Found this mini CRT inside an impressive Panasonic NV-M5E VHS camera, one of the biggest I have bought! The price was right. I had already made my mind up to buy it, but seller kept explaining how great it is, how to charge it and that it still works and records and bla bla bla. Many assumptions, I buy it since I am curious what is inside, and I do not need intense reassurance that I can use it to record.
The truth is that camera was well maintained: except leaked batteries forgotten inside and except that the microphone windshield melted – everything was clean.
The Electronic View Finder unit is accessible. Its signal cable runs outside the body of the camera. This is very good, in case I could not recuperate its matching socket at least I could still feed signal through the connector pins.
Since this is the first VHS camera that I take apart, I was also curious about the insides. I had to take it apart anyway to access the matching socket.
Except small bodges here and there, circuit is mostly on one large board that can be flipped to have access to the top side. Very well thought of. I was able to recuperate some parts, mostly switches and tantalum capacitors, the 2A fuse (slow blow) and a 3 pin quartz.
Electronic View Finder
Next step was to open up the EVF unit.
The CRT model is ELY07V450B. Initially I thought I saw this before, but it turns out that I found a very similar one ELY07V450D, and in a Panasonic camera too from the same era.
Finding the control signals was easy, GND is connected to the case of the FlyBack Transformer and some other (non GND) pins of the FBT if they have continuity to one of the input pins, then they are VCC. Then trial and error to find the Video In signal:
The other pins control 2 LEDs that are also housed inside the optical compartment of the EVF unit, but I did not document them. There’s also the little white bar on the left (which I encountered in previous cameras) – so one or two of the pins will probably control it (either lowering it or rising it).
One thing to mention about VCC: although the EVF works when powered with 5V (as the service manual indicates), increasing the voltage to 6V makes the image sharper.
Image quality is acceptable, there was some dust on the 45 degree mirror, but I did not clean it since I was a bit in a hurry.
All in all, this camera was refreshing. Easy to get in, big accessible screws and no surprises.
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