Parts, parts, my kingdom for the right part

I enjoy reading your column each month. Often your advice has helped me find solutions and ideas for solving some of my own technical problems. In the past you have offered help locating a one-of-a-kind part - well, I need one.

I have a Zenith front projection television, Model 865P. These units are often seen hanging in auditoriums or sports bars. I also have a VCR with an S-VHS output. The Zenith projector has an RGB high-definition input, but to use it with S-VHS you need a Zenith S-43 S-VHS adapter. This optional module converts the S-VHS input to RGB and is added to the front of the projector above the three CRT guns on a seven-pin edge connector.

Zenith (now AON) no longer has any of these. I have also come up empty searching the Internet. Would you or your readers know of any parts depot or AV shop which might have one of these lying around?

That one's going to be tough. It is likely that if someone has one, they already use it in their installation. I've done some searching, and haven't found anything other than another person's posts on the Internet looking for one. Maybe a BE reader has one lying around or knows where to find one.

Short of finding one, it might be easier to simply convert the S-VHS signal external to the projector and use the existing HD-RGB inputs. There are several boxes on the market that provide scan conversion from manufacturers such as Communications Specialties and Extron. If your projector can accept and lock to external scanning frequencies, you could take advantage of that and likely convert the S-VHS signal to any frequency the projector locks to.

I read your August 2000 column and can relate to the fact that there are still some 529s that haven't been modified. What I would like is a source for the CRTs used in the 528s and 529s. Tektronix no longer supports the product. The last one I bought from them five years ago was $500. (I tried rejuvenating one but it didn't work.) Does anyone know someone in China that we could send one to so they could duplicate the product?

I am not entirely sure those tubes could be duplicated without Tektronix's permission but, considering that they are no longer supporting the scopes, I would think it should be fairly easy to get the rights to manufacture them. Unfortunately, almost all CRT production worldwide has ceased, unless of course, it is for picture monitors. Tube manufacturing outside of picture monitor CRTs and high-power transmitting tubes is almost a thing of the past. As technology races ahead, it sometimes seems that the older equipment lasts longer than much of the new stuff. The faster things change, the more this problem grows, and it is one this column has touched on before.

Certainly no one would expect a manufacturer to continue to support products that are nearly 50 years old. However, if the products are still doing the job, maybe there is a niche for someone to step in and provide parts and support. This has happened with many of the classic automobiles that continue to operate. I am currently researching a problem concerning another manufacturer that is no longer supporting a product that is of a much more recent vintage. I hope to have that ready to publish in the next issue. If anyone reading this has any additional information regarding either of these older parts, or other pieces of broadcast hardware that are no longer being supported (the newer the better, as that is where the strongest case can be built), please send it to me at