TV repair by yourself is easy when following a logical pattern including knowing your own limitations. Inside your TV are sources of potentially deadly 30,000 volts. This even remains when the set is turned off as the picture tube will carry a powerful charge. Before toting it off to your local qualified technician, there are a number of simple steps you can take to eliminate unnecessary costs and labour. Your picture may be snowy watching a ballgame in July or the sound is so bad you may think that someone was gargling. Blotches of colour have appeared to make you think you were watching an old rerun of the "War of the Worlds". Take heart. Follow these simple DIY steps and your TV will be golden and survive the more modern invasions of baseball, bathroom and the "Invasion of the Body Snatchers".
- Skill level:
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Things you need
- Television set
- Station signals (antenna or cable)
- Screw drivers
- Nut driver set
- Insulated discharge probe
- Replacement speaker (if needed)
- Magnetic soldering iron
- Compressed air can
A snowy picture is always better than no picture at all. Try wiggling the antenna or cable connections. If this causes a brief clearing try tightening the loose cable. Check the cable itself all the way back to the antenna or signal source. If you have cable, the company may repair it for free if it is an equipment problem. The company will have to trouble shoot the equipment. Cable customers can protect the equipment further with a nominal insurance fee. If you have an antenna, check it out carefully and try a new one. If it was struck by lightening, call your insurance agent.
Check the speaker inside the TV. Disconnect the TV and remove the back. Make sure the face of the tube is cushioned. Also discharge the TV tube and power filter capacitors by grounding to the chassis with an insulated probe. It only takes a few seconds to discharrge the TV tube. Press the point of your grounded insulated probe under the side anode cap of the TV tube. Remove the speaker and gently push with your fingers on the speaker cone and listen for a scratchy noise. If this occurs the speaker is bad. Replace the speaker with one of a comparable size from your local electronics shop. Look for an impedance in ohms stamped on the old speaker (usually 8 ohms) and match it up with the new speaker.
If blotches of colour appear on your screen especially on the corners, the screen may have to be demagnetised. Most sets have automatic degaussing circuits to do this. It may be malfunctioning.You may also have a source of magnetism in the area like stereo speakers or large electric motors. Manually degauss your TV tube. You can use a special tool from your local hardware store or a magnetic soldering iron will work fine. Start from the upper left hand corner and push the gun's trigger. You will note a rainbow effect on the screen. Move the gun in small circles an inch or two from the screen. The pattern will fluctuate. Keep moving the gun in bigger and bigger circles. Cover the entire screen in this manner and when you release thes soldering gun's switch the blobs of colour will be gone. Repeat until the screen is free of colour distortion blobs.
If your TV shuts down intermittently, check the ventilation slots on the sides and on the top of the TV. A can of compressed air will do nicely and should eliminate these malfunctions.
Tips and warnings
- Do not place plants on top of or above a TV. Drippings can short out the TV circuits.
- Keep adequate ventilation around the TV.
- Push the antenna down by rods at the bottom, not by the knob at the top.
- Discharge TV prior to working on it. The TV tube anode on the side of the TV tube and the power filter electrolytic cans need to be discharged to the chassis ground.
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