Monday, January 10, 2011

It's high time to grok the guts of this old tube television camera.

I believe this is a Sylvania VRF 400, unfortunately any and all exterior labels were long gone by the time I pulled this out of a junk heap (or, if you prefer a little more accuracy, off the shelf at a local reuse/recycling center). I have yet to swab the filth off of the components; and as such am having a hard time zoning in on a familiar date code format, but I think this thing was built in the early 1960s.

I'm fascinated with the notion of actually putting this thing to work, relishing in all the black and white Vidicon artifacts. For my application, precision is far from required.

Underside of the unit is largely dust free, showing off the printed circuit board. To the immediate left is the power supply mounted to a panel that conveniently swings out for access. I love these reminders of technology built with repair in mind, it's a shame that's little more than an echo of a bygone age at this point.

Honestly, I think this unit will require a ground up rebuild to achieve operational status, though I may get adventurous and try it out once the ruptured parts are replaced.

Rather, once I replace the ruptured (and intact) electrolytic capacitors AND update the selinium stacks I may experiment with operation.

Of course, that puts a lot of faith in this wiring.

This camera remains at a lower tier of my priority list. Though I must admit, having contemplated the guts a little it does appear far simpler than I had originally feared.


pearshapedhuman said...

There's an RF300 on ebay right now (320642776744) that looks just like yours. Good luck with bringing it back to life.

crochambeau said...

That does look to be an exact match. I based the VRF 400 on the photo here: But compared to the RF 300, the 400 is different in a few more external details. Thanks again!

pearshapedhuman said...

Your photo sure looks pretty close. This page has a VRF that looks way different:

p.s I'm Dan, your uncle.

pearshapedhuman said...

Ah- that guy has this too:

His dates seem weird, although the bumble-bee cap in yours make me think late 50's/early 60's.

crochambeau said...

Ah, well coming clean on your identity means I may be less civil in the future.. HAHAHA.

Man, part of me wishes this unit was operational so I'd have a solid idea of what that auction RF300 could do.

The only difference I can see between the auction unit and mine (besides holes obviously plunged post production) is rivets in the lens turret, mine's rivet free.