On the workbench – Vintage RCA portable TV

RCA 8-PT-7030 Portable Television

Years ago I picked up this old RCA portable television, model 8-PT-7030 manufactured in 1956. Someone on the rec.antiques.radio+phono Usenet group was giving it away for the cost of shipping, which was around $30. At the time it had a broken high voltage rectifier tube. Other than that, I was unsure of it operating condition. It sat around for close to 10 years.

The first thing I needed was a schematic, and at the time I was unable to locate one online. It occurred to me that my friend Mel W0MDM might have one at his TV repair shop in Estherville. The next time I was passing though I stopped to sell hello and see if he had schematics, and sure enough, he did.

The first problem I ran into in the repair process was a lot of melted wax on the back of the rectifier tube socket, which had migrated into the socket itself. I’m not sure if this wax melts out of the high voltage transformer, or if it’s there to prevent arcing. Either way, it had made a bit of a mess. I tried picking the wax out with some dental picks, but wasn’t entirely successful. I got busy with work so the set got put on the shelf in the backroom for the next 10 years or so.

Last month I dug it out and decided to see if I could make it work. I used my hot air soldering station to blow the wax out of the tube socket and replaced the bad tube. The set still didn’t turn on.

I was able to find a full service manual for the set, a copy of which I have uploaded here. This was very helpful, as it allowed me to discover that the chassis comes apart into two halves for easier service.

I don’t have a tube tester, so I’m not able to check any of the tubes. I also didn’t have a cord that would allow me to power it up on the bench with the cabinet removed. I could have rigged up a “suicide cord” to power it, but I decided against it. At a minimum the set needs the selenium rectifiers and the electrolytic filter caps replaced. And then there’s an almost 100% chance that some or all of the 31 wax/paper capacitors are bad. Five of those are not available in the correct values and voltages. The available parts would cost around $55, but still no guarantee that all 16 tubes are good. Or that the CRT is good.

While this would be a fun project, I decided to just clean it up as a display piece for now. Even if it worked, there’s no analog signals left to display so I would have to feed this with an RF modulator to get a picture. It would look pretty neat in my basement bar, but even not working it will make a nice display piece.

The chassis removed from the cabinet

 

No, I will not fix your computer

If you suspect you are infected with Crypto malware (Cryptowall, Cryptolocker, TeslaCrypt, etc) DO NOT follow this guide!

This guide is heavily based on a Reddit post by: /u/cuddlychops06. I have reviewed it and given it two thumbs up!

Purpose & Scope of this Guide:

This guide is designed to assist you in removing malware from an infected system that successfully boots. If you perform the following steps exactly as described, this will solve your problem in over 90% of scenarios. That said, not all malware is created equal, and there will be times that this guide fails in removing malware. It is recommended to only accept advice from a “Trusted” technician. (W0HC is a CompTIA A+ Certified Technician). This guide is written in layman’s terms so that most people will be able to understand it with ease.

Disclaimer:

The following instructions are recommendations only. You take full responsibility for any steps you choose to perform on your computer. While the following recommendations are performed without issue on countless machines, there is always a risk of damaging your Operating System or experiencing data loss on any machine. It is solely YOUR responsibility to save all work and back up any and all important data on your system before proceeding. Also note that once a computer has been compromised with malware, it should not be considered clean until a complete reformat has taken place.

Malware Remediation Steps:

Before proceeding, go into your browser’s extensions and remove all suspicious items. Also go into your browser’s settings and remove any default search providers and unusual homepages. If you are unsure how to do this, proceed to Step 1.

Download and run the following tools in this order. Run all tools unless otherwise instructed. All tools should be run in Normal Mode (not Safe Mode) unless you are unable to boot Normal Mode, or the scans fail in Normal Mode. All tools must be run under an Administrator account. Do not remove any tool-generated logs in the event a helper needs you to post them to further assist you.

1) Run rkill.com. Sometimes it takes a few minutes to finish. Do not reboot when done.

  • Kills running malicious processes
  • Removes policies in the registry that prevent normal OS operation
  • Repairs file extension hijacks

2) Download an updated copy Malwarebytes Anti-Malware. Turn on the “Scan for Rootkits” option.

Then, run a “Threat Scan”

 

  • Successfully removes the vast majority of infections
  • Has an industry-leading built-in rootkit/bootkit scanning engine
  • Has built-in repair tools to fix damage done by malware

3) Run ADWCleaner using the “Scan” option. Then press “Cleaning” when finished and allow it to reboot your system.

  • Removes majority of adware, PuPs, Toolbars, and Browser hijacks
  • Fixes proxy settings changed by malware
  • Removes certain non-default browser settings

4) Run Junkware Removal Tool and allow it to finish. Reboot your computer upon completion.

  • Removes adware, PuPs, Toolbars, and Browser hijacks other tools miss
  • Good at removing unneeded AppData directories left behind by infections

 

Optional, Advanced Step (only run if previous tools fail to solve problem):

5) Run RogueKiller

  • Hereis what RogueKiller can do:

Please note: If malware has prohibited you from browsing the web or downloading files, you can try running the NetAdapter Repair Tool with all options checked which will attempt to restore your internet connection & default browser settings. You may have to download these tools on another computer and move them to a flash drive that you can plug into the infected machine.

If you have run all of the above tools successfully, you should be malware-free.

Follow-up Steps (highly recommended):

  • Using a computer that has not been infected, change passwords to all your online accounts.
  • Consider enabling two-factor authentication on supported apps & sites.
  • Revoke app-specific passwords to things like gchat, Facebook, etc
  • Consider resetting your Windows user account password
  • Install a better anti-virus.