Hawes Mechanical Television Archive by James T. Hawes, AA9DT
Mechanical Television Links

MECHANICAL TELEVISION LINK INDEX

AMPLIFIER DESIGN

  • Amplifier Designer (Advanced)
    Design one-transistor preamplifier. Report includes part values & graphs frequency response. (Requires Java VM.)

  • Amplifier Designer (Basic), JavaScript version
    For Windows XP: Design one-transistor preamplifier by entering just one figure. Provides parts values. (Use on all systems, with or without Java virtual machine software.)

  • Amplifier Designer (Basic), Java version
    Design one-transistor preamplifier by entering just one figure. Provides parts values. (Requires Java VM.)

  • Amplifier Design: Find Gain of Transistor Amplifier Under Load
    Input data for one-stage amplifier. Applet determines gain at specified resistive load. Report provides self-configuring graph of frequency response. (Requires Java VM.)

  • Bias: Foundation of Amplifiers
    Superb transistor bias lesson by M. Utsumi. In half dozen easy steps, you've designed useful, totem pole amplifier!

  • Bias, Part 2: Amp Index Page
    Continue your lesson & diagram your amplifier. Also schematics for advanced, VMOS projects.

  • Design LED Drivers
    Easy, Ohm's Law calculations are all you need. Simple how-to. Quiz with answers at end. Learn process & end with circuit.

  • Discrete DC amplifier
    Schematic. Experiments with discrete, transistor, direct-coupled amplifier. This circuit might work in mechanical TV camera.

  • JFET preamplifier
    Schematic. Discrete JFET preamplifier for guitar, microphone or experiments. Great front end for mechanical TV. Circuit, test reports, FAQ, how to modify, troubleshooting, links.

  • Ohm's Law is Easy
    Learn Ohm's Law by designing LED driver. Very simple, calculator or scratchpad math. (Answers appear at end.) Great science fair project.

BOOKS

  • Crystal Set Society (Midnight Science)
    Excellent new books about crystal & regen radio set building. You can also order parts. Reasonable prices.

  • Lindsay Books
    Excellent reprint books about radio set building, science, math, & machining. Reasonable prices, humorous catalog, swift shipping. Caution: Some ribald titles.

CHICAGO TELEVISION

  • Chicago Tunnel
    Not television, but story that made television in 1990's. Buried 40 feet below Chicago are 60 miles of abandoned freight tunnels. History & pictorial tour.

  • Early Chicago Television
    W9XAP's 1930, inaugural Chicago telecast. Men who created Chicago TV. U.A. Sanabria, Oak Park teenager who invented television & became major industry contributor.

  • Sanabria TV
    Details & artifacts of Sanabria family & associates, particularly inventor, educator & administrator John Sanabria. (Collection of Nick Sanabria.)

  • U.A. Sanabria, Chicago TV inventor (Western Television)
    Also includes story of Navy Pier experimental telecasts from W9XAA. Most people don't know that Chicago telecasts began in 1928. Scheduled TV broadcasts commenced in 1930.

  • Station W9XAP
    Rich Samuels' page on Chicago's famous mechanical television station W9XAP, predecessor of WMAQ, channel 5. W9XAP used U.A. Sanabria's 45-line, Western Television equipment.

  • Station WBKB
    Tales from pioneers at one of Chicago's earliest electronic television stations.

CLUBS

  • Narrowband Television Association
    Worldwide society devoted to building & restoring mechanical television equipment and preserving early television history.

  • Experimental Television Society
    Peter Yanczer's ETS is no more. Website lives on! Early TV & inventor info. This link takes you to one page for builders. Site has many more pages. Peter still sells mechanical television (MTV) parts.

COLOR TELEVISION

  • Color television history
    Ed Reitan's site on color television development. Picks up story in 40's. Illustrations of CBS field-sequential ("color wheel"), RCA dot-sequential & CTI line-sequential systems.

  • Col-R-Tel on Moon
    Apollo color cameras used field-sequential system. Most people don't know that system was Col-R-Tel. Exclusive page exposes startling similarities. Also: How moon system & downlink converters worked.

  • Experiments in two colors
    Wendy Carlos' site on two-color experiments based on Edwin Land's pioneering work. Two-color systems, such as Spectrac use similar technology. Simple, science fair-type experiments.

  • FAQ About DTV Changeover
    Where do I get my coupons? Why did Uncle Sam do this to us? Can I hack converter boxes? What you need to know about: DTV changeover basics. Coupons & converter boxes. DTV politics. DTV technology.

  • Homemade Color Wheel Set
    Slides of Cliff Benham's ambitious field-sequential, color wheel project. Total Col-R-Tel redesign outstrips original. Solid state, including proprietary RGB switcher & servo circuit.

  • How Col-R-Tel Works
    Diagram. 1955: Most TV was black & white. Color was too expensive. Solution: Gadget that converts monochrome TV to color. Find out how it works.

  • How to Build a Color Delay Line
    How pioneers rolled their lines! In 1955, your chances of finding ready-made delay lines were bupkis. Same applies today. Col-R-Tel builders need to know the secret. Otherwise, you'll have an offset color picture.

  • Print out a TV color wheel
    Fascinating insights into the CBS color system. Comparison with NTSC monochrome & RCA compatible color. Template for printing a color wheel. Perform your own experiments!

  • Solid-State Col-R-Tel
    What if Col-R-Tel were solid state? Site is experimental attempt to transistorize Col-R-Tel circuit. Developing project. Schematics & theory.

  • Two-color Television
    Spectrac. Two-color conversion of Col-R-Tel. Orange & cyan NTSC. History of two-color TV & film. Discussion of two-color gamut. Edwin Land's Retinex. Dave Ingram's 2.5-color TV.

CONTACT THE CURATOR

  • Contact curator
    For further information about this site or about mechanical television.

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DOWNLOADS: SPECTRAC

  • Design Spectrac Scanners
    My program calculates specs for Spectrac, 2-color converters. Fred Topping invented Spectrac system in 1971. This mechanical device converts B&W television screens to color.

HAM RADIO

  • Donovan, KU4ZD
    Mike Donovan's omnibus ham radio & television page.

  • Qrz.com
    Find any ham by callsign or name. Articles. Useful links. Frequently updated. Many television hobbyists are hams.

FREQUENTLY ASKED QUESTIONS

  • Baird Did Not Invent Television: FAQ
    Answers exaggerated claims about Baird. Baird was both brilliant engineer & huckster. Fact: Baird's television used off-shelf parts. Negative effect of Baird revisionism.

  • Color Wheel FAQ
    Answers about color-wheel converters: Col-R-Tel, Colordaptor & Spectrac. Also CBS system. Includes data for converter builders. Also: Color TV theory, worldwide color systems, collecting.

  • JFET PREAMP FAQ
    Answers about building, using & adjusting our one-JFET preamplifier. Easy-to-find parts. For musical instruments, microphone. Part substitution. Adapt our circuit for your use.

  • LED Driver FAQ
    Answers questions about building TV receivers with our LED driver circuit. Basic & advanced. For circuit, see Mechanical TV Receiver.

  • Mechanical TV FAQ
    Answers to questions about mechanical TV that uses Nipkow discs or similar devices. Includes color-conversion information.

HISTORY

  • About NTSC
    History of NTSC.

  • Video: AT&T mechanical TV
    Most advanced TV of time. April 7, 1927 TV demo by AT&T, Herbert Ives. Commerce Secretary Herbert Hoover talks to AT&T President Walter Gifford. Large & small-screen TV. Also simulated 50-line video.

  • Baird Did Not Invent Television
    Who invented television? Or: Who was first? "Baird" is knee-jerk answer. Wrong! ...And unfair to prior contributors. Page traces parts of Baird's alleged invention to true inventors.

  • Baird receivers
    Photos of all or most commercially produced J.L. Baird sets. By year.

  • Col-R-Tel on Moon
    Apollo color cameras used field-sequential system. Most people don't know that system was Col-R-Tel. Exclusive page exposes startling similarities. Also: How moon system & downlink converters worked.

  • Daven Kit
    Pictorial ad for 1928 Daven TV kit.

  • ETV Story
    Farnsworth v. Zworykin in Pittsburgh: Original television wrestling match.

  • French television history
    French site with links about books on television history. (Some American history.)

  • Japanese television history
    NHK site about mechanical & electronic television inventions of Kenjiro Takayanagi.

  • Moon camera, Apollo 11
    Data, photos on 10 fps, 320-line monochrome camera used on Apollo 11 moon landing.

  • Moon camera, Apollo 15
    Technical description of field-sequential camera used on Apollo 15 moon landing.

  • Old VTRs
    Vintage videotape recorders, still rolling tape after all these years. Standard conversions.

  • Queens' Messenger
    Site of US station WRGB, WGY successor. WGY & its shortwave outlet telecast spy thriller in 1928. First TV play. 48-line monochrome TV. Two years before first British play, Man with Flower in his Mouth. Photos.

  • RadiolaGuy.com
    Vintage radio & television, 1920 to 1950. Information, items for sale & nostalgia. Virtual museum.

  • Transistorized
    Invention of transistor. (No, not in Roswell, NM.)

  • TV History
    Fabulous color graphics from vintage magazines. Timeline. See Television Before 1935. Created by Tom Genova.

  • Vakuum TV
    Outstanding graphics & animations. Full history. Fascinating, & slightly weird. Caution: Occasionally ribald. (Partially in English.)

  • Visual Media
    Rare clippings about early television productions. Many forgotten details, particularly about European telecasts. A feast for the eyes.

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HOBBYIST SITES

  • About Hobby
    How mechanical television amateurs contributed to television's invention. How hobbyists recreate unavailable technology with modern parts. How tinkerers continue to improve medium.

  • Clifford Benham
    Slides of Benham's ambitious field-sequential, color wheel project. Complete redesign of Col-R-Tel. Results way beyond original. If only we'd had Benham's machine 50 years ago!

  • Wayne Bretl
    Homepage of ETS member depicts development of mechanical television equipment. Superb links. Tour of Ford Museum Mechanical Television exhibit.

  • Colorize Your Mechanical TV
    There's nothing like color! Now, colorize your receiver. Uses Ives' 1929 simultaneous color technique: First system that permits motion and color. Avoids flaws in Baird's color attempt.

  • Eckhard Etzold
    QuickTime movies of scanner in action. Eckhard built mechanical TV scanner with Peter Yanczer's parts & Peter Smith's circuit.

  • Roland Givan
    Roland's superb photo essay demonstrates how he built working mechanical TV monitor. This will be favorite page for builders everywhere. Includes useful links.

  • Kevin Hadfield
    Innovative NBTVA member thoroughly explains his mechanical TV inventions. Photographs support text. Demonstrated unique “carousel” scanner at 2005 Loughborough convention.

  • Bob Lozier
    Homepage of one of earliest U.S. hobbyists. How U.S. tech historians began building mechanical television replicas. Photos.

  • Tom Maciolek
    Slides of Tom Maciolek's spectacular, mechanical TV project. Based on Peter Smith's scanner. Page includes screen shots, descriptive text.

  • Erwin Meyvaert's Blog
    Boils mechanical TV down to very simple technology. Project: Drawings & schematics. In English & Dutch.

  • Steve Ostler
    Mechanical television uniquely lends itself to both color & 3-D. Steve demonstrates how. Photos.

  • Schematic Diagram Directory
    Links to useful projects from my files. Top page provides data about classes of transistors for experimenters.

  • Ralph Taggart Image Communications Handbook
    Prof. Taggart's 2002 handbook covers NBTV, SSTV, WEFAX & ATV. Details on building NBTV ROMscanner: Digital picture storage. Schematics. Free software.

  • Peter Yanczer
    Rich site includes history, parts shop & advanced how-to. Both tube & solid state projects. Equipment photos & schematics.

HOW-TO

  • Build Mechanical Television Receiver
    Impressive, but easy to build. Great science fair project! Works with PC Sound Blaster card! Includes Nipkow disc template.

  • Build Radio Transmitter
    Simplest radio transmitter. Amazing, business card-size transmitter. Two parts & a battery! Great science fair project.

  • Build TV Transmitter
    Simplest TV transmitter. Fits in pocket. Handful of parts on small PC board. One transistor & 9-volt battery! Picture signal for NTSC / PAL / SECAM. Also advanced model for higher power.

  • Calculators
    Jim Martindale offers links to online calculators for every conceivable purpose. Ours are here, too. Even so, Mr. Martindale offers delightful site.

  • Colorize Your Mechanical TV
    There's nothing like color! Now, colorize your receiver. Uses Ives' 1929 simultaneous color technique: First system that permits motion and color. Avoids flaws in Baird's color attempt.

  • Experiments in Two Colors
    Wendy Carlos' site on two-color experiments based on Edwin Land's pioneering work. Two-color systems, such as Spectrac use similar technology. Simple, science fair-type experiments.

  • Erwin Meyvaert
    TV hobbyist page with schematic & mechanical diagrams. Basic mechanical TV project for beginners. Experiment with wideband ham radio. Requires frequencies below 300 Hz. Caution: Mechanical TV signals won't fit in 3-kHz voice band. English & Dutch content.

  • Volker Mohr
    Experiments with very simple Nipkow disc scanner. This scanner originally appeared on page by Erwin Meyvaert ON1AIJ. (No longer available.) Some of original content appears on Erwin's blog. Volker's page is in German. Includes color schematics & color photos. Skillfully executed. Exemplary project.

  • How to Build a Color Delay Line
    How pioneers rolled their lines! In 1955, your chances of finding ready-made delay lines were bupkis. Same applies today. Col-R-Tel builders need to know the secret. Otherwise, you'll have an offset color picture.

  • Monitor Building Process
    Roland Givan's superb photo essay demonstrates how he built working mechanical TV monitor. This will be favorite page for builders everywhere. Includes useful links.

  • Print out a Nipkow disc
    Reinvent television on your kitchen table! Download template for printing Nipkow disc. Except for computer part, Paul Nipkow started out like this. Easy mechanical TV experiments.

  • Print out a TV color wheel
    Fascinating insights into the CBS color system. Comparison with NTSC monochrome & RCA compatible color. Template for printing a color wheel. Perform your own experiments!

LIGHT VALVES

  • Compendium of light-valve articles
    Additional light-control articles, including information on oil-based system (Eidophor).

  • DMD
    Micromachines can also manipulate light. Texas Instruments makes integrated galvo known as DMD (digital micromirror device). This integrated circuit controls attached micromirrors mounted on tiny gimbals. Light bounces off IC, which causes light to hit or miss your screen.

  • GLV
    Article discusses GLVs, type of automated micro diffraction grating.

  • ILA
    ILA is integrated: Screen is active circuit part.

  • Reflective liquid crystal
    Article discusses liquid crystals that operate in reflective mode.

  • Transmissive liquid crystal
    Article discusses most common, easy to use & economical light valve, transmissive LCD.

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MUSEUMS

NEW! MECHANICAL TELEVISION!

PARTS FOR HOBBYISTS

  • All Electronics
    General electronics, phototransistors, LEDs, CdS cells, battery holders, motors. West coast U.S. stores.

  • American Science & Surplus
    Surplus & unusual optics & motors. Reasonable. Sometimes has mirror drums, discs, LEDs, tools, adhesives, lens cleaner. Humorous catalog. Chicago-area stores.

  • ATV Research
    Parts & systems: CCTV, MATV & SMATV. President Mel Shadbolt invented Televerter, simplified flying spot scanner. The stuff of electronic legends!

  • Crystal Set Society (Midnight Science)
    Radio parts for experimenters. Also excellent new books about crystal & regen radio set building. Reasonable prices.

  • Digi-Key Electronics
    New electronics. Useful ICs, infrared phototransistors & photodiodes. Full specs.

  • Electronics Goldmine
    Surplus electronics at rock bottom prices. Best transistor deals (Even "house" parts are reliable). Some optics.

  • Fair Radio Sales
    Surplus electronics from WWII to present: Radios, tubes, power supplies, test equipment, vintage knobs, tuners. Reprint books & manuals. Good service. Lima, Ohio store.

  • W.W. Grainger
    New production motors, motor mounts, lamps, electrical parts, industrial supplies, etc.

  • Mouser Electronics
    New electronics at reasonable prices. NTE semiconductor line. Good inductor source. No minimum order.

  • Magnifying glass
    Good prices & fine selection. Will magnify mechanical television pictures.

  • Radio Shack
    Short line of electronic components at convenience-store prices. Quirky search feature. No minimum order.

  • Roscolux
    Col-R-Tel expert Cliff Benham recommends Roscolux filters for use in color wheel sets. Close match for original Col-R-Tel filters. (Col-R-Tel color wheels were the best among several competitors.) Filter information at this site.

  • SMC Electronics
    Parts. Surplus & refurbished electronics. Sams sets. Schematics for Conar, Eico & Knight kits. Reasonable prices. Prompt delivery. Worldwide shipping. No minimum order.

  • Surplus Shed Optics
    Quality, surplus optics at hard-to-beat prices.

  • Peter Yanczer
    Ever try to find scanning disc hubs? Either you must be very creative, or you must hire a machinist. Yanczer fabricates & sells those hard-to-find mechanical TV parts.

RECORDINGS

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SCANNER EMULATOR

  • Gary Millard
    Download Millard's fascinating NBTV emulator. Plays 32 & 30-line television pictures on your IBM-compatible PC.

TECHNOLOGY

  • Hardware Evolution
    Yes! Circuits can now evolve just as organic lifeforms do. Explains process, made possible with software algorithms & FPGA chips. Discusses potential for sentient circuits. TV may eventually obtain brightness control that works!

  • How Stuff Works
    Technology in layman's language.

  • Test Chart
    Contemporary television test chart, incl. HDTV.

WEIRD SCIENCE






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