More Old Equipment in Need of Identification

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More Old Equipment in Need of Identification

Postby jon » Fri May 03, 2013 12:01 pm

CFRN's John Hanson would be grateful for any help identifying some old station equipment. Not just what each piece is, but how it was used.

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"Then there is this weird camera. Never seen one like it. Many of the oldies had a turret lens. This has a single lens. And its quite small for the era. I can easily pick it up."
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"And for some reason, a piece of Army kit. Seems odd. What need would a broadcasting outfit have for this??"
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Re: What is this Old Equipment?

Postby albertaboy4life » Fri May 03, 2013 12:19 pm

Perhaps for remotes? Instead of using a phone line . . .

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Re: What is this Old Equipment?

Postby Mike Cleaver » Fri May 03, 2013 12:26 pm

The top one appears to be a sweep frequency audio signal generator, used for testing audio frequency response in various pieces of equipment, often used in conjunction with a distortion analyzer.
The camera may have been used for shooting art cards, the forerunner to slides or even an early telecine camera for showing slides, film and balops through a prism system.
The box with the mic in the green bag is appears to be a Wirek or similar portable wire audio recorder, with a windup motor and battery operated electronics. Many were later converted to use paper magnetic coated tape instead of wire, the forerunner to the more modern tape machines.
The last one is a field unit military transceiver, described as being "portable."
The forerunner to the hand held walkie talkie used during WWII.
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Re: What is this Old Equipment?

Postby jon » Fri May 03, 2013 4:50 pm

"These pics are of the camera device. Other people i have talked to suggested it was part of a tele-cine chain or balopticon, as mentioned by one of the contributors. Here are some views of the inside, and the knob on the side marked "focus" has writing also for air speed!??!"
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"More shots of the camera. And now, next to the lens is an indicator for height x100. There is also an old style maple leaf with a model # under the viewfinder."
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"The device in the bag seen previously is some sort of field recorder."
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"This one, found in a nice wooden box with CFRN on it, also seems to be some kind of recorder or amp."
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"More of the same RCA machine. There are two of the cartridges seen here. Both are set into the bottom of the box with the machine fitting nicely on top. The machine itself has a bakelite exterior."
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"Then there was this film developer."
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"Better shots of the machine sent previously. Has a nice 'RN sticker on top."
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"And finally, this huge device. Packed into a heavy wood box, likely for field use again. Looks to be one of the oldest items here"
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"More shots of same. And the.box it lives in. No makers tags that I can see."
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"And better shots of one of the military pieces. Is it conceivable that they would have used these sorts of radios for field communication with crew on remote? With limited range on walkie talkies and if they are far from land lines, would these surplus military radios be useful for that?"
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"For all of this equipment I'm hoping to get a more clear understanding of what it is in the hopes that it will be donated by CTV to the Royal Alberta Museum. The museum has a good selection of Sunwapta TV equipment and ephemera, but I don't think they have much from the radio side. Any help in this research, greatly appreciated.
Cheers
John"
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Re: More Old Equipment in Need of Identification

Postby Mike Cleaver » Fri May 03, 2013 7:11 pm

Judging from the vents on the camera casing and the high voltage warning, the air speed control was probably to control a cooling fan.
The bakelite RCA also is a wire recorder.
Instead of the wire on open reels, this was an early attempt at a cassette style model, likely used for dictation but could have been used to record and play back material on-air.
The EMI tape recorder is the next generation that followed the wire recorders, probably a retrofit.
These portable windup motor/battery electronics machines appeared under various brand names, Wirek, EMI and many more.
Thanks for the better shot of the unit with the big dial on the front.
It is, indeed, a capacitor checker to check the values of those electronic components, which back in the day, could vary widely even when new.
The unit with three meters and three crank dials is a military transmitter and could have been used for remote pickups.
The last item is the associated antenna tuning network for the transmitter.
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Re: More Old Equipment in Need of Identification

Postby Austindriver » Sat May 04, 2013 1:37 pm

Thanks for all that info, Mike. The military equipment had me really puzzeled. Was it fairly common practice to use this sort of gear for remotes in those early years, either for the broadcast itself or just for two way communication with the crew? It strikes me that that the quality of the signal from the military kit would not be up to broadcast standard. Or am I mistaken?
Cheers,
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Re: More Old Equipment in Need of Identification

Postby Mike Cleaver » Sat May 04, 2013 4:37 pm

Back in those days, there wasn't a lot of money for equipment because "broadcast gear" was the exclusive province of makers such as Western Electric, RCA, General Electric, Altec, Gates, etc. who wanted top dollar and often, would only lease their products to broadcasters.
So engineers either made their own, adapted military or other commercial radio gear (taxi cab and police radios) into communications and remote pickup gear.
Military gear after the war was declared surplus and sold for pennies on the dollar and was often bought to be scavenged for the top quality parts inside.
Clever broadcast engineers found ways to increase the frequency response by "widening" the bandwidth, which strictly, was illegal.
My engineering "professor" and mentor, Art Vipond who was CE at CKOV and later CJOV-FM, made our remote pickup gear from four old taxicab radios in the early '60s.
With it, we were able to communicate from the station van used for remotes and the station with transmission quality good enough to broadcast music from a remote console that was equipped with two mics, two turntables and an Ampex 600 tape machine.
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Re: More Old Equipment in Need of Identification

Postby Austindriver » Mon May 06, 2013 3:40 pm

Just when I thought I had dug up everything...this machine. Which I'm going to guess is essentially a juke box for on-air use. Made by Seeburg, who I know made juke boxes. Likely a very similar mechanism. Load it up with 45's and flip the red light on!
Is that a correct assessment??

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Re: More Old Equipment in Need of Identification

Postby Mike Cleaver » Tue May 21, 2013 10:23 pm

It may be the record player part of a sound system for a larger venue than a restaurant or club, possibly a roller rink or something similar.
It could have been used as a radio station player.
RCA made a couple of these for radio station use but they never really caught on.
I have some pictures of these devices, first introduced when the 45 rpm record came out.
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Re: More Old Equipment in Need of Identification

Postby J Kendrick » Tue May 21, 2013 11:48 pm

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