Tritium is an ominous lamp that sits quietly on the ceiling, projecting 3 rectangles of coloured light that blend together to form a multitude of colours below it. It is supposed to have the same feel as looking up from underneath at the boosters on a rocket taking off. Tritium is almost completely recycled from materials lying around the home. It can also be connected to a video source which allows it's coloured "boosters" to pulsate on and off, getting dimmer and brighter randomly and also projecting moving patterns on the floor. I hope you enjoy this project.
This project uses very high voltage. Taking apart CRT based equipment poses many hidden electrical risks. Do not attempt this project yourself unless you know exactly what you are doing.
Step 1: Materials & Tools
- Working rear projection TV (CRT based)
- Plywood sheet (10mm and 3mm thicknesses)
- Two by four beams (approx. 2m)
- Spray paint
- Drill + Drill bits
- Circular saw
- Screws and nails
This project was almost entirely recycled from waste.
Step 2: Removal of Case and Mirror
Use your screw drivers and dremel to take apart the housing. Keep the mirror for another project and the speakers as they will not be needed in this project.
Step 3: Disconnect and Remove Unwanted Peripherals
Remove the unwanted electronics such as the speakers, sound cards and antenna cards, ect. We essentially only want the tube drivers, power distribution and video boards.
Step 4: Disconnect All Cables
To make the assembly and furthermore; CRT removal easier, we need to disconnect all the wire. Luckily they are all slot loaded and unplug/replug with uniquely sized connectors so refitting will be a breeze.This should leave essentially wire-free motherboards.
Step 5: Removing Unnecessary Board Components
We want to flatten the boards as much as possible. Removing RF cans, heatsinks and unwanted input connectors certainly reduce size once removed. Use pliers/ dremel for this.
Step 6: Removing the CRT Screens
This is the trickiest part of the project. The CRT tubes are held in very tightly and are heavy to move around without breaking them. This is where electric shocks can happen too as the CRT's hold a high voltage charge in them even after they have been switched off for a while. Look up instructions on how to discharge these before touching them. Keep working them out until they are 3 separate units. Though they may all be connected by wires, do not remove these as they aren't quick fit terminal connectors like the motherboard.
Step 7: Cutting Out Base Triangle
Configure the 3 CRT's in a triangle formation, keeping the "bottom" portion of the screens facing outwards. Space them with a small gap between them and look for an equilateral triangle made by their frames (photo 2). Mark lens holes and also make the size of this triangle slightly larger than the size of triangle made by all 3 monitors.
Step 8: Support Arms
Temporarily place the electronics into the bottom triangle. The two by four can then be placed vertically and a rough height slightly above the top of the electronics is what you want to cut the support to. Make 3 of these and use long screws and glue to fasten them to the bottom triangle.
Step 9: Top Triangle
Line up the bottom triangle with another sheet of plywood. Extend a new larger triangle from the bottom smaller one. The more you extend it the steeper the resulting box will be and vice-versa. Mount the top the same way however avoid glue at this stage as you will need to remove the top triangle to add the electronics again.
Step 10: Insulating the Circuit Boards and Component Mounting
This is an important step as to not short out and damage the boards electrically. Mount in all the CRT tubes. Insulate each of them from each other by filling the area between them with expanding foam. This also creates a support for which they won't rattle around. Next, lay the video motherboard and power boards above the three CRT tubes. Before applying foam, reconnect all the wires and connectors that were removed before. Now insulated the circuit boards from another with foam and keep a reasonable space. The foam will also act as a strong support that will keep the boards in place. Let the foam harden overnight.
Step 11: Side Panels
Lay the whole unit on one side over the 3mm ply and mark out the trapezoid shape. Make one for each side. Cut these out with a jigsaw and then tack them to the main body. The entire project should be a completely self contained box by now.
Step 12: Hanging Mount and Paint
Drill three holes in the top triangle and thread rope through them to act as a mounting solution. This allows painting with a spray can to be much easier. I used black as it blends in with dark surrounding when this will be used the most.