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Old 04-10-2018, 09:17 PM
miniman82's Avatar
miniman82 miniman82 is offline
First Light: 1952-2011
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Location: Great Mills, MD
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CRT Rebuilding update

There have been some recent developments regarding the rebuilding effort, so I think an update is in order.

You all know by now that a successful rebuild attempt was made during last years ETF convention: I completed a 17CP4 metal cone tube that is still holding vacuum today, which proved the basic operation of the equipment at the museum. That tube mistakenly had a gun with a 12v filament installed in it, we still don't know how that happened but at least the tube works. In the future it will be easy to check the heater of the guns before installing them, to make sure that doesn't happen again.

Recently I made a trip to LA to purchase a large inventory of tubes and rebuilding equipment from a company called Quest International. They are still in business, just not with tubes anymore. The tube inventory is being sold on the ETF site, so if you need anything in the way of B&W or color in a square glass format contact the museum. They have a part number list of what I brought back with me, and we're working on getting technical data on them. These were used in medical imaging, high res stuff.

The rebuilding equipment was brought back to my place here in Southern Maryland, for two very good reasons:

1. I can't be at the museum full time rebuilding tubes, and only 2 weeks a year during convention time rebuilding tubes helps no one. We would only get 1, maybe 2 tubes like that.

2. I'll have complete quality control over every step of the rebuilding process here at home, it will be my retirement job. I'll also be customizing the equipment to suit my needs, which should help increase output as much as possible.

This doesn't mean the stuff at the museum goes to waste, I'll still be there at the meet demonstrating the equipment and it's still perfectly viable machinery if someone wants to learn on it. I made the decision to go after the stuff on my own dime in the best interests of the community, because I can better serve customers when the equipment is near me instead of in Ohio.

Doing any actual work is still a ways off, I have to complete outfitting my garage for operations and set up all the necessary utilities like electrical power and gas/air lines. Safety is a concern for me as well, so I'll likely wind up with fire hoods over the pieces with open flames to make sure I don't burn the place down. Should make the insurance people happy as well.

I'll post more updates as they become available, but for right now know that I'm committed to bringing an effectively dead service back to the community in the not so distant future. I just hope you collectors out there are ready to uphold your end and actually buy some tubes. lol

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Old 04-10-2018, 09:38 PM
Dubis7's Avatar
Dubis7 Dubis7 is offline
Alchemizes cash to tubes
Join Date: Nov 2014
Location: Leesburg, VA.
Posts: 145
Where are you in Southern Maryland? I'm in Northern VA. Dunno how much help I could be right now, but I can't imagine it would hurt to have someone learn to use some of this stuff at 21.

Actually, come to think of it, as a recently graduated film student, do you think it would be a good idea to do a sort of documentary on the process? Having sort of edu-video of tube rebuilding would help preserve the knowledge for the future. I'm a screenwriter myself, but I know people who make documentaries.
To keep your tubes running smoothly, make sure to dust underneath the glass as well.
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Old 04-14-2018, 09:05 AM
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AlanInSitges AlanInSitges is offline
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Location: Sitges, Catalonia, Spain
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That sounds like a pretty great idea. There was a long video shot shortly before Hawkeye shut down; it's interesting (for the handful of us that are obsessed with this stuff and actually understand what's going on) but I think it would be dull and way too dense for most people.

There was a long piece on The Verge not along ago talking about vintage TVs (kinda) and that touched on the subject as well. The article was pretty much a shitshow, written by someone who appears not to understand the distinction between a CRT and a TV that uses a CRT. But it was widely circulated and discussed, and I think it's a subject that would be fascinating to a large number of people, provided it were a well told story with a narrative and so on.

I think you should try to do it.
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Old 04-15-2018, 01:05 AM
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Robert Grant Robert Grant is offline
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Originally Posted by miniman82 View Post
I completed a 17CP4 metal cone tube that is still holding vacuum today, which proved the basic operation of the equipment at the museum. That tube mistakenly had a gun with a 12v filament installed in it, we still don't know how that happened but at least the tube works.
Maybe you should write the EIA (or successor of same) for the designation of this unique tube.

Looking at Frank's tube site, the last 17" CRT code was the 17EZP22*, so I guess you have the world's only 17FAP4.

*noting the real oddity of the 17QCP(n) series available with many different types of phosphor.
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