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BAIRD "Townsman"

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  • Released probably mid 1949
  • 17 valves (mostly Mazda
    plus a couple of Mullard).
  • 12" Mazda C.R.T. :-(
  • AC / DC Mains.
  • Original Cost £75-12-0
    (inc. tax).
Front view [41K]
Click for two pages from brochure [300K]
Part of sales brochure from,
reproduced here with permission.
Link to larger view [300K]

This set, and it's fringe version (the "Countryman") use a most elegant cabinet to disguise what is in fact little more than a cheap table model. But it does look nice doesn't it - however the sales brochure for the set shows the cabint minus the horizontal bars across the speaker. In that state it looks like nothing special. I've not seen any other pictures or sets like the one in the brochure so perhaps it wasn't released in that form ? Incidently, the brochure mentioned a Birmingham version thus dating it late 1949 or 1950.

Like other Baird models in the range, the set could operate using a "mains" aerial instead of a proper aerial. Indeed the rear controls are still set for mains aerial (see image, below left) and sensitivity set to maximum - implying this set may well have been upto 100ft from the main London transmitter ;-)

Rear controls (lhs) [11K]Rear controls (rhs) [9K] Side controls [5K]
Occasional controls - such as mains on/off (!)- are at the rear of the set, with the contrast, brightness, focus and volume at the side of the set.
Schematic of valve heaters [7K]   Lop Stage Schematic [11K]
Multiple heater chains.   Line output and E.H.T stage.

The Mazda range of television valves were an odd mix of 100mA and 200mA heaters making them somewhat more complicated to string across the mains than the standard 300mA Mullard alternatives. But at least Baird had the foresight to run the CRT heater via a seperate transformer, thus isolating it before the service engineer had to after the Mazda CRT developed a heater-cathode short. Well, OK, it may also be because of the different (yet again!) heater current of the CRT - but I prefer my explanation ;-).

Decapitated ! [6K]Mind you the line output stage does have an unusual trick up it's sleeve. "Wot no boost diode?" I hear you cry ? Well, there is - it's the LOP valve ! Yep, during the start of a scan the grid/cathode form in effect the equivalent of a boost diode. Novel, yes, but remember that grids were never designed with high current in mind. Wonder how efficient it is ? Still, it saved a valve I suppose (as did having a self oscillating line ouput stage) which is important since the chassis is basically the same as their small cheaper table model, the T164. Does make me think that the Townsman is a bit of mutton dressed as lamb. Mind you, one good thing is the ease of access ; undo four screws slide entire chassis + CRT assembly out of the cabinet having unplugged, having unplugged the lead to the controls on the side of the cabinet. Oh yes, and unplug the speaker wires too - which I forgot to do. Top servicing tip : swearing profusly whilst struggling with two arms full of telly chassis still doesn't unplug speaker cables.

Awww, cheer up Mr. Baird [6K]
It seems Baird was non too impressed. He looks dead miserable on the badge thats mounted at the bottom of the set.
SERVICE DATA The chassis appears to be almost identical to the much smaller Baird T164, the service data for which can be downloaded via the Baird manufacturers page.
CURRENT STATE The odd scratch and a small piece of veneer missing. Mind you, the mains dropper appears to have seen better days and is gradually unwinding itself. But inside the chassis looks dusty and original with no signs of bodging.

You can often gauge the date of a set from the electrolytics which often have their date of manufacture printed on them. Unfortuately, the ones in this set don't.
WHERE FOUND July 2006 Wotton Bassett bash for a mighty £340. More than it is worth, certainly, but when you like something, you like it. I saw one of these in someones house a while back now and was immediatly struck by the cabinet design.

I've since sold the set, the new owner investing in a thorough restoration of the set. The following link will show you what was involved in restoration of this Baird Townsman.
Receiver secion of chassis [21K]   LOP section of chassis [20K]
The receiver section. The empty socket on the
left is a connector for the loom that connects to
the controls on the left hand side of the set.
  Scanning assemebly and line output stage.

For the collector, there are various advantages and disadvantages to consider with a set like this.

Disadvantage : It uses the dreadfully unreliable M*zd* CRM121 C.R.T. [sigh!]
Advantage : The sloped top surface means people couldn't place anything on top. Thus there are no water stains from potted plants, etc that console sets tend to be afflicted with.
Disadvantage : The sloped top surface means you can't store more tellies on top of it :-(
Advantage : There's plenty of storage space in the back :-

Baird storage come utility room [10K]

Page copyright
J.Evans 2006
Last updated
9th July 2006