Sencore Caddy Bar Jr
While cleaning out some old boxes in a shed, I found “The World’s Smallest Color Bar Generator” by Sencore.
It was still in the box with the original receipt and manual, but it was a little damp and smelly.
I figured it would be fun to see if it still worked, and if not, see if I could fix it.
The leads were coiled up in a little tube compartment in the back, but when I tried to pull them out, they just started disintegrating.
I opened up the case, and you can definitely tell there was some water ingress at some point. The cardboard tubes were a little moldy and there was a good bit of rust in one of the corners.
I pulled out the board and soaked the rusty area in vinegar for a bit and cleaned off the rust. I then hit it with a coat of spray paint to hopefully stop further corrosion.
I put things mostly back together and tried powering it up. Nothing immediately smoked, so I grabbed an old TV and connected it up.
I started out on the color bars selection, but I just got some sort of garbage picture at first. I was surprised it worked at all.
There is a big resistor wired up to a power port on the back to warm up the unit to stabilize the oscillators. I didn’t hook this up so I wasn’t expecting a perfect picture.
There were some adjustment pots on the bottom for picture stability and the channel frequency which helped a bit.
I tweaked the pots and got a clear set of vertical bars, but no color.
Adjusting a bit more started getting color, but the image below is about as clean as I could get it.
Next, I tried the horizontal lines selection.
Then the vertical lines.
Next was the cross hatch selection.
And finally, white dots.
I cleaned up the unit and put it all back together. I replaced the bad leads and power connector, but didn’t touch the circuitry. One day I may try to fully “restore” this unit, but for now, it was a fun way to spent a few hours invegating this weird device.