General Electric 805 TV Restoration Project

GE 805 TV

I bought this 1949 General Electric 805 at a radio auction and it was in good shape; there were no cracks or chips on the bakelite case.

When I first disassembled the television by removing the two front screws and the four bottom screws, I immediately knew this television had been repaired quite often in the past. The second half of the high voltage cage was missing, and the deflection yoke was replaced and obviously does not fit properly. Also the 10" CRT itself does not seem original. Below is a picture of the innards when I first took the chassis out of the case.

This television is transformerless and requires a voltage doubler to obtain the B+ voltage of approximately 275V and the tubes' filaments were wired in series to operate off mains without a transformer. Therefore, if one tube has a bad filament then more than half of the other tubes will not light up. The previous owner replaced the selenium rectifiers for the voltage doubler with 1N4007 diodes and a few capacitors. Though, there are still a lot more capacitors to replace. Below are two pictures: the other side of the chassis and below the chassis.


I replaced most of the electroylic capacitors and decided to try firing up the television, though I would not recommend it because it is wise to replace ALL of the other paper capacitors. The television easily came to life with a bright raster that was shifted to the left.

I knew from experience that the ion trap might be responsible for the shifted raster so I adjusted it to center the raster. Unfortunately, the raster did not budge very much so I began to fiddle with the focus coil and the deflection yoke. When I finally got the picture in a reasonable area, the focus coil and yoke were in awkward positions. The yoke was tilted to the right bad enough that the CRT neck could break. Although this setup was not very convenient, I proceed to try and get a picture.

Many of the video amplifier tubes were weak so I replaced most of them with what I had in hand, but nothing was quite good enough to get a picture or snow on the screen. At this point, recapping the entire television was the only necessary option left so I spent several days replacing over 20 capacitors and restuffing those that were visible on the chassis by pushing out the old innards out of the paper body and fitting a new one in place. Finally, some snow came in on several stations, but there was still no picture.

I fiddled with the controls for quite some time until I realized there was a picture, but the horizontal frequency was way off. I noticed a new variable coil in the rear for the horizontal frequency, which I had to adjust a LOT; I must have rotated the adjustable screw more than 15 times to get the frequency right. Finally a weak picture came in, but rather than the traditional vertical picture flip, the horizontal was flipping badly. I found out that the sync separator tube was acting a bit odd so I replaced it and most of the other tubes in the horizontal and vertical stages. After tweaking with most of the controls, the picture became stable.

Unfortunately, the picture was still shifted to the left and the vertical size was insufficent to fill the face correctly. One possibility was insufficent high voltage from the flyback, but the picture was quite bright, the B+ voltage was just right, and there was a nice arc from the flyback to a well-insulated screwdriver so this was not the problem. Obviously the deflection yoke was useless. I found someone who had a GE 805 parts chassis, and was kind enough to sell the original deflection yoke for a good price. I replaced the entire yoke and the focus coil was repositioned. The picture problem was immediately resolved after a few control adjustments. Below is a picture of a show with a clear, crisp picture.

The stations still seemed weak, but I figured out how to use the fine tuning to strengthen the stations and finally the sound came in without any problems (the audio transformer was also replaced by the previous owner). Below is the completed chassis; all cleaned up and with the new deflection yoke.

I ran this television for over a hour at random times and it runs just fine without crashing down, so it pretty much passed the final test.