The 1977 Sony Trinitron Fiasco


I recently met with @JavisG and got this absolutely brilliant 1977 Sony Trinitron TV. What a beauty! Or it was...

While bringing the set home, a Silverado locked up his brakes in front of me, and while I avoided an accident, the TV wasn't so lucky. It hit the side, and cracked the glass. Yikes.

Plot twist: it works. Kinda.

My theory was that this outer glass is part of the chassis, and not the tube (as evidenced by it not being dead) though this has stirred up some lively debate on Reddit where I asked about it. Some say the glass is laminated to the tube for strength, others say that the glass is part of the frame and should pop off. Both parties agree the odds of the tube being messed up (or even imploding) are pretty good.

Now I'm trying to decide what to do next.


I talked with some more knowledgeable folks than me, including @MattPilz who found a related Shango video on YouTube. Thank goodness for Shango, I don't think there's a TV he hasn't run into yet!

In this video he's mostly focused on the electronics, and never really works on the tube itself- though he does note that it's "delaminated" near the end of the video. The idea then is that the front panel of the TV might come off, and from there I can figure out how bad the damage is and what the state of things really are.

For a fix, we've got three options depending on what I find out.

The first is that the glass is part of the chassis and not the tube as originally hypothesized, in which case a replacement piece can be sourced from "somewhere" somehow.

The second was proposed by a Redditor who said that the tube used in this TV was fairly common, and that if we can find a TV in worse cosmetic shape with the same tube, we might be in business. I'll have to get a list of compatible sets and years, but a trip to the Portage County transfer station might be in order then. 😄

The third option is to mod the set to work without the tube, likely gutting the set in the process which I'd like to avoid if at all possible. I love the look of it, and it would look awesome at WCC shows, but I'd only want to do that as a last resort.