Look at the last black & white TV ever made

Originally published at: Look at the last black & white TV ever made | Boing Boing

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I still have one of those.

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I’m impressed that it works at all. There is a good bit of magic that goes into building all the pieces of a television, especially the CRT and the deflection yoke. The machinery to make those must have been passed around as companies went out of business over the years.
I’ve once again started making clocks with old oscilloscope CRTs. These tubes were made in China many years ago. I can’t even tell what decade they were made in.
But they’re very high quality tubes.


I have a half built numitron clock on my bench as I type. :slight_smile:


I had a pocket tv at one time but it didn’t really fit in a pocket. I was in high school so it would have been the very late 70s or 80 - 81. We had a Radio Shack a bike ride away, I was always spending my lawn cutting money as fast as I could make it.

When the guy in that video was tuning the FM radio I kept expecting to hear this…

Baby, if you’ve ever wondered
Wondered whatever became of me
I’m living on the air in Cincinnati, Cincinnati, WKRP


In high school I picked up an old tube-based B&W TV with a metal housing like a clothes dryer, while on a visit to the landfill. It was stylishly painted aqua blue and white. It had one tuner knob for VHF channels 2-13. I replaced the broken rabbit ears and gave it a squirt of tuner cleaner and plugged it in. It took a few minutes for the little white dot on the screen to blossom into a full raster, but after that it worked fine.

I was surprised to find years later that my dad held onto that antique. I found it in his loft when helping clean out his house in the early 2000s, plugged in and ready to watch. I kinda wish I’d held onto it.


I saw one of those little 5-inch AM/FM/TVs in Walmart years ago. It was configured as a plain 6-inch black cube and sold for an amazing $10. Wish I’d bought it.

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I read a few months ago that CRTs were becoming popular again with gamers for certain games due to the low response time, but I’m guessing they’re using the old Trinitrons and professional studio monitors, not these POS ones.

I had a different B&W (12" diagonal, probably Zenith), which worked great until I got a hand-me-down around 1990 or so. Don’t knock those old sets: they were built like tanks!

This looks about right:


the great thing about that one is it has a large flat surface on top, we can store things on top of it


The one Mat Taylor featured on his youtube channel? If so, nice work!

We had b&w when I was growing up, even though my father sold color TVs. I finally inherited a color TV when I was in my late 20s, but it took years before it looked right to me (and some shows, like Star Trek, still look wrong to me in color).

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