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azbigsam 07-07-2017 02:21 PM

How to safely remove a picture tube
I am removing the TV "guts" from a Curtis Mathes combo unit. It is a 21" roundie color set. I have no idea when it was last plugged in but have heard they can store a charge for quite some time. I don't have a high voltage probe. How can I safely discharge it or check to see if it has a charge before I remove it?

old_tv_nut 07-07-2017 03:15 PM

Use a metal screwdriver (preferably long and thin) with an insulated handle. Add a clip lead from the metal shaft of the screwdriver to the metal chassis. Poke the point of the screwdriver under the anode cap and touch it to the anode. If you hear a spark, there was a charge. In this case, wait 30 minutes and discharge again, as CRTs can build up a new charge a second time. If you make contact and there is no spark, there is no charge left.

CRT charge is generally not deadly, but is painful and startling and can cause you to drop the CRT, which can be a bigger problem.

If the set has been off a long time (like a month), it probably has no charge left anyway.

azbigsam 07-07-2017 03:41 PM

Thanks for the info!

hi_volt 07-07-2017 07:09 PM

Hey Sam. Is that the one you posted pictures of a couple of months ago? Are you repairing it or parting it out?

azbigsam 07-07-2017 07:30 PM

Its not mine but the owner wants the tv portion out and replaced with a newer tv. It will be going in his "Bat Cave" here in phoenix.
He said he has had it on and had somewhat of a picture. I am not sure of the condition of the picture tube. I am removing all the tv parts carefully and when you are in the valley if you are interested in them let me know.

Dude111 07-09-2017 07:39 PM

Good luck buddy!!!!!

CRTs are beautiful :)

Tubejunke 07-13-2017 12:56 AM

I know that it wasn't the question, but if someone is questioning the proper method of discharging the second anode, I can only assume that they haven't done many, if any crt removals. So I just felt compelled to stress the truly important need for caution in the physical removal of a crt. The heavy glass crt is under high vacuum. So if anything you do cracks or breaks the glass, there will be an implosion resulting in flying glass. There is quite a bit of glass in a 21" round tube.

With that being said, there is a definite need for goggles. A set of decent gloves isn't a bad idea. Lay the set on it's face after the chassis has been removed. Unbolt the main retainers up near the inside of the face is. Usually there are four nuts (2 top and 2 bottom) holding the tube. Pick the tube up by finding two good holding points at the large end where the bolts or nuts were. NEVER pick the tube up by the electron gun or neck (skinny end). Hopefully you will have a place staged to gently set the tube down.

NOW; textbook safety dictates that a "dud" be placed in a container and the vacuum be relieved so that some poor soul doesn't come across it and succumb to it's dangers. HOWEVER: we are talking about a "roundie" tube. There are good folks here who may not like me if I were to suggest that you do anything to harm the tube. Plus you can get a few bucks for the thing as restoration of anything with a round tube is all the rage these days. Also, I doubt you are going to find any fans of yanking the guts of any decent old (that old) tv and making some other device or version out of it. The idea has been happening since the first tvs ever got old and deemed obsolete for whatever reason. I've never seen an obsolete television set. They either work or they don't... LOL! I hope this helps and good luck.

init4fun 07-13-2017 10:55 AM

"How to safely remove a picture tube"

Hmm , if it wasn't for that one little word in there , , "safely" .....

:banana: I was gonna suggest a slingshot :D

:nono: But only cause the shotguns all outta ammo

azbigsam 07-17-2017 04:54 PM

Thanks for the advice and warnings.

Findm-Keepm 07-17-2017 09:04 PM

3 things I learned never to get comfortable around:

An open HV cage or power panel with interlocks defeated...

A "special" weapon (read: nuke...)


maxhifi 07-17-2017 11:31 PM

I go full on overkill, coveralls, winter jacket, face shield, welding gloves. Takes only a couple minutes to put it all on, and who knows, it may save me some day.

Notimetolooz 07-18-2017 11:03 PM


Originally Posted by maxhifi (Post 3186903)
I go full on overkill, coveralls, winter jacket, face shield, welding gloves. Takes only a couple minutes to put it all on, and who knows, it may save me some day.

I pretty much do the same thing with CRT of any size.

My 2 cents; watch out for "cushioning" material under the clamping at the face end. On older sets the rubber or cork can stick and if you are new to removing a CRT you might think it was the weight of the tube. After loosening the clamping band, run a dull knife around to make sure it is unstuck.

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