RCA Victor 21-CT-55 Color Television
     
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I acquired this set at the 2011 Early Television Foundation auction.

The 21-CT-55 was RCA's second offering in the pioneering field that was early color television back in 1954. Since production began in December 1954, most surviving sets have 1955 dates on them. My chassis has a date of 1-17-55 on the underside, in red grease pencil. It uses the CTC-2B chassis, which is basically a modified CT-100 chassis. Changes had to be made to support the increased HV required by the larger 21AXP22 picture tube (25kv vs the 19.5kv used in the CT-100), and since the new tube also was magnetically converged as opposed to the 15GP22's electrostatic convergence, a convergence panel (CTC-3) was included to provide for adjustments. Fewer 21-CT-55 sets were produced than CT-100's (based on surviving serial numbers), and as a result they are more rare. This set makes a stunning color picture, and is often referred to as a '21 inch CT-100'. Its color reproduction is very similar to those made on a CT-100, so I suspect early 21AXP22 picture tubes used the same phosphors as the 15GP22. Later tubes had different phosphors, but still produced quite accurate colors. They are often maligned for being dim, but I have not observed a lack of brightness at all compared to modern sets. Ed Reitan has a 21-CT-55 page on his site, click the link below to view.

 

http://www.novia.net/~ereitan/Gallery/21-CT-55_Gallery.html

The 21-CT-55 at auction, before I knew I would own it
I fell in love with this set as soon as I laid eyes on it. The more I looked at it, the more I wanted it. The feeling only got worse when I borrowed a Beltron CRT tester from a friend, and discovered that the picture tube tested like it was brand new. It pegged the needles on all 3 guns, all the way down to 4.5 volts on the heaters. The chassis was dusty, but rubbing the dust off revealed a nice shiny chassis with perfectly preserved plating. That pretty much put me over the top, and my hand went up till it was mine!
The set at home, undergoing restoration
I got the set home, and got it working in short order. It needed all its paper capacitors replaced, and I also discovered every single inductor went open circuit. Caps were sourced from Allied, replacement inductors are ferrite types from Mouser. The set worked well enough without any further adjustments, so I left it as is.
Gorgeous lollipop color!
This set produces a nice bright color picture, and works as good as the day it left RCA. It's amazing to me these sets work as well as they do, being as old as they are. They sure don't make them like they used to anymore, do they?