Studio Equipment - Video and Audio Systems

The original equipment was supplied by EMI for the studio and microwave links, with the transmitter equipment being supplied by Philips industries.

The studio equipment consisted of two telecine chains fitted with two each, Bell and Howell 16mm sound projectors, together with RCA drum 35mm slide projectors. The outputs of these film devices were then fed optically into an EMI Telecine chain, with the video pickup unit being based on a vidicon camera. These two units were basically the sames as the studio cameras. The studio cameras used remote control zoom lenses, the zoom mechanism being controlled from camera control centres positioned in the master control desk.

The various video signals were all fed into a vision switcher. Each video source also had its own large video monitor. (Conrac monitors.) From the video switcher the program content was then fed to microwave links that in turn, relayed the signals to the Mount Mowbullen transmitter site - and thus to air and to television receivers in locations all around the Darling Downs areas.

All audio signals were fed into an EMI audio console, with provisions to accept audio signals from various equipment such as the the telecine chains and studio microphones, news gathering equipment plus other audio output equipment.

The original EMI microwave links used to fail due to bad weather in the link path. When this happened the transmitter would put to air a stationery call sign image which was generated by a EMI fixed studio camera, along with a pre-recorded announcement. The EMI links  were replaced with Canadion Marconi TWT links operating at a higher output power and lowere frequency. The "Fading" problem was rectified by this change. The antenna dish was also larger in diameter. The new transmission microwave links were sited on a new tower at the north side of the studio building.

Denis Wright.


Around the end of the 60's the original (?EMI) vision switcher was replaced by a home made one designed by Frank Balfour and Darryl Potts.

Its claim to fame was that it could be "pre-loaded" with the next 10 "moves" which were stored in a mechanical memory (10 banks of switches - one switch for each vision source in each bank) and the switch from one event to the next was done by a motor that switched from one bank of switches to the next. Not exactly vertical interval switching but almost near enough and much less demanding on the operator than the basic system it replaced. I presume it lasted until the switch to color. Ah yes, the good old days when you could make your own station.

Tom Mayze - 27/08/2012 Add a comment
Hi Tom, great comments.  Yes, only in those days could you imagine an enterprise like a television station making some of its own equipment, and this was certainly done at DDQ.  Your story of the vision switcher is incredible, and I had no idea of that one.  In my time there, DDQ engineers made many items which were either not commercially available or too expensive at the time.  For example....Robby Bell's character generator, a cue tone reader and count-down generator for the co-ords, in-house intercom system, Peter Harbort's transmitter telemetry system, the auto generator start system, the score boards used on the Make The Grade set complete with control panel and BCD control wheels (my first home brew using logic and BCD counters), the cameraman talkback system called 'BlueCom'...a BTQ 7 design but fully built in-house by DDQ engineers, field test signal generators for cable tests when on OBs, and the list goes on.  Who can remember when the oven in the canteen was used for baking the circuit boards that DDQ engineers designed from scratch ready to be etched in acid and populated with components to complete a design for one purpose or another.  Yes, those were the, and the need to be self-sufficient in the days when if you needed something, you designed and built it yourself.  Magic times.
David King - 09/09/2012 Add a comment
The home made pres switcher was nick named "The Clanger" and anyone sitting on the desk next to it would set it off cutting to the next sources. Yes the Ricmond Hill took it's place for colour.
Dave Powell - 21/09/2012 Add a comment
Ikegami TK-301A were the first colour cameras. I believe also WIN4 Wollongong and BCV8 Bendigo purchased these. DDQ bought three, one permanently in the studio, one in the OB van and a floater used between studio and OB.  
Dave Powell - 14/01/2013 Add a comment
Sorry folks, a correction to my above blurb...  we only had two Ikegami cameras. Shared between studio and OB work.
Dave Powell - 24/01/2013 Add a comment
Another correction, the cameras were TK-301B or TK301C models. It seems of great interest on FaceBook.

Dave Powell - 11/12/2013 Add a comment
Finally I can get this right...thanks to Laurie's write up. I now remeber the same. One of the cameras and its CCU  was permanently installed in the Van, one was permanently installed at the Studio and the third was a “floater” it could be a second camera either in the studio or in the OB van.
Dave Powell - 03/06/2014 Add a comment