WCAP On The Move, WLLH Lowell Going Dark?
Tue Jun 18 03:09:32 EDT 2019
I would be curious about Pete Fasciano's memories of the Mark VII's at
The original CE at WXPO was a man named Charles Brown and he made a number
of critical errors but in fairness, the ownership group was looking to cut
corners. He was long gone as the station prepared to launch and a brilliant
CE was hired from Channel 18 in Hartford (Howard Frost) but ownership was
tapped and needed revenue from being on the air, which never came.
The core issue was Channel 50 was allocated to Manchester and thus the main
studio was the transmitter in Windham. Had the WXPO transmitter been
another 50 to 100 feet higher the station may have gained traction. The
signal for some reason boomed into the Back Bay and Allston but not in
Cambridge or Somerville.
On Mon, Jun 17, 2019 at 1:05 PM <email@example.com> wrote:
> Having spent my career in NYC at NBC, ABC, and also briefly at Studio 50
> (Ed Sullivan), I'd like to comment on your statement about 4 tube cameras
> producing a"washed out look."
> With the exception of the Norelco PC-60/70 and the legacy RCA TK-41 and
> TK-26 (telecine) cameras, all new live and telecine cameras of the 1960s
> were of a 4 tube design. That included RCA, GE, EMI, and Marconi. Philips
> experimented with 4 tube, but was satisfied with the 3 tube design.
> It is possible to set the black level of a 4 tube camera's luminance
> channel just like any other camera. At CBS, they preferred a more pastel
> look, and this was accomplished by setting the RGB channels at about 10%
> positive pedestal. This technique is documented on the CBS Retired
> Engineers Website.
> The issue at Studio 50 was its close proximity next to the subway rotary
> converter station that influenced camera registration. Good registration in
> one part of the studio was different if the camera was moved. Even the
> control room monitors had to be shielded. I might add that other stages in
> NY and LA had similar problems..production was instructed not to shoot in
> those areas.
> Norelco eventually came up with better shielding for the so called "PC-69"
> cameras at CBS, but the emotions had already overcome any meaningful
> solution, so they were replaced with Mark VIIs from Marconi. CBS had these
> cameras installed at WBBM and KNXT also. This was a large, very heavy head
> with apparently better shielding. See Jim Herschel's comments on "Eyes Of A
> Generation" website. Jim was at Philips during that period and has first
> hand knowledge of the problem. Later, he joined CBS, designing mobile units.
> In the early 1990s , I had to produce source material fior the ATTC at
> Studio 50, and brought the lab's Gauss meter along, but it was not an
> issue, as the subway station was converted to solid state.
> You can observe 3 tube and 4 tube cameras at the Museum of Broadcast
> Technology in Woonsocket, RI.
> Jay Ballard
> ex NBC Engineering Lab, ABC Engineering Lab
> -----Original Message-----
> From: Kevin Vahey <firstname.lastname@example.org>
> To: Mark Watson <email@example.com>
> Cc: Boston Radio Group <firstname.lastname@example.org>
> Sent: Sun, Jun 16, 2019 9:08 pm
> Subject: Re: WCAP On The Move, WLLH Lowell Going Dark?
> CBS first used Norelco's at Studio 50 but switched to Marconi and that did
> not address the issue.
> The Marconi Mark VII's always had a washed out look as it was a 4 tube
> design. WXPO got the cameras at a discount as the new RCA TK-44 which was a
> 3 tube plumbicon Norelco clone and RCA was promising a quick delivery. WSMW
> in Worcester went that route and the cameras were fine.
> WXPO had other issues including a transmitter location that was suspect and
> by the time the Chief Engineer was replaced there was no money left to fix
> the issues.
> A major part of the station's plan was to become a local production house
> for commercials but the RF issues made that impossible as other stations
> refused to air commercials taped in Lowell.
> On Sun, Jun 16, 2019 at 8:00 PM Mark Watson <email@example.com> wrote:
> > Kevin Vahey wrote:
> > >Mark, when was the transmitter moved from the 'Giant Building' at
> > and Dutton? I'm thinking it was around the time WSSH moved >to Woburn
> > which would be 1986.
> > The WLLH tower on the roof of the Giant Store building at 4 Broadway,
> > corner of Dutton Street was taken down in 1986 after both WLLH & WSSH
> > their studios, WSSH as mentioned to Woburn and WLLH moved to studios in
> > newly built Lowell Hilton hotel, which later became the Sheraton Inn
> > Riverfront. Then they moved to 44 Church Street for the last few years of
> > Arnold Lerner’s ownership. WXPO studios were on Dutton near Market, just
> > block away from the Giant Store. I knew about the RF issues that wreaked
> > havoc with WXPO’s cameras but didn’t know that CBS had RF issues at the
> > Sullivan Theater. How did CBS get around that?
> > Mark Watson
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