Temporary geek den.

Last week my parents where having a loft clear out and my dad called me to see if I wanted an old 14″ CRT  TV before he took it to the recycle centre. Now usually, I wouldn’t bother with old TV’s when using my retro computers and consoles as I prefer the extra desk space you get when using a slim LCD TV. However, just lately, and especially at Retro Revival where I spent an awful long time in front of glass screens, I’m really digging the bright, slightly curved, glowing pixel look you don’t seem to get on a modern LCD screen.

So ‘yes please’ said I picked and it up last Friday.

I’ve got this week off work to start decorating our study and with everything packed away I’ve temporary set up a bit of a geek den in the garage. My desk, an off cut of wood that was left over from when I made my monitor bezel for the Mame cabinet, sits resting on one of my larger tool boxes. I’ve also found that one of my camping chairs is just the right height for it too.

The whole thing looks ridiculous and homebrew and I love it! I just need a bigger desk, get my solder station setup, maybe a tesla coil and an assistant probably called Igor……yup, that’ll be those paint fumes for earlier.

Last night I thought I’d use my dad’s TV to test out a couple of ZX Spectrum’s I’d picked up from eBay a few month back. Both were sold as untested and I managed to win them both for just £3.

The first seemed to be working o.k although the picture quality through RF was a little ropey (made much better after adjusting the Potts) and the keyboard bezel was a little scratched. The second has a better picture but many of the keys don’t seem to work. A quick look under the hood shows that part of the keyboard membrane is damaged and way to short to fit into the two slots. I suspect someone has been here before.

So swapping some of the bits around  I’ve got one looking clean and working perfectly and another, fitted with a better looking bezel from my spares box and working with dodgy (but now clean 🙂 ) keys. I’ve ordered a new keyboard membrane so hopefully this will bring it back to working condition again.

I wonder if Igor fancies a game of Manic a Miner?

Speccy Tetris!



2 responses to “Temporary geek den.

  1. It was cool to read that you’ve started to get the hots for CRT-TV’s. 🙂 The TV in the post looks neat – I like the fact that it has a composite connector in front – that is very handy, not all TV’s have that.

    Personally I favour CRT’s for my old stuff, it just works better. The colours mix better, pixels are not so visible if you know what I mean. My main screen on the A1200 is a TV with integrated DVD-player. 😉 Also got a BIG one that I use for other stuff. I do use an LCD with my PC though. 😉

  2. I’ve just realised, it’s a Panasonic…that’ll match my 3DO quite nicely 🙂

    I’ll have to check it out with my Amiga now you mentioned it. Back in the day (when the only option was a crt tv) I longed for the day when I could get a proper monitor as my tv at the time only had RF and Workbench text looked terrible.

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