Magnet Vs Old CRT TVs

Something has reminded me of the time we discovered the cool colors that are produced if you brought a magnet close to a TV screen. This wouldn’t work on a modern flat screen LCD TV but the old big box picture tube types it did. The magnet made rainbow types of discolorations around it when the television was turned on. Eventually the screen got messed up and it didn’t go away. We tried turning it off and back on and then unplugging it and plugging it back in but the slight discoloration was still there.

Luckily for our asses it the color distortions went away after it was turned off for a while. Man my dad was pissed off. It wasn’t like we could afford to go buy a new TV, that one had been given to us when someone else got a new one. It was a nice console TV but a hand me down one from a neighbor.

Now I know the reason that this occurred was that the magnet causing the electron beam of the cathode ray tube to deflect in unwanted ways. They used coils to generate magnetic fields to guide the electron beam to where it was meant to go. The electrons would hit incorrect areas of the screen and cause their phosphors to glow.

Kids can’t get into trouble doing that these days.