F I N K B U I L T

Scale model cockpit FPV

fpv
cool scale cockpit video

Funny Zoo Snap

man enjoys elephant My wife noticed this in the family archives.

RC Nitro motorcycle racing

rc motorcycle Motorcycle racing in Lilliput.

Manned RC Multicopter

manned multicopter
Here’s an RC multicopter big enough to ride on!

Make: Talk 004

make: Talk 004
I had a fun time talking to Mark Frauenfelder in episode 4 of his new podcast, Make: Talk!

One Man Basement Band

one man band
I feel like I could be getting more mileage out of my right foot.

Liberty

liberty vintage motorcycles An Etsy portrait. Thanks, Danny.

Tequila Sleeve

tequila the champs
Champs sleeve

Wolf-Stelzer Book Lamp

Book Lamp
My friend Tess just made the cover of ReadyMade with her cool lamp design.

Tree Stump Bug

null
Can this be for real? The design is so awesomely Thunderbirds. Via

The Nothing Box

nothing box

Thunderbirds

Thunderbirds are go
Are Go!

Command Center

command center
Sweet assemblage spaceship’s bridge.

Four Drano’s

drano
Watch the sink slowly, all but disappear from the design .

Toothpaste Aerosol

toothpaste aerosol
Aerosol toothpaste




Desktop Retro Pong Console

singer television

I‘m not sure whether or not this tiny little Singer portable television set was marketed as a sewing machine accessory or not, but what is known is the fact that I cannot resist buying a cool metal-cabinet vintage TV set when offered to me for $2.

The couple who sold me the Singer out of the back of their rusty Ford Ranger at the Midway Swap Meet told me that the thing worked great when they tried it. I of course wasn’t surprised when it was in fact DOA when I plugged it in later at home. Hey, for 2 bucks I practically stole this Jetsonian masterpiece, even it only serves as a shelf ornament, which is exactly what it has been for the last couple of years.

singer television

Enter the “Classic” brand, super-cheap 5-inch transistor television that I stumbled upon being offered for $5 at the Greenwood Fred Meyer get-this-crap-outta-here electronic bin sale.

Guts transplant

It became immediately clear that I needed buy the “Classic”, and install the woking bits inside the Singer shell, so I snapped it up. The set seemed about the same size as the Singer, and in fact the 2 TV’s have almost identical footprints, but despite this similarity, when I got the new TV home I realized that the ancient set has a screen that is full diagonal inch bigger than the modern one.

This mismatch kind of threw cold water on the transplant idea, and i jet let the TV’s sit around for a few years.

singer television

Pong

Well, the TV’s have bubbled back up to the top of the project pile, and the latest idea is to build a little mini desktop pong console using the new tube in the old case. Maybe Asteroids.

singer television

Update:

Jeff Rueckgauer remembers this –

My parents bought me that set for my birthday in 1964 or 1965. It was an AC/DC model. The AC power brick on the back is removable (as you undoubtedly know). There was a rechargeable battery pack that mounted flush on the back (extending the cabinet), and you’d put the AC brick on it to recharge. There also was a DC brick to run off a car or boat cigarette lighter.

The set itself was deceptively heavy, like 10 pounds. The AC brick was quite heavy by today’s standards (about 5 lbs). The battery pack weighed a good 10-15 pounds, IIRC. But, for an all-transistor set you could take almost anywhere, it was awesome in my 12-year old mind.

I can still remember the warm electronics smell the set gave off when it was running, especially on AC…the AC adapter got mighty warm after a while…at least as hot as some of the tube sets used to get. I learned quickly to only use the handle to move the set until it had been turned off at least 20 minutes.

BTW, I think the set cost $499 and batteries were another $100-$150 each.

Regards,

Jeff Rueckgauer

Washington, DC

13 Responses to “Desktop Retro Pong Console”


  1. Troy Gilbert Says:

    Fantastic idea. Can’t wait to see what you do. What a lucky find with that Singer TV… incredibly cool design. If only TVs looked that cool these days…

  2. Neil Says:

    Don’t know if it’s in your budget, but you might also try the 6-inch color TV here:

    http://www.compusa.com/products/product_info.asp?product_code=319738&pfp=BROWSE

    Nice snag with the $2 masterpiece. Heck, I’d buy it just to use as a paperweight.

  3. Patsy Says:

    I did a search for the same exact TV you are describing! My husband got it at an annual “dump your computer” day…. It came with the original carrying case. Do you know what year it was built? Ours doesn’t work either…we do get a buzzing sound though..

  4. chris Says:

    I love the top picture of the singer….looking everywhere for a hi res of it. Any chance of getting it? chris@chrisclouse.com

  5. Kevin Says:

    Wow, My dad had that little singer tv and we used to take it to fla on our vacations. We would park on the beach right next to Cape Canaveral so close we could see the Apolla Rockets launch. We would also watch the launches on that little singer at the same time. That tv and that old Catalina wagon bring back alot of fond memories. I still have the TV!

  6. Andres Fontana Says:

    The Singer micro tv is a Mitsubishi Micro Tv! I had one, buyed in a flea Market in Mexico. Buy that for $8 because it is beautifull designed. When i leave Mexico I gift it to a friend and now I to miss that litle and heavy tv set! well… if it non fuction is beautifull to see in a bookshelf. Enjoy it!! Excuse my bad english.

  7. TV collector Says:

    Hello – the owner’s manual for this set (which I happen to have)has a schematic in the back. Zip me a note if you’d like me to try to scan it for you.

  8. Andrés Fontana Says:

    Hi “TV collector” if you can scan a schematics for me I go a apreciate it.
    Thanks.
    fontanacine@hotmail.com

  9. Patrick Says:

    I got one of these last year and I will be repairing it, mine came with the adapter for the higher channels. anyway someone should post the schematics for the rest of us it would help a ton doing repairs to it.

  10. Leon Kiriliuk Says:

    I recently purchased a “complete” version of this TV.. including sales receipt from the 60s!! In any case, I scanned the schematics for the TV. Hope this helps someone someday.

    http://img571.imageshack.us/img571/3751/singer.jpg

  11. kittentv Says:

    Were you planning on replacing just the tube, or did you have bigger plans?
    7″ is not a common size, but I have seen them for sale.

  12. eddie Says:

    if anyone is looking for one of these, I have one in perfect working order, with the higher channel thing, ear bud, sun screen and papers. make me a good offer and you can get it from me.

    Eddie_blunt@hotmail.ciom

  13. Al Says:

    These were not made by the same company that made sewing machines. Does anyone here remember Singer’s “Panoramic” spectrum analyzers?

    These are of the same quality.