Where are the mechanics?

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Where are the mechanics?

Postby Steve Anderson » Mon Jul 02, 2007 5:45 pm

Over the last few weeks I have noticed a decided lack of mechanical postings. Klaas, Gary, Graham, and others and I have been primarily discussing the electronics or software side of NBTV. Where have the mechanical guys gone?

I did a poll some time back from which it seemed there was a definate bias towards the mechanical aspect of this subject. Although I consider myself somewhat inept at mechanical things (but not totally) it would be nice to have a few more mechanically related postings.

Gents, the floor is yours...

Steve A.
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Postby DrZarkov » Mon Jul 02, 2007 6:00 pm

Later this year, when I've finished my current projects, I would like to make my own mirror-drum monitor.

And there is still the project of the all-mechanical TV, basing on Nipkow-discs and fibre glas. Any progress there?
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Postby Viewmaster » Mon Jul 02, 2007 9:42 pm

The recording and playback of moving pictures has always been a fascinating mixture of electronics and mechanics, that is why I find NBTV so interesting.
The Maltese Cross mechanism in 35mm cine projectors, the risky claw positioning in the centre of 9.5mm film that always threatened to rip the film to shreads! Revolving syncronised shutters. The fine slit behind the photocell.
Big watts cinema amplifiers from the past with huge PX4s in push pull etc Spluttering arc lamps. MARs etc.
All great historic mech. and elect. items.

This has been discussed in part before, but is a 100% mechanical or 100% electrical means of recording and playing back moving images possible?
When solid state memory is built into digital video cameras for recording we may be there at last, but then the optical zoom lens will be a mechanical device, so mechanics will still move us! :)
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Postby Steve Anderson » Mon Jul 02, 2007 10:21 pm

Viewmaster wrote:The recording and playback of moving pictures has always been a fascinating mixture of electronics and mechanics, that is why I find NBTV so interesting.


I agree, although I have to admit that my bias is toward the electronic rather than the mechanical, but this subject is a unique blend of both.

Viewmaster wrote:When solid state memory is built into digital video cameras for recording we may be there at last, but then the optical zoom lens will be a mechanical device, so mechanics will still move us! :)
Albert.


Very true, and long may it continue...

Sadly we are very close now to the video camera that has no moving parts, not even a disc drive or mechanically driven optics. Sigh.

The recently launched Hasselblad camera (H3D) has 31 megapixels which allows almost unlimited digital zoom if used in a TV camera at 625 lines. But open your wallet WIDE!!!

Must get that placard made that says, "The end is nigh".

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Postby Steve Anderson » Mon Jul 02, 2007 10:38 pm

Viewmaster wrote:The Maltese Cross mechanism in 35mm cine projectors, the risky claw positioning in the centre of 9.5mm film that always threatened to rip the film to shreads! Revolving syncronised shutters. The fine slit behind the photocell.

Big watts cinema amplifiers from the past with huge PX4s in push pull etc Spluttering arc lamps. MARs etc.
All great historic mech. and elect. items.
Albert.


I think that you and my father should go down to the pub and have a good long yarn. I'm sure you would both enjoy it. He was a projectionist at the Hammersmith Odeon in the 50s when it was still a cinema.

He then went to a company in Redhill, Surrey who did magnetic striping for the sound tracks of films, for most of his professional life he was involved in some form of magnetic media or other. For many years the company were the sole supplier to the BBC of audio magnetic tape.

I've been trying to convince him to write his memoirs, although moderately computer literate, he just doesn't seem interested in doing so. He is 71.

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Postby AncientBrit » Mon Jul 02, 2007 10:50 pm

Steve,

Mag stripping?

Zonal at Redhill??


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Postby Steve Anderson » Mon Jul 02, 2007 11:49 pm

AncientBrit wrote:Zonal at Redhill??


Graham


Yes, that was the company.

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Postby Viewmaster » Tue Jul 03, 2007 1:57 am

Steve Anderson wrote:I think that you and my father should go down to the pub and have a good long yarn. I'm sure you would both enjoy it. He was a projectionist at the Hammersmith Odeon in the 50s when it was still a cinema.

He is 71.
Steve A.


Tell your father, Steve, to get some in! (that's an old army expression to get more years in!)......as he is my junior by a few years :shock:
...........Well, that's what NBTV does to you eventually :lol:

I must have seen many of your father's projected films at the Hammersmith Odeon, as I lived at Shepherds Bush, about a mile away, for 20 years from 1940. Small world.
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Postby AncientBrit » Wed Jul 04, 2007 10:47 pm

Steve,

I dealt with Zonal when I spent 6 years working at EVR (Electonic video recording) in the mastering section.

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Postby Steve Anderson » Thu Jul 05, 2007 1:05 pm

AncientBrit wrote:I dealt with Zonal when I spent 6 years working at EVR (Electonic video recording) in the mastering section.

Graham


I'm sure that my father would have had something to do with that. I think they did dabble in the videotape market, but weren't particuarly successful. It's a bit like Ilford who are renowned for their monochrome films, but never were able to produce a colour film with the quality and stability of their competitors, Kodak and today Fuji.

I remember going to the Zonal factory when I was about seven or eight with my father one Saturday. There were these vast vats full of this dark brown 'gunk' which was coated onto the base of the tape. This was then slit from about 36" into the required format, quarter-inch, half-inch and so on.

Now, there is every chance he might have some literature from that period, I will send him an e-mail and ask. If he still does I'll see if my brother can get it scanned in.

Steve A.

Their biggest competitor in the audio tape market was BASF from Germany, combine that with a professional Telefunken machine, nothing came close.
Last edited by Steve Anderson on Thu Jul 05, 2007 7:57 pm, edited 1 time in total.
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Postby Steve Anderson » Thu Jul 05, 2007 1:42 pm

Viewmaster wrote:I must have seen many of your father's projected films at the Hammersmith Odeon, as I lived at Shepherds Bush, about a mile away, for 20 years from 1940. Small world.
Albert.


...and I have done a lot of work for the BBC at White City, just up the road, a few decades ago. Somewhere I still have a BBC pass, surely expired by now.

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Postby Viewmaster » Sat Jul 07, 2007 1:31 am

Steve Anderson wrote:
Viewmaster wrote:I must have seen many of your father's projected films at the Hammersmith Odeon, as I lived at Shepherds Bush, about a mile away, for 20 years from 1940. Small world.
Albert.


...and I have done a lot of work for the BBC at White City, just up the road, a few decades ago. Somewhere I still have a BBC pass, surely expired by now.
Steve A.


My o my, it's an even smaller world....I too worked up at White City, for BBC, with some film work, but that was more than a few decades ago before colour came in and I never had a pass in those safer times. :)
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