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Re: My B&W Iconoscope TV camera project

PostPosted: Wed Feb 11, 2015 5:14 am
by aussie_bloke
Klaas Robers wrote:Have you ever thought of the idea that the pick up tube only can work in a somwhat proper way if you place it in total darkness? Now there is so much light falling on the mosaic plate that the picture is invisible in the stray light, It is like making photographs with a totally opened camera. The only light that should hit the tube is light coming through the lens.

Thanks for the suggestion, I thought the tube could still work with a smaller level of stray light which I have tried running the camera in the garage at night with the light off having just the light box on and the little TV, there was some stray light but was to the minimum opposed to running it in the daytime. I am still working on the enclosure covering but will of course will make a makeshift cover out of cardboard or something so I can place it over the enclosure when I test it next.

I think the biggest problem at the moment lies in the deflection as I think the yoke positioning is too far down the tube due to limitation on how far I can push the tube neck down the yoke, this camera setup is a very rough test setup to see if the tube could output some sort of picture. I of course also should of split the video output to the scope as well as the TV so I could see what's going on on both video waveform as well as visual display.

Re: My B&W Iconoscope TV camera project

PostPosted: Sat Mar 21, 2015 9:42 pm
by Harry Dalek
Congratulations Troy on the great work getting your vintage camera tube to image WOW . :D

Re: My B&W Iconoscope TV camera project

PostPosted: Sat Mar 21, 2015 11:29 pm
by aussie_bloke
Harry Dalek wrote:Congratulations Troy on the great work getting your vintage camera tube to image WOW . :D

Thanks Harry :D .

Yep my Iconoscope camera is now making a picture, very crude but it works!!! :D I have updated my Iconoscope section on my website detailing the latest construction/testing of my camera which can be seen here ... ject5.html . Since my last update on my progress I simply decided to try connecting the target straight to the vidicon video board's preamp input and disable the other preamp that I built from a plumbicon preamp schematic and that did the trick! :) I think where I went wrong using the other preamp was when I connected it to the video board I skipped a few amp stages to avoid too much gain and I must of bypassed important circuitry in the process. I intend to further refine my camera to make it work even better, am gonna try using a non conical deflection yoke from an old B&W TV for the tube that's easily maneuverable and smaller or wind my own coils, also gonna play around with the amp stages to get extra gain from the tube as it's very dim. So it's a continuing work in progress! :)

Re: My B&W Iconoscope TV camera project

PostPosted: Wed Jun 10, 2015 10:25 am
by aussie_bloke
G'day all.

I've been doing a lot of work on my homemade RCA 1846 Iconoscope TV camera in the past 2 months and have improved the picture quality significantly since the camera first outputted video! :D Firstly I was kindly donated a spare proper deflection yoke for my RCA 1846 tube by WWII military TV camera collector Maurice Schechter and I replaced the vidicon yoke with it and fired it up and got a better picture but it was more horizontally stretched. I realized that there wasn't enough current going to the horizontal coils and the beam was scanning a narrow horizontal area of the tube's plate so I lowered the resistance between the +15V rail and the horizontal drive section of the deflection board to increase current, had to of course use higher wattage resistors and pot, and voila the beam now scans the full width of the tube's plate and more! :)

Then the next step was to straighten the picture and reduce the noise so I rotated the yoke and the tube a bit to straighten the picture and then I positioned the video board as close as possible to the tube and cut the target lead much shorter. Then I wrapped aluminium foil around the tube and connected the foil to the camera's chassis, this worked nicely and I now have almost noiseless pictures! :D

I have also enclosed the camera with the tower case cover and plastic front/rear paneling and lots of gaffer tape around the lens carriage to prevent as much unwanted light to the tube as possible. So now the camera is working so much better and is more practical for usage and I've made a load of videos from the camera and have uploaded them to YouTube. Here's are the links to the more interesting videos made from the camera where the pictures are very watchable: (myself talking in front of camera)

I also have successfully made some tri-chrome colour video stills of still objects by placing red/green/blue filters in front of the lens and adding them on top of each other in Photoshop, see attached pictures. So back in the 30s/40s it was possible to make a three Iconoscope tube colour camera like a RCA TK-40/41 in the 50s or single tube with spinning colour wheel! :)

I am yet to update my site on my camera but intend to within the next few days,

A lot of work is still needed on the camera for it to make a really good picture, the camera needs the following:
horizontal/vertical centering
keystone correction
shading correction
A lens with better depth of field (still using magnifying glasses at present)

Richard Diehl of has helped me out so much with my camera so I owe a lot of credit to him. He in recent times has successfully restored his bomber camera to working condition and has made a couple of off-screen video recordings and the picture is fantastic: ... ration.htm ... ation2.htm ... ation3.htm

So that's the latest on my camera and I am stoked at how good the pictures are looking now and getting a taste of how television pictures looked in the 30s/40s! :) Have attached some images of my camera in its more completed form along with video stills from my video recordings.

Re: My B&W Iconoscope TV camera project

PostPosted: Mon Jun 15, 2015 1:54 am
by aussie_bloke
G'day all. I have now updated my Iconoscope camera project pages on my website here's the links to the updated pages: ... ject6.html ... ject7.html ... ject8.html
I have added loads of videos along with my construction updates and towards the end have uploaded the schematics used for this camera along with some of the key waveforms in the deflection circuitry and video circuit.

As seen in my updates I have now started taking my camera on the road and doing on location videos powering the whole camera chain from an inverter connected to car battery! :)