Robotics Education & Competition Foundation
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1992 Sony Trinitron Teardown


Entry ID #: 3156
Created: Mon, Jan 9, 2017 6:16 PM

This 1992 Sony Trinitron was one of the most popular colored screens of all time and is what lead Sony to be one of the most well-renowned electronics manufacturers. With over 100 million TVs sold, it is hard not to notice the impact this device had on us during the infancy of what is now called the Information Age. This trip down memory lane (pun intended) will allow us to reflect on how manufacturing methods, chips, and various other technologies have changed in our modern setting. Many of the ICs found inside were produced by Japanese manufacturers such Sony themselves, Toshiba, and surprisingly we found one from Mitsubishi. They were found to be encased in dual-inline and TO-220 packages which were often attached to heatsinks (not very efficient). None of the ICs found in the TV were from Texas Instruments. We think Sony produced and sourced most of its ICs from local Japanese manufacturers and not Texas Instruments to save on shipping costs, which can easily add up judging from the sheer amount of TV’s that they produced. These ICs served very specific and unique functions. Ones found in the television include the CXA1545AS which was an audio/video switch, the Toshiba TA8776N which is a surround sound preamplifier and the Mitsubishi M51496P which controls video and sound intermediate frequencies for color TVs. Additionally, there was the Sony CXP8024 which was an 8-bit microcomputer and we think it controlled interface and all of the other internal systems of TV. Almost all of the ICs were through-hole and not surface mount devices, most likely because high component density was not required and SMD technology was not common in 1992 due to the size of ICs. It was also surprising to see actual wires in place of etched copper traces in some parts of the circuit. This lead us to believe that some parts of the circuit were most likely populated by hand. Other electrical components including capacitors (electrolytic, ceramic disk, and film for the most part), resistors, inductors, crystal oscillators, diodes, and a relay were found as well. The relay must have been used to handle high voltages from the transformer, which are most likely for the electron guns within the cathode ray tube. The tube works by accelerating electrons and slamming them on a phosphor coated anode (the screen). These beams of red, green and blue electrons can change their angle of trajectory through the use of the deflection yoke, which is essentially a round electromagnet that attracts or repels the beams in any direction which changes the location of where the beams hit.  At the end of our Sony Trinitron teardown and analysis, we learned a great deal about some of the manufacturing techniques, components and ICs that were used in the creation of this beautiful TV. We are thankful for the fact that this TV was old, as we would not have been able to carefully analyze or even be able to see SMD components on newer flat screen models. Evidently, we gained a newfound respect for technology companies, as a teardown like this really allowed us novice tinkerers to see an enlarged picture of what actually goes on in the minds of engineers. ‚Äč


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