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  #1  
Old 01-11-2019, 04:48 PM
old_coot88 old_coot88 is offline
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Got a Converter Box Question

Just to tap the collective wisdom here, is there is a decent, no-frills digital converter box you'd recommend? The old box I got at the time of the changeover is finally giving up the ghost.

Got this one offa Amazon but it's a useless piece of @#$%^&!!

https://market.courant.com/products/koramzi-cb-100-hdtv-digital-tv-converter-box-atsc?cid=331733102&aid=1157785987648179&eid=&tid=p la-4575961239303100&ul=&mt=e&n=o&d=c&dm={devicemodel} &dt&sn&adid={creative}&k=&p={placement}&pc={target }&ap={adposition}
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Old 01-11-2019, 10:02 PM
dieseljeep dieseljeep is offline
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Originally Posted by old_coot88 View Post
Just to tap the collective wisdom here, is there is a decent, no-frills digital converter box you'd recommend? The old box I got at the time of the changeover is finally giving up the ghost.

Got this one offa Amazon but it's a useless piece of @#$%^&!!

https://market.courant.com/products/koramzi-cb-100-hdtv-digital-tv-converter-box-atsc?cid=331733102&aid=1157785987648179&eid=&tid=p la-4575961239303100&ul=&mt=e&n=o&d=c&dm={devicemodel} &dt&sn&adid={creative}&k=&p={placement}&pc={target }&ap={adposition}
It depends what make unit you already have. The Magnavox models weren't as hot for receiving but they were really reliable.
The Digital Streams and the Zenith, Insignia models had a problem of locking up, where no functions would work. Unpluging it might get it to work, but there is a 1000mfd e'lytic that went bad. It's easy enough to locate it.
Replacing it generally returns it to proper operation.
I get most of mine from thrift shops. The only trouble is that the remotes are MIA.
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Old 01-11-2019, 10:18 PM
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etype2 etype2 is offline
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I redeemed my government coupons and got two Insignia’s still in use today. Never had the problem mentioned above. They worked so well, bought another one, a Zenith, identical with the Insgnia and no problems. Years later, bought a brand, can’t remember the name which had freeze frame, but had noticeably worse picture quality.

Recently went to the big box store, BB to buy another one and it was junk, returned the next day. So I recommend the Insignia or Zenith from 2009 if you can find one.
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Old 01-11-2019, 10:45 PM
old_coot88 old_coot88 is offline
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Thanks for the feedback. Mine's the 2009 Zenith. I'll crack it open and have a look. The problem it's having is - it won't turn on at all unless you first unplug it and then plug it back in, and hit the power button. It'll come on briefly (blue status light) , then goes off (red status light). Gotta keep hitting the power button over and over until it finally decides to stay on.

(Edit.) Just opened it. There's a couple of 1000 mf and a couple of 330 mf lytics. What's the best/quickest route to obtain these nowadays?

Last edited by old_coot88; 01-11-2019 at 11:02 PM.
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Old 01-11-2019, 10:48 PM
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wa2ise wa2ise is offline
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I like the Channel Master CM7000, as it has S-video, and I figured out how to turn off the chroma (remove cap CV6, and connect a 0.1uF cap to pin 4 of chip UV1 and the other end of the cap to ground, or the center leg of a SPDT switch, with one end of the switch to ground, and the other to the chroma signal to make it color or B&W switchable) before it hits its TV modulator.

Good for feeding B&W TV sets, especially the late 40's early 50's sets.
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Old 01-11-2019, 11:13 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by old_coot88 View Post
Thanks for the feedback. Mine's the 2009 Zenith. I'll crack it open and have a look. The problem it's having is - it won't turn on at all unless you first unplug it and then plug it back in, and hit the power button. It'll come on briefly (blue status light) , then goes off (red status light). Gotta keep hitting the power button over and over until it finally decides to stay on.

(Edit.) Just opened it. There's a couple of 1000 mf and a couple of 330 mf lytics. What's the best/quickest route to obtain these nowadays?
I generally go to mouser or digikey on the web, hit up their passive components navigate to caps, then aluminum electrolytic caps, then punch up the capacitance and voltage I want, and maybe apply some more filters if I want mechanical fit or 105C extended life caps, etc.

I agree on the Zenith boxes being a good route.
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Old 01-12-2019, 11:07 AM
dieseljeep dieseljeep is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by old_coot88 View Post
Thanks for the feedback. Mine's the 2009 Zenith. I'll crack it open and have a look. The problem it's having is - it won't turn on at all unless you first unplug it and then plug it back in, and hit the power button. It'll come on briefly (blue status light) , then goes off (red status light). Gotta keep hitting the power button over and over until it finally decides to stay on.

(Edit.) Just opened it. There's a couple of 1000 mf and a couple of 330 mf lytics. What's the best/quickest route to obtain these nowadays?
Those are the symptoms I always experienced. It's the 1000mfd furthest away from the high voltage area of the power supply. The top of the cap might bulging a bit. I only changed that one, as the rest seemed to be OK.
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Old 01-12-2019, 11:18 AM
dieseljeep dieseljeep is offline
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Originally Posted by etype2 View Post
I redeemed my government coupons and got two Insignia’s still in use today. Never had the problem mentioned above. They worked so well, bought another one, a Zenith, identical with the Insgnia and no problems. Years later, bought a brand, can’t remember the name which had freeze frame, but had noticeably worse picture quality.

Recently went to the big box store, BB to buy another one and it was junk, returned the next day. So I recommend the Insignia or Zenith from 2009 if you can find one.
I was probably the Magnavox. Theirs is the only one having the freeze function.
I just bought a couple of the Aluratek convertor boxes from BB. They have the recorder function on them as well. They work rather well and use the memory stick Like the RCA DTA880 I have.
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Old 01-13-2019, 05:21 PM
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NewVista NewVista is offline
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I like the Channel Master CM7000, as it has S-video, .
Interesting Mod.
I have two CM7000's , very high performance as they have four VLSI chips as well (don't know how they could do them for the price, but I got them for the S-video feature)

Also have two COBY DTV-140's - very comprehensive convertor boxes that also have S-video + Y-Pb-Pr that can pass/upscale interlaced or progressive resolutions (these were sold by MCM.) Wonder if the 'Y' output would be monochrome - that is does it have the sync? Forgot which 'Component-video' line has the sync pulses?
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Old 01-13-2019, 05:57 PM
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Pretty sure Y has the sync...I'v read of people using the Y to drive monochrome sets.
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Old 01-13-2019, 07:26 PM
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Y does have sync on it. It's the same thing as B&W video.
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Old 01-14-2019, 02:53 PM
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Robert Grant Robert Grant is offline
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For those that have the classic Zenith and (early*) Insignia boxes that crash:
Put a momentary, normally closed SPST button switch in the line. If it crashes, just push the button!

I've also seen a few of those old boxes that somehow refuse to crash.
*The insignia boxes that look just like the Zeniths.
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Old 01-14-2019, 06:54 PM
old_coot88 old_coot88 is offline
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Originally Posted by Robert Grant View Post
For those that have the classic Zenith and (early*) Insignia boxes that crash:
Put a momentary, normally closed SPST button switch in the line. If it crashes, just push the button!
Dang, I was contemplating doing exactly that, in lieu of having to plug/unplug the thing to make it come on. But got a set of lytics on order.

Last edited by old_coot88; 01-14-2019 at 07:01 PM.
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Old 01-14-2019, 07:03 PM
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Originally Posted by old_coot88 View Post
Dang, I was contemplating doing exactly that, in lieu of having to plug/unplug the thing to make it come on. But got a set of lytics on order.
Bear in mind when that cap gets bad enough it won't power on at all even if it has been unplugged a month...If you're going to have to change that cap eventually anyway better to do it now than hack up the power cord.
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Old 01-14-2019, 07:59 PM
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I just came home with a Channel Master CM-7000. The young ladies at the thrift store were amused to see me bring my own Sony FD-285 "Watchman" and a two bay bowtie, to be sure that it worked.
I still had the remote from when I had a CM-7000 that I had bought at a hamfest. Discovered that it was DOA when I got home. Changed the lytics, which fixed nothing.

I'm sure that this is the only thing I've ever owned that is made in Bulgaria!

Oh. About the Zenith/Insignia boxes crashing: I saw this happen when they were brand new. If anything, it seems to occur less frequently now.

I have an Ikonvert box (with Component and HDMI outputs, and a USB port for recording onto a flash drive) that tends to crash if there is a problem with the signal while recording.

Last edited by Robert Grant; 01-14-2019 at 08:09 PM.
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