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Can I use this CRT as a monitor? Answered

I saw this hack on the MAKE blog yesterday, and it reminded me of a project I wanted to try a few years ago: a computer monitor like the one in the  movie Brazil (pictured below). This device appears to be a small CRT screen behind a large Fresnel lens. The lens is easy enough to find in the form of a reading-magnifier, but it was the screen that puzzled me. I couldn't figure out what I could use that I could hook up to a computer. I thought about hacking digital picture frames, but they wouldn't have the cool curved look of an exposed CRT. When the post on MAKE came out, I thought that maybe the screen he used from a Coleman Lantern/TV (which are pretty easy to find on eBay) would work, but I'm not sure. So my questions are these:
1.Could I use this as a computer monitor using similar methods as in the blog post or a different way?
2.Would it be a problem that the TV is black and white?
3.If it's possible, is it likely that an electronics amateur like me could do it? I have experience in circuit bending and blinking LEDs with Arduinos, but little else. This is the deciding factor for me if it is truly possible, I don't want to take on something well out of my skill range.
I realize that even if I did succeed, it wouldn't be very useful, but I'm still interested.
Is it possible?



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Best Answer 9 years ago

That Coleman TV is a nasty looking little device - We never had those in the UK.  
If you have a composite video output from your PC (some graphics cards do) you could feed it through a cheap modulator and plug it into the aerial socket of the TV.    Alternatively, you could use a device like THIS  plugged in to your PCs COM port and run it as a serial terminal.  (You'd still need to use the modulator.)  I think this would be truer to the original, especially run at 300 or 600 baud.


Answer 9 years ago

They do an Arduino shield version too, so you could write your own display programs for it.  There's some examples HERE. UK company, but I'm sure they'll ship across the pond.


9 years ago

Good film! I've thought about doing that too.
You might try to get an old B&W mini-TV and replace the CRT of a computer monitor with it, but converting your video-out to analogue-RF and feeding the TV with that signal is much safer.