Tuesday, 10 December 2013

The new king!

This is my latest and greatest (ever!) Remember that Blaupunkt I found on the side of the road? One tube-swap and polish later and it is KILLER!

Sunday, 1 December 2013


My girlfriend's parents are coming to stay in a week's time and I have been told that my collection of SCART television must shrink before their arrival! Too messy, apparently.

So, I'll be giving away (or throwing away) the following:

Philips - Early '90s, 66 cm, analog chassis, Toshiba tube. Awesome, sharp picture. Like this.
Grundig - Early '00s, 68 cm tube, digital chassis, Philips semi-flat tube. Vibrant picture. Remote and manul.
Blaupunkt - Same as this one, without the pots mod. Tube upgraded to a nice A66EAK from a Loewe CT1170.
Sharp - 20 inch, PAL only. Australian made! Very nice! Check it out.

I'd rather not take all this awesome gear down to the recycle centre. :(

If you're interested, get in touch ASAP. I have to move this stuff before Friday morning!

Pickup only from Clifton Hill 3068, Victoria, Australia.

Gumtree ad is here.

Thursday, 28 November 2013

Found! Pre-loved Blaupunkt

Check out this beauty:

My latest find! A vintage Blaupunkt

It's been a long time since I went on a hard rubbish scavenging mission. Mostly I just scour eBay and Gumtree for SCART televisions these days. Hard rubbish hunting is time consuming and can often lead to disappointment... you might find something good but it's damaged or wrecked.

That said, when something like this happens, and it makes me think I should be out there on the weekends while people still have CRTs to junk. I can't help but think some prized TVs must be sitting out on a suburban street right now. It eats at me. If people would only list their TVs for 99 cents on eBay I wouldn't have to face such mental anguish!

Anyway, here's how it happened: I was driving to band rehearsal last night and I spotted the distinct styling of a European television. I knew at a glance this was a Blaupunkt. The ubiquitous Samsung and Panasonic CRTs simply don't have these kind of lines:

I made a mental note about the location of the TV and kept an eye out for it at 11 pm when I was driving home. All the cars and garbage bins made it hard to see and I had to park the car and walk up the road before I finally found it again.

It was worth the effort though! A nice vintage 1990 model with trimpots inside! I plugged it in before work this morning and she fired up. Excellent!

Blaupunkt MS 70-109 VT M (chassis FM 500.70)
"Please take me home... In good order."
The TV has obviously been sitting on the side of the road for a while now. There are lawn clippings, dirt and water marks on it. However, the 30 degree heat yesterday probably did a good job of drying out whatever moisture this unit has endured.

We have snow!
SCART ports and S-Video
Audio outputs
This guy has serviced so many of my finds...
Can't wait to the weekend when I can get a chance to test this out with some actual RGB material! Could be a good candidate for some external pot modifications if the Service Manual is correct...

Tuesday, 26 November 2013

Sharp! PAL only with RGB

A curious little 20 inch TV arrived on my doorstep yesterday through a series of events.

A reader got in touch with me about a Loewe CT1170 he found on the street (nice score! E3000 mmm...) and he mentioned that he'd like something smaller for his apartment. Luckily, I had a neat little 34 cm Loewe at hand so we did a deal.

I ended up with some dollars for my baby Loewe and also an old Sharp TV that the buyer no longer wanted. He said that it was SCART equipped (with RGB input) but PAL only. And he was right! This is the first SCART television that I've found that won't sync to 60 Hz modes. However, the PAL preset in GroovyMAME works a treat with this thing! Jerky scrolling but at least it works.

Shame about the 60 Hz restriction as the picture is actually pretty nice on this thing!

Obviously I'll be pulling the back off this thing soon to see if there are any trimpots inside... more pictures to come!

Street Fighter II
Cal. 50
Caliber Fifty
Close up

New Gadget: VGA Isolator

A new gadget arrived yesterday... an Atlona AT-VGA11S VGA Ground Loop Isolator.

I discovered this little device a few months back and I had been curious ever since. The thing that stopped me jumping on it was the price. Well, maybe not so much the actual price of the item itself but the crazy FedEx postage that seller insists on using.

Anyway, because I have no will power to resist such cool looking little things, I finally pushed the button and a few days later this little beauty arrived. I haven't tested fully yet but hopefully there will be some benefits to report...

Package contents

All wrapped up
Top view
Input side
Output side

The idea behind this box is that by isolating the computer and CRT, any potential interference caused by ground loops will be eliminated. We'll see how that works out in practise... The manual promises some desirable advantages.

I also have some neat little 50 cm VGA cables on the way so that I can put this gadget in my signal chain (along with the Extron and UMSA).

Manufacturer pictures:

Model: AT-VGA11S
Tiny little thing...

Tuesday, 22 October 2013

The Hoarder of Suburbia

About 1.5 weeks ago I took a trip out the 'burbs to check out a few promising SCART numbers.

I was tipped off about this Gumtree seller by my pal Rob. The seller originally advertised a collection of 100 plus televisions. Of course, I thought to myself, "statistically speaking, there must be some SCART units in there".

I shot-off an email and the seller said it'd would take a while to go through the collection but he'd get back to me. A couple months later I saw a bunch of SCART specific ads starting to appear on Gumtree to I got on it.

When I arrived at the address I knew straight away that I was about to meet a real-life hoarder:

The front yard
Now, I don't want to say anything disparaging about Richard because he was super-friendly guy that was very generous with his time. He let me test out TVs, remove their cases and take photos of the whole event. However, this collection of... stuff... was out of control!

This is one of the thing I love about the SCART Hunt: meeting all these interesting people!

Assorted junk
The TV stash!
The thing that lured me out of town to check out this collection was the presence of some vintage Philips units. Philips TVs with SCART are pretty rare in Australia. There are plenty of Philips TVs around but hardly any with SCART.

Also, these particular units were packing trimpots. My favorite!

Philips TVs
The owner kindly let me plug in my laptop and check out a few test patterns. One of the Philips was really good while the other had only fair focus and color.

I also tested a Loewe Profil (with the E3000 chassis). As you can see, it looked excellent! Typical of the E3000 chassis and Philips A66EAK tube combination.

E3000 lookin' sweet!
What surprised me about the Philips TVs was that neither had an actual Philips tube inside! Toshiba and Panasonic! Strange...

Type: 28GR6781/75R
Toshiba A66JMZ42X01(ZX) tube
Front view
Chassis view
Panasonic M68 tube
There were a couple other TVs I tried out (Fujitsu and Teac) but the Philips was the one I went home with. Looking forward to modding it with some external pots.


Monday, 30 September 2013

Things you see when you don't have a gun

Hanging out in Dunedin, NZ currently...

Saw these tasty little curiosities in a second hand store last week:

Commodore 1084S

These Commodore monitors go for $100+ in Melbourne. Wish I could fit this one in my suitcase...

Model No. CBZ-4822

There's the SCART!

I don't know much about GoldStar TVs. Certainly wasn't expecting this dusty $5 job to have a SCART port. Amazingly, the little Sharp sitting beneath it was SCART too!

Model: CV-48A4NZ
Next in line was this little beauty!

Thomson Life
Sugar V - Type: 426/TX807C
That's what we like to see...
I would have loved to cart all these units home and fire them up! I reckon my in-laws wouldn't have been too pleased about that though, loading up their lovely Dunedin home with dusty old TVs. They do have a rather empty garden shed though...

This shop was full of all sorts of crap. I reckon these TVs will still be there on my next visit... as long as the place doesn't fall down! I'll be packing a VGA to SCART cable next time, just in case.

South Dunedin shop front.. slight structural problem!
Little gems
Over the road there were some cute little portable TVs. No SCART but still pretty cool. Plus, I saw a little Philips identical to the TV I had when I was kid, playing Paradoid on my Commodore 64. Sweet!
Ah, the memories!
Back in town, I could hardly believe that Modaks Espresso coffee shop had two working arcade cabs in the back room! Both set to "free play" to boot! Pity the monitors were completely shot.

Toki! The "1 player" button was actually "jump".
Street Fighter II... blurry!
Door bell?!
There are also a bunch of "takeaways" shops that are sporting cabs too!

Overall, Dunedin ain't so bad when it comes to SCART and arcade hunting!

Monday, 16 September 2013

Blaupunkt Revival!

I finally got brave enough to tackle the burnt-out flyback in my favorite ever Blaupunkt.

I'd had the new flyback that I'd purchased from Dönberg sitting around for weeks and I finally cleared enough space in my tiny little computer/music/storage/geek/cave to get a clear run at the repair.

I'll spoil the ending right now and reveal that this story has a very happy outcome!

I guess this post is about demonstrating how easy this kind of repair is if you have the right tools and nothing else blew up when the flyback bit the dust. I've heard all sort of tales of HOTs and other components burning out when a flyback blows but, fortunately for me, the damage seem to be isolated the fly. Perhaps it had to do with the fact that I was watching TV when the flyback shat itself and I quickly cut the power.

So, here goes!

The solder side of the old flyback
Top view of the old flyback
Old flyback desoldered. Only a 5 minute job with a Hako 808!
New & old. Notice the burn marks...
New unit soldered in
All hooked up and ready to glow!
The moment of truth arrives...
Once soldering in the replacement part in I said a little prayer and hit the power switch. I was pretty nervous because I paid a pretty penny for the new fly and I had waited ages for it to arrive. I was ready for disappointment but knew I'd feel pretty down if it didn't work out...

After flicking the switch I was pretty thrilled to hear the familiar sound of static filling the tube. Then, I turned out the screen pot on the neckboard and was greeted with a glorious sight:

Magical snow!
It was an amazing feeling to see this beauty spring back into life! This is seriously one of the sweetest units I have ever seen and it was a real shame when it died. Getting it back is a really nice thing.

R-Type Leo
Close up... it's REAL good!
As you can see, it's a pretty amazing TV. As good as I remember it! The photos don't really do it justice... it's even better in person.

This television hits the sweet spot for me. Stable, great focus, vivid colors but not clinical like a Sony PVM or overly digital like some modern Loewes and Grundigs. Add the analog pots into the mix and it's pretty much perfect.

Pretty happy!