Do you own any CRT monitors for your retro stuff?

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Do you own any CRT monitors for your retro stuff?

Postby dada » 2015-5-01 @ 10:59

Hi all. Been a while since I posted...

I really love CRT screens, to me they're an irreplaceable part of the retro experience. They're also starting to become pretty rare at this point, since no new CRTs are being produced anymore. (Except maybe for specialist tech?)

One of my favorite CRTs is this ancient green monochrome CGA. Also I managed to find a second hand Sony FW900 from a design company. Still I'm probably gonna buy one or two more good large CRTs if I can find them since they're beautiful and I want to have some extras. :)
Also, I'd really like to buy an Apple CRT Studio Display from 2000 someday...
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Re: Do you own any CRT monitors for your retro stuff?

Postby creepingnet » 2015-5-01 @ 18:26

I've come full circle on CRTs.

I started messing with "retro" hardware back when people were calling 486's "E-waste" and 8088's "Useless/Doorstops". Back then I was lucky enough to find out what my favorites are, and god do I wish I still had some of them. Like the super heavy flat-panel CRT Zenith 1490 VGA from 1987, that thing had the brightness and contrast on top, they weigh about 45LBS (which is nuts for a 14" CRT), and have a cooling fan inside (probably why I found a lot of em' back then). VGA games in 320X200 look AMAZING on those. For CGA/EGA/Mono I had a Mitusbishi that I regret selling, it was a farily high Dot-Pitch EGA monitor with the ability to emulate Green, B&W, or Amber Monochrome, it had interlaced low res-mode graphics to compete with the best arcade monitors.

After awhile I got sick of the weight and started using LCD's, I had a very nice Dell that got cracked in an accident, which was replaced by an HP 1530, which really could not put up with the "weird" graphics modes my 486 threw at it and eventually started having problems where you could not turn it on without pressing the power button for 2 minutes and all kinds of other odd issues such as retaining images (it looks like when a DisplayLink USB docking station fails). After that experience, I started looking for CRTs for my old stuff again. The only old box left that will have an LCD is my Compaq Portable 486c, and that's because it came with one when new (640X480P).

Right now I've got a really nice and amazingly crisp CTX with digital controls from 1994, my 486 uses that, a fairly recent vintage blue IBM monitor for my 286, and am using a 22" Sony Trinitron WEGA TV for my Tandy 1000 - though I wish I could find a good 9-pin monitor for a decent price for the Tandy so I did not have to use TV Mode on a Television via Composite.
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Re: Do you own any CRT monitors for your retro stuff?

Postby dogchainx » 2015-5-01 @ 18:30

I switched from a CRT to an LCD...then back to CRT for now. My HP P1110 has some odd wavy lines (not moire) going vertical that I need to have a repair shop figure out so I put back my 17" Sony CRT, but I did game with a 20" HP LCD for a while.

CRT's at my local thrift shop used be in abundance until the past six months. I haven't see any in the past few weeks. There was a flat screen CRT Dell I should have picked up, but CRT's biggest down fall is the massive amount of space they take up. My 21" HP P1110 is just, well, massive and very very heavy. I do have a Sony 17" CRT right now that I fixed that works great, but wish it had a flat screen.
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Re: Do you own any CRT monitors for your retro stuff?

Postby jwt27 » 2015-5-01 @ 18:51

We had a thread about this, just a few days ago --> viewtopic.php?f=5&t=43005
Not to mention numerous others... Not that I'd mind another though :)

I use CRTs exclusively, and I prefer shadow masks screens with dot pitch as fine as possible for high resolutions in Windows, and as coarse as possible for low-res DOS games. A few years ago I decided to stock up on them, but all I could find were the boring average 17" screens so now I'm stuck with an attic full of junk.
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Re: Do you own any CRT monitors for your retro stuff?

Postby King_Corduroy » 2015-5-01 @ 19:23

Lol yeah I was just about to say that. XD
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Re: Do you own any CRT monitors for your retro stuff?

Postby dada » 2015-5-01 @ 22:58

jwt27 wrote:We had a thread about this, just a few days ago --> viewtopic.php?f=5&t=43005
Not to mention numerous others... Not that I'd mind another though :)


Whoops, I didn't look past the first page. :)

Yeah it's really a shame that CRTs aren't being made anymore. The gradual move towards high-dpi screens is probably going to be the final nail in the coffin for them. I really wish I could get one or two more big CRTs. Maybe even another FW900... Just to be sure I've got a couple until finding one in a usable state becomes really impossible!
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Re: Do you own any CRT monitors for your retro stuff?

Postby 133MHz » 2015-5-01 @ 23:38

Tons! I keep various flavors of CRT displays for each particular application:

  • 10" color TV as a workbench composite video monitor
  • 12" Monochrome Green TTL, high persistence for MDA/Hercules
  • 12" Monochrome Amber TTL, high persistence for MDA/Hercules
  • 12" Monochrome Green Composite, low persistence for 80-col CGA/Apple II/random monochrome video experiments
  • 12" Monochrome White VGA (in pieces at the moment)
  • 14" Color VGA, high dot pitch (0.41mm?) for 200~350 line retro PC gaming
  • 14" Color SVGA, standard dot pitch (0.28mm) for 400~600 line retro PC gaming
  • 19" Dell P992, for 3D shutter glasses
  • 13" Sony PVM-1354Q for Atari ST and the like
  • 14" Lifetec TV with RGB input for up-close console gaming, quick testing of arcade boards, or RGBI CGA in a pinch
  • 29" Philips 27CE4599 (which seems to be a white 27CE4299) with RGB input for couch gaming
  • 29" NEC XM29 Plus, not fully working, when repaired will replace the Philips above

For my main PC I'm very happy with a 27" 1440p IPS LCD, but I'd sure love to see a Sony FW900 in action. :)
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Re: Do you own any CRT monitors for your retro stuff?

Postby PeterLI » 2015-5-02 @ 00:25

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Re: Do you own any CRT monitors for your retro stuff?

Postby CelGen » 2015-5-02 @ 12:27

Too many to list. I got a full shed full of monitors for several different standards and sizes. At this point in the game it's getting way too hard to find them. I have not dumped a CRT in 10 years unless it had obvious problems.

If I knew where to get my hands on an IBM 6091 I'd fight caged bears for it.
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Re: Do you own any CRT monitors for your retro stuff?

Postby TELEPACMAN » 2015-5-02 @ 15:22

Gonna sell them soon :-(
IBM 14" (13" visible) fantastic for ms-dos and it can manage 1024*768 but I never use that res.
No-name 1991 SVGA that emulates green and amber monochrome.
A 15" syncmaster as a backup for the ms-dos machine.
Some Dell shadow mask 17" that I bought last month just because it was NOS.
Had many more but had to sell them.
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Re: Do you own any CRT monitors for your retro stuff?

Postby alexanrs » 2015-5-02 @ 21:29

All I have is a late 17" LG flatron, and it is stored away (not enough space to set it up). I'd love a good 15" DOS gaming monitor though.
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Re: Do you own any CRT monitors for your retro stuff?

Postby dada » 2015-5-03 @ 15:02

133MHz wrote:Tons! I keep various flavors of CRT displays for each particular application:

That is an amazing list! I've got a few really nice smaller CRTs including one nice amber monochrome screen, but unfortunately I have no computer to use with it. Maybe someday I will though.

133MHz wrote:For my main PC I'm very happy with a 27" 1440p IPS LCD, but I'd sure love to see a Sony FW900 in action. :)

I'm really happy with my FW900 but it's really showing its age. I might get a different large "main" CRT screen if I ever stumble upon a good one. It's still only the CRT I'm using for my retro computer, though. On my main computer I've fallen in love with retina displays :)

TELEPACMAN wrote:Gonna sell them soon :-(

Any reason you're gonna sell them? Just space constraints?

edit: some more pictures of stuff I have.

An IBM PS/1 model 2121. Looks awesome but it only has a 386SX soldered to the mainframe that runs at 16mhz. Still, a very cool machine.

The blue glow of the FW900 showing an MSDOS interface.

My Tulip monochrome CGA, plugged in to the matrix.

A tiny 9" CRT I bought one time because I saw it on Marktplaats and just couldn't refuse. :)

Yet another EGA screen that can mimic amber/green. Interesting detail is that I have the original box, along with the original box for the computer as well. I brought both of those over to my house by public transport. :) And yes, that was a ton of work.
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Re: Do you own any CRT monitors for your retro stuff?

Postby TELEPACMAN » 2015-5-03 @ 16:14

Space constraints, yep. That is the only reason. I prefer the CRT image and I also love the way they look, also like old pc speakers design.
- drooling over the 9" monitor -
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Re: Do you own any CRT monitors for your retro stuff?

Postby 133MHz » 2015-5-03 @ 17:36


Oh man, I've got not one but two of those for the same reason! :lol:
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Re: Do you own any CRT monitors for your retro stuff?

Postby dada » 2015-5-03 @ 18:14

133MHz wrote:

Oh man, I've got not one but two of those for the same reason! :lol:


Yep, I was gonna get it regardless of whether I'd find any use for it. :P
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Re: Do you own any CRT monitors for your retro stuff?

Postby jwt27 » 2015-5-03 @ 18:43

Whoa that 9" screen looks awesome. Do you have any specs on it?
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Re: Do you own any CRT monitors for your retro stuff?

Postby dada » 2015-5-03 @ 19:31

jwt27 wrote:Whoa that 9" screen looks awesome. Do you have any specs on it?


It's a very plain monitor, VGA15, 640x480 max resolution. But it's fine for old systems.
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Re: Do you own any CRT monitors for your retro stuff?

Postby ryoder » 2015-9-16 @ 01:15

I have a Tandy CM-11 for my TL and HX 1000s and am borrowing my brothers Amiga monitor for my 600.
I want to get a vga monitor. There is nothing like the sound of a CRT powering up or down to bring back memories and the warm and fuzzy (pun intended) can't be beat.

I had a CM-5 as a kid and the CM-11 feels like luxury with its crisp dot pitch.
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Re: Do you own any CRT monitors for your retro stuff?

Postby Agent of the BSoD » 2015-9-16 @ 04:03

I got one for my SS7 system. There's a local computer recycling service that I stopped by and asked if they had any CRTs. They usually just scrap them when they get them, but the guy there said he could hang onto one when one came around. Couple weeks later, picked up a 17" (15" viewable) HP p720. It is in such good condition too, and the image looks great. It's a shadow mask (which is what I was hoping for), and a .25 mm dot pitch. It's also a flat screen, which doesn't really matter to me, whether it was flat or not.

My main rig uses two 21.5" Dell LCDs. They're not really anything special, but they get the job done.
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Re: Do you own any CRT monitors for your retro stuff?

Postby xjas » 2015-9-16 @ 04:31

Haha I'm trying to get rid of some. Right now in my music studio I have a really nice 19" Hansol 930D connected to the DOS workstation and PowerMac G5 (I'm using it right now to write this post, displays at 1280x1024 just fine), a 5" Swann security monitor on my Roland S760 and a Commodore 1084S on the MSX. My game consoles (PSX, PS2, P4 & Dreamcast) share a big Toshiba 24" SD TV and I also have kicking around an indigo iMac G3 (hey, it's a CRT) and a 17" Sony Trinitron with 5xBNC inputs.

Not to mention a couple Commodore 1702/1902s, an EGA RGB and at least one other 14" VGA (which came with my first-ever-own-computer Packard Bell 486SX) in my storage lockup FAR away.

I do like a good CRT and it kills me that so many REALLY NICE ones that cost hundreds a few years ago are getting tossed away wholesale, but they are frigging bulky.
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