This is the Ampex TV Equipment Section of
The Broadcast Archive

Maintained by:
Barry Mishkind - The Eclectic Engineer
With the kind assistance of Xen Scott
Latest Update 2/29/04



Xen Scott says: I give the Ampex design team some credit for giving their VTRs enough capability so that even if they didn't understand how their equipment would be used, it could be configured by a creative production person. I know I used Ampex VTR's in ways Ampex never imagined.

I had to occasionally deal with non-synchronous sources during my days as the Videotape Editor of the Mike Douglas Show. On a week of remotes in Miami Beach, we used a camera on a Goodyear blimp for bumper shots, etc. We had to gen-lock the truck to the microwave signal from the blimp because this was before frame synchronizers. It was OK until the guy following the blimp with the microwave dish lost tracking.

The next time we used the blimp was back in Philadelphia. Since we still didn't have frame synchronizers (this was 1976), I substituted the AVR-1. I noticed that the blimp signal didn't have a lot of frequency drift, that is, it was well within the 32 line correction range of the TBC on the AVR-1. So what I had the video people do was establish initial gen-lock of the control room and all video sources to the blimp. Then I had them release the lock. I fed the blimp signal through the AVR-1 with the machine stopped. The AVR-1's TBC kept the blimp signal synchronized with the control room long enough to get through a program segment. We established momentary gen-lock during commercial breaks to keep the drift rate of the blimp within the correction range of the AVR-1. Short duration loss of signal from the blimp when it flew behind a building didn't disrupt the recording VTRs because there was no gen-lock during program segments. And some people thought the AVR-1 was just a videotape machine.



If you have any old photos of Ampex equipment that operated at your TV facility which  you would like to have in our Virtual Museum, please send them along, so we might add them to these pages.


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