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Old 13th Jan 2019, 6:29 pm   #1
G8vsjDave
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Default 405 line colour test transmissions

It was way back in the early 50’s when my parents got their first Television. It was a Ferguson set, with two control knobs at the front , on/off and volume on one side and brightness on the other side, and of course, BBC only.
One afternoon while suffering from a childhood illness I switched on the television to find a program about the Monte Carlo Rally (I might be wrong about the content, it was a long time ago).
At the end of the program a message appeared on the screen to the effect that the program was an experimental colour transmission. I guess this was a 405 line NTSC test transmission. The date must have been mid 50’s. Does anybody else recall afternoon colour tests around that time?

Dave
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Old 13th Jan 2019, 6:54 pm   #2
Nuvistor
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Default Re: 405 line colour test transmissions

No memories of it but a lot of information and links here.

http://www.earlytelevision.org/british_ntsc_color.html
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Old 13th Jan 2019, 6:58 pm   #3
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Default Re: 405 line colour test transmissions

Hello Dave,

Yes, I do recall seeing some of the later colour test transmissions, in black & white of course! See this BBC Genome article about it, also this YouTube film BBC experiments in colour - History of the BBC.

Regards,

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Old 14th Jan 2019, 11:47 am   #4
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Default Re: 405 line colour test transmissions

Thanks for the links folks. One of them confirmed my memory of seeing a colour test transmission one afternoon in the 50’s (about sixty years ago). It proves my long term memory is good… err… now where did I put my car keys?

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Old 14th Jan 2019, 1:01 pm   #5
Dave Moll
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Default Re: 405 line colour test transmissions

The one thing I do remember was a testcard saying something like "colour test transmission" or similar.
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Old 14th Jan 2019, 2:43 pm   #6
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Default Re: 405 line colour test transmissions

Yes, not only documentary films, but sometimes an old RKO Radio Pictures movie (I think the BBC bought a lot of RKO films when RKO closed down).
I used to enjoy watching them and I could see the chroma dots which really impressed me!
What you thought was the Monte Carlo Rally was actually a film called "Coup Des Alpes" about the 1958 Alpine cup rally.
The tests were originally NTSC colour on 405 lines.
A google search will find lots of information about those old 405 line colour tests.
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Old 14th Jan 2019, 3:28 pm   #7
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Default Re: 405 line colour test transmissions

Two threads on the forum you may find interesting.

https://www.vintage-radio.net/forum/...ad.php?t=22631

https://www.vintage-radio.net/forum/...T100+colour+TV
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Old 14th Jan 2019, 4:20 pm   #8
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Default Re: 405 line colour test transmissions

I'm 65 years old.
The only memory of a 1950s test pattern, other than Testcard C of course, was the black cross on a white background which I know from Alan Pemberton excellent work
https://www.radios-tv.co.uk/Pembers/...rds/index.html
was known as the cruciform or 'art bars', art for artificial, because it was generated electronically.
If my childhood memories are correct, the cruciform was always accompanied by a tone which was louder and of higher pitch than the tone that occasionally accompanied Testcard C.
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Old 14th Jan 2019, 4:38 pm   #9
Dave Moll
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Default Re: 405 line colour test transmissions

The test card to which I refer is the one here, though of course I only saw it in monochrome.

By the way, thank you Graham for the link to Pembers' web site (from which the above link was taken - in the section headed "Colour"). I had lost track of where it had moved to.
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Old 14th Jan 2019, 4:57 pm   #10
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Default Re: 405 line colour test transmissions

Quote:
Originally Posted by Dave Moll View Post
By the way, thank you Graham for the link to Pembers' web site (from which the above link was taken - in the section headed "Colour"). I had lost track of where it had moved to.
A big thank you to Chris at radios-tv for saving it with permission from Alan.

If you have not heard of Pembers Poundering, See.

https://www.radios-tv.co.uk/Pembers/index-2.html
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Old 14th Jan 2019, 4:57 pm   #11
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Default Re: 405 line colour test transmissions

Pictures taken January 2016 from the screen of my Pye 405 line TV set.
That frame linearity fault is still not sorted.

Recently I did try supplying the PL82 frame output valve with 350 volts. Little improvement and the valve glowed red hot.

DFWB.
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Old 14th Jan 2019, 6:50 pm   #12
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Default Re: 405 line colour test transmissions

Quote:
Originally Posted by Amraduk View Post
Yes, I do recall seeing some of the later colour test transmissions, in black & white of course! See this BBC Genome article about it, also this YouTube film BBC experiments in colour - History of the BBC.
I've got that colour test on DVD, transferred from my original VHS copy of the wonderful documentary 'This is the BBC' (1959). I like the rather stilted 'control room' bits.
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Old 14th Jan 2019, 7:05 pm   #13
G8vsjDave
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Default Re: 405 line colour test transmissions

Wow, what an interesting afternoon I’ve had looking at the links you’ve all posted.
Memories triggered from looking at the links include my old PYE V310 in my bedroom receiving a French 819 line signal (on band lll I think) and winding up the line speed to lock the signal. I didn’t leave it there very long because the line stage seemed to be objecting. I was sixteen at the time and had quite a collection of Practical Television magazines in which I found Charles Rafarel and his regular DX-TV articles of great interest. My old V310 was later modified to receive BBC2. I learned a lot with that old set.
Again thanks for all the links lads.
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Old 14th Jan 2019, 8:30 pm   #14
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Default Re: 405 line colour test transmissions

FERNSEH, that Pye 405 line set is rare and unusual. Not only is it colour, it is also left-handed!
Is there any reason you can see why the cabinet is that way round?
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Old 14th Jan 2019, 8:52 pm   #15
julie_m
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Default Re: 405 line colour test transmissions

My first thought on seeing that set was, the whole "opposite chiral preference" was just a hangover from all the American influence -- after all, their cars have all the controls on the left-hand side .....

(Or somebody swapped over the horizontal scan coil connections, perhaps in order to see the screen reflected in a mirror while working on the set from behind, only noticed after taking the picture and decided a dozen mouse clicks "fixing it in Post" was preferrable to retaking it .....)
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Old 14th Jan 2019, 8:58 pm   #16
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Default Re: 405 line colour test transmissions

I assumed it was just a reverse print-like the cover of Bob Dylan's first LP. [You can only tell by looking close-the strings are reversed. He's never been left handed]. Or are you being serious Graham?

I didn't know about these BBC 405 line colour ambitions for a long time. I started a thread based on a 1966 WW article "405 v 625 COLOUR" [2/5/12] which reported on a BBC technical and customer consultation. They decided in favour of 625 lines but it looked a bit disingenuous to me as the punters couldn't see much difference. I suspect that other political and economic factors were in the mix

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Old 14th Jan 2019, 9:52 pm   #17
FERNSEH
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Default Re: 405 line colour test transmissions

The attached picture shows the chassis of the 1956 Pye CTV. It is unusual to have the controls situated to the left of the CRT. The tuner and IFs are similar to those in the VT17, as are the line and frame oscillators.

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Old 15th Jan 2019, 9:29 pm   #18
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Default Re: 405 line colour test transmissions

Quote:
Originally Posted by Nuvistor View Post
No memories of it but a lot of information and links here.

http://www.earlytelevision.org/british_ntsc_color.html
At the bottom of that page are a couple of contemporary articles on colour television, the earliest being from "Picture Post" in March 1954.

Unfortunately, the resolution is too low, and so you can't read the text, which is disappointing. Also the other pages of that 4 page pull out supplement are not shown.

I have a copy of that supplement, and I've attached pictures of it here. The fourth page is just an advert, and so it is more a 3 page supplement than 4 pages (which they call it on the first page).

As the maximum resolution here also makes the text unreadable, I have attached zoomed in photos of the text too.
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Old 7th Feb 2019, 10:06 pm   #19
sandpit252423
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Default Re: 405 line colour test transmissions

When I was at tech in the late 1970's in the TV lab they had a 405 colour TV from a hotel in London. 405 colour was in London only, and it did not meet British standard so was abandoned due to NTSC living up to its nickname never twice same colour. 625 was out by the time PAL was developed curing the problems of NTSC.
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Old 2nd Jul 2019, 7:31 am   #20
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Default Re: 405 line colour test transmissions

Quote:
Originally Posted by G8vsjDave View Post
It was way back in the early 50’s when my parents got their first Television. It was a Ferguson set, with two control knobs at the front , on/off and volume on one side and brightness on the other side, and of course, BBC only.
One afternoon while suffering from a childhood illness I switched on the television to find a program about the Monte Carlo Rally (I might be wrong about the content, it was a long time ago).
At the end of the program a message appeared on the screen to the effect that the program was an experimental colour transmission. I guess this was a 405 line NTSC test transmission. The date must have been mid 50’s. Does anybody else recall afternoon colour tests around that time?

Dave
Yes Dave, I can remember seeing them too, in similar circumstances. Must have been in the early 1960s. It was certainly some sort of Car race, I remember the music was very striking - I've had a look at some of the material on Utube, but I've not found the correct one yet - be it the Monte Carlo, or Alpine? I do not know. We were living in Stevenage at the time, so I assume it was VHF 405 line, from Alexandra palace - I also remember the early BBC2 tests, on a COLOUR TV, in Stevenage at about the same time, in a shop window - I remember being fascinated, first seeing the Girl doing her noughts & crosses
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