT was intermittently shorting.

The slightly older ones ('90-'95) would blow the STR regulator IC and support components when the CRT would short. Pretty much the same story as above. You could replace the fried parts and the set would work until the CRT decided to short again (either in minutes, hours, days, or weeks). It got so that when I saw one of these with blown apart components in the power supply, I'd condemn the set.

About '98-'99, Zenith pretty much stopped using their own crappy CRT's and started using either LG-Philips or RCA-Thomson bonded yoke CRT's. These CRT were much better and I don't recall ever seeing a bad one. I believe it was in '99 when LG fully took over Zenith and that was pretty much the final blow for the old Zenith company.

A couple of years ago, an elderly lady that I know put in a request for a console TV (it had to be a console). As you know, they are no longer made; but, I found her a 25" Zenith from 2001 and it had an LG-Philips tube in it. The last time I saw it, the picture was still very good.
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Old 04-21-2016, 08:28 PM
RCAZenith RCAZenith is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by radiotvnut View Post
It seems like that in the '96 to '98 models, the green gun would short and smoke the green driver transistor, leaving you with no green in the picture. I never will forget the first one of these that I got. I quickly found the bad transistor, replaced it, and the set had a nice picture. I sold the set to a friend and about 3 days later, he was bringing it back with no green. After a little investigation, I found that the CRT was intermittently shorting.

The slightly older ones ('90-'95) would blow the STR regulator IC and support components when the CRT would short. Pretty much the same story as above. You could replace the fried parts and the set would work until the CRT decided to short again (either in minutes, hours, days, or weeks). It got so that when I saw one of these with blown apart components in the power supply, I'd condemn the set.

About '98-'99, Zenith pretty much stopped using their own crappy CRT's and started using either LG-Philips or RCA-Thomson bonded yoke CRT's. These CRT were much better and I don't recall ever seeing a bad one. I believe it was in '99 when LG fully took over Zenith and that was pretty much the final blow for the old Zenith company.

A couple of years ago, an elderly lady that I know put in a request for a console TV (it had to be a console). As you know, they are no longer made; but, I found her a 25" Zenith from 2001 and it had an LG-Philips tube in it. The last time I saw it, the picture was still very good.


Yep. The green gun was definitely the culprit. It went out In December '09 or January '10. Mama and daddy kept it until right before the 2010 Daytona 500. I will tell you this though, if it was a total peice of junk like you say, it probably wouldn't have lasted for ~12.5 years @ ~5 hours a day. I challenge any flat panel to make it under those conditions. It would still be running today with a good RCA CRT.
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Old 04-21-2016, 09:44 PM
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Sometimes, you'd get lucky and they'd last a long time; but, most of them didn't. In fact, many of them failed under warranty and I've seen some that looked like crap out of the box. You're probably right about the newer flatscreen TV's not lasting as long as the older CRT sets and the flatscreens likely won't be repairable in 50 years.
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Old 04-22-2016, 12:27 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by RCAZenith View Post
Even though I lack the soldering skills to actually do most of the repairs, I like to at least learn what causes common problems and if something is salvageable or not based on that.
Soldering is often the easiest part of any repair....I could teach a monkey to do it!

Get an iron solder and a cheap kit that you assemble by soldering. You will learn >90% of what you need to do any project in an afternoon.
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