This is another technical hobby - but one with a real difference! For nothing connected with it can be bought ready-made - everything has to be constructed from scratch. What are we talking about? A form of television, generally using mechanical techniques, which reproduces the methods used to transmit images right at the very beginning of television research, back in the 1920s. Above we see my home-made 'Grosvenor' colour monitor.
And (above) here's the colour camera to feed it... This sort of mechanical television apparatus uses an internal revolving disk punched with a spiral of holes to break up the image and scan it in an orderly sequence. This type of disk was invented as long ago as 1884 by a German called Paul Nipkow.
It's possible to have a lot of fun and lose endless hours with this hobby ! Another picture of the sort of contraption which resulted is shown above. The picture transmitted by mechanical television apparatus is of very low definition by modern standards. For example the machinery shown above (which I built earlier but which has now been cannibalised) produced pictures made up of 45 lines (compared with the 625 lines used in much of the world today). But there's a great sense of achievement to be had in achieving television pictures of any sort when working with such simple techniques. And today's computers and the wide range of electronic parts now available make it possible to take the technique much further than was possible when these methods were first tried - and television was being born...
And here are what the results look like with Mickey Mouse on the screen! Colour television - achieved entirely with spinning discs, photomultiplier cells, and luxeon LEDs...
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