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Mechanical Television, anyone?

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Mechanical Television, anyone? Empty Mechanical Television, anyone?

Post by electrojim on Fri Jan 03, 2020 3:22 pm

Just wondering if anyone here has interest in, or experience with, mechanical TV.  You know, spinning discs, mirror drums... that kind of thing.  Although there was experimentation and some scheduled programming in the US, back in the late '20s and '30s, the Brits are credited with exploiting a very primitive 30-line system with several years' continuous programming prior to their adoption of a 405-line standard using the traditional CRT picture tube.  

Though images are crude, mechanical TV allows the experimenter to create a camera and monitor, using household and hardware store items.  There's a good deal of this experimentation going on in Europe, and YouTube videos can be found that show results of experimenters' efforts.  The Nottingham-based Narrow Band Television Association (NBTVA) hosts a good forum on the subject.

As a mechanical television nut myself, with interest going back to the 1950s, I thought I'd broach the subject, as this forum would be a great place to interchange ideas.

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Post by AJ2X on Tue Jan 07, 2020 10:59 pm

I've always been interested in mechanical TV (and just about all other types too!). I have a tiny Nipkow disk -- metal, 4-1/4 inches diameter, 24 holes, directly driven with a small clock-type motor -- that I salvaged from a cleanup at the RCA Broadcast lab I worked in in the '70s. Looks like it might work in the gate of a 35mm slide projector, though it's currently mounted on a little bakelite stand, as though for display. I've never found a way to make the motor run, but I haven't tried very hard.

The mechanical sets at the Early Television Museum in Hilliard OH are mostly working devices and are a hoot. I've been there to see them a few times, and wrote an article on the efforts to replace the original Crater Tube in their Western "Empire State" televisor with a more-or-less equivalent LED. The ETF also has a pretty cool mirror screw demo, in color. Years ago I was fortunate enough to visit a museum in Utrecht, Netherlands, and see working original Baird televisors. My shop skills and equipment are not up to making such things myself, alas, so mostly I read, and occasionally write, about them.

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Post by Chas on Wed Jan 08, 2020 12:18 pm

See:

https://www.earlytelevision.org/biblio.html

AND

https://www.taswegian.com/NBTV/forum/index.php

Peter Yanczer

https://www.earlytelevision.org/peter_yanczer.html

I had met Peter years ago at an AWA conference, for several years Peter had demos of TV's that he had built. I saw in action at least one of the screw mirrors...

Mechanical TV is a challenge for the home constructor, not something that can be built with a hand saw and a power drill..

I do have a small "bit" of an early broadband '01a' video amp and a few early globular photocells, but that is it. A couple of years ago I discovered a modified Radiola 44 into a TV receiver. FWIK it is still there, the fellow is an antique dealer working with large antique beds, his radios are sort of a personal collection.

Sorry, no kino lamps here...

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