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Old 5th Apr 2024, 9:17 pm   #1
PaulM
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Default A new home for analogue TV transmitter rescued by Lucien Nunes

Quite a while ago now - 2015 to be precise - the late Lucien Nunes Vaz launched a fund to rescue a large analogue TV transmitter following closure of the traditional television network. With help from forum members here and elsewhere, he was successful in his endeavour.
See: https://www.vintage-radio.net/forum/...d.php?t=114560

Following the tragic early death of Lucien last year, the TV transmitter was in need of a new home. It's not an exercise for the faint hearted as it weighs several tons and takes up an awful lot of space.

To cut a long story short, Lucien wanted BECG to have it, knowing that we were building up the Broadcast Engineering Museum near Gainsborough.

Donors to Lucien's quest to save the transmitter will be pleased to know that today - 5th April - we took delivery! It arrived on the back of a low-loader and after much hard physical work it's now in what appears to have become our 'transmitter hall' - the former kitchen area of our building which was built as an RAF sergeants' mess in 1936.

Some first pictures of it in situ attached. We have some way to go to turn it into a full exhibit, but the hard work is done! Many thanks to all who made this possible today, including all those who helped fund Lucien's daring enterprise back in 2015.

You can come and see it on the 25th/26th May which will be our next open days. It's a beast . . .

Best regards,

Paul M
Broadcast Engineering Conservation Group
Broadcast Engineering Museum
41 Capper Avenue
Hemswell Cliff
GAINSBOROUGH
Lincolnshire
DN21 5XS
Website: www.becg.tv
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Old 5th Apr 2024, 11:51 pm   #2
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Default Re: A new home for analogue TV transmitter rescued by Lucien Nunes

Good to know it's being preserved. I imagine Lucien would be very pleased.
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Old 6th Apr 2024, 12:09 am   #3
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Default Re: A new home for analogue TV transmitter rescued by Lucien Nunes

Thanks for saving it. 2015 seems a long time ago, now. It was something worthwhile, and something I could help with a little from 400 miles away.

David
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Old 6th Apr 2024, 8:24 pm   #4
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Default Re: A new home for analogue TV transmitter rescued by Lucien Nunes

I am so sorry to hear about Lucien's death, I somehow missed any announcement, probably as I am under going cancer treatment, I am just glad to hear that things he wanted to do are still being worked on.
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Old 7th Apr 2024, 10:04 am   #5
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Default Re: A new home for analogue TV transmitter rescued by Lucien Nunes

Well done chaps! Yes, Lucien would surely have been proud of you.
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Old 7th Apr 2024, 12:40 pm   #6
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Default Re: A new home for analogue TV transmitter rescued by Lucien Nunes

Well saved Paul.
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Old 7th Apr 2024, 12:50 pm   #7
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Default Re: A new home for analogue TV transmitter rescued by Lucien Nunes

Great save, I look forward to seeing it an an open-day.
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Old 7th Apr 2024, 1:25 pm   #8
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Default Re: A new home for analogue TV transmitter rescued by Lucien Nunes

That's really excellent, I can't imagine that there are many of these that have been saved.
All you need now is a mast...!

David.
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Old 7th Apr 2024, 2:51 pm   #9
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Default Re: A new home for analogue TV transmitter rescued by Lucien Nunes

I think I can just about make out the maker's name - Harris.

I think they were the last owner of what was originally Pye TVT, after Philips sold it on - initially to Varian Associates of the USA.
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Old 7th Apr 2024, 4:28 pm   #10
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Default Re: A new home for analogue TV transmitter rescued by Lucien Nunes

Quote:
Originally Posted by dazzlevision View Post
I think I can just about make out the maker's name - Harris.

I think they were the last owner of what was originally Pye TVT, after Philips sold it on - initially to Varian Associates of the USA.
Yes that's right. Pye TVT was sold to Varian, and was then known as Varian TVT, then sold to Harris and became, wait for it, Harris TVT!

Harris itself has become all sorts of things, but the broadcast part is now Gates, reverting to its original name when owned by Parker Gates, before being sold to Harris. UK transmitter production long since closed, but Gates still manufacture in Quincy IL.

These Sigma transmitters were the last Klystron UHF transmitters before the solid-state Sceptre range.

I worked for Pye TVT then Harris in two spells between 1976 and 1998.

S.
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Old 8th Apr 2024, 9:23 am   #11
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Default Re: A new home for analogue TV transmitter rescued by Lucien Nunes

Many thanks for the words of support about this beast.
It's appreciated after the hard work that's gone into recovering it.

It is indeed a Harris Sigma made in the USA. It's actually a Klystrode, or Inductive Output Tube (IOT) in the final PA. See: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Inductive_output_tube
These devices are related to the Klystron but offer greater efficiency, albeit needing more drive power having less gain. There's also only one of them - sound and vision are handled together, along with the Nicam sound. Traditionally, sound and vision were handled separately in large transmitters and combined at the output. That was to avoid any unwelcome intermodulation products. By the 2000 - when this transmitter was manufactured - it was possible to handle everything in one hit.

If you want to know more, there's some general information about the Sigma range of analogue and digital TV transmitters here:
http://www.fmamtv.com/products/TV/Us...HF%20Broch.pdf

It's a very advanced unit and for me, one of the most impressive things about it is the solid state Klystrode/IOT dive amplifier. That's rated at 1kW and is physically really quite small for such a sub-system. I began my electronic design career with the Marconi Company working on solid state high-power TV Tx PAs but left that behind in the mid 80s. It's stunning to see how the technology had advanced by 2000. From a personal perspective, it's a pity that this isn't a Marconi machine, but hey ho, the IOT is an EEV unit and does bear the 'Marconi' name on the side of its assembly.

As for exhibiting it, there's a way to go. We can show it 'as is' but the plan is to run up the drive and control side as a simulation of the real power-up. It draws 100 kW off the mains as complete system and our museum supply couldn't cope with that! Furthermore, neither could our treasurer in terms of the electricity cost . . .

Physically, within the museum, the old kitchen area will make a good transmitter hall with its wonderful glazed bricks. However, the area remains one of our most shabby with much to do in terms of renovation and decoration. Cash and help always welcome!

Best regards,

Paul M
BECG
Broadcast Engineering Museum
www.becg.tv
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Old 8th Apr 2024, 9:44 am   #12
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Default Re: A new home for analogue TV transmitter rescued by Lucien Nunes

Thank you for saving this. It's a monument to a particular era of TV technology, and one which is fast being forgotten. I did some work experience at what was then Pye TVT, shortly before it became Varian TVT, and once had the privilege of switching off the Channel 4 transmitter at Sudbury. The sheer size of the plumbing involved impressed me.

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Old 8th Apr 2024, 9:58 am   #13
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Smile Re: A new home for analogue TV transmitter rescued by Lucien Nunes

Hi,
A fascinating thread and great work by all concerned to save the transmitter. Wouldn't it be wonderful to fire it up?! It'd need one heck of a dummy load, though.
I wonder if it's the same 'Varian' company who built the 'Halcyon' radiotherapy machine that was zapping my prostate cancer last year?
Cheers, Pete.
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Old 8th Apr 2024, 10:31 am   #14
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Default Re: A new home for analogue TV transmitter rescued by Lucien Nunes

Yes, the same varian company.

Started by the Varian brothers in the Bay Area of California. X-ray tubes, Klystrons, etc. particle accelerators too.

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Old 8th Apr 2024, 10:37 am   #15
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Default Re: A new home for analogue TV transmitter rescued by Lucien Nunes

Quote:
Originally Posted by PaulM View Post
It is indeed a Harris Sigma made in the USA. It's actually a Klystrode, or Inductive Output Tube (IOT) in the final PA. See: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Inductive_output_tube

If you want to know more, there's some general information about the Sigma range of analogue and digital TV transmitters here:
http://www.fmamtv.com/products/TV/Us...HF%20Broch.pdf
Interesting Paul, I wasn't aware that any of the Quincy-made transmitters ever came here, but that's a later one than the ones I was familiar with. Those were all Klystron with separate S&V tubes, made in Cambridge. I think I was also confused about the name as the Sigma range were all US made.

Apologies, but my memory isn't what it was...

S.
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Old 8th Apr 2024, 11:48 am   #16
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Default Re: A new home for analogue TV transmitter rescued by Lucien Nunes

Fantastic!
For this action I spend 5 stars ***** & US AAA!
I was only able to save a part of a 100.000 Watt ~1966 Telefunken
shortwave transmitter!
I saved it from the "Deutsche Welle" at the Jülich transmitter place.
I took the most beautiful part (~400kg) and some other stuff, but
I didn't had the space to store a complete transmitter with the size of a car garage!

So I have an idea, what a great job you did!

I took that stuff in about 2012 or so, the building is now gone, too.
See:
https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/J%C3%B...io_transmitter

https://www.radioszene.de/155339/abr...e-juelich.html

https://bv-nordrhein.vfdb.org/blog/e...le-in-juelich/

Regards,
German Dalek
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