80s VHSCamcorder and BW CRT TV, fusion complete.

<[ homage to the game Observer and its protagonist Rutger Hauer ] ¬

Whilst taking a break from the IN-12a Nixie’s Clock I kept researching for other interesting project, and me being me I’ve oriented my search to vintage electronics and apparels. Not long into my “YouTube tunnel” couple of hours on a late night I’ve bumped into a few videos of people hacking into old crt TV and feeding composite signals into them. That hooked me straight away. A couple of eBay auctions and I scored a 5″ TV and a VHS movie camera for £8 and £12. The camera was delivered early in the week while the TV got delivered Friday evening, so the weekend ahead instantly looked like fun!
This CRT is literally minuscule 🙂
First part that got delivered was the camcorder, so I started straight away and dismantled it down to the core pieces. I knew I wanted to save the viewfinder for a future project, so I’ve been very careful with it. Ended up with literally one board, the lens block and the viewfinder block.
After getting the camera into pieces I started having issues with keeping the thing powered up. It looks like the main board goes through some check during the boot up, if we can call it that way, and cuts the power if something is wrong. Obviously, having chopped half of the electronics, and all the mechanics (the camcorder/deck part), “something” had to feel wrong to such checkup stage eheh. Well, after trying to figure out which part was causing the power cut I decided I didn’t care, I knew which blocks I HAD to keep and I didn’t care about the ones I had to leave behind. So I decided to bypass the relay which cuts the power completely. I knew I needed to sort out how to power this thing anyway, so it was OK.
Once the TV arrived I couldn’t wait to crack it open and check what was inside. SAFETY WARNING :just kidding, I’ve actually been VERY careful with THIS step! And if you’ll ever try and open an old CRT TV you should also be really careful. Just Google “how to discharge a cathode tube” and follow that procedure BEFORE you start grabbing the cute little CRT with your hands. That cathode tube can stay charged for many hours with hundreds Volts and you don’t want to get zapped with it. Anyway, once safety was being applied I started to generate some signals and feed them into random pins around the TV board.
Internet doesn’t have much information about the main chip which is used into this TV, but Google lens helped me figuring out the pinout of the CD5151CP from this Chinese datasheet I’ve flund. This is the the main (and pretty much only) integrated circuit chip. To my surprise I’ve realised that each and every video I’ve bumped into about this type of experiments mentioned they’ve been feeding some composite signal into pin 5, the video input pin. Well, my TV just have a different pinout and the data sheet I’ve found confirms my findings, the input pin is pin number 6. Took me a while to figure out, and at some point I thought I was going to give up, since I felt like I couldn’t even get just a damn pin to work which everyone seems to be using!.
…. and then I’ve found the composite signal pin OUT from the camera and fed that one to the CRT instead. 🙂
With the electronics sorted, I needed sometging to hold this thing together. 3D printer to the rescue.
I needed to create some sort of “cage” to keep the components together, and I jumped straight into Houdini, being my only 3D package of choice for anything. This is the first draft of the base which will support the 5″ CRT.
With the idra of keeping all the part together somehow I’ve quickly modelled some sort of support for the CRT to which I could hook/glue/strap the boards.
Holding everything together has proved itself quite challenging, and after soldering the power lines together, the composite signal from the two boards, and using hot glue to keep everything together here’s the finished piece.
Unfortunately I must have slightly damaged something on the camera sensor board, as now the light sensitivity seems to have some issue in part of the image, but that’s fine, it gets the image even more… Hmm.. weird just like the rest of this piece 🙂