Instructables
Have an old or useless CRT monitor or TV your considering to throw out?

Well, before doing that, you might want to consider salvaging the onboard components such as the transistors, heatsinks, resistors, capacitors and especially the flyback transformer for later cool projects.

The goal here is to keep the tubes out of the landfills because they contain large amounts of lead and phosphor, and stuff you really don't want to pollute the environment which may seep into the underground water supply.

Taking apart a TV or a monitor may sound easy, but it can be very dangerous if you don't practice safety procedures.

You can also see a slightly different tutorial on my website

In this instuctabe, I'll show you how I dismantled two CRT monitors.

 
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Step 1: Materials

Disclaimer:
Taking apart the TV or monitor can be very dangerous. High voltage may remain stored inside the tube even after being unplugged for a few years. Be careful not to drop the CRT. You could get seriously injured or die if mishandled. I am NOT responsible for any injuries you may receive for failing to adhere to proper safety procedures.

Having said that, lets begin.

For this task, all I used were:

-  a pair of rubber gloves
-  two cutting pliers
-  a Phillips screwdriver, and
-  a Flathead screwdriver
-  a safety goggles

Note:

These are the tools you will need for your typical disassembly, but may vary according to the types of fasteners used. Wearing your safety goggles is important to prevent eye injury or blindness in case of an implosion of the tube.

Step 2: Remove the screws holding the case together

Remove the screws holding the back on.

You should also also check for plastic tabs usually located on the top in between the seam and at the sides or bottom.

The top tabs were particularly tricky to unhook, but were eventually popped opened.

Sometimes the screws can be truly hidden, and takes a while to find. Some may behind small plastic doors and others may be hidden behind stickers.
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Misac-kun6 months ago

I have dismantled my old CRT monitor and now I have no idea how to dispose the Tube itself. [kids usualy trow rocks at them, when they find one laying on the road side, just to hear the BOOM!]

The charge is between the out side of the CRT and the inside surface and the whole thing is floating above earth ground. If the ground in the monitor or tv is not hooked to the earth ground then it will not discharge all the way. To get full discharge run a third wire from clamp / screwdriver and the chassis ground.

steliospc9 months ago
recycling monitor
mgingerich10 months ago
Nice Instructable! CRTs are gold mines when it comes to salvaging parts :)
ajr33531 year ago
Hi,
I have a question for you, as I don't know much about electronics. When removing an older (2000) large Sony Trinitron CRT tv to make room for my son's new flat screen tv in the playroom, the big old tv was dropped, cracking the plastic housing (as far as I can see). The screen is still intact. I was not home at the time of the incident, but the man moving the tv said he did not hear an explosion noise. I had the tv removed as soon as I read how toxic tv materials can be (it was in the playroom for about 6 hours after the drop), but I'm now concerned about potentially hazardous materials in my house. If the screen is not broken, and I saw no traces of broken glass anywhere (only a crack in the plastic near the speaker), can I assume that the CRT is also intact? Should I be concerned about toxic or radioactive materials leaking out with no external evidence?
MrJentis (author)  ajr33531 year ago
There should be no cause for concern because the harmful materials are applied as a coating on the inside surface of the CRT. If the glass is not broken, then there should be no leakage. The glass is very thick and is relatively hard to break.
Ortzinator2 years ago
Those gloves aren't going to do you much good if you get a zap. :/
MrJentis (author)  Ortzinator2 years ago
Your absolutely right. My pair of rubber gloves were unavailable at the time so I just put on a pair of gloves for the sake of wearing them for the demonstration. I was unlikely to get zapped because:
  1. I was holding the insulated handles of the jumper cable and the screwdriver
  2. The wire was grounded, so any electrical energy would take the path of least resistance, i.e, through the wire, and
  3. my tube had already been discharged mysteriously during operation (see image soot mark on the case that's just above the positive lead to the tube)
Thanks for pointing that out though, I'll make a note to use rubber gloves in my pages.
IMG_3620.jpg
zapro MrJentis2 years ago
The "soot" marking on the top of the case is just the electrostatic attraction of dust, and it's perfectly normal. A functioning flyback transformer has a built-in bleeder resistor that drains the charge when the monitor is turned off - but this high voltage resistor can fail, and that's why you always discharge the CRT before touching. Also, IF the CRT is charged, i would recommend mounting a strap from the Anode connection to the rimband which is grounded on the CRT to avoid charge building up again (it can charge up again due to deep charge in the glass)
I was thinking the same thing. Cloth gardening gloves would not be my first choice for Hi-pot work. If you don't have a pair of proper rubber electricians' gloves, then rubber dishwashing gloves (2 pair, one inside the other, by preference) are better than nothing, and certainly mores safe than cloth gloves.











halamka2 years ago
I just found a 20 inch color tv down a hill. I tried it . it works. So i will keep it I played "Namco game on it. You could have kept that monitor and tried to build a "COMMODORE COMPUTER" . Well the storage of all those monitors might have lead to an oriental "Mein Kampf " somewhere. I have taken apart over 500 electronic sets. I often resort to kicking the thing apart. After I get a bunch of circuit boards I use a propane torch and a pair of pliers to remove components. I donate working parts to "COMPUTER ZONE OF SANTA CRUZ". I donated a working Koss boombox CD to Abbotts. I know that todays computers dont have the sophistication of FORTRAN computers of the 1960 and 1970's. I took thousands of 74xx gates off of assorted computer boards. Those computers made customized paths for each numerical program written. The circuits had numerous "buses" instead of only 1 data bus and one address bus as is used with a simpler microprocessor computer. Please get busy and build all of us a non microsoft computer like a "Commodore" And make a billion dollars.
"Have an old or useless CRT monitor or TV your considering to throw out?"

Going to have to stop you right there, Jentis. The flash bleached out the projector, and you can't see the displays to the left along the countertop with the tower, but you get the idea.

Until I scrape the money together for a graphic card capable of a quad display, or a cheap videowall adapter...a cloned duodecuple display will be equally entertaining.
wut.jpg
Heh! Interesting way of re-using CRT monitors. Now, if you could just get a few more, you could have a "wall of video. An entertaining experiment, although I'd hate to see the power bills, LOL.
I've got more, but this is my only projector wall. As it stands, this shrunk my screen from over eight feet to under six. Besides, any more here, and the wiring is going to get scarier than the power bill. That one VGA line has a powered four-way splitter, eight-way splitter, and a scan converter acting as both a splitter and a booster. The room was wired for heavy power draw...but I still don't want to plug power strips in to power strips.

Oh, and it seems the complementing portion of my comment was cut off when I pasted it in. Honest and for-truly, this started as a "Kudos" kind of post, not a "look-what-I-did-that-is-unrelated!" post. I've been asked several times to gut a CRT for people who just want the case. It's nice to have a place of cautionary instructions. Reading the comments, you've also created a nice forum area for other people to voice other cautions.
rbafcj2 years ago
For those of us who are electronically disabled,I think we need more instructables like this to show us how to disassemble things to salvage parts for use in other projects. And that includes all the great feedback .

lime3D2 years ago
For discharging/grounding, rather than discharging at the suction cup, then cut the ground wire, could you do it all in one step by just connecting the wire cutter to ground?
zack247 lime3D2 years ago
the problem is that the ground wire is only grounded when the monitor is plugged in, otherwise it has no direct path to the earth. to be as safe as possible its wiser to discharge the tube and detach the ground wires afterwards.
pfred2 zack2472 years ago
Ground and earth ground may, and often are two different things. You can still discharge potentials without an earthed ground. Why if you couldn't then electric cars would run forever now wouldn't they?
zack247 pfred22 years ago
but wouldnt the monitor's ground plane be too small to discharge something like that without being connected to earth?
pfred2 zack2472 years ago
If your ground theory was true then we wouldn't even have to worry about the charge in the tube shocking us if we weren't grounded. But we do, so it stands to reason the chassis should be able to get "shocked" instead of us. Thus dissipating the charge in the process of taking a hit for the team.

I guess if you could manage to completely isolate yourself, then raise yourself to the exact potential the tube was charged to you'd be perfectly safe. Me, I'm going to stick with discharging the tube though. Guys that work on high tension power transmission lines do that though. They charge up to the line voltage before they work on them.

It is even crazier than it sounds.
I have taken many of these apart and so far not even a spark. I usually let them sit at least a couple of weeks just to make sure the charge has drained on it's own. I do do the screwdriver touch under the suction cup. I also have taken many microwaves apart and same thing not even a spark. I never take anything apart that was just pluged in. I always let it sit for at least a couple of weeks before taking them apart. Just use common sense if you are worryed and not comfortable taking these things apart then you probably should not..
Most modern CRTs and microwave ovens have a self discharging, or bleeding, resistors. That's the reason why you almost never hear a loud pop.
Better be safe than sorry though, so even if you see a bleeder resistor, don't assume there's no residual charge left.
Agreed. Use common sense and always be cautious. My son likes to help me but, I never let him touch anything untill I have checked it out first.
lime3D zack2472 years ago
I understand that it is not grounded.

You connect a screwdriver to the ground with a wire, and discharge at the suction cup.

Couldn't you just connect a wire cutter to the ground with a wire, and simply snip the wire to the suction cup?
zack247 lime3D2 years ago
ah, my bad. i misunderstood what you were saying.
it would work, but youd still have to get the anode cap off, using the screwdriver kind of does both at once.
pfred22 years ago
What exactly do recycling centers do with old CRTs? I've seen some videos on the net where they usually end up, but I'm wondering what you think.
randofo pfred22 years ago
It depends on the center. That is why it is important to ask them where they are sent off to. I bring mine to one that sends them for complete processing in-state.
pfred2 randofo2 years ago
That must cost a fortune! Most just get dumped into concrete pits in China for people to break up with rocks, or end up in Ghana from what I've seen of it.
randofo pfred22 years ago
California has some sort of incentive for them to take it free of charge. I don't fully understand it, and I don't ask many questions. But I am not surprised that the state is constantly on the verge of bankruptcy.
California charges recycling fee when you buy electronics or other items that need to be recycled including water. So they cant legally charge you again for recycling.
For us in Lancaster PA they go to the incinerator which burns them and many other things and converts that into electricity.
One place (I think it's the one near here in Syracuse) takes the CRTs out, and manufactures new TV sets out of them for the Indian market. Odd that they just couldn't use the whole thing, but I dunno.
If you want to be REAL SAFE with the CRT.

Then as soon as you remove the back of the cabinet first unplug the socket from the back of the CRT, then take a flat screwdriver and place it against the plastic pin in the center of the CRT pins.

Strike the back of the screwdriver solidly one time. You should get a loud hiss, you have removed the vacumn from the CRT, and at the sametime discharged the second anode as it will not stay charged when not in a vacumn.

This is what I have done for more than 40 years to safty a CRT.
cnegrea2 years ago
wrong way!
you have to clip a wire on a metal part of the tube, the another end to the suction cup, don' t change the order.
Grounding is just as good, the "metal part" of the tube is the ground of the tube, earth it out as described is quite a good method as well, as the earth is and will always be of lesser potential to the potential in the tube... how ever if you want something to pick on I would pick on that woolen glove.... that is not going to save anybody ... lol <3

Check out these video's before you try anything like this: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=6rZcQTbOfLM&feature=results_main&playnext=1&list=PL66043B605F617DDF

alemun2 years ago
I was able to find all of those Micro Parts in a Micro Wave Oven that I also found at the recycle station. GREAT pictures.
sgru2 years ago
Anyone know of any good uses for the electron gun itself?
menahunie2 years ago
We had allot of fun recycling a number of old CRT's; dumpster bombing from the 12th floor.; really nice big boom upon landing in the dumpster.
buteman2 years ago
The CRT is acting like a capacitor. You would discharge that by connecting a wire between the negative and positive leads so you should do the same with the CRT. One of the pictures shows the earth connection on the tube ( the one with the spring on it. ) Do as cnegrea said.
SolidRaven2 years ago
The most problematic to remove -and often the most interesting- component is the flyback transformer. It generally has a lot of connections and in more recent CRTs it's stuck to the board with epoxy. Don't use brute force to remove it, you'll damage the pins and windings. To get rid of the epoxy you simply have to use a small knife or a scalpel.

If you don't have a desoldering station you might want to resort to using multiple soldering irons and a lot of braid/wick. Ideally you get a friend to help with this. One person heating up the soldering joints and removing solder with some wick while the other person applies some force using a screwdriver to try to lift the transformer off the board.


Avoid smashing the circuit board, FR isn't exactly the healthiest substance. Also avoid heating one pin too much in a short time span, you'll damage the transformer as well.
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