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Thread: CRT to LCD Conversion Project

  1. #1
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    Default CRT to LCD Conversion Project

    I'm on the horns of a reasonably happy dilemma:

    I plan to convert one of these:
    Click image for larger version. 

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    From a CRT to a TFT primarily to go with my Apple IIe (and GS) but also as a 'general retro' device. I'm intending for this to be a build thread in due course but for the time-being I'd appreciate some suggestions:
    As it happens this 9.7" Apple monitor has exactly the same distentions as an iPad 1 or 2... funny that! I've pretty-well boiled down my options to one of the following:
    -1024x768 9.7" TFT with an el-cheapo driver board
    -2048x1536 9.7" TFT, also driven by an el-cheapo board

    Thoughts:
    -There's not much in it on price
    -More resolution, is a always a good thing... isn't it?
    but...
    -I can find driver boards for the smaller resolution panel that includes a wider range of inputs, including composite. Not the case for the 'better' panel.
    -Equally said driver boards for the lower resolution also have on-board sound, and there will be plenty of space for speakers. Not the case for the 'better' panel.
    -How much resolution will I actually need for retro applications..?
    -Is a high resolution 9.7" screen going to be of much extra use? (eyeballs!)
    but...
    -My Apple IIe can run a modern desktop environment, so more resolution could be nice.
    -I've just taught my Apple II to run RiscOS, a retro-ish OS that can output to some pretty big screens...
    -MWOR RESOLUTION!!!

    I think I should go the more sensible / practicable route, but am very tempted. Thoughts?

    Initial build piccie:
    Click image for larger version. 

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    -Let the Butchery Begin-
    Last edited by Charlie; 6th March 2018 at 15:55.
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    as long as whatever input board you use outputs /upscales to the native res of the screen it doesnt really matter once you get past a certain res. in fact if it handles composite in, it'll surely be OK with 200 -ish lines, so hey blurry in, blurry out!

    then get crt-pi shader working asap from your pi!

    really interested how you fit the screen to the case and if the ntsc woz colours make it through reasonably intact when you want them to. Will watch out for your photo's!

    good luck, iain

    ps I collect my sx-64 with 5" lcd tmo. Bas reports it to be very readable.. thats a 640x480 panel
    Last edited by iainjh; 6th March 2018 at 18:48.

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    Thanks Iain,
    I think I'll probably go with a 1024x768 panel as it should be enough and the available driver boards have all the inputs I want. I'm likely to take it fairly slowly; yesterday the Apple IIe, and the monitor I bought along with it, had a thorough dismantle and darn good clean - death rattle of a smoker is how I'd describe the grime and yellowing, especially the monitor...
    ...elbow grease and baking soda sorted the former.
    As you mentioned Retr0briting is going to have to be VERY carefully applied - the computer, and especially the monitor badly need it, but once the grime was off the keyboard was pretty good except the spacebar, so that got the Retr0Brite treatment today... in spite of lousy whether and much care the spacebar has some barely noticeable mottling. Pesky Apple plastic!

    For now I've ordered some more Hydrogen Peroxide and some perspex for the front of the monitor so an update in the next few days.
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    Hey there Charlie, I've been thinking of doing the same thing with the plastics of a 1084 for ages. Nevertheless, i highly doubt the initial crt has a completely flat surface, it looks as if it's slightly 'curvy'. This means that in order to fit the new panel, you'd have to shave the plastic frame completely flat to make it match with it.
    Is 9,7" the max you could do? You could save half the price of a Samsung 9,7" if you decide to purchase a 10,1" panel such as the LTL097QL01.
    And it maxes on 2048x1536. However i could only find controllers with an HDMI input for that one..
    Looking forward to what you decide! Good luck.

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    @salaxi54:
    Thanks for the interest. Yes, my dilemma is more resolution is good but I have to consider the driver board for the panel. As this will be a monitor for retro stuff it will be a pain to have to wire in yet another board to take care of connections I don't have...
    ...on the negative side for increased resolution I guess most of my retro hardware won't be able to make use of it and I may also avoid some scaling issues if I go with a somewhat matched panel. Oh, and RetroPie - I guess, again a lower resolution will be a better match for what a Pi can drive.

    The curved screen bezel? I have a cunning plan that does not involve cutting any plastic! I've bought some thin, lightly smoked, perspex which I intend to heat form over the front of the tube that came out of the monitor. All being well that will mount nicely inside the bezel and the TFT will mount in to the back of that... hopefully!

    Once it's all done (maybe!!!) I'm hoping for something that looks totally unmolested when switched off, and could be taken for a really sharp colour CRT when on... Old & new inputs, speakers, whatever else I can think of doing with the extra space.
    Last edited by Charlie; 6th March 2018 at 21:37.
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    Quote Originally Posted by Charlie View Post
    The curved screen bezel? I have a cunning plan that does not involve cutting any plastic! I've bought some thin, lightly smoked, perspex which I intend to heat form over the front of the tube that came out of the monitor. All being well that will mount nicely inside the bezel and the TFT will mount in to the back of that... hopefully!
    Looking forward to see how that goes! Are you going to use a heat gun to do that?

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    I have to admit I'll be working this out as I go along, but yes first I intend to support the tube vertically, give the tube itself a darn good heating with a heat gun, then lay the perspex on top and heat it with the same gun. In theory the perspex should just 'sag' over the tube and if I also get the corners right I'll hopefully be able to mount the perspex to the inside of the monitor's bezel just as the tube was. I'll need to try a test piece first to see if the floppy perspex will release from the CRT once it's hardened again... sometimes a thin layer of felt is required, but I'm hopeful the glass CRT will be smooth enough for that not to happen.
    Assuming no hiccups the LCD panel just gets hot glued to the inside of the perspex, but that comes later... a 9.7" LCD is the right size for the opening but for mounting behind the perspex I'll need to take account of depth & what looks right so buying the panel likely comes later.
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    Interesting project!

    I was just wondering if the perspex is going to cause distortion to the picure?
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    Dear god, what are you doing to that poor CRT!

    Interesting project. Following along
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    you want to be careful of implosion,when heating crt's
    i have got too much hardware,it would only hurt your eyes to look at it here

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