The video section


Early video configuration

Ed von Renouard (“Video Von”) is seated at the initial installation of the RCA scan converter before the slow scan rack was installed (note the camera in the top left corner of the rack). This probably would have been in 1967 or 68.

Compare it with the photo below, taken during Apollo 12 in November 1969.

Scan: Ed von Renouard.

Ed von Renouard

Ed von Renouard at the video console during the Apollo 12 mission. The slow scan rack is on the left.

Scan: Hamish Lindsay. Large, Larger.


Mincom M22 telemetry recorders

For Apollo 11, the slow scan television signal was modulated with the telemetry from the Lunar Module (including PLSS data).

A back-up recording of the Apollo 11 LM TV downlink was made in case there were problems with the RCA Slow Scan converter used at the stations. Instrumentation recorders were used – an Ampex FR1400 at Goldstone and Mincom M22s at Honeysuckle Creek and Parkes.

Ed at Mincom M22s

Ed von Renouard and the Mincom M22 data recorders.

During the Apollo 11 EVA, the television was not only video recorded on the Ampex VR1100, but the slow scan video data was also recorded along with the rest of the telemetry from the Lunar Module. These – along with the videotapes – were shipped to Goddard and Houston after the mission.

Polaroid scan: Ed von Renouard. Exact date is unknown.
Image enhanced by Colin Mackellar.

Ed von Renouard writes,

“for Apollo 11 we had the M22 telemetry recorders going at 120 ips (reel change every 1/4 hr for the duration of the mission) which also recorded the narrow-band slow scan TV downlink, and we had an ageing broadcast quality Ampex VR1100 4-head desk-size video recorder with 2-inch tapes to record the scan-converted NTSC-standard output TV fed to the US. This machine overheated during the downlink and kept on blowing fuses so we ended up opening its rear doors and positioning two desk fans to keep it cool. This worked and we were able record the rest of the TV.”

See also Apollo 11 TV.

Ed von Renouard

Ed von Renouard loads a tape on one of two Ampex VR 660C helical-scan video tape recorders, mounted above one another which were used instead of the VR 1100 after Apollo 14.

Photo: Hamish Lindsay.

video recorders

The Ampex VR660 recorders and associated equipment.

Photo: Ed von Renouard.

Photos of the video section during Apollo 17

Ed von Renouard writes:

“From Apollo 15 onward we had two Ampex VR660 helical-scan video recorders which are the ones you can see in the photo [on the left].

The scan converter had been retired and the downlink was now all-singing-and-dancing frame-sequential NTSC-standard colour TV as evinced by the RCA colour monitor on top of the rack (frame-sequential because of the RGB colour wheel in front of the vidicon camera used on the moon, the reference colour was green).”

Nevil Eyre at video console

Honeysuckle Creek Test Equipment Supervisor Nevil Eyre in the video section during Apollo 17.

Note the two Ampex VR600 2-inch helical scan video-tape recorders on the left and the older Ampex VR1100 on the right.

Polaroid photo scanned by Ed von Renouard.

Nevil Eyre in video section

Another photo of Nevil Eyre at the video equipment during an Apollo Lunar EVA.

On the monitor – the Rover-mounted TV camera is looking down at the rover. One of the Astronauts is visible in the distance on the right.

From a Polaroid scanned by Nevil Eyre.

For more Video Section photos from during Apollo 17, see “Apollo 17 TV” in the Apollo 17 section.

Honeysuckle video configurations

video diagram 1

HSK Signal Flow

Diagram by Ed von Renouard.

video diagram 2

HSK Sync, VIT and TPG Configuration

Diagram by Ed von Renouard.

video diagram 3

HSK Closed Circuit TV Configuration

Diagram by Ed von Renouard.