WGSF Television Cameras
    Most of the television camera equipment used at WGSF was 'hand-me-downs' and 'loaners.'
The first camera that I know of is the one pictured in the 1963 photos, probably a videcon type, loaned from WCET in Toledo, OH. It was apparently used for the first broadcasts, in 1963, and for showing the station ID for some time after than.
An obsolete film chain camera, an RCA TK-20 iconoscope tube camera, was obtained from the National Educational Television Center in Ann Arbor, MI, and utilized throughout the rest of the active years of WGSF.
    The first projector is shown in the photo from 1963-64, of WGSF Manager Dana Cox and Bill Wheeler of Ohio Power. It was from Lincoln Jr. High, one of the old Audio/Visual types once used in the classroom. That was replaced by a standard Kodak Carousel 35 mm projector, with a "change" button connected to the remote control receptacle located at the transmitter control panel. WGSF went through several of these projectors over the years, as the slide projector was used on every station break and got a lot of use.

Another TV Camera made a brief appearance at WGSF, but was never used on-air. Leland Hubbell built a  videcon camera from plans published in Radio Electronics magazine, and demonstrated "See Yourself on TV" with it, hooked into a TV set up as a monitor. The video pulses were not broadcast standard, but at least it was a television camera. It was used in the amateur radio/TV station of K8MZH, where the pulses were not a problem.

Station Manager Dana Cox arranged for the loan of two Dumont image orthicon (I/O) cameras from Cincinnati ETV Station WCET in early 1966, and Leland Hubbell met the WCET personnel in Dayton to pick them up. They are shown in the pictures of the TV Production class of 1966. Note that they usually were run with the side doors open, due to heat problems created by the large number of vacuum tubes in a small space. The camera cable connector was on the side, rather than underneath as most other similar cameras.

The equipment WCET supplied consisted of the television cameras, camera control units, and power supplies, but not the syncronizing pulse generator unit.  Dumont used positive-going sync pulses, rather than the standard negative sync, so an adapter was needed to tie the Dumont equipment into the WGSF system. A simple inverter was constructed in a surplus cabinet to interface the cameras to the Sarkes Tarzian sync generator then used at WGSF.
The cameras were loaned with the possibility/option that WGSF would buy them.  The school district could not come up with enough money to make the purchase, so the cameras were returned to WCET in early autumn of 1966.

At this time, a sliding shelf was set up so that an old "lantern slide" projector could be used, and even film strips projected directly on the face of the TK-20 iconoscope pick-up tube. The lantern slides were the same size as a Polaroid transparency, about 3 x 4 inches, and was used in the fall of 1966.

Station WJW, in Cleveland, donated two RCA TK-30 "field" cameras in late 1966, and they served as the studio cameras for some time after that. These cameras used the popular image orthicon type of tube, used by many manufacturers at that time. The tubes were available for many years, but cost over $1,000.00.  The dolly units were fabricated in the high school industrial arts shop.

Funds were allocated in 1967 for the purchase of some additional equipment, which included a film chain. The TV camera was an 'Industrial' type videcon, with a remote camera control unit. It was briefly used in the studio until the mounts for the TK-30's were available. The camera was shown mounted on a studio tripod in the Dispatch feature article of 1967. The scan had to be reversed to match the projector image, and used in the film chain for many years, even  into the Channel 19 days at Newark High School. The film chain used multiplexer optics (multiple projectors into one camera)  and permitted 35 mm slides and 16 mm film to both be shown with this camera. The old TK-20 Ike chain was still utilized for slides, providing cross-fade options.

The Mobile TV Production van, acquired in 1969, also used the TK-30 I/O cameras, so WGSF now had five similar cameras.

All of the RCA cameras were donated to the Historical Society in 1976, when station WGSF ceased broadcasting, including the TK-20 Ike chain.

Later, as the I/O tubes became more expensive, two GBC videcon cameras were purchased. The cameras were cheaper than a new I/O tube. They were connected to the station or remote sync generator, and fed into the RCA camera control unit (minus the TK-30 camera head.) This provided the proper sync pulses, as well as the ability to "shade" the camera video output to broadcast standards.

These cameras were used for several years, even at the high school, until replaced by Panasonic color cameras in the late 1970's. They were eventually donated to an Amateur Television group in Columbus, OH, when Leland Hubbell retired from the School system.

WGSF used both Panasonic and Sony portable reel-to-reel video tape units for news reporting and some remote production in the early 1970's. The units were battery powered, and consisted of a videcon camera (monochrome, or B&W, as all of the cameras were at WGSF) connected to a one-half inch reel-to-reel recorder in EIAJ format. They held a half hour or recording tape. The non broadcast nature of the video required a special transfer process to be airable on broadcast television. The first solution involved shooting the monitor image from the portable VTR with a studio videcon camera focused on the monitor. Crude, but effective.

Later, when Time Base Correctors  (TBC) became available, the portable VCR video was routed though a KSN model TBC. This was at a time when most stations were still using 16 mm film for all news reporting.

Links and Resources:
RCA TV Equipment Section of the Broadcast Archive
         Studio and Field cameras - TK-10 and TK30 Image orthicon
         Telecine cameras - TK- 20 Iconoscope
National Educational Television


See Chuck Pharis' web page for photos of a Dumont camera, and the associated power supply and sync generator:

Museum of Television:

Video tape formats: EIAJ (Electronic Industries Association Japan