From Trash To TV

In days gone by, when TVs had CRTs and still came in wooden cabinets, a dead TV in a dumpster was a common sight. Consumer grade electronic devices of the 1960s and ’70s were not entirely reliable, and the inside of a domestic TV set was not the place for them to be put under least stress. If you were electronic-savvy you could either harvest these sets as a source of free components, or with relative ease fix them for a free TV set.

With today’s LCDs, integrated electronics, and electronic waste regulations, the days of free electronics in every dumpster are largely behind us. Modern TVs are more reliable, and when they reach end-of-life we’re less likely to see them.

[Sidsingh] happened to find an LCD TV in a dumpster, and being curious as to whether he could fix it or salvage some components, cracked it open to take a look.

He found that somebody had already been into the set and that some components on the PSU and backlight boards showed evidence of magic smoke escaping, having been desoldered by the previous repairer. The signal board was intact though, a generic Chinese model based around a Mediatek MTK8227 SoC. Information was scarce on these boards, but some patient research yielded a schematic for a similar set.

Once he knew more about the circuit, he was able to identify the power lines and discovered that the 1.8v line to the SoC was faulty. This he traced to a switching regulator for which there was no equivalent in his junkbox, so he substituted a linear regulator to obtain the required voltage. The CFL backlight was then removed and replaced with LED strips, and as if by magic he had a working TV set.

This might seem a relatively mundane achievement on the scale of some of the projects we feature on these pages, but it is an important one. In these days of throwaway items it is still not impossible to repair dead electronic devices, indeed as [Sidsingh] found the power supply is most likely to be the culprit. If you score a dead LCD TV then don’t be afraid to crack it open yourself, you may be able to fix it.

As you might imagine, many repairs have made it onto Hackaday over the years. Of relevance to this one is this LCD that inexplicably worked when exposed to light, an LED backlight conversion, and this capacitor swap to return an LCD monitor to health.

49 thoughts on “From Trash To TV

  1. I somewhat disagree with the intro of the article. TVs in the 60′ and 70’s were made to last a lot longer since they were requiring a significantly greater investment for the consumer to acquire one. And while they obviously still broke from time to time, they were rarely just thrown away in the thrash, they were made to be serviced and TV repair shot were plenty. It’s only after the price started to get so low and the electronic became more complex that people started thrashing them because they would end up being charged almost as much as the price of a new TV set if they were to try to have them repair.

    1. Agreed. The historical back story seems way off to me.
      I remember our TV.. It lasted through moving to Europe and back. Something like 9 years.
      And only “replaced” because my dad really didn’t want to move it to a new house a 5th time. Modern sets were lighter.. Though still tubes at that time the only option.

      I think HE repairs that set once or twice.

    2. There are three generations of TV’s here.

      The article first mentions wooden cabinet TV’s which were predominantly from the valve era.

      Valve era – TV’s were very expensive, large, heavy and made to be serviced. They often had a schematic clipped up somewhere on the inside of the box. In many cases just moving the valves around in a circular pattern at the top would get them going again. It was exceptionally common in those days to see a member of the family walk up to a distorted TV picture, give the case a thud and the set was fine again. There were other problems such as dried capacitors, burnt resistors, blown transformers and even dead valves at times.

      The next era was the transistorized era and the integrated circuit era. I had an electronics repair center during this era. Sets didn’t last as long, they were cheaper but still repairable. Manufacturers released repair manuals for them as well.

      This was also the era of the Cassette Tape player, the Video tape, the early CD players and also the introduction of the home computer (IBM clone). What happened at this time was the beginning of the end for serviceability of consumer goods.

      A number of factors played a role.
      1) Some older and more experienced technicians were leaving as the newer sets were much harder to fix. Of course many did stay.
      2) TV’s had one board! so of course you had to replace parts and that required a much higher skill level then just replacing smaller boards or modules.
      3) PC repairs were much the same – all on one board at the beginning – even the RAM was soldered in. There had been no prior investment in education for the PC repair industry. When PC’s took off there was a vacuum for higher skilled repair people and this meant that higher wages were offered in the PC repair industry. Many migrated (including me) to the PC repair industry because the pay was much much higher.

      So there was a lower skill set by average in the TV (Domestic electronic) industry and manufacturers started to take advantage of that.

      The third era (and current) is the LCD. I still occasionally fix LCD screens now that I am otherwise retired. Just try to get a schematic for a LCD, I dare you. And discrete parts for circuit boards have lots of hurdles placed in the way. The manufacturers specifically and intentionally make it as hard as possible to do more cost efficient component level repairs. So you are left with board replacement level repairs and the manufacturers have control of the prices. So chances are that you can’t repair a LCD TV as a direct result of that being the manufacturers intent!

      So starting now <rant begin&;gt;

      For some it annoying their relatively new has to go in the bin.

      For some it’s annoying they they can’t get *just* the faulty transistor and have to buy a complete board which is too expensive.

      For some it annoying that the most expensive part of the TV (the LCD panel) is fine but yet it has to go in the bin because you can’t get the $10 worth of parts.

      But for me something else annoys me even greater.

      All that energy (from burning coal) to make the set in the first place and all the rare element in it like gold, platinum etc are just wasted in a hole in the ground. Like drunken sailors we are wasting there non-renewable resources due to the false economics put in place by the manufacturers.

      And all this land fill is sent to third world countries like Africa where unwitting people expose themselves to toxic mixtures of chemicals as they burn electronic to retrieve very small amounts of salable goods such as copper.

      In short, these manufacturers have lead us down the path of destroying our environment for the purpose of the corporate greed.


      1. I agree the deliberate designing of electronics to be unrepairable so people can’t fix their products is a ecological crime.

        Oh I understand why they do it – it because it forces the consumer to keep buying throw-a-way goods. The corporations making these goods don’t care if they rape and poison the Earth in the process.

        It’s just not computers, it’s stereos, cameras, etc. Some can be fixed but it’s getting harder to do so.

        Oh yeah the LCD panels are pure toxic waste, cities and states pull their hair out dealing with them because the corporations refuse to divulge the heavy metals used in them. Some are a real witches brew of poison.

      2. Whilst I agree that it’s a shame stuff isn’t repairable, I really must say it’s NOT a conspiracy to make us buy more stuff – it’s because most people simply do not care if their stuff is repairable these days, and making it so adds cost to the development AND the product that puts you at a disadvantage as a supplier in a competitive market. TV’s, phones, computers are all much cheaper than they ever were and that’s amazing, but skews the equation.

        As Joe Public, if a device lasts a few years then I’m probably half thinking of a newer better one anyway, and the cost of a skilled repair person’s time is maybe 25-50% of the cost of buying a new one, it’s a less inviting equation than years ago where the device may be expected to last for a decade or more, and the replace:repair cost was more like 10:1 or 20:1.

        If the public wanted repairable electronics, we’d have them.

        1. Yes.

          I paid $500 for my first printer in the fall of 1982. It was dot-matrix, really slow and noisy, didn’t do descenders, and could never get close to near letter quality. But it was low priced for the time.

          Early on, things are expensive, and generally bulky. They use off the shelf components, the internals are spread out, and there’s probably a lot of metal. Because they are expensive, the cost if repair is low compared o replacing the unit, and the off the shelf components are fairly easy to get.

          But few will buy that early VCR for a thousand dollars, or that printer at $500. They get by without it, or convince themselves they don’t need it.

          But those who buy early show the potential, so the next iteration can be better, but cheaper. They can scale up production, which lowers costs, and streamline production, which also lowers costs. They get smaller, with less metal and more plastic. Over time, this can go through a number of iterations, always getting cheaper for better performance, higher density and more specialized ICs and other cost cutting. They become cheaper to make, which incidentally makes them harder to repair.

          At the same time as this price reduction happens, the cost if labor goes up, making repair more expensive. It’s not the parts that cost money (assuming thy can be had), but the time needed to find the problem, and replace the bad components.

          People want cheap, they will buy more of it.

          In 1971 the average home had very little electronics. A TV set or two, some radios , maybe a stereo. There wasn’t that much to interest the average consumer. Yet five years later, 1976, there were digital clocks and watches, pocket calculators, home computers, probably the start of home VCRs, and that was just the beginning. Lots of new things for the average person, and costing quite a bit. And all of those things eventually dropped in price.

          Few will buy when something is expensive, more will buy the cheaper it gets. It’s not just that more people can buy, but more people can actually get access to digital cameras or whatever. It’s not just “the evil corporations”, the “evil consumer” wants access at the lowest cost.

          Electronics is relatively long lived. I can’t think of something that I’ve bought new that broke down (headphone cords being the exception, mechanical stress being the problem). I’ve replaced some, but that’s because newer and better have come along. I’ve bought lots used or found things in the garbage, and some is broken from the start. But things which worked when they came home have generally kept on working. Maybe I’m just lucky.


      3. Stunning, thank you. I repair arcade games, pinball games, slot machines, jukeboxes etc. It’s almost exactly as you say.

        However, there are still people doing board level repairs on modern electronics, even though the companies are forcing planned obsolescence down our throats. Louis Rossmann comes to mind (on youtube, he knows of many in his industry.) plus only one person in our industry that I can think of doing board level repair on modern hardware with surface mount components.

        The companies just want us to throw it out and buy new. Sometimes I pick up junk TVs and stuff off craigslist, near dumpsters or from replacing customer items when they would rather buy new. It’s so often just dead capacitors.

        1. I love arcade machines. I have a home built 60 in 1 in the lounge room. At one stage I had about 30 of the larger upright machines but eventually I had to sell them off because they cost so much to store.

          I have a 25″ color CRT TV that I don’t need and I wish there were someone near here that could use it for an arcade machine.

          I still do component level repairs when the problem is simple or I can get a schematic. At the moment I am waiting for parts for an old 37″ SHARP Aquis that has enough resolution for me to use as a computer monitor.

          I don’t do so good with very small surface mount component like in laptop computers. My eyes are old and it’s getting too hard to identify the parts.

          PS: my projects including the Arcade game table are here –

    3. Rather disagree. That paragraph was written from personal experience, I cut my teeth on electronics repairing TVs from that era.

      They were designed to be serviced, sure. But reliable? No. The balance between reducing cost to the point at which the things were affordable and making them work at all was sometimes on a knife-edge, and some component choices were made in a lot of sets that meant failures were common. Usually straightforward to fix failures, but failures nevertheless.

      A 1960s CRT TV is a hot and volt-heavy place. Components of dubious quality were stressed beyond breaking point inside them. That was why back in the day every town had a TV repair shop.

    4. +1 this!

      The sets in our house were all tube (valve for my european friends). Digging in the back of those cabinets and being an adventurous lad got me the skill set I have today.

      Unrepairable? Hardly. Easier to repair in most instances than the stuff they put out today.

      That being said, I’ll read his blog entries with interest. Flourescent backlights are where I’ve drawn a line in whether to repair or replace these sets lately. If I can get some level of skill with LED substitution I may increase my salvage yield. I get sets given to me at work and have a pile at home. I fix them when I need a new one or a friend has a set die and can’t afford a new one just yet.

  2. I’d disagree with the 2nd intro, as well. There’s nothing but free electronics in the trash anymore! Can you imagine getting scoring the equivalent of a free microwave back in the day?!

    Anyways, the intros here are always contrived. I liked the story, though.

      1. I’m writing this from the UK too: Look at your local tip / “household waste recycling centre” e-waste pile, you can buy stuff from them for pennies. Also look at the likes of freecycle, gumtree, etc. for cheap or free stuff.

    1. Not where I am in California.

      The E-waste recycling program and current laws have made it a crime to throw electronics in the trash.

      Even stores specializing in selling 2nd hand goods rarely have electronics to sell anymore.

      I’m pretty much left to Ebay for finding old gear.

  3. We’re less likely to see them because increasingly stuff goes to “e-waste recycling”, rather than giving us chance at it.

    I see lot of tv sets waiting for the garbage trucks, but they have CRT displays, and are generally big. I think it’s too early to see much in the way of LCD sets. I got my first one in 2011, when Canada was about to turn off analog tv. The tv sets being tossed have either broken down, or replaced by a lighter LCD set that takes up less space (at lest depth wise).

    I did see a nice LCD set last year, but I was headed somewhere, and it didn’t fit in my knapsack. If the screws on the base hadn’t been so tight, I could have taken off the base and it would have fit. I didn’t see it coming back.

    I suspect it would have been a simple fix, there was a built in DVD player which could always be the problem. One good thing about LCD sets is that the boards are small, and easy to remove. In CRT sets, the board was often hard to get out, and dudn’t unplug

    I have found a bunch if LCD monitors, of various sizes, in the garbage. Some worked, some needed new capacitors. The one I found about 2009, maybe earlier, worked fine and continues to work. I assume someone got a larger monitor and tossed this one.

    I’d point out that my two LCD tv sets run Linux, as does my TomTom One GPS and the blu-ray player I found on the sidewalk (the lens on the Blu-ray laser needed cleaning before it would play Blu-ray). So theoretically these are a source of small linux boards, though I don’t know how practical this would be, or how much RAM there is.


    1. What you have to do is now social engineer your way in. I just got a ton of “ewaste” by talking to the employees at a company going out of business, they said that the truck to pick it all up was on it’s way and they charge by the pound, so I can take all I want before they get there as it saves them money. I walked away with 5 rackmount IBM servers that each had 4 4 core XEON 2.9ghz processors and 256gig of ram in them. no drives but the caddies and they take SAS so I can just plug in SATA drives and go. I grabbed out of the trash more computing power I have ever had in my life. Along with a pair of Tandberg C60 Videoconference systems with 1080p HDMI pan tilt cameras.

      you just gotta social engineer people nowdays and learn when they are waiting for the pickup to show and offer that take as much as you can for free. Most people will allow it, some rich arseheads want it destroyed to spite scummy poor people that will re-use it.

  4. Please put a cautionary note on this post. It can be very dangerous to just pop one of these screens open and start tinkering around. You can get seriously hurt if you don’t know what you’re doing.

    1. isn’t that with all stuff you take apart without knowing how it works? Personally I really offended with the “dont try this at home kids” blah blah all over the web. It seems that common caution is a precious thing over the pond. Oh and you DID notice the url of this site, did you?

      1. “If you score a dead LCD TV then don’t be afraid to crack it open yourself, you may be able to fix it.”
        This sentence is clearly addressed to people who have not opened a LCD before, and most probably will not check if power caps are charged right after they crack it open! I’m not saying to put corks on your forks, but when encouraging amateurs give some hints too.

    2. “Please put a cautionary note on this post. It can be very dangerous to just pop one of these screens open and start tinkering around. You can get seriously hurt if you don’t know what you’re doing.”

      Yep. Right after I finish putting corks on my forks, and filing the sharp bit off my knives.

    3. We had a long talk about this behind the scenes here. Jenny had a “cautionary note” disclaimer and then removed it. Instead, she’s going to write up a piece on taking apart TVs safely.

      Just saying “danger” without providing concrete safety tips is pointless, IMO.

      On the other hand, we don’t warn you every time someone makes a woodworking project, and a table saw is arguably orders of magnitude more dangerous than an open (unplugged) TV set. Your safety is in _your_ hands.

      1. In general, an LCD TV doesn’t have anything higher than 3-600V and that, only on the primary capacitors in the switching supply, which SHOULZD have bleeder resistors across them. An old CRT TV is much more dangerous, because the CRT is a giant, low leakage capacitor, with several KV on it.

        Your biggest hazard on a found LCD is cutting yourself on broken glass, or on a piece of metal shield.

      2. The danger of a table saw is pretty obvious to someone who has not seen one before! The charged power capacitors on the other hand seem safe, since I unplugged the mains cable, right? The last LG lcd I opened did NOT have a bleed resistor on the caps.

  5. As you say, RÖB — and nothing compares to the quality of the sound and picture as we perceived it back in the day. Maybe things look and sound sharper, but the resolution of the analog circuits is pretty much gone. Worst, though, is that so little effort goes into producing quality content to even make a set worthwhile to buy. The cheapness of production has made some truly remarkable inventions totally expendable. The rotary phone might have had a 20-30 year lifespan in some cases, the modern mobile device you’re expected to upgrade every two years. But I lived to see Nixon resign in black & white and heard the Shondells on a Magnavox console, so I can’t complain.

    1. I have a 50 year old rotary phone in my home. Works like a champ. You won’t see a Ipod or a Android last a 1/10th of that. They’ll be forced into obsolescence and sent to a 3rd world country for disposal or resale.

      1. Got my last couple of Genuine Bell phones for a couple of bucks each, and they work as good as they did when first installed. Touch tone, though. I do have a couple dial ones, but my OOMA box doesn’t do dial :-(

    2. You just did not notice the lack of image resolution on the old, small screens. These days I personally have a 3m 1080p projected picture in the living room and it is a mistake to connect a VHS quality picture to this, it looks just awful.
      The old rotary phone did not improve over centuries, these days you have the power of a small PC and a good quality (of course no DSLR) digital camera in the smartphone and there are other new features – some even useful – faster than very year. And after around three years I found that there are so much better devices to justify a new mobile phone.

      1. To be more clear, the TV sets of the late 60’s/early70’s were not as sharp as the LEDs, but a 25 inch screen had an analog resolution that was much smoother, even if a bit blurred up close. Modern technology has a higher dynamic range and a pixel-to-pixel definition that is incredibly sharp but to me lacks a lot fo the nuance, much like a black and white photo shot from a film camera vs. a pixelated digital version. But at the time we had no digital media, so within the context of the time, it was a lot sharper than you might think, yet also softer on the eyes. Not saying that the capabilities of the technology have not improved, but the durability and enjoyability have taken a significant slide, imo.

  6. I’ve seen several LCD TV’s set out for the trash. One our makerspace got going with replacing some suspect caps. The next model retrieved was known to the web to have problems that would be resolved by replacing a tiny prom chip, which could not be ruled out, so it was ordered from a vendor. I dunno if that wasn’t the problem, or if excessive presbyopic fiddlefarting around with solder wick between bouts of chip-quik nulled that repair, but we ended up pulling all but the backlight and the diffusion screens for a super bright uniform light source. Small flatscreen TV’s (and computer monitors) are showing up full of nearly impossible to re-use tiny surface mount components and light-as-air high frequency switching power supplies–compared to the Bad Old Days of de-soldering a t.v. and coming up with a stack of tubes, transformer, choke, and bunches of h.v. caps and resistors and fuses and whatnot.

  7. Old vacuum tube TVs slowly got thrown away or given away through the 1970’s as the transistorized ones took over. There wasn’t anything groundbreakingly better about the transistor TVs to warrant chucking that nice 25″ vacuum tube set in the hardwood cabinet with the sliding tambour doors.

    Eventually the solid state stuff got things like comb filters and other goodies that didn’t really make the picture better, they just made it as good as NTSC could be, most of the time.

    What did knock off the old vacuum tube TVs was when stereo sound got added. Finally, something the old babble box didn’t have! IIRC around that time, even fancier stuff like line doublers was introduced to make the picture look better as CRT size entered an era of increasing size. The last CRT TV I had was a monster 32″ Samsung. Weighed near 300 pounds.

    The 40″ 4K Samsung Smart TV* I have now barely weighs 15 pounds. That’s less than the 10″ Magnavox portable monochrome vacuum tube TV I had as a kid in the 70’s.

    *Snagged it refurbished off eBay for less than half retail price. :)

  8. Most every flat screen TV in my house has been dug out of a dumpster and repaired by myself. We have a local trash drop off and a dedicated bin for electronics (used to be a recycle center). You would be amazed at how many functional CRT TVs and screens end their lives there while tons and tons, literally of flat screens no longer functioning do the same. At one time, I was able to get any electronic devicein that bin. Not true now, guess someone came up with the idea I had. Back in the day when dish was hackable, Jesus, it was like Christmas morning when I took the trash off….
    I rebuilt old washing machines and dryers, you would be amazed at how much money, literally ,how many times ID find $10 and $20 dollar bills, talking with tons of lint and socks(yes, I KNOW what happens to missing socks!) In old dryers.
    I even try to pay the guys off now to dig.sigh, miss them good old days……

  9. About 5 years ago I worked at an electronics recycling facility. Part of my job was to stack CRT monitors onto pallets (not fun), we never tested the CRTs because nobody would buy them anyways. Boy did we get a lot of CRTs! The LCD monitors we would test though, many of them worked fine, and I never understood why people didn’t just use or sell them. Many more of the LCDs were repairable usually by replacing caps, which lead me to become pretty good at soldering. However I’ve noticed that newer LCD monitors are so much harder to take apart and repair, because everything’s so small and delicate. Same goes for cellphones, its like a 50/50 chance you will break it more trying to take it apart. These days you need the hands of a ninja to work on many consumer electronics. I wish the industry would stop trying to make everything smaller and focus instead on serviceability and durability. The disposable electronics mentality is NOT sustainable!

  10. Modern TVs are more reliable…

    HA! Yeah, tell that to my panasonic 42″ with a failed power board, my Vitzo that had a failed LCD driver, my Sharp that caused the CFL backlight to start yellowing fast, etc….

    Yet the Sony tube TV that grandma has from 1989 is STILL working to this day…. she uses an ATSC converter box on it.

    Honestly guys, all electronics from 1995 and previous are built significantly better than the crap sold today. You youngsters really need to realize that your stuff of today is garbage designed to fail or have a shorter longevity.

  11. Ah yes I had quite the racket going as a child in the late 80’s, the most common problem with vcrs(other then dirty heads) was a blow fuse which I could buy from an auto parts store in a five pack for around a dollar. Five repaired vcrs netted $50-75 and tossed vcrs were plentiful and often times ended up being bought by the original owners.

    1. There’s a guy we use here at work who has made quite a lot of money off us by knowing how to repair iDevices. He’s a lot cheaper than Apple and his work is just as good. Especially, since he doesn’t turn up his nose at older devices and will jailbreak them or downrev the OS upon request! (iPhone Curt in Brighton, MA)

  12. I have to chuckle at the naivety displayed by the author of this article. You are writing about two completely different technological ages. Back in the 60’s and 70’s consumer electronics were actually manufactured to be fairly rugged and repairable, by the owner in fact. Today consumer electronics are built with the mentality that they will be used and disposed of in two or three years. There is nothing maintainable in a todays software based device. A un-support device is automatically rendered obsolete once the connected infrastructure is upgraded. How may tons of waste have been created by upgrades of the Internet alone?

    Although not considered a consumer item my primary oscilloscope is a CRT based Tektronix unit. It was at least 10 year old when I bought it. I’ve currently used it for 30 years, and expect It will function properly for another 20 or so years. I doubt that any of the PC based wonder gear will last more than one or two OS generations beyond their creation.

    Somehow believing that recycling completely negates an items existence shows zero insight into the product life cycle. Today we live in an age where every man, women, and child own their own phone, tablet, pc, TV, etc. What is the multiplying effect of that? In the “old days” when I was young a family had one TV, one phone, shared a single car, and consumed far less energy and resources than the average family today. Today nearly even one is driven like sheep to the apple store every other year when the new iPhone is announced. There is an enormous environmental cost and incredible energy expended for a never ending and self-indulging technological generation.

    I laugh at the self-proclaimed techno Winnies here, and on other blogs, who self-proclaim superiority because they can scavenge a single part from a disposed of consumer item. Wow, so you snagged a capacitor, resistor, or a bitchen IC. What about the millions of items that all contained toxic batteries that were not dissected and reused? Many of you justify the orgy of technology because it can be recycled, yet most items are not.

    And unlike yesterday when we turned off our TV’s at 11 and the broadcast stations signed off at 12 the cloud continues to burn energy 24 hours a day 365 days a year to support a single smart phone. And that is the real telling truth. Beyond your clever little smart phone solar charger hack is an energy consuming cloud that dwarfs any recycling effort. This energy is consumed for YOU to support the infrastructure to contain web content, video, music, connections for skype, and social networking sites. It is there because you demand it and pay for it. When you turn out the lights at night and are all tucked in thinking that you are being energy efficient the cloud you paid for continues to burn energy. Every character you type and video you post takes more and more energy to store. The growth will always claim more than the efficiencies save.

    Please stop acting superior to the previous generations who made all of this possible for you. Maybe stepping down from your high horses and realizing that today’s consumers are the most wasteful and indulgent generation would be a good start. Stop trying to justify the overwhelming waste of today by pointing a finger at a 1960’s TV. You really sound pathetic… Reusing an LCD screen, or anything else in a modern product, is simply dwarfed by the billions of tons being shipped in cargo containers daily from china.

    In the end you are not superior because of your reuse or recycling. You are just like all of us that came before, you are playing with junk technology, maybe learning, and maybe having fun. You are just simply walking a path that many of us have already traveled. You are not unique…

        1. Yes, old man, because the fine tube-based TVs and Radios of yesteryear are not sold. As for intellectual strength, not much is required to parse your little diatribe. One old man to another, you should consider both sides of the coin before spending it.

    1. Well obviously you haven’t read many of [Jenny List]’s articles. I believe she has demonstrated a very professional and broad skill set and that is coming from someone who first qualified as an electronics engineer in the 80’s.

      As for the rest of your statements, well you are telling people to “get off their high horse” while you are sitting on your “high horse”. It sounds conflicting, ambiguous and to me it evaluates to “blame shifting”.

      As we all know “blame shifting” never solves problems.

      You are not presenting as part of a solution in any way so perhaps you *are* part of the problem? Apathy.

      I am an “older person” to put it “more politely” lol and I felt no need to defend myself from [Jenny List] perspective.

      I did however offer comment that I believed older consumer goods to be made to last – albeit that they were “technically” less reliable because they needed a good thump from time to time. Realisticly thoufg what was reliable way back then when everything was new – cars – motorcycles – washing machines – none of it was very reliable. So comparatively consumer electronics was quite good.

  13. When consumer electronics where manufactured by human handiwork they ended being repairableby human handiwork That human labor was reflected in the purchase and the cost of repairs Solid state brought increased automation manufacturing, but with descrete component remained quite reperable. Because of economies of scale the products became less expensive to purchase, but repair remain expensive because that ws and is still handiwork by humans An additional benefit of solid State is that color sets became greatly improve and rarely need shop time to readjust the color circuits. The days of problematic tuners end soon as well needed shop time to adjust the color signal. Yes a dedicated invidual can still effect repairs, but that is no longer an occupation that pays a just wage. I can’t see people choosing not to have current items repaired because the price of replacement with new makes repair a bad b personal budget decision, as evil My guess those complain the most about that reality are those who bitch the loudest about the cost of repair. @ Elliot & Jenny a series of safer working practices would be good idea. Not everyone is born knowing everything there is to know about everything, including those who pretend they where. Somethime back I took bunch of CRT monitors along with a trip to the landfill.

  14. Hack A Day staff can’t say much about safety cos they don’t want their asses sued!

    So here are the basics but your safety still remains your responsibility.

    The CRT (Glass Tube) TV – these are dangerous refer servicing to qualified personnel! But more seriously these things can store the Anode voltage for a reasonable amount of time. Anode voltages get up to and over 25,000 volts in larger TV’s. They also have a horizontal drive that can typically be around 1,000 volts and then there is the mains voltage 110 or 240 Volts and that can kill you to so give CRT TV’s a miss unless you are quite experienced.

    Plasma LCD, these have a high anode drive voltage, I would guess that it would be around 1,000 volts or so. So they’re are not the best repair option, who want’s a plasma anyway.

    The other LCD TV’s are a lot safer to open up but be aware that, like any mains powered device, it can kill you.

    So for ones that have a three pin power plug –

    The highest voltages in these are in two places.

    1) The power supply circuit board, the one the power plugs into and that / those one or two big capacitors can store power and bite you when the power is off.

    2) The CF backlight in non-LED TV’s has a drive between 500 and 1,800 volts so don’t touch that. There are use usually warning stickers near the plugs. The CF driver board doesn’t store significant voltages when disconnected so just don’t go licking it.

    The rest of these sets of the three pin type is low voltages.

    The 2 pin type TV’s can have faults that make the internal chassis live so give them a pass unless you know what your doing.

    As a general rule – the higher the voltage a wire carries – the thicker the insulation is – so thick wires carry higher voltages.

    Most common problems are –

    power supply – look for capacitors that have bulged at the top or have lost electrolyte leaving a mark on the circuit board – test these with an ESR or Low Ohms meter. The one that most commonly die are the last stage filter capacitors that are on the output power rial or connected to that via a coil (inductor). The other high failure is the 1uF 50Volt capacitor on the primary side of the power supply.

    CF driver board – capacitors again and also the transformers – in old sets the CF lamps themselves can be burnt out.

    The rest of the LOGIC circuitry can have various faults so your on your own there. Most of the time when a power spike occurs it will happen when the TV is in standby so you often get problems on the auxiliary (standby) power rail (5Volts).

    But most importantly, if you feel that the safety issues are beyond your skill set then just let it go a try something less changeling.

  15. I’d recommend anyone who gets a faulty set to have a look over to the Badcaps website. They’re a friendly group who love to save electronics of all kinds from going into landfill and will fight tooth and nail to help you repair the equipment.
    They can help you to repair everything from power supplies to TVs. The site has so far helped me repair 5 TVs which my family tends to receive as gifts as I’ve filled my wife allowable keep quota :)

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