UK Vintage Radio Repair and Restoration Powered By Google Custom Search Vintage Radio Service Data

Go Back   UK Vintage Radio Repair and Restoration Discussion Forum > Specific Vintage Equipment > Vintage Television and Video

Notices

Vintage Television and Video Vintage television and video equipment, programmes, VCRs etc.

Closed Thread
 
Thread Tools
Old 13th Mar 2018, 5:25 pm   #1
gnormhurst
Diode
 
Join Date: Mar 2018
Location: Hopewell, New Jersey, USA
Posts: 1
Default Picture Line-Up Generation Equipment signal: who invented it? Mike Cox?

I am researching the history of Color Bars (the television test signal). SMPTE Bars (EG-1) contains a "black-set" feature that I think was developed in the UK. Someone suggested it came out of Michael Cox Electronics.

What can you tell me?

Norm Hurst
Fellow, SMPTE
gnormhurst is offline  
Old 13th Mar 2018, 9:17 pm   #2
PaulM
Hexode
 
Join Date: Nov 2006
Location: Lincoln, UK.
Posts: 253
Default Re: Picture Line-Up Generation Equipment signal: who invented it? Mike Cox?

I think that this predates the redoubtable Mr Cox's company - although not him personally! I believe that he worked initially for the Marconi Company and then moved to ATV. I'm pretty sure it's not from the Marconi stable, but could have come from ATV. However, the BBC seems a more likely source of the idea.

The earliest example of PLUGE (Picture Line Up Generating Equipment) in my collection is also one of the items that I've owned for the longest time - about 1974 when I was a young teenager!

The item in question is a BBC Designs unit from around 1964 built in the familiar 'white module' style. It's a GE504/508/209 and the details of it are here: www.bbceng.info/ti/eqpt/GE4_508.pdf

Also attached is a picture of my unit which has (sort of) survived the years. Back in the day, I soon had it working but it would take a little longer now. It came from M&B Radio in Leeds and cost me the best part of a month's pocket money.

One thing that it did teach me early on is the dire lack of safety standards in much of the BBC's early 'home brew' baseband TV kit with mains often treated like low voltage DC. Scary stuff - how did they get away with it, even then?

As to whether it was a BBC 'invention' would take more research, but this is the oldest example that I know of off the top of my head. Hope this helps.

Best regards,

Paul M

Last edited by PaulM; 13th Mar 2018 at 9:24 pm. Reason: Expansion
PaulM is offline  
Old 13th Mar 2018, 9:31 pm   #3
PaulM
Hexode
 
Join Date: Nov 2006
Location: Lincoln, UK.
Posts: 253
Default Re: Picture Line-Up Generation Equipment signal: who invented it? Mike Cox?

Sorry, forgot the picture - been a long day . . .

Paul M
Attached Thumbnails
Click image for larger version

Name:	BBC_PLUGE.jpg
Views:	184
Size:	85.6 KB
ID:	159189  
PaulM is offline  
Old 13th Mar 2018, 9:40 pm   #4
gingpeakin
Pentode
 
Join Date: Mar 2009
Location: Worthing, Sussex, UK.
Posts: 142
Default Re: Picture Line-Up Generation Equipment signal: who invented it? Mike Cox?

I always thought it was Mr Weaver of the Weaver box fame.

Ging
gingpeakin is offline  
Old 13th Mar 2018, 9:55 pm   #5
PaulM
Hexode
 
Join Date: Nov 2006
Location: Lincoln, UK.
Posts: 253
Default Re: Picture Line-Up Generation Equipment signal: who invented it? Mike Cox?

Well, it could have been the BBC's L E Weaver, but a quick look in his 1971 book 'Television Video Transmission Measurements' (the well-known Marconi Instruments book), doesn't mention PLUGE at all. Perhaps I've missed it, but I can't see it. His famous 'weaver box' is described at length, so if he had created PLUGE, you would have thought that would be there too?

PLUGE also doesn't seen to be mentioned in the companion Marconi Instruments book 'Television Measuring Equipment'.

Interesting question!

Best regards,

Paul M

PS I meant ABC for Mr Cox in Post #2, not ATV - sorry.

Last edited by PaulM; 13th Mar 2018 at 10:01 pm.
PaulM is offline  
Old 13th Mar 2018, 10:38 pm   #6
PaulM
Hexode
 
Join Date: Nov 2006
Location: Lincoln, UK.
Posts: 253
Default Re: Picture Line-Up Generation Equipment signal: who invented it? Mike Cox?

This seems to confirm that it was a BBC idea:

http://ieeexplore.ieee.org/stamp/sta...number=7263879

Somewhere, there will probably be a Designs Department or Research paper. If not, they missed a trick! As to the 'who' is still unknown.

Cheers,

Paul M
PaulM is offline  
Old 14th Mar 2018, 1:09 pm   #7
beamcurrent
Hexode
 
beamcurrent's Avatar
 
Join Date: Mar 2008
Location: Camberley, Surrey, UK.
Posts: 411
Default Re: Picture Line-Up Generation Equipment signal: who invented it? Mike Cox?

Hello Norm

PLUGE is mentioned on pages 332-5 of my copy of the "Weaver" BBC television measurements techniques. It does not mention a introduction date but concerns itself with how to use etc.

There is a short description of how to use PLUGE in CQ-TV, the BATCs journal, on page 29 of issue No. 248 which is downloadable from the BATC.org.uk website.

In the BBC Registered Designs and Coded Equipment book the BBC GE4/508 PLUGE generator, the 405 line version, the DD (Designs Department) date is given as 1960. It also gives the DD Spec 8.54.

For information in the BBC numbering scheme the last digits are the serial number (GE4/508/xxx)

Would be interested to know of any earlier references.
__________________
Regards Brian

Visit the Virtual Broadcast TV Camera Museum
beamcurrent is offline  
Old 14th Mar 2018, 3:21 pm   #8
PaulM
Hexode
 
Join Date: Nov 2006
Location: Lincoln, UK.
Posts: 253
Default Re: Picture Line-Up Generation Equipment signal: who invented it? Mike Cox?

This looks like it should have been a patentable idea but (so far) I can find no patent relating to the technique. Nothing for L E Weaver, or the BBC or even anybody else. Patent searching is obviously a tricky thing because an idea like this can be buried as IP inside something completely unrelated.

The BBC does love the sound of its own trumpet, so it's odd that if it was truly a BBC idea/invention, why this was not picked up and run with in the normal way of the Corporation.

The answer may be that the idea came from elsewhere, possibly some other field such as radar (brightness was sometimes used to show received signal strength), or perhaps telerecording, where a CRT needs is filmed and the black would have to be set accurately. Any other ideas?

Just a thought or two there - but no record of the IP as a patent seems strange.

Best regards,

Paul M
PaulM is offline  
Closed Thread

Thread Tools



All times are GMT +1. The time now is 7:35 pm.


All information and advice on this forum is subject to the WARNING AND DISCLAIMER located at https://www.vintage-radio.net/rules.html.
Failure to heed this warning may result in death or serious injury to yourself and/or others.


Powered by vBulletin®
Copyright ©2000 - 2018, vBulletin Solutions, Inc.
Copyright ©2002 - 2018, Paul Stenning.