Press "Enter" to skip to content

Hey, Internet! Help?

So here’s the sitch: I want this thing. This thing right up here at the top. Anybody know how I get it off the rest of the CRT? (For those with actual clues in the electronics department, panic ye not: indeed, it has been discharged and de-vacuumed.)

The electron gun assembly
This is the object of my desires – the electron gun(s) and their glass housing.

Why do I want this?

Because it looks amazing!

And I think it’s the beginnings of a dandy Steampunk-esque weapon… Electron gun becomes Cathode Ray Gun? It’s so …. literal ;)

Let me back up a second. I’ve had a tangerine iMac since, like, a month or two after they came out. That was before the turn of the century (she says, dramatically). This machine has been through a lot. It took a large charge from an improperly grounded building-safety-thingy-meant-to-handle-lightening-strikes. (The modem got a little flakey, and repairs were made by trained professionals.) It lived in a completely not-climate-controlled storage unit for several years, then in the garage for a few. And you know, when I pulled it out to boot it up and loan it to the then-boyfriend, it powered right up and made a happy chime. (And a Mac convert.) It’s only major issue was a really obnoxious monitor refresh flicker.

Oh, right, and that it’s old. Like, charities wouldn’t event take it levels of old. So I decided to take it apart.

I have this theory that when a thing is no longer useful as it is, the best way to honor it is to find new ways to use it, new ways to use the stuff inside it, or, barring all that, to at least have an educational experience.

And I will assure you that getting into an iMac case is an educational experience.

Pieces of the case
Pieces of the case, which I believe was designed by a mad genius locked in a tower for the safety of all civilization. I plan to reassemble them as a little plant growing setup. It looks about right for humidity/ventilation balance.

After an extended game of Find The Hidden Screw, I am down to the CRT, and the awesome looking bit that I didn’t expect but now cannot envision my life without. (Please note: You need to be carefully disassembling CRTs. Turns out they can pack a powerful punch. I used this instructible. Looking back, this was probably not my wisest project, but I was half done before I figured out that it was a Really Bad Idea so I decided to blunder on. I am like that. Also, I had already seen the Beautiful Thing at the ass-end of the CRT. Desire won out over both fear and wisdom…)

CRT, lying on its face.
This piece. The one right at the top. I want this piece.
Base of piece and surrounding copper
Does anyone know how I get this stuff off? Ideally, I would like it to come off intact, because it is also kind of awesome looking.

And what should I expect to find when I get in there? Is the tube of my desires permanently connected to the body of the CRT? Am I going to need to cut through the glass? How do I get to that beautiful gizmo with its amazing jade-looking bits and obviously technically crappita? Anybody know? I wants eeettt!!! Please, Ye Denizens of the Internets, tell me someone knows and wants to share! Please? *big eyes*


  1. Elise
    Elise November 25, 2012

    Sending this on to my dad. He’s a master of electronic disassembly :)

  2. Elise
    Elise November 25, 2012

    Dad’s reply:

    “I think that the whole assembly should slide up and off the tube. Might be a clamp that needs to be loosened or unscrewed near the bulging end, but I don’t remember having to do anything fancy to slide it up on the ones I’ve changed out. However to get the electron guns in the base off you need to use a glass cutter to score the neck, then snap it off. I’ve never done that and I don’t know what will happen if it isn’t scored all around.”

    Hope that helps!

    • missa
      missa November 25, 2012

      Awesome! Thank you and your dad! I will continue looking for some sort secret connector-gizmo. :) I tried pulling the whole thing up, and it was a no-go. Or I wasn’t using enough force – I didn’t want to break the tube, even after knowing how many whacks with a hammer and nail it took to break the dang vacuum. ;)

  3. Who am I next? | Sempstress
    Who am I next? | Sempstress December 16, 2012

    […] impacting my blogging, because, seriously, I might have nothing to say on my actual topic of ¬†go off on tangents. And I’m digging on simple home improvements lately. And easy electronics junk. I also spend […]

Leave a Reply

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.