Early Television
Early Television
Early Television
Early Television
Early Television Early Television

Peter Yanczer's Pages

Who was Peter Yanczer?

I'm a retired person living in Warson Woods, a small town, just west of St. Louis, Missouri. I've worked in the electronics industry for more than fifty years. During that time, I was a technician doing radio servicing and later television servicing, during the "television boom" years of the early 1950's. For eleven years, I taught Electronics in a local trade school and later began working in the aerospace industry. I began as a engineering technician and from there advanced into various engineering areas. My responsibilities included design, testing and troubleshooting, tech writing, equipment integration and calibration, circuit design with a specialty in radar, reliability, maintainability, equipment and personnel safety and environmental test and evaluation of military equipment for the Armed forces. I also had managerial responsibilities in each of these areas. I am a trained machinist with the necessary skills, tools and experience to do precision work. A number of hobbies have contributed to these skills. I am a graduate of two trade school courses, (Radio/Television & Machine Shop) and I have an Associates Degree in Electronics from Washington University in St. Louis, Missouri. I also hold an Advanced Radio Amateur license. My call is K Ø I W X.

I became interested in early television about 1975, after seeing a demonstration by a good friend, of a "home made" mechanical television system. It was closed circuit, using Nipkow disks made from 12 inch LP records. The camera provided a 25 line image from 35mm slides or the shadow of a small one inch high figure of a slowly rotating ballerina. I decided, right then and

I had motors on hand and the scanning disks didn't look to hard to make. So I went into it full blast. I also decided to build a receiver cabinet and place the set on display as part of a small collection of radios that I have. As I recall, within three weeks I had this set working. I had done a bit of reading on the subject, which I found very interesting and helpful. As a result, my set produces a 24 line image because it was an American standard line rate in the very early years of television. Here is a photograph of the receiver. The scanning disk is aluminum and is 12 inches in diameter. The set is still on display and continues

TV image, Felix the cat My first TV set

Like my friend, I built mine to scan a 35mm slide. I also included a provision to use a small figure as he did, rotated by a small clock motor. I prefer to use the slide, however the motion of a rotating figure appears to improve the resolution.

By the time I completed this project, I was "hooked". Now, some 25 years later, I believe I'm correct in saying that I've done about a hundred projects, all related to early television. Some, like the first, I still have. Others were dismantled to salvage parts for the next project and still others were sold or

This photo shows an example of one of my more recent projects. John Logie Baird of Scotland was the first to demonstrate television in full color. He accomplished this in Glasgow, Scotland on July 6, 1928. In commemoration of the 70th anniversary, I have developed a very similar camera and receiver, based on written information by John L. Baird, and J. C. Wilson, his chief engineer on the project and numerous others who witnessed the demonstrations. My camera like the original, is of the "flying spot" variety. Using drawings of the original as a guide, the two scanning disks are identical in size and function and the video switching commutator on the receiver is also the same in form and function. There are just two major differences in my equipment, as compared to Mr. Baird's. My signal amplifiers are solid state, developed specifically for this application instead of the tube types used by Mr. Baird and my receiver light source consists of an array of red, blue and green light emitting diodes, whereas Mr. Baird used custom made gas filled lamps. However, it should be noted that the functions are the same as the original in both instances.

Early Television

Peter Yanczer with the Baird color system

Here are a few pictures taken off the receiver with a standard 35 mm film camera. The first is a color test pattern, using an EPROM as a signal source. It does give some idea of the range of colors obtainable with this simple 15 line vertically scanned system. The use of an EPROM generator shown below, makes it possible to operate and test the receiver without using the companion flying spot scanner, which as it happens, will only work in total darkness. Although, I built the EPROM generator, its design and the EPROM itself, is for the most part based on work done by Grant Dixon and other members of the NBTVA. The other two photos shown above are made using the flying spot camera. The center picture is of my daughter Karen. The end photo is of a toy parrot that talks, the sort that repeats whatever you might say. The bird is about 12 inches high including its perch and it is very colorful.

Early Television Strawberries, Baird color system

The final photo presented here is of a bowl of fresh strawberries in a white bowl. Everyone that witnessed Mr. Baird's demonstration commented very favorably about the appearance of the strawberries. Keep in mind that this demonstration occurred at a time when the television images of the period were all reddish orange and black. There are no color photos of the images on the original color television equipment. These presented here are an attempt to show us how they might have looked to those that attended Mr. Baird's demonstration.

Peter F. Yanczer