Originally Posted by blue_z
I share your skepticism.
The rebuilt CRTs I've seen for sale were monochrome (red, green or blue) tubes for front projectors.
Replacing the rare-earth phosphors of a color tube sounds really tricky and more expensive than $200 retail.
If he really said "refurbish" rather than rebuild, then why not ask what you are going to get.
I vaguely recall that there is some kind of procedure to "rejuvenate" a tube.
Replacing the phosphors isn't part of the process, from what I see at the Hawkeye website (the only real detail I've found on the 'net so far). The phosphors, glass, and Invar mask have to be basically sound before any work takes place. The parts that are replaced are usually the rear RGB gun (I've seen them selling for around $35, parts only), half a dozen color drive transistors (2 for each color), a power management IC, and a few cheap resistors. Then the tube is re-vacuumed and resealed. Finally they perform a basic color purity and convergence re-adjustment. The latter adjustments are almost always done when a new tube or color processor is installed.
From the little info I've seen on the 'net, this is the basic procedure. Replacing the phosphors or mask is out of the question. Once they're gone, all you can do is salvage working parts. One 20-yr-old outfit I found oin the web that does this is http://www.hawkeyepicturetube.com/tv...oductlist.html
. I see them mentioned in several posts, but no particular testimony as to how good their work might be. There are hints that a reconditioned tube costs 1/2 the price of a new one (For me, that would be around $200). But from Hawkeye's website it appears they work with bigger shops rather than individuals.
One of the techs who advised this actually called a supplier and confirmed that a rebuilt tube could be acquired, or the tube could be rebuilt, or whatever. Whether the local shop does this work or sends it to a Hawkeye-style shop, I don't know. The convergence adjustment is critical, and I understand that factory jigs are required to do this correctly. I can understand how a joint like Hawkeye can have this gear, but I don't know how a local shop could afford it.
I'll definitely try to get more detail from a local shop if I can, but the few that I've contacted seem a bit tight-lipped about this. Maybe they just don't wanna get into tech lingo with their customers. Basically I just don't trust most small-shop technicians, my experience is that they're usually (not always) honest but just a step above Geek Squad in expertise. I also stopped by a couple of other local shops and asked if they did the work or heard whether it was worth it, but they just said they didn't know any more than I did.