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Old 5th Aug 2020, 3:07 pm   #1
Join Date: Jul 2010
Location: Nottingham, Nottinghamshire, UK.
Posts: 64
Default CCTV Video Multiplexers

Hi folks, I hope I've arrived at the right forum for this post, I am just looking for advice at this stage but apologies to the Mods if I have it wrong.
Way back in the nineties, I worked for a company who built Video Multiplexers for the CCTV industry. Designed and built by a UK company called ‘The Vision Research Company’ these would take 8 or 16 video feeds from security cameras, and multiplex them into a single video output that could be recorded on to a video recorder. On playing back the recorded multiplexed video, any one of the cameras could be selected by means of a code inserted in the frame blanking area that identified the camera. I still have two of these units, one is thirty years old and the other is about 25 years old and up to about four years ago has been part of my house security system. These units are too good to just throw away, does anyone know of a museum or collector who might have an interest in these items? They are both built in 19 inch, 1U metal cases. I’m not trying to sell them, but I would like them to be preserved as they are part of CCTV history.
I wouldn’t mind betting some of you got involved with servicing some of the time-lapse video recorders that were used with these multiplexers.


Last edited by G8vsjDave; 5th Aug 2020 at 3:08 pm. Reason: Forgot to sign at the bottom
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Old 5th Aug 2020, 4:52 pm   #2
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Location: Staffordshire Moorlands, UK.
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Default Re: CCTV Video Multiplexers

That would be a very specialised collector even by the forum's standards..I should think!

Very little industrial technology like that seems to be considered worth saving, as business is all part of making money for one person or another and preserving old stuff isn't part of that plan.

I've seen some gorgeous valve and germanium technology thrown into skips simply due to upgrades at the company in question. I've managed to save a bit here and there but it's purely for parts, for example panels with nixie tubes and equipment with nice old lamp holders or switches or something that can be re-used.

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Old 5th Aug 2020, 7:16 pm   #3
Join Date: Aug 2011
Location: Newcastle, Tyne and Wear, UK.
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Default Re: CCTV Video Multiplexers

I did work in that field - city centre CCTV systems - for a while and we had similar multiplexers although the ones we used were made by 'Dedicated Micro' and the DM models of that time were prone to PSU 'bad capacitor' syndrome, it was the first time I really became aware of that issue. Initially, we made the rookie mistake of replacing the capacitors with whatever we had - not low ESR types - and they would fail again in months.

They too worked with specialised timelapse video recorders, although I can not recall the make of those despite having seen them every day for years.

I'm sorry to say that even with that background, I can not persuade myself to rescue these.
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Old 5th Aug 2020, 9:27 pm   #4
1100 man
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Location: Ventnor, Isle of Wight, & Great Dunmow, Essex, UK.
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Default Re: CCTV Video Multiplexers

I spent 5 years servicing and repairing time lapse VCR's just before they all got replaced with hard drive recorders.

A VCR running 24hrs a day, seven days a week, 365 days a year gets a huge amount of wear, so they would get an annual service. New heads, belts, idlers, clutches, back tension bands were all replaced plus a full alignment & electronic set up. We often changed head drum bearings as well which could make an amazing racket!

Some manufacturers machines would last for a whole year but mostly the heads would have failed before then.

Of course, Philips, being Philips, introduced a totally bonkers TL machine. The heads were held on to a spindle with a friction fit circlip arrangement. You had to set the head height using thin plastic shims between the upper & lower drum. Nightmare idea!

I remember the Dedicated Micro's multiplexers. If it was anything other than power supply, then it got sent back to DM as there wasn't much we could do with it!

Thankfully, I've never felt the least desire to save or preserve any of it!

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