Fire safety recommendations for mounting de-cased TV inside wooden frame

Thread Starter

Domarius

Joined Sep 1, 2013
31
Hi guys, just wondering if there's any obvious safety issues I'm breaking here...

I have a consumer CRT TV to put inside a home made arcade cabinet I made. Thing is, the speakers on the side make it too wide to fit (it's replacing a smaller one) So I'm intending on removing the case of the TV and building my own custom frame out of MDF and pine, so that it will fit.

However, I'm aware that the plastics used in electronic devices are made with a fire retardant chemical. So I'm kind of doing the opposite there by mounting the CRT tube to a flammable wooden frame. My concern is the high voltage area at the front of the tube.

What should I take into consideration to make this reasonably safe?

I attached a photo of the TV with the back off for reference. FYI the make and model is Panasonic TX-29FJ50A
20200804_072014.jpg
 
I'm no expert in the field. But looking at the way the set is put together, I'm not sure the CRT is any more of a fire danger than any other high-powered electronic device. If it was me, I'd just make sure there was enough ventilation in the box to keep the inside temp not much above ambient. They make quiet fans, or you can quiet down cheap ones by various tricks. A heat sensor inside the box that kills the power if things get too hot wouldn't be a bad idea, and don't leave the setup on when you're not home. Oh, and clean the dust out maybe once a year.
 
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Dodgydave

Joined Jun 22, 2012
9,688
Yes looks good, arcade video machines use TV monitors in wooden cabinets put plenty ventilation holes in, also make sure the speaker has a magnetic shield or if not put it lower down.
 
They had ventilation in the bottom and back. Sometimes there was strategically placed aluminum foil paper stuff. Tube sets got very hot. You might also see large slots and a screen to keep out critters.
 

Audioguru again

Joined Oct 21, 2019
2,090
It is a blurry old analog CRT TV. Does it still work? Aren't all the TV stations digital HD now?
I am glad I finally bought a large flat screen 4k UHD Smart TV last Black Friday.
 

MrSoftware

Joined Oct 29, 2013
1,937
Can you replace it with an LCD or similar, or is the idea to keep the tube for nostalgic reasons? If it makes you feel better, you can cote the inside of the wooden cabinet with a fire retardant of some sort. I have no idea if this stuff is any good or not, but this is the general idea:
https://www.homedepot.com/p/Firetec...Spray-for-Fabric-and-Raw-Wood-333-1/307899617

Edit --> This is an interesting test of fire retardant paint:
 
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Dodgydave

Joined Jun 22, 2012
9,688
It is a blurry old analog CRT TV. Does it still work? Aren't all the TV stations digital HD now?
I am glad I finally bought a large flat screen 4k UHD Smart TV last Black Friday.

Yes as an ex TV engineer, I was over the moon when they scrapped the CRT , especially the Delta gun in favour of the new PIL tubes, pain in the A*** for convergence..
 

Hymie

Joined Mar 30, 2018
881
According to the electrical safety standard IEC 60065, wood and wood-based material having a thickness of at least 6mm is considered to meet a flammability rating of V-1.
 

Thread Starter

Domarius

Joined Sep 1, 2013
31
Whew, you have all done a great job of assuaging my fears, thank you everyone. With all the feedback on this I feel pretty confident to go ahead with this with a good dose of common sense and keeping ventilation as my main concern. And yes, I'll use wire mesh to keep out critters - I already have gecko droppings inside the cabinet! Not good for electronics!

And that's a really good point that old TVs (particularly arcade cabinets themselves) were in wooden boxes, thanks to those who pointed that out.

Mr. Software that fire retardant paint is not a bad idea. And Hymie, thanks for the standards reference! All my MDF boards are already 16mm thick!

To the guys asking about CRT vs LCD, yes it's for authenticity. LCDs may be more convenient for the average TV viewer in terms of weight, size, and power consumption, but they can't compare for colour vibrancy, black blacks, and viewing angles to a CRT. And when those old games are only made of a few colours, those colours better look good!
 
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DickCappels

Joined Aug 21, 2008
6,658
The cabinet and electronics go through safety testing as a single unit so even though it is not terrible likely since monitor and TV designers have been using listed parts for for critical functions for years, so a fire is unlikely to develop on the chassis in the first place and in that case it doesn't matter what the cabinet is made of. On the other hand, sometimes it pays to be paranoid.
 

ronsimpson

Joined Oct 7, 2019
1,024
sometimes it pays to be paranoid.
How well does it pay? Looking for something I am good at that pays.

You can glue tin foil over the wood on the inside. The foil helps spread out the heat, stops hot spots.

I designed TVs and monitors for many different companies. Ball corp. We had a CRT + electronics with no cabinet. The parts went into a metal box with many other items in another company. We needed to test and "burn in" the monitor on our end. Run the monitor at elevated temperature for two days. We developed a cardboard box/shipping crate that held the CRT and electronics. The monitor ran just fine in the cardboard box. We loaded up pallets of monitors into a "hot room" and ran for days. Each day burned in monitors came out and were shipped and new pallets went in. At the edge of the PCB was a power resistor. One of the resistors was bent over and touched the cardboard. No problem at room temperature but in a hot room we reached combustion for cardboard. You know it was a monitor on the bottom of the pile. Flames went up. Some bright person rushed in with a "chemical" fire extinguisher. He managed to get white powder all over three days of production.

Note: If you hold closed the doors of a heat room, all the oxygen gets used up and the fire goes out. Opening up all the doors and yelling fire causes a really big fire.
 

Thread Starter

Domarius

Joined Sep 1, 2013
31
How well does it pay? Looking for something I am good at that pays.

You can glue tin foil over the wood on the inside. The foil helps spread out the heat, stops hot spots.

I designed TVs and monitors for many different companies. Ball corp. We had a CRT + electronics with no cabinet. The parts went into a metal box with many other items in another company. We needed to test and "burn in" the monitor on our end. Run the monitor at elevated temperature for two days. We developed a cardboard box/shipping crate that held the CRT and electronics. The monitor ran just fine in the cardboard box. We loaded up pallets of monitors into a "hot room" and ran for days. Each day burned in monitors came out and were shipped and new pallets went in. At the edge of the PCB was a power resistor. One of the resistors was bent over and touched the cardboard. No problem at room temperature but in a hot room we reached combustion for cardboard. You know it was a monitor on the bottom of the pile. Flames went up. Some bright person rushed in with a "chemical" fire extinguisher. He managed to get white powder all over three days of production.

Note: If you hold closed the doors of a heat room, all the oxygen gets used up and the fire goes out. Opening up all the doors and yelling fire causes a really big fire.
Hahah, that was a good story. CRT's are so awesome, so it's great to hear a story from someone who actually built them back in the day. I'm getting from your story that you really have to push your luck for a CRT to become a fire hazard. But the foil may be a good idea so long as I secure it so it doesn't fall in and short anything. But, might be making a new problem if it becomes a conductor for the high voltage coil at the front, gives a greater surface area for accidental electrocution... maybe I will just take solace in Bertus's reminder that TVs literally used to come in a wooden box!
 

MrChips

Joined Oct 2, 2009
22,113
Agreed. I think you're going overboard now. I would just put ventilation holes in the bottom and the back and cover it with mesh. Done.
 
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