1955/56 Marconi MKIII B&W image orthicon broadcast television camera chain
This is a Marconi MKIII B&W 4.5 inch image orthicon tube broadcast television camera from around 1955/56. This is now my most PRIZED camera in my collection, I bought it from an ex TV cameraman/technician in northern Sydney. This is my first ACTUAL broadcast grade television camera, a historical camera from the beginning of B&W television in Australia in 1956!!!!! This camera was used by ATN-7 Channel Seven Sydney for remote outdoor broadcasts from 1956 to 1974 before they changed to colour. I can imagine this camera would of even been at the James Hardie Bathurst races in the 60s and early 70s as I've seen ATN-7 Marconi MKIIIs in a James Hardie Ferodo 1973 race film. Anyways the Marconi MKIII was invented around 1953 and originally used 3 inch image orthicon tubes but then around mid/late 50s 4.5 inch image orthicon tubes were invented and put into use and the MKIII was upgraded to suit 4.5 inch image orthicons, my MKIII uses 4.5 inch.
This camera chain is unfortunately in poor condition, well mainly the camera head anyhow. The camera head is full of dust, debris, dead spiders and webs and some bugs so it needs a good cleanout. Also the paint and plastic coatings are breaking off and the rubber seals are dry and brittle and breaking too. And the camera enclosure looks like it's copped a few bangs and mangles here and there so requires panel beating. The camera head is also missing vital parts such as the lens turret and lenses, the bear tap focus handle, the turret rotate crank and necessary cables. The CCU and PSU look quite good though, on the outside. This camera chain obviously needs a lot of work to restore it to its former glory and I am going to do just that, bit by bit. Firstly it needs a jolly good clean, then it needs cosmetic restoration and then electronic restoration to get it working. I have already started on cleaning the camera and am going to spend probably the next couple of weeks on getting the whole chain nice and clean.
I also have most of the service manuals for this camera which can be viewed at the bottom of this page, the only manual I am missing is for the monitor/waveform but I will get one eventually from somewhere. So I'm pretty well equipped to do electronic restoration to this camera chain.
Anyways here below are the pics of this great camera, enjoy!!!
Camera Control Unit (CCU)
Power Supply Unit (PSU)
Here below is a video I made on my mobile talking about the camera chain and show and describe its controls, it's in two parts.
I have since given the Marconi MKIII camera chain a thorough clean out and have removed the majority of the dirt, dust, spiders, webs, larvae cocoons etc. and the camera chain now looks so much cleaner. I literally have disassembled the camera head down to the enclosure to get to a lot of the dirt and dust and reassemble it all which was a good experience for me to get familiar with the camera. I have still yet to clean the stuck dirt and grime off the circuitry as it is extremely difficult to get in under the components even with an ear bud, so the camera chain isn't completely clean yet, however it looks clean enough to be operatable if it were in working order. Anyways the camera is much cleaner and better looking now! I have also located out of the 3 bags of cables and cords a cable that connects the Marconi MKIII's PSU to the CCU, some cables with RF connectors and a driving/blanking pulse tee, so that makes the camera a little more complete.
Here below are pictures of this camera in it's much cleaner state and pictures of the cleaning in progress.
Here below are photos of the cleaning progress that took place to get this camera to it's current cleaner state. I began with doing a basic dust/debri removal using a dustpan brush and a toothbrush then I progressed to using isopropyl alcohol with rags and ear buds for the interiors of the camera chain and washing liquid and water for the exterior of the camera chain. Firstly below are pictures of the camera after the brush cleaning.