LabGuy's World: Labguy's Electronics and Video Projects
Your humble Labguy has been involved in Electronics since 1966. I picked up the hobby after my Dad became fascinated with an old radio that someone had gifted to him. At age 9, I learned to solder and identify components. By age 17, I had constructed two separate operational vidicon cameras and dozens of radios from scratch. A stint in the U.S. Air Force gave me my first VTR and a lifetime of training for a highly profitable career. I still construct creative projects to this day.
From this portal, you are all welcome to follow the progress of my various projects. Some will be completed. Many will not. My goal is always to master a "principal". So, for some projects, completion is not even necessary if my curiosity was sated. Progress will be documented so the average person can see what is involved in a typical amateur engineering exercise. I hope to inspire young people to investigate archane sciences for themselves. I can never thank the teachers, TV repair men and amateur radio operators who encouraged me in my youth. But, I will never forget them. I could not have acheived what I have without them. Click the picture to enter the project.
PHILOCAM - Image Dissector Camera Project
It's time to honor professor Farnsworth. Oh my, yes.
I attempt to assemble an actual image dissector tube based video camera. In some respects, the dissector tube is easier to apply than other more common camera tubes. The dissector tube that I obtained was made by IT&T using the Farnsowrth patents that they acquired.
High speed magnetic field generators or room heaters?
DEFLECTION YOKE AMPLIFIERS (UPDATED 20161201)
A study of several different high bandwidth DC amplifier designs. Answering the question, "Can a deflection yoke be driven in the same manner as a loud speaker?"
MARSAN PIXICAM RESTORATION (Completed!)
As rare as King Tut's pencil box!
A television camera that uses a Pixicon tube. The pixicon is a two inch diameter, electrostatic deflection and focus, vidicon tube. From the early 1960s. Click the photo to find out more in part 1.
RCA 2F21/1699 TV Monoscope Project
A camera that uses a monoscope tube produces a fixed test pattern
This is how luck works. Suddenly, I find myself in possession of a pair of authentic RCA monoscope tubes. The 2F21 with the famous Indian Chief test pattern and the 1699 station ID card from WEHT, TV channel 50 in Henderson, Indiana, 1953. Having two tubes doubles the chances of having a good one. This is a raw project. Expect no major progress in the near future.
WESGROVE VKR-500 RESTORATION
This IS actually the World's First Home Video Tape Recorder
Heavy emphesis on FIRST! Search all you want, there is no consumer video recorder prior to this miracle of nineteen sixties technology. Click the picture to follow my attempted restoration of one of these rare television recording tape decks.
TINY IKE - ICONOSCOPE TUBE TV CAMERA
Let's fire up an RCA 5527 'Experimenter's Iconoscope" tube made in 1947.
I have resumed working on my original iconoscope TV camera project. It became stalled when I was abruptly forced to move to a new residence. The old room mate reitred and sold his house where I rented a room for thirteen years. One thing or another has kept me from revisiting this project. But, since I have yet to locate the recording head for the Wesgrove VKR-500, I will work on this project to fill the time. Click the picture above to see more.
5FPn CRT TESTING
Let's examine a CRT with both magnetic focus and deflection
This project investigates two phenomina. Magentically focused electron guns and three unique flourescent phosphors. The CRT in this project is the venerable old 5FPn from the 1940s. The lower case letter "n" denotes the phosphor type number. In this project we will examine P5, P7 and P25 phosphors.
NBTV - 32 LINE TELEVISIOR COLOR CONVERSION
What would Rowan and Martin's Laugh In look like on a 1929 mechanical color TV?.
Bought this sexy little Televisor kit a few years ago. Looked at the 'neon' orange image which made me say, "Ooooh and ahhhh". Totally cool. But, what if this was color? Then Aurora Engineering introduced their [World Converter WC-01] and changed my life for the better! Click the photo to enter the beginning of the project.
RCA PH-548 Image Orthicon Television Camera Restoration
RCA Block 3 Miniature Airborne Television Camera - 20150722
My first image orthicon camera. Finally! Same as CRV-59AAE only with a better pick up tube! OK, there is virtually no comparison. COMING SOON!
RCA CRV-59AAE Iconoscope Television Camera Restoration
RCA Miniature Airborne Television Camera - In 3 Parts - 20150517
Bought this from a fellow in Canada a few years back. With the success of Troy Walter's Iconoscope TV camera and the long delay in my own Tiny Ike project, I thought it would be easiest to dust this old camera off and see if it works. Click the picture to follow the progress
Electrostatic CRT Deflection Amplifiers
Electrostatic Cathode Ray Tubes, Part 2 - 20150216
The evolution of Labguy's 300 volt differential deflection amplifier continues. Also added a self contained boost regulator to create 300 VDC from the 12 volt supply. Elinimintating external power supplies until we get down to a single 12 volt source.
MILLEN OSCILLOSCOPE 90901
1960 Millen One Inch CRT Oscilloscope Module
This module was manufactured by the James Millen Company in 1960. It uses a 1CP1 CRT and occupies the same space as a standard two inch panel meter. Click the picture to learn more.
TINY TRINISCOPE COLOR TV (Completed - 20140411)
A Triniscope is a color television with three B&W picture tubes
A triniscope is a color television with three picture tubes who's red, green and blue images are recombined with a special prism. A Tiny Triniscope has three tiny picture tubes, of course! One inch picture tubes to be precise! Click the picture above to learn more about my best project ever.
UPDATE 20141226: I've put together a 3 minute video of the Tiny Triniscope in operation. Found this video while cleaning up files for year end back up. It was too good to not share it.
Labguy! How do I use an electrostatic CRT?
Electrostatic Cathode Ray Tubes, Part 1 - 20141030
These small oscilloscope and radar displays are plentiful and reasonabley cheap. They are also very easy to use. Here is an afternoon project demonstrating this. At a later time, I also added a Sparkfun Scope Clock to the mix. This was very fun.
BROKEN 1DP1 CRT - 20141213
Tried to plug this tube into a nixie tube socket. Right number of pins, wrong pin spacing. Oops! Not really a project. But, darned fascinating none the less. Click through to see more.
Labguy! How do I make my oscilloscope into a television monitor?
Tiny TV Board - Mark 2 - Project Completed - 20141204
Tiny TV Mark 2 can make an oscilloscope or other XYZ CRT display into a monochrome video monitor. Standard definition analog video goes and two synchronized X & Y scanning ramps and amplified, gamma corrected, Z (video) comes out. Enjoy some classic analog electronic design for your enlightenment and entertainment... enterlightenment?
Expensive glass collection!
An examination of a few types of light amplifying tubes. Using the phenomonon of secondary emmission, these tubes are able to detect single photons under the correct conditions. At least two of my up coming projects will require knowledge gained through the experiments within.
Cyclops, the one eyed monster *
5AXP4 - Five Inch Round Test CRT Project
Just messing around on a Sunday afternoon. Wondered how I could test my 5AXP4 five inch round picture tube. Click the photo find out!
* Renamed the project on 20141020. As time passed, this project mushroomed. It has now become a magnetic deflection development test bed. Sweet! See part two for the full story.
TINY TV BOARD PROJECT
Tiny TV Board Project
This is an older project that I have only documented in a YouTube video or two. Click the link to go to where I explain this project in great detail. A derivative of Tiny TV will be required to continue to the future scan deflection amplifier project that will mate with the Cyclops project. Complicated, ain't it?
Hikock 760 Flying Spot Scanner
Television Serviceman's Tool
A restoration project.
COLOR FLYING SPOT SCANNER PROJECT (NEW)
SC4679B-PSP - Five Inch Round Color Scanning CRT
Found this ridiculously rare tube on Ebay. Traced it to the coolest console TV ever! The Sylvania Home Theater System. A 25" color console television with a built in color flying spot scanner to show your vactaion slides on the TV! How cool is that? Can Labguy make this tube scan a slide in color? Heck! Can he even make the darned thing light up? Let's find out!
YUV TO RGB COLOR MATRIX (Completed - 20140326)
Convert component video YUV to component video RGB!
This project is directly related to the tiny triniscope. It grew large enough, on its own, to warrant a separate project page. Click the schematic diagram to see more.
GOLDMARK 1. A FIELD SEQUENTIAL COLOR TV (Completed - 20140214)
Color TV as Rube Goldberg intended - From an idea to a final product
In 1948, Dr. Peter Goldmark of CBS developed a (not so) practical color television system that worked very well, relative to the tri-color CRTs of the day. Labguy tackles the challenge of replicating one of these marvelous lost technology beauties. The project continues here: [GOLDMARK 1] - Labguy's Field Sequential Color TV Project.
GOLDMARK 2 - A FIELD SEQUENTIAL CRT BASED COLOR TV WITH LCD COLOR SHUTTER!
Color video from a B&W cathode ray tube with no moving parts
Obviously, or not, field sequential color television can be displayed on a normal 3 beam color picture tube by gating one gun on at a time. Cliff Benham has already done this. How about reproducing CBS field sequential color video with a monochrome display tube and a solid state color shutter? A complete, brand new tube and full electronics is in the mail! Stick around and be amazed in a month or three. Or less! The game is afoot.Excerpted from article: LCDs in the USA:
...Tektronix is developing LCD technologies for use in avionics displays and helmet mounted displays. These high-resolution displays, called NuColor Shutters, use a technology Tektronix dubs pi-cell, which utilizes to fast liquid crystals. Pi-cell works with a 180 Hz monochrome cathode ray tube (CRT) that acts as backlight and also sends sequential red, green, and blue signals to Tektronix's LCD. The monochrom CRT is then modulated to create a wide color palette. The result is spectacular color in a display that can be as small as 1 inch or as large as 19 inches... PC magazine December 21, 1993 - Cristopher Barr.
KJ6RNL HAM RADIO AMATEUR TELEVISION IN SAN JOSE (Completed - 20131203) CALIFORNIA
Did you know that you can legally, easily and inexpensively transmit TV from your own home?
In San Jose California, we have an amateur television repeater at the top of Mount Loma Prieta. With a ham radio license, a modest amount of equipment and some elbow grease and you can join in the fun. The ATV repeater goes by the call sign, [K6BEN]. The repeater is supported by the Silicon Valley ATV group, of which I am a member. I tell you how I put together my ATV system over the past couple of years. The project continues here: [KJ6RNL - ATV IN SAN JOSE CA]
HOBBY ELECTRONICS HOW TO (On going)
A complex analog circuit constructed by hand at home.
I have been building electronics projects since the late 1960s. Over the years, my techniques have become highly polished and efficient. Learn how I do the things that I do.
THE VIDEO CIRCUITS COOK BOOK
Simple, practical and unusual video circuits you can copy and use.
Video amplifiers, sync separators, pulse processing and detecting, etc. Click the photo.
FRAME GRABBER PROJECT - 1985
My first highly complex analog and digital video project - 1985!
I have been building video projects for a very long time. Take a trip down memory lane with me. I built this in 1985 when everyone was telling me not to do it. Ha! I showed them! I even simulated some of the digital circuits on my Radio Shack TRS-80 Color Computer. Once the Frame Grabber was operational, connected to my S-100, 4MHz Z80 computer system, I could save and load a 65K image file in 18 seconds! You think that's impressive? I was also able to store up to 18 images per 8 inch floppy disk. Or send a video image over the phone in under three minutes. Tell that to a young person today and they probably wouldn't believe you!
MONOSCOPE TUBE CAMERA PROJECT (High potential)
A monoscope tube is a TV camera with a fixed, built-in, test pattern image.
What the Heck? Click the picture to find out.
USING MODERN BATTERIES IN EXTINCT VTRS (Incomplete / fail)
Can we use modern battries in extinct VTRs?
In this project, we attempt to adapt a modern NiMH (Nickel Metal Hydride) battery pack for use in my old Panasonic NV-3082 portable VTR, also known as a 'portapac'. The project continues here: [MODERN BATTERIES] in vintage video tape recorders. I wish I could devote more time to this project. It is a fascinating problem. But, other projects are of much higher priority at this time.
POTENTIAL FUTURE PROJECTS
[MONOSCOPE CAMERA] BASED UPON A PERSONALLY CUSTOMIZED VACUUM TUBE!
A TRUE [IMAGE DISSECTOR] VIDEO CAMERA - I ALREADY HAVE TWO CAMERA TUBES!
TRUE ARCUATE SCANNING OF MECHANICAL TELEVISION ON A CRT OR CAMERA TUBE FACE
TINY O'SCOPE CIRCUITS USING THE 1936 ERA [RCA 913 ONE INCH OSCILLOSOCPE CRT] AND OTHERS
VIDEO CIRCUIT COOKBOOK - SYNC AND VIDEO CIRCUIT BUILDING BLOCKS GALORE!
If you find any of these projects interesting, have any suggestions or questions, or you have experience in these technical areas, feel free to drop me a line at the address below. Click the image for the larger view.
Created: November 8, 2014 Last updated: December 1,2016