BBC Archive: the CEEFAX decoder
Pebble Mill. Criminal, demolishing that.
Anyone recognise the telly?
Thanks for mentioning that clip from Pebble Mill. There are some more vintage technology clips linked on that page, too. I used to watch Pebble Mill sometimes - I recognised the studio. Shame it no longer exists.
I'm pretty sure the TV was a Decca Colour. Not sure of the exact model but the layout of controls is the same as the CV842 which just has a slightly different cabinet style. see here:
The two Decca's on the pebble mill clip are Decca Bradfords. The brochure photo is fitted with the Decca 88 chassis. I have both models in my collection.
And as an aside to the television, but still on the topic of the video link subject, the set top TeleText box they're using is the Labgear 7026. I have this very same unit in my collection.
I'm hoping to get this on the bench sometime this year but had read that even if I get this box up and running, it's unlikely to be able to correctly decode the teletext signal. Apparently back in the day a subsequent modification to the Ceefax/Oracle service caused it to miss lines of text out. No idea if this device was shelved as a result. I have no idea if there is a possible solution to the missing text lines so posted about it on our Facebook Group. A chap responded stating there is a Teletext Facebook Group and there's a few people in there who helped get Ceefax up and running back in the day, so I may join that and see what they say, you never know. See, Facebook does appear to have some benefits.
Is that the Tifax XM11 decoder in there? I vaguely remember the change in the number of the lines that BBC/ITV introduced was mentioned in Television and that the Tifax decoder would be affected - I don't think the Mullard VM6101 was affected.
Is that the Tifax XM11 decoder in there?
Indeed, it is Mike. 👍 Hoping the lads in that other group might have a solution, so I can use it once again with my IMOGen.
I was a subscriber and avid reader of Television in the mid- to late 1980s: I'm sure it's mentioned in there what the change was.
I've recently got a new PC, unfortunately there's one piece of software I've not got that I had on my old. It was a Television Magazine .exe that allowed you to search the entire year's publications for keywords it would then return the results, telling you which year and pages your criteria were on. I used it all the time. Trouble is I cannot remember what it was called or where I got it. This might have allowed me to find the article you mention.
Have you still got that PC to hand? Looks like you might need it!
EDIT - posts crossed. Looks useful, but I think it was more of a Trade News type of item, unless the Tifax to VM6101 conversion reflects it.
Initially I couldn't get the program to run, not surprised as I'm using an ultrawide monitor at 2560x1080, the program was having none of that. My only option was to run the .exe in 640x480...Yoikes that's horrid, did we really put up with that back in the day..... but works now.
Using the search tool the only reference to the Tifax XM11 is August 1988 on page 756, (it's in the data library) that covers in a two-page article the Manor supplies modification to use the Tifax/VM6101. My search criteria was All, Tifax, XM11
Indeed, it is. I gave up trying to understand the inconsistent Windows operating system behaviour long ago.
The image below does not show the horror of what actually happens. The entire ultra-wide screen goes into 640X480... streeeeeeetched. I photo-shopped the image above. The core of the image was the failure to load. I then screen dumped the working 640x480 and pasted as an overlay to show it works.
I can at least search the TV mags once again, even if it is a horrid experience, mercifully it's a short one. This is actually what happens.
Anyway, this is going way off-topic of your thread's topic, apologies.
Ah yes the TIFax decoder!
Back in late '76 Pye Marrickville did a short run of Teletext TVs using this board and the Labgear remote. They used the about-to-be-released T30C chassis. The TI board, RGB interface and 5V regulator fitted neatly onto the clip-in plastic moulding that previously held the (now not required) convergence controls. The serendipity was amazing!
My Mum had one of these sets. The TI board failed after about 5 years and was removed and bypassed. The rest of the TV was in daily use up until 2010. The PREH tuning pot drawer became U/S after about 10 years and was replaced with an AV interface, VCR, DVD and a DTV box.
Only one network here (7) went seriously into teletext.
I do remember Pam Ayres poems. Example:
Mary had a little lamb
She kept it in her closet
And everywhere that lamb did go
It left a small deposit.
I preferred the Half Man Half Biscuit version:
Mary had a little lamb
The doctors were astounded
And everywhere that Mary went