View Full Version : Homemade retro TV

03-04-2017, 09:06 AM
Here are some pictures of my latest project. A retro TV built with tubes.
I built this from a description in an old radio magazine called "Polulär Radio" from the 50s. The problem was that I could not get the exact same parts. I have to use different transformers in the horizontal and vertical output sections. So it required some changes in component values, especially in the vertical section, to get the picture linear and at the right height. Also used a slightly more modern CRT with electrostatic focusing.

Another change I made was that I used a mains transformer and 6.3 volts tubes, instead of building a hot chassis as the original was.

To make it easier, there is no HF and MF sections. The signal is connected directly to the video amplifier.

Audio section is a simple amplifier built with a ECL82.

The cabinet, I designed and built myself. Several details and parts are printed with a 3D printer.

It works better than expected. It has been in operation for a few hours now without any problems. The picture is good and stable.

03-04-2017, 09:56 AM
Awesome project, motivates me to get my color wheel set going.

Crist Rigott
03-04-2017, 10:03 AM
Wow, cool. I just might ask for more details on the cabinet because I just built a TV kit and need to make a cabinet for it. Especially the front and mask for the CRT.

Nice project.

Electronic M
03-04-2017, 10:10 AM
Impressive craftsmanship!

Though technically a TV without a tuner is really a monitor....I'd consider installing a DTV box inside such a project.

03-04-2017, 10:12 AM
Amazing would be an understatement! :tresbon: Love to see more of the build details. :yes:

03-04-2017, 10:37 AM
Quite excellent!

03-04-2017, 10:45 AM
Beautiful! What sources of video are shown in the images?

03-04-2017, 10:59 AM
Beautiful! What sources of video are shown in the images?
I was wondering what show was on the screen. Looks interesting with the old cars.


03-04-2017, 11:05 AM
That is fabulous. When I read the title I was expecting a Chinese solid state set is a vintage styled cabinet. I would like to know more about the cabinet design and construction. I would love to build a custom European style cabinet for my Zenith color roundie someday.

03-04-2017, 11:07 AM
The mask for the CRT I designed in the 3D program Blender. It is 3D printed in four parts that are glued together and painted.

The cabinet is made of 12mm thick plywood. The "veneer" is "DC fix" walnut vinyl

I use a DVD player connected to the video input.

Here are some more pictures.

03-04-2017, 11:09 AM
What size screen? It looks to be about sixteen inch. With the internals of a converter box fitted, all one would need is a set top aerial to have a self-contained tube digital tv.

03-04-2017, 11:17 AM
It is a 14 inch 70-degree CRT. AW36-48

03-04-2017, 12:21 PM
This is a beautiful and impressive project! The resolution of the picture is outstanding! I really like the cabinet design and speaker grill.

My only one concern is ventilation, there may not be enough holes in the back to keep it cool. Have a look at similar vintage TVs to see what I mean. May be an idea to put a thermocouple connected to a DMM inside, with the back on and off, to make sure it's staying cool. Are there an vent openings in the bottom?

03-04-2017, 12:36 PM
My only one concern is ventilation, there may not be enough holes in the back to keep it cool. Have a look at similar vintage TVs to see what I mean. Well, there are a lot less tubes than in a normal TV of that vintage, so heat may be less of a problem than one might think. I'd just measure the internal temperature after the set is fully warmed up first to see if there is valid concern.


03-04-2017, 12:47 PM
Superbly done. Very impressive work!

Kevin Kuehn
03-04-2017, 01:03 PM
Excellent project! Of course you have the best possible picture detail with a direct video in. :thmbsp: It would be fun to see the schematic if you don't mind sharing.

03-04-2017, 01:28 PM
You've done a fantastic job. Great to see DIY projects where you can put all your skills to use.:thmbsp:

03-04-2017, 01:57 PM
I bow to you Sir, well done

03-04-2017, 02:51 PM
I've had it on for about 2 hours and there seems to be no problem with heat. It also only has a total of 10 tubes with the CRT included.

Here is the schematic. The audio amplifier and the power supply are not included here. They will be added also later.

03-04-2017, 03:22 PM
Awesome project, looks terrific.

03-04-2017, 03:25 PM
Beautiful work! That's a really cool project and it turned out excellent.

Tony V
03-04-2017, 03:44 PM
I cant say no more than what the others have already said. Beautiful job! I wish I had the skill's to do something like this.

Chip Chester
03-04-2017, 03:55 PM
Fine work. Be sure to send your Sams manual to Kamakiri for his files. :tresbon:


03-04-2017, 04:14 PM
Really nice job!

03-04-2017, 04:34 PM
I like that. A lot! Great work.:smoke:

03-05-2017, 06:39 PM
Dude that is so cool. It could legit pass for an old tv.

Jon A.
03-06-2017, 06:15 AM
Man that cabinet looks pro. If I had the materials and access to a woodworking shop I'd make a cabinet for my Heathkit GR-2000. A while back I had an Admiral cabinet with a trashed chassis whose design I really liked, but someone recommended I get rid of it and mark the space for better sets. I guess I'll have to keep my eyes open for a liquor cabinet, fish tank or dog bed to turn into a TV.

03-06-2017, 07:34 AM
Outstanding! I did a quick mock up myself with guts from a 1981 portable Zenith. It turned out OK and still remains portable. I envy your cabinet! Congrats! It's sad that modern TVs lack design flair.

03-06-2017, 10:57 AM
FAN-TAS-TIC! :thmbsp::thmbsp:

03-06-2017, 06:58 PM
It's sad that modern TVs lack design flair.

Today's TVs could have lots of design flair if they took a cue from Apple. I have thought that a set using a brushed aluminum bezel in a champagne or bronze color with a maching metal stand and a simple stamped steel back would be great. You would have an all metal set with a premium look and finish with sturdy build. I don't expect it would cost that much more since bezels on newer sets are rather thin. The sets could be very serviceable if parts and repair data were available. Most sets are already modular. There just needs to be better quality components used and good service support. We need to stop thinking of TV sets as disposable appliances and start valuing them again as treasured household posessions.

Captain Video
03-08-2017, 05:59 PM
Beautiful job! Impressive!!!

03-08-2017, 07:12 PM
Stor fin!!! Mycket stor fin!!!!
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