The following procedure was written by Curt Palme.
One of the most confusing setup aspects of CRTs is trying to explain what
astigmatism is, and how to set it up properly. I’ll do my best to explain my
version here, as shown on an NEC PG projector.
As with your vision, you want a round dot to appear round on the face of a
CRT. You don’t want it to flare in any direction , appear oval or triangular.
Depending on your projector make and model, the astig magnets on the necks of
each CRT, the electronic focus and astigmatism control via the remote control
will affect the focusing and astigmatism quality that you get on the face of the
Looking at the image below, you have a 2 pole and 4 pole astigmatism magnet
on the neck of the tube. The screwdriver points to the astig magnet assembly.
Some projectors (Marquee and NEC XG) have an additional 2 magnets called 6 pole
within that magnet assembly.
You’ll see that there are two concentric tabs that slide around the tube, and
with and against each other. From the factory, there is a silicone blob that
holds these tabs into place. Now usually these astig magnets do NOT need
adjusting, so if they are still factory sealed, leave them alone. If you are
changing out a CRT though, then break the seal without breaking the plastic tabs
off and free up the tabs so that they can be moved. Note however that it’s quite
possible that the astig on a replaced tube will be very close in setting to the
original CRT, so you might consider only breaking the silicone blob after you
confirm that the astig magnets actually need adjusting.
The pair of tabs/magnets closest to the CRT socket are called the 2 pole
magnets and have the most affect on astigmatism. The second set closest to the
lens are the 4 pole ones, and are more or less a fine tuning of the 2 pole ones.
The 6 pole magnets on some projectors are an even finer tuning of astig.