CRTs, Flea Markets

M01KUA07WB20 – mini CRT

Found this mini CRT inside a Hitachi VM-H80E Video Recorder.

Camera was like new. If it wouldn’t be that the Video Out was hidden in a proprietary port, I would have kept it – it was impressive. The bag itself was like a little treasure hunt.

Camera bag

The bag had a hand luggage sticker from MartinAir. I checked Wikipedia, and last year they did passenger flights was in 2011. There was a video tape inside too, showing mostly a recording from an air show. One of the exhibited planes had an AirUK logo, a company which ceased operations in 1998 (according to Wikipedia).

Since the camera was produced in 1994, this puts the time frame of the recording somewhere between 1994 and 1998.

A nice find was few Avis de réception of the Belgian Post (which was not called BPost at that time). All in pristine conditions, as if you would have just picked them up.


I was already impressed by how well kept everything was, thus I wanted to try to power on the camera. Unfortunately, the style of battery was so that the +/- contacts were deep inside the camera, hard to reach and provide power. However, I realized the battery is eerily similar to a battery I have for an old Video LED light I had and decided to compare them. Surprise, they were IDENTICAL. I could not believe 🙂

Thus, I was able to power up the camera and use it! This is how I also watched the video on the tape that was still inside the camera.

I do not remember if I read in the little instruction booklet, or maybe I saw it online, but camera was sold as being weather proof. There were gaskets everywhere, but the most impressive was the EJECT mechanism.

Hitachi VM-H80E Eject mechanism

They went all the way trying to seal the insides of the camera from the outside world.

Moment has arrived to try to dismantle it. This was an easy process:

Electronic View Finder

The insides of the EVF were spotless, as in the quest for sealing the camera – no access holes were drilled for the two adjustments potentiometers (blue ones, last photo):

It was difficult to see what chip was used as the CRT Driver IC, as it was covered in non sticky coating. Coating came up with some Isopropyl alcohol:

There is no trace on the internet about this driver IC, but it does have the Hitachi logo, thus it looks like a custom part.

Powering the board was easy though, following the same procedure. The external case of the FBT is connected to Ground and some of the non-GND pins of the FBT are connected to VCC. Then trial and error for Video IN:

CRT was also good – no big distortions and rather sharp of its minute size:

This was an easy camera to take apart and identify the signals, accessible wires and everything. If it wouldn’t be for the missing Video Out plug, I would have probably decided to keep it.

Except the driver IC which I never encountered before A118179, I decided to keep few of the camera parts, as they may come in handy later:

Screws, clamps sensors, some Ferrite cores and a stereo jack.

Onto the next camera …


  1. Tehan

    Hi! really interesting mini CRT you got there.
    can i please know the length of the picture tube and the screen size? I’m a huge fan of these mini CRTs and this is the smallest one I’ve seen yet.Thank you in advance !!

  2. Comment by post author

    Hello! I can’t answer unfortunately 🙁 I didn’t strip the plastics off the picture tube itself – thus, never measured it precisely.

  3. Tehan

    oh its okay then. But still is it (roughly) smaller than those 0.5 inch square tubes both lengthwise and by screen size (miyota 2400 54 for example) i’m so curious because i have a sneaky suspicion that this might be the smallest crt ever !!

  4. Comment by post author

    I can’t confirm 🙁 frankly, to me they look very similar in dimensions.
    Some older ones are bigger, but all “modern” look like they have the same size. I think there was a sweet spot. Even if they could make them smaller, they didn’t. Maybe due to the sharpness ? Smaller means less sharp when viewed through the plastic lens of the view finders..

  5. Tehan

    I do agree with you . They tend to loose there sharpness as they get smaller. so considering that i can belive that they might not have made them smaller. I saw a YouTube video that says that this pertucular tube is the smallest so thats why i was intrigued. so thank you very much for all of your information!!and I really like your hobby! These mini CRTs are so darn cool

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