View Full Version : Unisonix XL 990


Sandy G
07-16-2017, 02:54 PM
Rummaging thru my basement the other day,I found this l'il guy. Don't remember or how much it was... It is a 3"B/W TV w/AM/FM built in. Think of those Panasonic 1.5" from about 1980 or so. It "Works", but really, REALLY needs a Deoxit bath. HEAVY l'ill Salami. It has a TOLIBLE picture, & the radio section-Well it AIN'T an R-390A...(Grin)

lnx64
07-16-2017, 03:19 PM
I have Unisonic XL-900 series TV, but it doesn't have a radio at all.

http://i.imgur.com/CHTeria.jpg

And apparently looks nothing like the 990.

Sandy G
07-16-2017, 03:31 PM
Lord, NO.. My widdle guy is rather like the size of a good. trashy, summer potboiler novel..

lnx64
07-16-2017, 04:07 PM
Lol yea I know what you mean. I saw a few pictures of it, looks like it supports a magnifying lens on it too.

zeno
07-16-2017, 06:22 PM
Every collector should have a Unisonix combo !
I remember the brand but not any perticula model.
They were on the "what the hell is that? " list. Idea was NOT
to take them in for repair. Some of these odd ball sets were pure
garbage & others were surprisingly good. Panasonic made more
of this type TV than anyone. But they were in a class of there own.
I kinda like working on this stuff. Nice to toss one on the bench
when you have been working on 50LB Zenith portables all day.

73 Zeno:smoke:
LFOD !

compucat
07-16-2017, 07:42 PM
I have two of these. One is a Realistic with AM/FM radio and the other is a Broksonic with AM, FM and shortwave. They are well built and good performers. They also came with a generous amount of accessories such as a case, magnifier, earphone and carry strap. They were even made in Japan. The two inch tv screen is such a novelty. Although quite compact inside, I find them to be serviceable. They are definitely not junk despite being sold under several off brand names.

Sandy G
07-16-2017, 08:55 PM
I've had quite a few of 'em thru the years, I get the feeling that a LOT of 'em-Maybe Most are low time sets. My 990 is a rather "Substantial" little critter. I dunno what they sold for new-I honestly don't remember ever seeing one for sale. They had that mysterious quality of being "Cute" which I'm sure sold a few of 'em. The 1st REALLY successful Sony, the 5-303 had the same sort of quality. Elderly women, especially the "well-Heeled" variety, prolly bought a BUNCH of 'em, & the idiot grandson/.nephew had to Put Forth a reasonable effort to kill one.

KentTeffeteller
07-16-2017, 08:59 PM
Was this the Unisonic known well to vintage calculator fans?

Sandy G
07-16-2017, 09:52 PM
Dunno, Kent. Changing the subject, he said-I was lucky enuf to have picked up my BELOVED WFLI Wore a big silly, horsey grin on my fugly mug the next day or so.

centralradio
07-16-2017, 10:19 PM
I have this set from.Unisonic .XL990 2 incher and and the XL980 3 incher with cassette recorder silver case version which I got for 1980 Christmas from my late dad. I never heard of Unisonix.I have the manuals here somewhere or both sets..Also have their 5incher set here somewhere.

The Ratshack had their version of the XL990 around the same time.

compucat
07-17-2017, 09:10 PM
The Radio Shack version sold for $199.95 in 1983. I wanted one so bad but at 16 years old, two hundred dollars might as well have been two thousand.

Sandy G
07-17-2017, 09:29 PM
Yeah,its"Unisonic", NOT w/the "X". My misteak...Too bad the CRT wasn't color-THAT would have REALLY been something.

centralradio
07-17-2017, 11:37 PM
The Radio Shack version sold for $199.95 in 1983. I wanted one so bad but at 16 years old, two hundred dollars might as well have been two thousand.

Yes .The Unisonic was the same as the Shack price at Woolco around 1981 and 1982.They still had the set in 1983 when the store closed down as Woolco was going out of business.Somebody beat me to it and got before I got there.I cant recall were I got the XL990 from but it was not full price at the time.The set still works good.So does the XL980.I remember in my junior and senior year in high school I had a running joke with my friends and a couple of teachers about the 2 inch TV.I think they did not believe me on the small size TV set.

From Franks handheld TV site.

http://www.guenthoer.de/e-tube.htm

The XL990 has alot of brothers and sisters along with the Shacks Realistic 16-103 and others TMK TMK-717,Emerson VR22,ORION TVR-7120,Broksonic CIRT-2097T,Nordmende TR 101 and maybe other clones that we forgot about.They were hot sellers at the time.Especially around summer time.

Yeah,its"Unisonic", NOT w/the "X". My misteak...Too bad the CRT wasn't color-THAT would have REALLY been something.

Hahaha .No problem.I agree. A color set. A couple years later the Panasonic CT101 caught my eyes .At that time I could not dish out the money for it but a few years later I end up finding one for $75 bucks in the Bargain News paper.

Now its broken with a line from up to down on the screen as a screw came loose and blown something out.

Sandy G
07-18-2017, 10:11 AM
The little1.5" color set is truly AMAZING. The only real complaint I have w/it is its "Rikki-Tikki" case... If you hsve a CT-101, you MUST be extraordinary careful w/it-The case is Very fragile,& easily broke...This Bad Boy was sort of a "Flagship" type product, & why Panasonic wouldn't spring for a case that offered at least a smidgeon of protection, is a mystery to me...

centralradio
07-18-2017, 11:47 AM
The little1.5" color set is truly AMAZING. The only real complaint I have w/it is its "Rikki-Tikki" case... If you hsve a CT-101, you MUST be extraordinary careful w/it-The case is Very fragile,& easily broke...This Bad Boy was sort of a "Flagship" type product, & why Panasonic wouldn't spring for a case that offered at least a smidgeon of protection, is a mystery to me...

Yes .I agree.They are like the last made VHS tape cases from China .Real thin. The cases are cheap.I figure they would be better made since the set was made to carry around like the XL990.I dont know how the cases are with the Panasonic small B/W sets are since I dont have any here.

Sandy G
07-18-2017, 12:29 PM
The Thing about these l'il fellers is that you can STILL make yrself a pretty decent collection of 'em, & often as not, they will STILL work..

centralradio
07-19-2017, 02:39 AM
I love these small sets .They dont take allot of room up.Also they are light on the back.

Sandy G
07-19-2017, 09:30 AM
I REALLY wonder about how much new technology went into that CRT... And HOW did they justify it, seeing as how short the l'il feller was only on the market maybe 18 months..

Electronic M
07-19-2017, 10:11 AM
I REALLY wonder about how much new technology went into that CRT... And HOW did they justify it, seeing as how short the l'il feller was only on the market maybe 18 months..

A 3" B&W CRT in the 80's probably had 0 new tech in it....Sony had been making CRTs like that since the early 60's. They probably grabbed something off the shelf, or refined an existing design to bring it up to current/their standards.

jr_tech
07-19-2017, 12:33 PM
I would count the quarter watt and 180 mw directly heated cathode that Sony used in many portables as somewhat of an engineering break-through... then there is also the "lollipop tube":

http://www.videokarma.org/attachment.php?attachmentid=165284&d=1256351976

I would guess that the engineering costs on those CRTs was significant.

jr

centralradio
07-19-2017, 12:37 PM
I think most of these small CRTs were originally used as viewfinders in TV cameras in that era and in the 1970's.Some nice engineers were daydreaming and said .We could used these small CRTs to make mini TV sets.Thanks to them.We have these mini TVs in our collection.And no thanks to the clowns that ruin the life of these sets and put them into forced retirement to the recyclers as they came up with the crappy DTV system.

centralradio
07-19-2017, 12:42 PM
I cant imagine the engineering that went into those 1/2 inch viewfinder CRTs.Microscope work there.Theres some articles that somebody made a 1/2 inch roundie for doll houses.

jr_tech
07-19-2017, 12:59 PM
I love these small sets .They dont take allot of room up.Also they are light on the back.

Most of mine ( the thin ones) are on several shelves in a corner of my display room which would be hidden if the door is opened... but at least they escaped from the shoebox. :)

https://farm5.staticflickr.com/4316/35188274894_d171cfabd1_z_d.jpg

I use a B-T box to feed them OTA signal, mostly from ME TV.

jr

centralradio
07-19-2017, 01:56 PM
Most of mine ( the thin ones) are on several shelves in a corner of my display room which would be hidden if the door is opened... but at least they escaped from the shoebox. :)

https://farm5.staticflickr.com/4316/35188274894_d171cfabd1_z_d.jpg

I use a B-T box to feed them OTA signal, mostly from ME TV.

jr

Wow Jr.Sony galore. I love your collection.Mine are scattered everywhere here.I got to round them up and shelf them like that.

jr_tech
07-19-2017, 06:36 PM
Wow Jr.Sony galore. I love your collection.Mine are scattered everywhere here.I got to round them up and shelf them like that.

Thanks!
Actually there are 5 sets on the shelves that are not Sonys... can you spot them? :)

jr

Sandy G
07-19-2017, 09:40 PM
I was thinking more along the lines of the Eency-Weency color CRTs..Sony,I guess, had their 1 gun set up, but the others had to use their std 3 gun set up. What w/my arthuritic Island-sized paws,its a good thing YrsTrly didn't work on ANY aspect of Eency-Weency CRT development... (Grin)