Purchased because it was cheap, which is due to that big crack on the glass. I haven't determined whether the picture tube is done for or if it's just the safety glass outside that's broken. If I can get the set running without having to replace unobtanium components, I'll do it. But I don't have high hopes for it.
I'm surprised that I haven't been able to find out too much about them. There are a lot of images of them on the internet because this is the television equivalent of a Philco cathedral radio. (The word is heavily mis- and overused these days, but Predictas truly are icons.) While I've seen bits and pieces, like Phil's restoration of a pedestal model, I haven't found anything that offers a timeline with model dates, names, numbers, and features.
Saga of Philco's Predicta: Philco's Predicta TV sets, which debuted in 1958 (Vol 14:23 p10) and were buried the following year, were cited April 5 by a Wall Street Journal article on fanfared products that have fizzled.
"If distinctive appearance guaranteed brisk sales, the Predictas seemed destined for success," noted the publication. . . .
"But the public apparently was unimpressed. Though an initial burst of dealer enthusiasm led Philco to double production at the start of 1959," the account continued, "orders began to dwindle by the middle of that year. They kept falling, and last year—long before such a basically revamped product line could normally be expected to expire—Philco stopped shipping Predicta models to dealers. The Predicta line, for which Philco had exceeded developed & retoolling budgets by 25% and on which profts had been negligible, was clearly a flop."
From the same article, they quote a Philco V.P. as blaming too high a price and too extreme a design. "People said the sets were nice to look at, but they wouldn't want to have them in their homes."
Subsequent issues of Television Digest mention that Philco found a market selling them to hotels for in-room TVs, where the swivel screen and the ability to build them into furniture was an asset.
The article just above this one mentions Philco having a "disappointing and difficult" 1960 and went into the red in Q1 of 1961. The glory days were definitely over.
Model: G4242 (suffix letter designates cabinet style; U-prefix is a UHF model) Chassis:
9L37 (U-suffix designates UHF tuner included) Picture tube: 21EAP4 / SF21A Tubes:
3BZ6 - 1st and 2nd video IF amp
5AM8 - 3rd video IF amp / video detector
6AW8A - video output - noise inverter
3AU6 - sound IF amp
3BN6 - audio detector
12CA5 - audio out
9BR7 - sync separator - horizontal AFC
10DE7 - vertical multiplier - vertical out
6CG7 - horizontal multiplier
12DQ6A - horizontal out
12D4GT - damper
1G3GT/1B3GT - high voltage rectifier
4BC8 - RF amp
5X8 - mixer / oscillator
2AF4A - UHF oscillator
Service docs - Beitman's: TV-13, pp. 110 - 116 Service docs - Sams Photofact: 439-1
The Old Man was interested in looking it over, and I know nothing about televisions other than how to watch them. I'm old enough to be familiar with the fine tune, horizontal- and vertical-hold knobs, and separate VHF and UHF dials. But I don't know a flyback transformer from a DC restorer from B-plus-Boost. I know enough to be very careful of high voltages.
I checked the filament on the picture tube, because if that's blown, we may as well stop right there; but I got continuity. I pulled the chassis and checked the tubes, then replaced a couple duds. The Old Man looked over the chassis, replaced the blown fusable resistor (made one out a 10W resistor and a 1A fuse), checked the thermistor and the filter caps and a few other items. We cabled everything back up and fired it up. It's transformerless, so the tubes are all in series and if one goes, nothing works; the set lit up. Got high voltage off the rectifier. No picture.
Round 2. I picked up a B&K 465 CrT tester and hope it may prove whether the jug is truly good or not. It's weak but it works. I had an offer of another jug for $300, but decided to try a picture tube brightener instead, which was $15. If I were going to use this set all the time, I would have bought the good tube. But considering it's future running life is probably less than 10 hours, I don't want to sink that much money into it. Also passed on a replacement mask ($150—shipping was the killer).
Back in storage. For round 3 we'll see if we can get it to develop high voltage and a picture.