Thursday, 28 November 2013

Found! Pre-loved Blaupunkt

Check out this beauty:

My latest find! A vintage Blaupunkt

It's been a long time since I went on a hard rubbish scavenging mission. Mostly I just scour eBay and Gumtree for SCART televisions these days. Hard rubbish hunting is time consuming and can often lead to disappointment... you might find something good but it's damaged or wrecked.

That said, when something like this happens, and it makes me think I should be out there on the weekends while people still have CRTs to junk. I can't help but think some prized TVs must be sitting out on a suburban street right now. It eats at me. If people would only list their TVs for 99 cents on eBay I wouldn't have to face such mental anguish!

Anyway, here's how it happened: I was driving to band rehearsal last night and I spotted the distinct styling of a European television. I knew at a glance this was a Blaupunkt. The ubiquitous Samsung and Panasonic CRTs simply don't have these kind of lines:

I made a mental note about the location of the TV and kept an eye out for it at 11 pm when I was driving home. All the cars and garbage bins made it hard to see and I had to park the car and walk up the road before I finally found it again.

It was worth the effort though! A nice vintage 1990 model with trimpots inside! I plugged it in before work this morning and she fired up. Excellent!

Blaupunkt MS 70-109 VT M (chassis FM 500.70)
"Please take me home... In good order."
The TV has obviously been sitting on the side of the road for a while now. There are lawn clippings, dirt and water marks on it. However, the 30 degree heat yesterday probably did a good job of drying out whatever moisture this unit has endured.

We have snow!
SCART ports and S-Video
Audio outputs
This guy has serviced so many of my finds...
Can't wait to the weekend when I can get a chance to test this out with some actual RGB material! Could be a good candidate for some external pot modifications if the Service Manual is correct...

Tuesday, 26 November 2013

Sharp! PAL only with RGB

A curious little 20 inch TV arrived on my doorstep yesterday through a series of events.

A reader got in touch with me about a Loewe CT1170 he found on the street (nice score! E3000 mmm...) and he mentioned that he'd like something smaller for his apartment. Luckily, I had a neat little 34 cm Loewe at hand so we did a deal.

I ended up with some dollars for my baby Loewe and also an old Sharp TV that the buyer no longer wanted. He said that it was SCART equipped (with RGB input) but PAL only. And he was right! This is the first SCART television that I've found that won't sync to 60 Hz modes. However, the PAL preset in GroovyMAME works a treat with this thing! Jerky scrolling but at least it works.

Shame about the 60 Hz restriction as the picture is actually pretty nice on this thing!

Obviously I'll be pulling the back off this thing soon to see if there are any trimpots inside... more pictures to come!

Street Fighter II
Cal. 50
Caliber Fifty
Close up

New Gadget: VGA Isolator

A new gadget arrived yesterday... an Atlona AT-VGA11S VGA Ground Loop Isolator.

I discovered this little device a few months back and I had been curious ever since. The thing that stopped me jumping on it was the price. Well, maybe not so much the actual price of the item itself but the crazy FedEx postage that seller insists on using.

Anyway, because I have no will power to resist such cool looking little things, I finally pushed the button and a few days later this little beauty arrived. I haven't tested fully yet but hopefully there will be some benefits to report...

Package contents

All wrapped up
Top view
Input side
Output side

The idea behind this box is that by isolating the computer and CRT, any potential interference caused by ground loops will be eliminated. We'll see how that works out in practise... The manual promises some desirable advantages.

I also have some neat little 50 cm VGA cables on the way so that I can put this gadget in my signal chain (along with the Extron and UMSA).

Manufacturer pictures:

Model: AT-VGA11S
Tiny little thing...