RESTORATION OF A 1959 BUSH TV85                                                                                                 Page 1



The late 1950s in Britain were the period symbolised by Prime Minister Harold Macmillan's slogan: "never had it so good". There was near-full employment, inflation was low, and industrial relations hadn't descended to the depths later experienced in the '70s. Macmillan went on to win a resounding victory in the general election of 1959. Britain seemed to have recovered from the war, memories of the Suez debacle were receding, and the country was marching forward confidently into the '60s.

The big news from Bush in 1959 were the so-called instantuneous 'Bush Buttons' These were the first Bush television sets to have tunable pushbuttons, replacing earlier turret tuners for easier and more instant channel changing. There were two BBC and two ITA buttons provided to make the set future-proof and remember - this was long before the advent of BBC2 or Channel 4 !  Priced at £53 1s 9d plus purchase tax, the TV85 continued with Bush's tradition of solidly constructed sets. On the technical side there was a 'flywheel' line timebase, for better stability under weak or noisy reception conditions. This year, the sets were to remain box-like in shape. Soon, more 'slimline' set shapes and wide angle deflection tubes would take over.

Today, the Bush TV85 remains well thought of. Now over 50 years old, many of the original Mullard tubes can still deliver brilliant, sharp pictures and the set will be ideal to receive the new 405-line transmissions from British Heritage Television when they start. So settle back now with your family and enjoy...


Here's the set before starting. It's actually not as quite as pristine as it looks... the cabinet has numerous scratches. These will be attended to in due course.


A first look in the back. Now let the fun commence!

The original mains socket is broken. I don't have any undue attachment to two-pin sockets like these, which are in any case now presumably illegal for mains. This will later be replaced by a permanently wired-in connection.

The set proves an absolute pig to remove from the cabinet. Even after all the fasteners are undone and the push-button panel is released, it still will not shift!  It turns out that the picture mask is stuck to both the inside of the screen glass and to the tube itself.

The only option is to release the bakelite front picture surround from within the cabinet (necessitating poking around with a specially made ultra-long screwdriver) and withdraw the chassis, with mask still attached, out of the front of the cabinet - the 'wrong' way.

Unfortunately, during this process the mask gets damaged. However I have all the pieces and I'm confident an invisible repair will later be possible.

Now here's the chassis seen from below, showing the pushbutton assembly.


The tube is removed. Here is the view from the front of the chassis.
It's now time to clean all the parts. Here I'm using a cloth soaked with a detergent solution. More recalcitrant areas are tackled with a toothbrush and WD40 mixed with thinners.
The underneath of the pushbutton switch assembly, cleaned up and with the pushbuttons removed.
The tube is now tested and not surprisingly for a Mullard tube of this era, passes with flying colours.
The multiple electrolytic can is removed, after carefully noting its connections, and an attempt made to reform its three sections. It's looking promising. All three sections are soon recording a leakage of less than 0.2mA. This is very good for capacitors of such a large value.

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