MINI-MOTE

WGSF Television expanded the ability for remote production by putting together what we called the MINI-MOTE (Miniature remote unit).

Mounted on the Blue Cart, the Mini-mote could be loaded into the Blue Truck (or other vehicle) and taken just about anywhere, and it was.
        An ampex 2 inch VR-660 VTR would fit on top of the cart for recording, providing two hours of recording time on one of the large reels of tape, with editing capability.
    The television camera was the GBC videcon, with zoom lens.
        The sync generator was a small solid state unit, which fit into a special rack mount containing a pulse distribution amplifier.  
            Electrical power was routed through a powerstat, a variable transformer, with voltage meters built into the panel.  The VR-660 was especially sensitive to power             line voltages higher or lower than the standard 120 VAC.
    A 3-monitor rack mount unit was used for picture monitoring.
A Shure audio mixer was used for microphone and Auxiliary audio inputs.

    The Mini-mote was used for coverage of the Ohio State Fair in 1974 (?) at a time when most television stations were anchored to a fixed venue. WGSF roamed the fairgrounds, getting a very enthusiastic response from the people we covered. We could edit on the fly with the VR-660B Edicon® system. Even though the rubber on the old wheels on the cart peeled off from the weight (the VTR alone weighed nearly 100 pounds) the ability to go nearly anywhere made for a sucessful addition to the station's production capability.

    It proved to be the beginning of the end for the large RCA production truck, which took well over an hour to set up. We could wheel in with the Mini-mote, plug into any standard 120 volt AC source,  set up the small tripod/dolly and camera, hook up the cables, and record - all in the matter of a few minutes.  

    Later, a newer version of the Mini-mote was used for years providing television production facilities at Newark High School. The cart had larger, sturdier wheels, color cameras, better monitoring, a video switcher with effects,  the Shure Audio mixer,  and either a 3/4 inch U-matic® videocassette recorder, or the newer 1/2 inch VHS VCR system. Many programs were aired live on the CATV system, CATV 19, as well as recorded. The cart was wheeled all over the Newark High campus, and one of the specially equipped school busses with a wheelchair lift was utilized to take it to other production locations that were covered with multiple cameras.