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Old 04-16-2012, 08:32 PM   #1
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New Front TV ....

My RCA went bad a number of years ago and it went to the recycling center and made a mighty thump when it hit the bottom of the dumpster.

We were constantly moving from 1 4x3 set to another however just today after much measuring I found a suitable replacement that does not need a whole bunch of engineering to make it work.

Look for a Vizio E261VA. It measures exactly 25.4 inches on the box and about 25 and 3/8th inches ruled. This set will fit exactly in the original space of the steel cage without any wiggle room on the left and right side. There will be a 4 to 5 inch opening at the top of the enclosure. I am considering the best method to Velcro in a vented removable panel at the top of the enclosure.

I built a base out of 5/4 planking and wrapped it with black vinyl material and stapled it. I had to cut the stock plastic bezel right at the bottom and inside because it was pushing on the TV. (about 4 to 5 inches) (You can't tell it's not stock) I used a level and a pencil to mark a vertical line and I scribed and cut the plastic. I put 2 standoffs on the bottom of the board toward the opening, reducing the angle of tilt. I drilled and installed a 2.5" #8 screw on the inside (back) of the board. Now the board does not move at all and it serves as a base. There really isn't any weight on the board since it just sits there. The LED TV might weigh 13 pounds if that.

The Vizio comes with a steel plate base as opposed to a plastic base on other less expensive sets. I already brought back a generic set because it didn't fit as well as I thought it should. It was a 24" and it looked way to small. I know a 26 isn't much bigger but man what a difference 2 inches make.

The 26" LED TV is every bit as wide as the original TV just not quite as tall. Until I find a method to attach the TV more appropriately, I will have to remove it a lay it on the bed as a just in case. The TV is held in place by the sides of the cage and it leans forward and onto the back of the stock plastic bezel.

As it sits there, it's not that bad of an install.

I upgraded my DVD cables to component from composite. (Could have used HDMI but I already had a component Monster Cable doing nothing) I also have a nice monster cable red & white for audio. I used a mini stereo jack to a Y cable terminated with RCA jacks. I bought a pair of gold plated RCA couplings and carried that circuit to the 2 surround sound audio input wires. Unfortunately I am wired with RG59 but my little Jack antenna managed to pull in 18 channels. The Vizio DTV interface isn't that bad.

I know that in time I will improve on holding the TV in place however it looks a lot better than the 4:3 19" Sanyo (CRT) that we've been watching for the past few months.

Yes I have seen a whole lot worse installs and I have seen a whole bunch better as well.

I was also able to remove the coax cables going to the old VCR and the Magnavox DTV box may hit the garbage can.

After 9 years of ownership I found out something about the front circuits. In the left cabinet I have a DVD and a DTV box. I just found out that if I turn the converter to OFF in the right cabinet (w/ the AV switches), it kills the power to the outlet in the left cabinet. Awesome! Everytime that I restored power to the coach, the DVD would come on automatically and sit there and get hot. Now with the converter off that problem goes away. Just when you think you have a machine figured out, I learned something new.



The Vizio E261VA width fits exactly inside the OE steel cage. Stock bezel is used and restored. The LED TV is tilted slightly forward and rests on the plastic bezel.



Cut the bezel toward the bottom, vertically to afford room for the new TV
Width of display approximately the same as the old RCA.
Base wrapped in black vinyl, standoffs level and appropriately tilt the TV.
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Old 04-16-2012, 09:32 PM   #2
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Sometimes you have to work with what you have DriVer.

I had the same bezel to work with on my previous Winnebago. That's why I opted for a larger TV to cover the plastic. It saved me from having to completely renovate the upper cabinet bank. The difficulty you will have, as I'm sure you know, will be to find a filler above and below to follow the curvature of the bezel that fit the old boat anchor er...TV.
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Old 04-16-2012, 10:09 PM   #3
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Clear lexan or plexiglass, painted black on the back side, makes a great filler piece. You can get it at Home Depot or Lowes, among other places, along with a spray can of black enamel.
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Old 04-17-2012, 06:12 AM   #4
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Wow Driver, that looks almost exactly like my Vizio. Mine would just fit sideways and the base sits on the bottom of the metal frame base. I drilled and tapped the base and frame and that made it secure. My enclosure is wood however and I still have not closed it in like I want.

Also I still need to figure out the sound to tie it into my surround system.

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Old 04-17-2012, 06:30 AM   #5
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Clear lexan or plexiglass, painted black on the back side, makes a great filler piece. You can get it at Home Depot or Lowes, among other places, along with a spray can of black enamel.
cbeierl, Thank you very much for the suggestion. My challenge until I find a way to mount the TV semi-permanantly is that I still need access to remove the TV. Right now it's easy with the top of the enclosure being open. To remove the TV requires a slight lift, a short push and a twist. The cables are disconnected and I can pull the TV out from the opening.

But you have given me something to consider. As you all probably know, there is a large hand hole in the front of the TV pod that might allow for me to do something from behind to hold the TV in place.

I'm thinking that if I remove the TV and the base I made perhaps I could drill a hole through the base of the TV and the board. Push up some type of a multi holed clevis pin from the bottom of the board, locate the TV base's hole over the pin and then reach in from the front and use a quick
clip and secure the TV.

Project is still under development ...
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Old 04-17-2012, 06:41 AM   #6
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Also I still need to figure out the sound to tie it into my surround system.
Jerry, I used a stereo mini plug to a Y cable that is terminated with male RCA plugs. I bought a pair of barrel couplings (double female) from TRS. I connected the red and white wires to the Y cable that come off of the huge filter that sits in the enclosure.

It works great plus I can control the volume to the surround sound system. In the past, I could flip the switch and just use the TV speakers but if I am connected to the headphone jack on the new TV, it disconnects the internal speakers. So it's surround sound or nothing.

There is no hum when the TV is working BTW but if I turn the TV off I can hear a slight hum through the speakers. Solution is simply to turn the switch back to radio and the hum went away.

Wife has already been complaining that I will be drowning her out if she is trying to watch TV in the bedroom. The GE TV we have in there doesn't have hardly any volume at all. Now this would be yet another experiment to buy a set of amplified computer speakers, connect through the headphone jack (if there is one) (or RCA audio output - again if it exists) and use the volume control on the TV's remote.
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Old 04-17-2012, 06:45 AM   #7
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The very best installations in this regard use VESA brackets and are finished quite nicely and trimmed out using similar stained or painted wood. I am just trying to see if there would be an alternate to using a VESA bracket setup which does require a bit more planning and engineering.

As it is right now I don't need any fillers or trim on the sides of the enclosure.
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Old 04-17-2012, 06:56 AM   #8
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Here's an idea to consider. I have been in the process of replacing the old tvs. After removing the front tv, my wife decided she doesn't like the tv in what is the typical upper front location. In trying to figure out what to do with the open space I decided to install a tambour door. This is a roll-up door often seen in kitchen cabinets as an appliance garage. There are kits available so that you can make it to fit your opening.
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Old 04-18-2012, 08:42 PM   #9
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As it is right now I don't need any fillers or trim on the sides of the enclosure.
As I mentioned earlier, the challenge will be the top and bottom of that bezel.
It has a protruding arc which is going to be difficult to fill. I layed awake many a night dreaming how I could deal with that and couldn't come up with an idea.

Keep us posted with what you come up with!
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Old 04-18-2012, 08:59 PM   #10
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Clear lexan or plexiglass, painted black on the back side, makes a great filler piece. You can get it at Home Depot or Lowes, among other places, along with a spray can of black enamel.
Good idea but be sure to get paint made for plastic or it won't stick for long. You can also get Lexan that is tinted, but it's not very dark. Not sure if the paint for plastics will stick on Lexan very well either, but have never tried it to know.
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Old 04-19-2012, 07:43 AM   #11
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Keep us posted with what you come up with!
Who me ??? That's what I need you guys for!

Now "If I were a carpenter" I might get a nice piece of lumber like a board and shape it like a biscuit and just shove it in the arc. Finished, there would be a shelf in front of the set with no pocket. I could finish it in oak stain. Now that's if I had the ability to make that piece.

About the top, it has to be vented and it has to be removable.

There must be at least 1 genius out there ....

We are just going out camping with the Carolina Campers at Ocean lakes so the new TV will get broken in over the weekend. Supposed to rain a bit.
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Old 04-19-2012, 08:06 AM   #12
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Just curious why you went with a small TV that goes inside the opening instead of installing a larger 32" TV on the outside of the front facia? The larger TV might have done away with wondering what to do with the excess open space (including the space below the TV). You possibly could have completely removed the front plastic facia or cut it flush to the back of the larger tv (?)
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Old 04-19-2012, 06:43 PM   #13
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About the top, it has to be vented and it has to be removable.
Don't you have 2 big holes on the bottom back of the cabinet? Mine did.

You may have to bite the bullet and replace the grey plastic bezel. It would be easier to build a new wood bezel than adapt to existing me thinks!
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Old 04-19-2012, 06:51 PM   #14
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Just curious why you went with a small TV that goes inside the opening instead of installing a larger 32" TV on the outside of the front facia? The larger TV might have done away with wondering what to do with the excess open space (including the space below the TV). You possibly could have completely removed the front plastic facia or cut it flush to the back of the larger tv (?)
Exactly what I did, the old "box" was metel on two sides with a plywood bottom. I made a new box that was shorter and fit in the same area. TV extends beyond the cabinet on both sides and just barely clears the two overhead doors. I had hoped to reuse the old vinyl but it just wouldn't fit. Couldn't match the color either but got a good contrasting one. Still need to fit the top of the old bezel to cover the hinge on top.
Now I need to decide what to do with all the extra storage space it created!
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Old 04-20-2012, 08:01 AM   #15
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I had the same bezel to work with on my previous Winnebago. That's why I opted for a larger TV to cover the plastic. It saved me from having to completely renovate the upper cabinet bank. .
Here is how I solved it. Larger TV to cover the bezel. I put a swivel mount on the TV and was able to move it out of the way of the side cabinets when needed.
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Old 04-20-2012, 08:59 AM   #16
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Guys; I have to share with you my early experiences with my setup.

I ran the about 20 miles down here to Ocean Lakes and I left the TV in the cage. As far as I know, it never moved. The fit behind the bezel finishes off 2 sides that don't have to be fussed with.

If I can find a piece of material that I can use that can be vented and removed easily, that's what were going to go with.

We are so glad that we up-sized the screen from 24 to 26. The biggest + for me was the horizontal measurement. I'll figure out how to finish the top which to me is the biggest detractor to the setup. As previously suggested a piece of black Plexiglas fastened creatively should do the trick.

I have seen a few installs where the bezel was removed and discarded and openings were trimmed out in stained wood. If you center a 32 inch TV, you can still open the doors on either side of the TV. Centering the VESA brackets I expect can be done with due diligence however a swing arm mount would make all the measuring moot as there would be enough of a built in wiggle factor so it wouldn't be too important. Mount the base on center and go for it.

I would offer that the install using the model Vizio I bought is probably the most expeditious and quickly installed setup that I can live with. My biggest concern is whether or not the TV was going to fall out and I can say now that I've ruled out that it will happen however given a rough enough road, you know the ones I'm talking about, I might have to keep an eye on it. Now even then, I don't think that the TV is going to fall out of the pod.
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Old 04-20-2012, 09:59 AM   #17
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I just used some silicone sealer on the ends to secure the piece of lexan/plexiglass below my new TV. Easy to apply and easy to remove/re-secure it if needed. I tried black paint on the front, but didn't like the way it looked. When I put the paint on the back makes it look great--almost like part of the TV bezel.

Here's a picture of my completed installation--the plastic strip is at the bottom:
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