We arrived home this evening, grabbed the remote, and flipped on the television to catch the local news. Nothing. Walked over and manually pressed the power button, just like in the "olden days." Still nothing. Our TV is a 1992 RCA Circuit City floor model, so it doesn't really owe us anything. Still, the picture was excellent, so it was worth a rescue effort. Time for some serious troubleshooting.
Said troubleshooting was complicated by the array of paraphernalia around and on top of the TV, as well as by the 500 pound wood armoir in which it resides. After disconnecting the TiVo, DVD player, and VCR and removing the complete Sopranos
anthology from the perimeter, I was able to spin the TV around far enough to get to the power cord. That was fine, so I went to unplug it and try a new outlet. I immediately discovered that the space between the armoir and the wall is exactly
the same width as my forearm, so as soon as I reached in to pull the plug, I could no longer see what I was doing. The armoir was too heavy to move, and this summer's project to mount it on castors remains undone, so I struggled on, sweat starting to bead on my brow and run down my sides. Thankfully, the wife was enormously helpful, sipping her cocktail and offering useful suggestions like, "could it be on a timer?" and "maybe the battery in the remote is bad."
Eventually, I extracted the box from the cabinet, set it on the floor (that thing must weigh a hundred pounds), and plugged it into various outlets around the living room with no results. Now, my knowledge of electronics is not exactly boundless. In fact, it is quite limited. Some would say even rudimentary, and I would consider that a compliment.
Nonetheless, I pulled out my trusty Craftsman tool set, which I normally reserve for pretending to work on cars, and set to work removing the back, this time pretending to work on TVs. My intention: replace a blown fuse. This is within my skill set, for two reasons: 1) I know what a fuse looks like, and 2) there is a Radio Shack close by the house.
The back of the box was fairly easily removed by breaking two plastic clips (it doesn't work now, what do I care about a couple clips) and removing about ten self-tapping screws. The reveal: a huge CRT as expected, and a tiny circuit board, which was considerably less than expected. Following the power from the tap at the back of the cabinet, through what I presume to be a transformer, and into the circuitry revealed absolutely nothing
that to me resembled a fuse. Stymied.
100 pound TV in the middle of the living room. 7 PM. No food. No news.
Time to make something happen, as the wife was getting bored playing with the new iPod Nano. I ran upstairs, got the little 20-incher from the bedroom and hooked it up to the TiVo. The DVD and VCR were canned due to lack of inputs, and the 13-inch kitchen set relocated to the bedroom. Now I have a 27-inch, 100-pound sculpture (back removed, broken clips, thank you very much) sitting in the living room. The binoculars are on the coffee table so we can see the little bedroom TV, which now looks like Jonah sitting in that whale of an armoir. After the sewage spill, which has been cleaned but not repaired, it feels like everything is disintegrating around me.
Any TV repair tips, there, Enginerd Don?