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Sony Watchman FD-280 Teardown

Sony FD-280
Sony FD-280

Here’s another Sony Flat CRT TV, the FD0280. This one was apparently the last to use CRT technology, later devices were LCD based. This one certainly doesn’t feel as well made as the last one, with no metal parts at all in the frame, just moulded plastic.

CRT Screen
CRT Screen

Being a later model, this one has a much larger screen.

Autotuning
Autotuning

Instead of the manual tuner of the last Watchman, this one has automatic tuning control, to find the local stations.

Spec Label
Spec Label

The spec puts the power consumption a little higher than the older TV, this isn’t surprising as the CRT screen is bigger & will require higher voltages on the electrodes.

Certification Label
Certification Label

The certification label dates this model to May 1992.

External Inputs
External Inputs

Still not much in the way of inputs on this TV. There’s an external power input, external antenna input & a headphone jack. No composite from the factory. (Hack incoming ;)).

Power / Band
Power / Band

The UHF/VHF & power switches are on the top of this model.

Back Cover Removed
Back Cover Removed

Removing some very tiny screws allows the back to be removed. There’s significant difference in this model to the last, more of the electronics are integrated into ICs, nearly everything is SMD.

RF Section
RF Section

There’s the usual RF tuner section & IF, in this case the VIF/SIF is a Mitsubishi M51348AFP.

Tuner Controller
Tuner Controller

The digital control of the tuner is perfomed by this Panasonic AN5707NS.

Deflection / Sync
Deflection / Sync

The deflection & sync functions appear to be controlled by a single Sony branded custom IC, the CX20157. Similar to many other custom Sony ICs, a datasheet for this wasn’t forthcoming.

PCB Top
PCB Top

There’s very little on the top side of the board, the RF section is on the left, there’s a DC-DC converter bottom centre next to the battery contacts. This DC-DC converter has a very unusual inductor, completely encased in a metal can. This is probably done to prevent the magnetic field from interfering with the CRT.

CRT
CRT

Here’s the CRT itself, the Sony 03-JM. The back of this CRT is uncoated at the bottom, the tuning scale was taped to the back so it lined up with the tuning bar displayed on the screen.

Electronics
Electronics

Here’s the electronics completely removed from the shell. There’s much more integration in this model, everything is on a single PCB.

Phosphor Screen
Phosphor Screen

The curve in the phosphor screen can clearly be seen here. This CRT seems to have been cost-reduced as well, with the rough edges on the glass components having been left unfinished.

Electron Gun
Electron Gun

Here’s the electron gun end of the tube. There isn’t a separate final anode connection to the bell of the tube unlike the previous model. Instead the final anode voltage is on a pin of the electron gun itself. This keeps all the wiring to the tube at one end & shortens the high voltage cable.

Electron Gun
Electron Gun

Here’s the gun in the neck of the tube. Again this is pretty much standard fare for CRT guns. It’s more similar to a viewfinder tube in that the anode connection is running from the pins at the back. (It’s the line running up the right side of the tube). I’m guessing the anode voltage is pretty low for this to work without the HV flashing over, probably in the 2-4kV range.

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Sony Watchman FD-20 Flat CRT TV Teardown

Sony Watchman FD-20
Sony Watchman FD-20

Here’s an oddity from the 1980’s – a CRT-based portable TV, with a very strangely shaped tube. Sony produced many types of flat CRTs back in the 80’s, with the electron gun at 90° to the curved phosphor screen.

Front Panel
Front Panel

The front panel has the display window, along with the tuning & volume indicators. Unfortunately since analogue TV transmissions have long been switched off, this unit no longer picks up any transmissions off the air, but it can be modified to accept a composite video input.

Back Panel
Back Panel

The back panel has the battery compartment & the tilt stand.

Certification
Certification

The certification label reveals this unit was manufactured in May 1984, 32 years ago!

Spec. Label
Spec. Label

Rated at 6v, ~2.1W this device uses surprisingly little power for something CRT based.

Battery Holder
Battery Holder

The battery holder is a little unique, this plastic frame holds 4 AA cells, for a 6v pack.

Battery Compartment
Battery Compartment

The battery holder slots into the back of the TV, there’s also an extra contact that the service manual mentions is for charging, so I assume a rechargeable 6v battery pack was also available.

Front Panel Removed
Front Panel Removed

Removing a pair of pin-spanner type screws allows the front glass & screen printed CRT surround to be removed. Not much more under here other than the pair of screws that retain the CRT in the front frame.

Back Cover Removed
Back Cover Removed

Here’s the back cover removed, after unscrewing some very small screws. As per usual with Sony gear, the electronics is extremely compacted, using many flat flex cables between the various PCBs. The main PCB is visible at the back, this has all the deflection circuitry, RF tuner, Video IF, Audio IF, video amplifier & composite circuitry.

CRT Electron Gun & Flyback Transformer
CRT Electron Gun & Flyback Transformer

Lifting up the main board reveals more PCBs – the high voltage section for the CRT with the flyback transformer, focus & brightness controls is on the left. The loudspeaker PCB is below this. The CRT electron gun is tucked in behind the flyback transformer, it’s socket being connected to the rest of the circuitry with a flat flex cable.

CRT Rear
CRT Rear

Here’s the back of the CRT, the phosphor screen is on the other side of the curved glass back. These tubes must require some additional deflection complexity, as the geometry will change as the beam scans across the screen. There’s a dynamic focus circuit on the schematics, along with extensive keystone adjustments.

Sony 02-JM Flat CRT
Sony 02-JM Flat CRT

Here’s the tube entirely extracted from the chassis. The EHT connection to the final anode is on the side of the tube bell, the curved phosphor screen is clearly visible. The one thing I can’t find in this CRT is a getter spot, so Sony may have a way of getting a pure enough vacuum that one isn’t required.

I’d expect the vertical deflection waveforms to be vastly different on this kind of CRT, due to the strange screen setup. Not much of a beam movement is required to move the spot from the top to the bottom of the screen.

HV Module
HV Module

No doubt to keep the isolation gaps large, all the high voltages are kept on a separate small PCB with the flyback transformer. This board generates the voltages for the electron gun filament, focus grid & the bias to set the beam current (brightness) as well.

Bare CRT
Bare CRT

Here the deflection yoke has been removed from the CRT, showing the very odd shape better. These tubes are constructed of 3 pieces of glass, the bell with electron gun, back glass with phosphor screen & front viewing window glass. All these components are joined with glass frit.

Electron Gun
Electron Gun

The electron gun in the neck looks to be pretty much standard, with all the usual electrodes.

Viewing Window
Viewing Window

Here’s a view from the very top of the CRT, the curve in the screen is very obvious here. The electron beam emerges from the bell at the back.

FD-20 Schematic
FD-20 Schematic

Here’s the full schematic of the entire TV, I extracted this from a service manual I managed to find online.

More to come on hacking this unit to accept a standard composite video input, from something such as a Raspberry Pi!

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Tool Review – eBay Terminal Crimps

Soft Case
Soft Case

I recently decided to restock my toolkit, as there are plenty of jobs I need to sort that require the use of crimp terminals, so eBay again came to the rescue.
In my experience, cheap tools of any flavour are usually universally shite – I’ve had drill bits made out of a metal softer than aluminium, that unwind back into a straight flute bits as soon as they’re presented with anything harder to drill through than Cheese. Ditto for screwdrivers. But for once the far eastern factories seem to have done a reasonable job on this crimp tool set.

eBay Crimping Tools
eBay Crimping Tools

These are ratchet type crimping pliers, with interchangable heads so many different types of terminals can be used. A handy Philips screwdriver is included in the kit for changing the dies.

Large Dies
Large Dies

The largest dies in the set can handle cable up to 25mm² – just about the bottom end of main battery cables, which is very handy.

Medium Dies
Medium Dies

Smaller sets of dies are provided for other types of terminals.

Small Dies
Small Dies

I’m not precisely sure which type of terminals these dies fit – the profile is a bit unusual.

Tiny Dies
Tiny Dies

The smallest dies in the set are good for extremely small wires – down to 0.5mm

Automotive Dies
Automotive Dies

The pliers are supplied with the standard colour-coded automotive dies installed. Sometimes these terminals never crimp properly, as the dies just effectively crush the copper tube of the terminal, so more often than not the wire strands are just forced out of the terminal as the crimp is made, leaving a bad connection.

These are even better than the ratchet-type crimp tools at the local Maplin Electronics – the set of those I have just distorts when a large crimp is made, so the terminal never gets a full crimp. The steel is not stiff enough to handle the forces required.

Example Crimp
Example Crimp

Here’s a couple of large crimps on 6mm² cable attached to an ammeter. The crimps are nice & tight & hold onto the cable securely. The insulating sleeve on the terminals also hasn’t been cut through by the dies, which is often a problem on cheap crimp tools.