CRTs, Electronics, Flea Markets

Citizen 300-1010 – mini CRT


This CRT came from a SHARP VC-C50S camera that I found at a flea-market. The camera itself was surprising: I found a plastic zip-lock bag with a mini relay inside it (although it looked as it was never dismantled)! Given the amount of bodges that I found on the boards, I choose to believe that a worker dropped the bag by accident.


Here is a global overview of the camera:

Camera’s battery was impressive – 385g – that required some dedication to carry the camera around!

I decided to try to power on the camera just to see if it starts up, unfortunately, all lights were blinking red – not a good sign:

The mini CRT seemed easy to take out – attached externally to the camera, and independent cable! Good news is that I can easily take apart the EVF unit, bad news is that the cable looks custom. It means I have to dismantle the camera and de-solder the EVF plug.

While dismantling the camera, I noticed many many bodges. I would not have expected this from Sharp … not only that, but a little zip-bag with a mini relay fell off from inside!

As you will see below, the camera was made in Feb 1987.

Next step was to de-solder the camera plug (where the EVF is plugged) so that I could have an easier way to send signals to the EVF unit.

Mini CRT

It was finally time to have a look at the CRT. The camera didn’t show encouraging behavior (red blinking lights) and coupled with so many bodges, I wasn’t hoping for much for the CRT. It turned out that it does work!

The camera uses an AN2510s circuitry however, the trick I found still worked. The Flyback Transformer is usually connected to both GND and VCC directly (with its housing to GND) and then is a matter of trial and error to locate the Video In signal. Schematic is above.

Decided to keep some quartz crystals and forgot to mention that the sharpest image seems to be at 7.76V when it draws 0.078A. I start not to trust that much this little voltmeter that allows me to easily swipe through voltages, as the values indicate a bit off than my other multi-meter. However – for reference .. these are the shown values.

Image quality is impressive:

Citizen 300-1010 with Canon 100mm Macro at 1:1

Decided to reassemble the EVF unit but snapped few macro shots:

Of course, I was impressed so much with the image quality – I decided to record Manic Miner :).

I kept thinking if there is any other type of footage I could record to show the qualities of the CRTs in general, but I prefer to stay away from footage recorded by others. A high contrast game (as Manic Miner) seems to at least show some ghosting if its there at least. I am still on a lookout for a TV Signal generator (instead of relying on Raspberry PI + its own built in RCA convertor).

Manic Miner on Citizen 300-1010 CRT

It was a fun disassembly, especially due to the mastery zip-lock relay and because the CRT is a gem, even if the camera wasn’t.

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