Narrowband Television

May 20, 2003 | My Projects | By: Mark VandeWettering

The problem with the web is that sometimes you hit a website that drags you off into a direction completely unrelated to anything you’ve really considered before.
This happened to me most recently when I encountered a site which described
the work of John Logie Baird, a Scottish engineer who designed a television system that transmitted 30 line images and was used in the first public broadcasts by the BBC. Some of these early transmissions have been restored and documented in a rather interesting looking book entitled Restoring Baird’s Image by Don McLean.

Curiously enough, there are still amateurs who are devoted in building replicas of these early mechanical televisions. Some links:


Comment from James T. Hawes
Time 9/9/2004 at 6:49 pm

Hi, Mark;
Your page is a gas. Thanks for linking to my mechanical TV page. Please update the link, though. My homepage is The MTV part appears at I also offer educational pages on amplifiers and Ohm’s Law. More to come! Thanks for sharing your intellectual quest with me and the world. I notice your telescope and camera interests. Have you ever built an MTV camera or monitor?

Comment from Mark
Time 9/11/2004 at 12:11 am

Thanks for the update James, and for the kind remarks. No, I haven’t worked on building a mechanical TV, although I must admit that I have a pile of motors from an old VCR that I was thinking might be good components to use for just such a project. The spirit is willing, but there are only 24 hours in a day, and I have to use at least six of them for sleep. 🙂

Still, I’m glad to see you update this link for me, and I’ll have to revisit your site for some more inspiration. Tinkering with this kind of stuff is precisely the stuff that I enjoy.