Author Topic: CRTs still being made?  (Read 2023 times)

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Offline T3sl4co1l

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Re: CRTs still being made?
« Reply #25 on: December 07, 2017, 04:15:17 AM »
I wouldn't mind getting one of the 2048 x 1536 x 85Hz monsters, but they still sell for quite a good value actually!

Hm, there's a thought, buy up a bunch of broken ones -- good tube but failed circuitry of some sort or another.  Also, any with weird inputs (BNCs, 13W3, etc.).  Fix them, and replace the interface with an adapter circuit for VGA or DVI (bonus points if it does DVI-D or HDMI!).

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Offline meeder

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Re: CRTs still being made?
« Reply #26 on: December 07, 2017, 09:01:08 AM »
Those BNC's aren't a problem. They are mostly RGB inputs and you van simply use a VGA to BNC cable. I used that on my IIyama Vision Master Pro 450 19". I still regret getting rid of that thing. SWMBO thought it was to big on the desk :(
 

Offline AutogolazzoJr

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Re: CRTs still being made?
« Reply #27 on: December 07, 2017, 09:36:51 AM »
I doubt it. If you can get past 144hz, you can get the hardcore CS:GO community excited...
Only maybe. Response times are good on modern lcds.
 

Offline chris_leyson

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Re: CRTs still being made?
« Reply #28 on: December 07, 2017, 09:55:23 AM »
Quote
Anyone who hasn't played the original Asteroids on a real B&W vector monitor should check it out for an example of an application that can only be done with a CRT
Definately one application that only works well with B&W CRT ;) Asteroids might just be doable with fast high voltage drive amps and galvos on heatsinks and even then I don't think you will get anywhere near 50 fps refresh rate, depends how many lumps of rock you have to draw per second.
 

Offline timb

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Re: CRTs still being made?
« Reply #29 on: December 07, 2017, 03:56:48 PM »
Quote
Anyone who hasn't played the original Asteroids on a real B&W vector monitor should check it out for an example of an application that can only be done with a CRT
Definately one application that only works well with B&W CRT ;) Asteroids might just be doable with fast high voltage drive amps and galvos on heatsinks and even then I don't think you will get anywhere near 50 fps refresh rate, depends how many lumps of rock you have to draw per second.

Atari also made vector engines that supported color vector displays! It was used in some of the last vector arcade games.

They actually used two different types of vector engines in the various vector games they produced. The analog type used a state machine hooked to a pair of DACs and integrators for smooth movement of the beam. The digital type just used the DACs and “stair stepped” the outputs of the DAC to move the beam, doing away with the integrators and other precision analog parts.
Any sufficiently advanced technology is indistinguishable from magic; e.g., Cheez Whiz, Hot Dogs and RF.
 

Offline schmitt trigger

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Re: CRTs still being made?
« Reply #30 on: December 08, 2017, 01:49:46 AM »

Sony Trinitron tubes did well, but never swamped the market. Other designs were sufficiently competitive. I think your plant shut because the US TV makers were unable or unwilling to make appealing TV sets. No US made TVs means no US made TV tubes. US semiconductor makers did OK making silicon for foreign made TVs, but people don't want to ship large fragile components like TV tubes half way around the world to an assembly plant.

Indeed, by the early 1980s most US consumer electronics companies had already lost the will to fight the Japanese onslaught. Zenith soldiered on for a few more years, but eventually was purchased by LG.

I only mentioned Sony because it was the gold standard in TVs, but there were other Japanese manufacturers (Hitachi, Panasonic, JVC) which also had reasonably priced sets that had excellent image quality..... and oh, they were VERY reliable.
 

Offline coppice

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Re: CRTs still being made?
« Reply #31 on: December 08, 2017, 02:24:51 AM »
Sony Trinitron tubes did well, but never swamped the market. Other designs were sufficiently competitive. I think your plant shut because the US TV makers were unable or unwilling to make appealing TV sets. No US made TVs means no US made TV tubes. US semiconductor makers did OK making silicon for foreign made TVs, but people don't want to ship large fragile components like TV tubes half way around the world to an assembly plant.
Indeed, by the early 1980s most US consumer electronics companies had already lost the will to fight the Japanese onslaught. Zenith soldiered on for a few more years, but eventually was purchased by LG.

I only mentioned Sony because it was the gold standard in TVs, but there were other Japanese manufacturers (Hitachi, Panasonic, JVC) which also had reasonably priced sets that had excellent image quality..... and oh, they were VERY reliable.
I find the tale of what happened to the British TV makers an interesting example of a changing world. TVs started out unreliable, and so they developed as largely a rental market in the UK. Rental means reliability is someone else's problem, and you have direct support from a solid support network. Things developed such that the main rental businesses were owned by the main TV makers. As TV reliability improved it became more attractive to buy a TV, but burdened with all the rental outlets, and a huge fleet of partially amortised TVs in people's home, the industry just couldn't adapt. For a time there were JVs with Hitachi and with JVC, but it was too little, too late.
 

Online james_s

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Re: CRTs still being made?
« Reply #32 on: December 08, 2017, 12:52:11 PM »
Atari also made vector engines that supported color vector displays! It was used in some of the last vector arcade games.

They actually used two different types of vector engines in the various vector games they produced. The analog type used a state machine hooked to a pair of DACs and integrators for smooth movement of the beam. The digital type just used the DACs and “stair stepped” the outputs of the DAC to move the beam, doing away with the integrators and other precision analog parts.

Yes, I have a bunch of them in my basement, Asteroids, Tempest, Space Duel, Black Widow, Quantum, and Star Wars round out the vector collection, and no, none of these are for sale :)

Sega made a series of color vector games as well, I've never owned one but I've worked on several and the G08 monitor they used is a lousy design. My understanding is they had to skirt around Atari patents resulting in rather sub-optimal design decisions, however that aside they're some rather good games.

Of the Atari games, only Lunar Lander, Asteroids and Asteroids Deluxe used the digital vector generator. Starting with Battlezone they switched to the AVG which is capable of smooth lines without discrete points. It's a lot more tricky to troubleshoot and repair though, and the polycarbonate capacitors used in the integrators in the later ones are tough to come by. For reasons I don't completely understand these circuits are *really* picky and some types of capacitors that look like they should work well don't. While the AVG sounds good in concept, frankly I'm not convinced it looks any better than the earlier DVG, especially when you factor in the graininess caused by the shadow mask in the color monitors. The DVG used in Asteroids and such was capable of 1024x768 which is pretty phenomenal for 1979. Of course you couldn't light those points arbitrarily but a vector drawn at that resolution looks pretty darn smooth to me.
 

Offline AutogolazzoJr

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Re: CRTs still being made?
« Reply #33 on: December 08, 2017, 02:31:27 PM »
I played asteroids on a color flat-screen sony trinitron... Maybe I'll try it on an oscilloscope or something.
 

Online vk6zgo

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Re: CRTs still being made?
« Reply #34 on: December 08, 2017, 03:17:15 PM »
My first factory job was at a GTE-Sylvania CRT factory in 1979. So I do have a certain fondness and nostalgia for CRTs.

Even then, we were feeling the competitive pressure from Sony's Trinitron, which was way ahead of everyone else.

The company responded by designing a shadow mask which used rectangular phosphor mask, and increased the anode voltage to 37 kV.....but it was already too late. By mid-1982, the factory was shut down.
Sony Trinitron tubes did well, but never swamped the market. Other designs were sufficiently competitive.

Ever converge a Delta tube?
Compared to a Trinitron, it is very fiddly & time consuming, & a good result is quite often not achieved.

The other competitive designs, like the "Linytron" were mainly efforts by other Japanese manufacturers to make something  similar to a Trinitron, but not have to pay Sony for Patent rights.
These were just as easy to converge.

US & European manufacturers seemed to be "locked into" the Delta tube design until too late, probably because they didn't want to pay Sony either.

Quote

I think your plant shut because the US TV makers were unable or unwilling to make appealing TV sets.
I think you're right!
Quote
No US made TVs means no US made TV tubes. US semiconductor makers did OK making silicon for foreign made TVs, but people don't want to ship large fragile components like TV tubes half way around the world to an assembly plant.

Sony had no problem shipping TV tubes to their EU, Singapore, & other factories.
When I worked at the TV studio, if we wanted a tube ( even big 27 " ones), if they couldn't source them in Australia, Sony would find us one & ship it "halfway around the world".
« Last Edit: December 08, 2017, 03:23:18 PM by vk6zgo »
 

Online Alex Eisenhut

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Re: CRTs still being made?
« Reply #35 on: December 08, 2017, 08:18:43 PM »
 

Offline coppice

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Re: CRTs still being made?
« Reply #36 on: December 08, 2017, 09:02:25 PM »
Quote
Sony Trinitron tubes did well, but never swamped the market. Other designs were sufficiently competitive.
Ever converge a Delta tube?
Yes, during a work experience period at one of Europe's largest TV plants at the beginning of the 70s.
Compared to a Trinitron, it is very fiddly & time consuming, & a good result is quite often not achieved.
True, but that was not really a problem. The lower cost of a delta tube provided the leeway to pay for any extra alignment work. Once aligned, both Trinitrons and deltas were pretty stable. With later delta tubes there wasn't that much alignment to do at the point of TV assembly, rather like the Trinitrons. Both types of tube were supplied to the assembly plant with the scan coils mounted and pre-aligned.
The other competitive designs, like the "Linytron" were mainly efforts by other Japanese manufacturers to make something  similar to a Trinitron, but not have to pay Sony for Patent rights.
Just as Sony developed the Trinitron not to be the world's greatest tube, but to avoid paying for other people's patent rights. Initially they struggled to make a big Trinitron, and all we saw were 13" TVs. Even with such a small screen the early ones had problems with the picture breaking up due to modest levels of vibration. Later they cracked the problem with a big grill, and found they had the best way to make 29" and larger tubes.

The original Trinitron TVs were based on a series of innovations designed to work around other people's patents. They did more that just develop a new tube. There were long articles written about this work at the time, in various electronics journals. Perhaps a web search would find some. Sony were quite aggressive in driving all the patent fees out of their TVs.
These were just as easy to converge.

US & European manufacturers seemed to be "locked into" the Delta tube design until too late, probably because they didn't want to pay Sony either.
Too late for what? Despite the advantages of Trinitrons, the delta tubes still massively outsold them. Trinitrons were more expensive than deltas in the very curved and "flat square tube" generations of deltas. Trying to make a delta tube perfectly flat might have cost them so much that Trinitrons were cheaper.
Quote
No US made TVs means no US made TV tubes. US semiconductor makers did OK making silicon for foreign made TVs, but people don't want to ship large fragile components like TV tubes half way around the world to an assembly plant.
Sony had no problem shipping TV tubes to their EU, Singapore, & other factories.
When I worked at the TV studio, if we wanted a tube ( even big 27 " ones), if they couldn't source them in Australia, Sony would find us one & ship it "halfway around the world".
I'm not sure what Sony did. Most Japanese TV makers who produced in Europe used European sourced tubes.
 

Offline meeder

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Re: CRTs still being made?
« Reply #37 on: December 09, 2017, 04:11:05 AM »
My IIyama monitor had a Diamondtron tube which is akin to the Trinitron layout.
The only downside was the visible support wire. For a TV not an issue but for a PC monitor it could be a bit annoying at times.
Still miss that beast though.
 

Offline schmitt trigger

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Re: CRTs still being made?
« Reply #38 on: December 09, 2017, 04:28:09 AM »
We performed a lot of competitive analysis of the traditional delta tube vs Trinitron.

The delta tubes were indeed more difficult to properly align for a simple reason: The shadow mask in a delta blocked a significantly larger portion of electrons than Trinitron.
More blocked electrons mean a dimmer tube, all other factors being equal. Screen brightness is something that users crave. Unconsciously if you will, but all other conditions remaining equal a brighter tube will subjectively look better.

Therefore, to achieve the required brightness the guns would be driven with higher current. A higher current means that the electron beam becomes thicker and significantly harder to deflect.
As I mentioned, efforts were made by increasing both the anode and focusing voltages, which created some other issues.

I'm pretty sure that eventually most problems could have been figured out, but the industry simply. gave. up.


 
 

Offline coppice

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Re: CRTs still being made?
« Reply #39 on: December 09, 2017, 05:42:33 AM »
My IIyama monitor had a Diamondtron tube which is akin to the Trinitron layout.
The only downside was the visible support wire. For a TV not an issue but for a PC monitor it could be a bit annoying at times.
Still miss that beast though.
Was the Diamondtron the Mitsubishi tube?

The big Trinitron tubes had support wires. I think the 21" Trinitron monitors I used had 1, and our 29" TV had 2. You had to look really carefully to see them, though. They did a great job of minimising their visibility.
 

Online james_s

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Re: CRTs still being made?
« Reply #40 on: December 09, 2017, 07:28:14 AM »
Was the Diamondtron the Mitsubishi tube?

The big Trinitron tubes had support wires. I think the 21" Trinitron monitors I used had 1, and our 29" TV had 2. You had to look really carefully to see them, though. They did a great job of minimising their visibility.

Yes, the Diamondtron was a Mitsubishi tube, essentially a clone of the Trinitron after Sony's patent expired. There may have been others too but Sony and Mits were the two big makers of aperture grill CRTs.

There was a predecessor to the Trinitron, the name escapes me but Sony was doing color with a single electron gun, something that found use occasionally in later specialized applications like miniature viewfinder and avionics color CRTs. Another interesting single gun color tube called a Penetron used layers of red and green phosphor to enable a red-yellow-green display, that was used in some test equipment and (IIRC) avionics displays.
 

Online james_s

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Re: CRTs still being made?
« Reply #41 on: December 09, 2017, 07:35:00 AM »
I played asteroids on a color flat-screen sony trinitron... Maybe I'll try it on an oscilloscope or something.

A scope will get you closer, although it's still hard to get the brightness of the shots close to what they should be. On a real vector CRT the missiles are blindingly bright shots that look like a magnesium flare sailing across the inky blackness of space. It's nothing like the dull gray barely visible pixel you get on a raster display. Unfortunately it's an effect that is difficult to capture due to the limited dynamic range of anything you'd be watching it on, there's no substitute for the real deal.
 

Offline coppice

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Re: CRTs still being made?
« Reply #42 on: December 09, 2017, 09:39:59 AM »
Another interesting single gun color tube called a Penetron used layers of red and green phosphor to enable a red-yellow-green display, that was used in some test equipment and (IIRC) avionics displays.
Penetrons were amazing tubes. They displayed super crisp 4k x 3k images on a large (29" I think) display at a time when the only thing that could match their resolution was the Tektronix graphics storage tube. Because they were vector scanned there was a limit to how complex a picture they could display, and the colour range was limited. However, they could do a wonderful job in applications that could live with their limitations.
 

Online james_s

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Re: CRTs still being made?
« Reply #43 on: December 09, 2017, 09:48:17 AM »
What used such a large Penetron tube? The first I saw of one was a 9" tube in a prototype color Vectrex that somebody had. I've also seen a scope that had a raster display in the characteristic red-yellow-green which I assumed was a Penetron but it may have actually been a predecessor to the Tektronix NuColor display. I have a scope with one of those and I love it, full RGB color out of a B&W tube with no shadow mask. It does have a bit of DLP-like color fringing at times due to the sequential color but once my eyes are used to it I don't notice it.
 

Offline cdev

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Re: CRTs still being made?
« Reply #44 on: December 09, 2017, 10:42:59 AM »
I still have two large Trinitron monitors. One is I think 24 inches, the other 20. All three guns on the large monitor still work but the colors look muddy. Is focus is muddy. Its gotten a lot of use, basically both have.

On the 20 inch one which was my favorite, the red gun stopped working some time ago. So I have assumed that it was toast. Both are not in use now but if its possible I would like to get them working again so I could use them for 3D. Is it?

Back in the day their color rendition was noticeably superior to LCD monitors.
"What the large print giveth, the small print taketh away."
 

Online james_s

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Re: CRTs still being made?
« Reply #45 on: December 09, 2017, 11:26:47 AM »
I doubt the gun itself is bad. Usually when an entire color stopped working it was a bad cable or cracked solder joint, occasionally a fault in the video amplifier.

The muddy looking one describes classic symptoms of a worn out CRT, especially if turning dowm the brightness makes the picture sharper, or if high brightness causes streaking to the right. In my experience, Sony tubes respond poorly to attempts at rejuvenation.

I have a 14" Trinitron broadcast studio monitor that produces a phenomenal picture, it even does 1080p. I fished it out of an e-waste bin but I think they cost around $10k when new.
 
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Offline coppice

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Re: CRTs still being made?
« Reply #46 on: December 09, 2017, 12:20:15 PM »
What used such a large Penetron tube?
Very expensive CAD workstations, which I think were only ever made in fairly small quantities, because of their cost.
The first I saw of one was a 9" tube in a prototype color Vectrex that somebody had. I've also seen a scope that had a raster display in the characteristic red-yellow-green which I assumed was a Penetron but it may have actually been a predecessor to the Tektronix NuColor display. I have a scope with one of those and I love it, full RGB color out of a B&W tube with no shadow mask. It does have a bit of DLP-like color fringing at times due to the sequential color but once my eyes are used to it I don't notice it.
Are you sure the mixed colour scope was not just a tube coated with a mix of short and long persistence phosphors of different colours? Those existed, because the long persistence phosphors don't always work well at fast scan speeds, so the mix gives the scope a more balanced performance.
« Last Edit: December 10, 2017, 03:52:02 AM by coppice »
 

Offline cdev

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Re: CRTs still being made?
« Reply #47 on: December 10, 2017, 02:44:28 AM »
James,  thanks for the tip.

I have the service manual for it, so if the gun is still okay, that would be nice.   

Its a GDM series. And yes, it also will do 1080P I am pretty sure. I think it goes up to around 2500 pixels horizontal resolution. (Both monitors do).

I should be able to figure out what's wrong with it, that means its probably worth trying to figure out what happened.

The smaller one still had a nice picture when the red gun went out. It was nice when it was working.

"What the large print giveth, the small print taketh away."
 

Online vk6zgo

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Re: CRTs still being made?
« Reply #48 on: December 10, 2017, 10:10:08 AM »
I doubt the gun itself is bad. Usually when an entire color stopped working it was a bad cable or cracked solder joint, occasionally a fault in the video amplifier.

The muddy looking one describes classic symptoms of a worn out CRT, especially if turning dowm the brightness makes the picture sharper, or if high brightness causes streaking to the right. In my experience, Sony tubes respond poorly to attempts at rejuvenation.

I have a 14" Trinitron broadcast studio monitor that produces a phenomenal picture, it even does 1080p. I fished it out of an e-waste bin but I think they've cost around $10k when new.

The simple trick to pin down if loss of a colour is the tube, the tube socket board, or further afield, is to just swap the drive with one of the operating guns.
If the fault changes to another colour, the tube is not at fault.

The "muddy look" sounds ominous.
Another thing which happens with a dying tube, is apparent "Luma/Chroma intermodulation", where the colour Hue changes with brightness ( I say "apparent", because, although it looks similar, one is a Composite video problem, & the other simply a display device failing)

Perhaps the more accurate name would be "Colour tracking".

Back in the day, you could get your tube "regunned".
This was almost always successful with Trinitrons, but less so with other tube types.
Sadly, along with the market for new tubes, that for regunning has died.
 

Offline chris_leyson

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Re: CRTs still being made?
« Reply #49 on: December 10, 2017, 10:49:08 AM »
I wish I had kept may Hantarex green screen monochrome monitor, I can't remember the model number but it was awsome, long persistance green much longer than P31. Would have been a nice tube for vector games, never mind  :palm:
 


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