I have three enormous CRTs available in good condition, and they need to be out of my place very soon. I really don’t want to have to drop these off at Weird Stuff or recycle them, as they are pretty much every old console, computer, or PCB owner’s dream. These are not fixed-sync or even tri-sync monitors–they’re much better than that. You can toss anything at them, from the lowest console resolutions up to a NeXTcube NeXTdimension color signal. 15kHz? No problem. Wacky Amiga resolutions? Sure. Sync on green? It’ll just work. There is pretty much no analog video signal that these cannot handle.
I’m in the San Francisco Bay Area (Sunnyvale, specifically), and they are large and heavy, so you will need a car with decent room to toss them in–a station wagon will definitely work; the back seat of a Honda Civic might work for the smaller ones. I might be able to deliver them in a trailer if you don’t have any other option, but I’m fairly busy so I can’t guarantee this. It is not impossible to move them with two people, and I am obviously willing to help, but some cleverness is usually necessary if you’re lacking in brute strength. I am also willing to freight them outside of the Bay Area, but only if you will handle the details of getting them crated and picked up from my place. This would be a few hundred bucks from my estimates, but it is your responsibility to figure it all out. If you want them and don’t want to drive here from a few states away, this is probably worth it, as they don’t pop up regularly (in fact, acquiring each one required a fair bit of driving on my part).
Here’s what I have:
Mitsubishi MegaView Pro 37" (XC-3730C) (37") - This one is my favorite. It has a flat tube, very sharp picture, and great color. It is also the least annoying to move. There is a service menu available if you pop the back off and flip a switch, which was useful for realigning the picture for 15kHz signals, as for some reason it would cut it off horizontally for certain inputs (see picture below). The setting I changed to fix this probably controls some sort of voltage, as the fan speed (yes, all three of these animals have fans) decreased when I adjusted it, but the monitor runs fine.
Mitsubishi MegaView Pro 42" (AM-4201R) (42") - This is, to my understanding, the largest mass-produced multiscan direct view CRT ever made (HDTVs don’t count–none do 15kHz, and we all know about the awful latency issues most HDTV CRTs have). It is a monster, but it does have two handles on the side for (less agonizing) lifting. I believe the speakers are removable if you don’t want to use them, but I haven’t fiddled with them. This monitor does not have a flat tube, but arcade monitors are generally not flat tube either, so this may actually be the most authentic monitor of them all.
[*]NEC XP37 Plus (XP3790) (37") - This one does have a flat tube, and also a much fancier OSD than either of the Mitsubishi monitors. The monitor seems to be a bit more flexible with input signals than the PDF indicates, though the OSD is garbled (but still works) in these modes.[/list]
Here is a picture of all three monitors running. This is a lousy picture, so it is not indicative of quality, just that all the monitors do indeed work. Note that this picture is from before I fixed the alignment issue on the rightmost monitor. From left to right: XP37 Plus, AM-4201R, XC-3730C. I haven’t tested the speakers on any of these monitors, but I would imagine they’re nothing particularly special. If you’re going to have a monitor this nice, it would be silly to use the built-in speakers!
None of these come with remotes, but any computer-programmable remote (or laptop with IR transmitter, PalmPilot, Newton, etc.) will work as a substitute, and the codes and button layouts are available on the net–no need to pay some eBay shithead $100 for an old remote. Fortunately, no remote of any sort is really necessary, as unlike many TVs, the buttons/switches on the front and back of the units actually let you change all the settings.
As for maintenance, I have found a site with a service manual (not user manual–these are all over the net) available for the XP37 Plus for about $20. I have put a lot of effort into finding service manuals for the Mitsubishi monitors, but never managed to shake anything loose. (I called about eight different numbers at Mitsubishi before I finally found an old service guy who even knew what I was talking about. When I said the model numbers, he laughed. Sadly, he then went on to say that if I’d called just a few months before, he would have still had the manuals in a file cabinet, but recently tossed them out, thinking that nobody was ever going to ask about them at this point.) If you’re determined to find something, I would try calling repair companies that used to (or still) service CRTs back from this era. You might be able to get a list from that guy at Mitsubishi if you can get in touch with him–sorry, I don’t recall his name or number.
I’ve tried to cover everything you might want to know about these monitors, but if you have any questions, please ask. If you are interested, please get in touch ASAP.