Sep 302012
 

A couple of years ago now, we finally got rid of our VHS recorder and the portable TV that Grete had when she first moved to Nottingham.  We just never used it.  We’ve never been bedroom TV watchers, despite the portable TV being in that room, so it was just taking up space.

I was pretty instrumental in doing that, Grete liked the TV and would have kept it and infrequently used it, if I hadn’t ‘encouraged’ her to get rid of it.

Today, I went out and intentionally purchased a second hand portable TV from a local charity shop for £9.  I’m just lucky Grete likes me quite a lot I guess.

The ZX Spectrums I’ve got all have various issues, and two of the 48k ones in particular had pretty bad display quality on our regular LCD TV.  I wanted to start messing around with changing the Spectrum output to Composite, and with the +2, I wanted to see if I could fix it and get the regular RF working.  What I didn’t want to do, was damage our main television.  Sure it’s a few years old and has issues, but that’s no reason to electrocute it.  Of course, it’s not likely I’ll do it any major harm, but rather than risk it, I thought I’d get an old CRT and then if I blow the RF or AV connector, it’s no great loss.

So I am now the proud? owner of a Philips portable colour TV.  I spent a few minutes tuning in the Spectrum I know gives a good signal (keyboard doesn’t work though), and then set about seeing how the others faired, and I’m pleased to say the two other 48k’s are much better on this TV than the main one.  Not sure if it’s an issue of how fine the tuning is, or just a small CRT disguising the problems better, but all three of the 48k’s give between a passable and an excellent image.

I took a load of photo’s, but of course, digital cameras and 50Hz CRT’s don’t mix very well. I did get a couple though.  These are both from the same Spectrum, which is the one that works best, despite having the worst external condition.

The +2 still doesn’t get much of an image (as you would expect, since the RF connection has been cut), but at least the other 3 are improved (or give the illusion of being better).

Once I knew it worked, I set about taking the +2 apart to see if I could get a Composite video feed from it.  I’ll post about that, later.

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