Picture of Resurrect a Classic Portable B&W TV

Shortly before the first portable Motorola DynaTAC "brick" cellular telephone filled the palm of a Wall street yuppie, the original Sharp Sidekick was illuminating the camping trips of working class families. No I'm not having an episode of temporal displacement, or writing an episode of the Twilight Zone. The original Sharp Sidekick was a portable 5" B&W TV, not a cell phone with a slide out screen.

My Grandfather bought a used 1981 vintage Sharp Sidekick model # 3S-62 at a yard sale back in the mid nineties. He gave it to me and it's been sitting on a shelf in a closet for many years. I decided to bring this relic out of hibernation and make it more useful in today's world.

This TV, of course, has an analog tuner and can only be fed an RF signal through the VHF and UHF antenna terminals. This isn't of much use since the transition from analog to digital broadcast in 2009. One way that this TV can be used to watch broadcast, or cable is by installing a 300-to-75 ohm matching transformer, then connect a digital converter or cable box via 75 ohm coaxial cable. Another option is to use an RF modulator to convert composite or S-video signals to RF.

I wanted to have a set of composite (RCA) input jacks built in to the TV for convenience. That's what I set out to do, and with some deduction and a little trial and error I was successful. While I was at it I also upgraded the built in speaker for better sound. Please read on to learn how I did it.

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Wow, thanks for doing this ible, I've been wanting to know how to do this for a while. I have two of them that are waiting for a good purpose. I had four, but one was dead and I choose to harvest it for parts rather than try to fix it, and the other was critically damage while I was turning it into an oscilloscope.
technovative (author)  thewriterben1 month ago

It's satisfying to know that sharing this project, and what I learned while doing it is of value to others.

baecker031 month ago
just FYI, putting a resistor inline with the speaker isn't really a good fix. the ideal fix would be to properly match the correct inductive load.
technovative (author)  baecker031 month ago

If I were working on valuable high quality pro gear, I might be concerned with inductively matching the load. In this case my only concern was that the 8 ohm speaker might draw too much current, and damage the transistors in the amp. The series resistor will ensure that doesn't happen.

Ive got a similar TV that I picked up at a flea market. I'm not savvy enough to prove around high voltages with comfort. Maybe I'll make mine into a lunchbox or something, lol.

technovative (author)  gravityisweak1 month ago

I think it's best to steer clear of high voltage if you don't feel comfortable working with or near it. If your gray-scale emanating box is still functional, it seems tragic to tear out it's innards to make room for your hoagie and cheetos.

love it! if I ever come across one I'll be sure to pick it up! probably integrate a nes with it :)
technovative (author)  out-of-the-box1 month ago

NES + Sidekick = Retro Fun

Nice job! This is so cool!

Thanks for the nice comment! :)