The “Poor Man’s Flat Screen & Rolling Entertainment System”

The “Poor Man’s Flat Screen & Rolling Entertainment System”





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My old friend Patrick Young made what he calls the “Poor Man’s Flat Screen & Rolling Entertainment System.” I asked him to describe it for me.

Here are pictures of my Poor Man’s Flat Screen & Rolling Entertainment System. Pressured by the social stigma of having to keep up with the Jones’s I felt a need to get a flat screen of my own, one more in keeping with my economic crisis budget. So, I headed down to the State of the Art Electronics Department at my local Goodwill and snapped up a nice 27-inch cathode ray tube model and converted it to is flat screen form shown.

I’ve been told that a cathode ray tube holds a charge, as much as 25,000 volts, which is more than enough to blacken your grey matter, let alone kill you. I knew this to be true, when as a kid shooting .22s at old TVs in the dump with my brothers. A good shot would get a spectacular brief moment of plasma glow from the CRT just before it implodes.

To discharge the 27″ CRT, and keep it operational, I fished through my tool box and came up with a flat head screw driver with a well insulated handle. Then I rummaged through my electrical milk crate for a large gauge wire with two alligator clips on either end. I made sure that the alligator clips were big enough to attach to the metal shaft of my flat head securely. I then clipped the other alligator to the chassis, the metal band that rings the CRT. Then I located the rubber anode cap on the back topside of the CRT. Ensuring that I was only holding the insulated rubber handle of my flathead, I gently forced it under the rubber anode cap till I hit the metal of the anode aperture. Contact was realized with a loud snap as the brain-liquefying charge went to ground. With another flat head (insulated handle) I compressed the wings of the anode aperture clip and removed the cap. I was now safe to disassemble the rest of the TV and reconfigure it, with and assortment of nuts, bolts, threaded rod and screws, atop the repurposed
crate which would serve as my Rolling Entertainment System and DVD storage.

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Mark Frauenfelder is the founding Editor-in-Chief of Make: magazine, and the founder of the popular Boing Boing blog.

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