Sunday, August 13, 2006

Here's my Studio 50 Story. At the time, the rear wall of the Studio 50 stage was adjacent to a NYC Subway DC Generating Station. This DC power created high magnetic fields throughout the Studio which played havoc with monitors and cameras. Back in the early 1960s CBS was purchasing the Norelco PC 70 Cameras for colorization of all its studios. CBS asked Norelco to provide PC 70 Cameras that would operate in the magnetic field environment of Studio 50. I was an Engineer with Norelco at the time and was given this project. What made this project high profile was the fact that the Ed Sullivan Show was temporarily being produced in Miami and Mr. Sullivan wanted to return to New York City. The project timeline was very short and every move I made was under heavy scrutiny by both Norelco and CBS management. My testing of the original PC 60 Camera showed that the Dutch Engineers used a Mu-metal shield cover on the optical prism assembly and also on the cap of the Plumbicon coil assembly. Rather than providing magnetic field protection the small air gap between the two shields actually increased the field intensity which was in close proximity to the face of the Plumbicon tube. Not good for registration! I modified the PC 70 design by replacing these two Mu metal covers with aluminum covers. I also provided a 3 layer Mu metal shield to the doors of the camera thereby creating a magnetic shielded housing around all the camera's components. The result was the PC 71 camera. Studio 50 was the only Studio that ever required this specialized camera. It should also be noted that the Subway System eventually ceased to use the DC power so the same magnetic field problems no longer exist in Studio 50. Shortly after the successful installation of the PC 71 camera, CBS Engineering & Development offered me a position as a Project Engineer. This resulted in a very interesting 29 year career with CBS where I retired in 1995 as Director of Field Audio Video Engineering.
Thanks you Studio 50.

Jim Herschel