Early Cantenna, Color Converter for B&W TV (Sep, 1955)

Did you think all those Wi-Fi hackers had invented the cantenna? This has them beat by a good 45-50 years.

  • Airmen’s “Can-Tenna”

    At the Altus Air Force Base in Oklahoma there’s a short-wave antenna that proves you should never throw away anything! It is the antenna for a Globe King transmitter and is made of 84 beverage cans that have been soldered together, end to end. Its height is 27 feet, 10 inches, about a quarter wave length of the 40-meter band.

  • Color Converter for Black-and-White TV

    Black-and-white TV sets are converted to full color by an adapter that costs about $150 plus installation. The adapter includes an electronic circuit to reduce the
    black-and-white picture to 12-inch size. A rotating filter, electronically synchronized, stands in front of the set to add full color to the picture.

  • Low-Cost Tape Recorder Sells for $30

    Handy to have around the house for leaving messages and instructions, a low-cost tape recorder is simple enough for a child to use. It makes no high-fidelity claims, but it records just like the more expensive models. No toy, it has a four-tube amplifier, a four-inch loudspeaker, crystal microphone and two 150-foot tape reels.

  • A switch turns off all hi-fi components when the last record is played. With it, you can go to sleep to the music of favoi’ite recordings. • An electronic robot “listens” to Morse code and types out the message on a teletypewriter at 600 words per minute.
  1. Gregly says: August 14, 200610:49 am

    Frankly, I would be amazed if that color converter worked with our current NTSC standard; it is more likely that it worked with the CBS system, which used alternating color fields rather than the color subcarrier signal we use today.

  2. MAKE: Blog says: August 15, 20061:45 am

    Cantenna – from the 1950s!…

    Looks like the hackers of the 50’s were already making cantennas before the young whippersnappers of today were even born – Link. More: Cantenna, Mountain Grown coffee can makes homegrown wi-fi range extender – Link.CookieCantenna – Link…….

  3. telecolor says: September 6, 20069:53 am

    I have a Col-R-Tel color converter (bought new) and it works perfectly on a vintage black and white set which receives NTSC signals.

  4. Charlie says: September 6, 200610:01 am

    Does it use a rotating filter like that one? That would be pretty cool to see.

  5. […] @ Modern Mechanix […]

  6. telecolor says: March 20, 20156:03 pm

    Yes it does, and just acquired another Col R Tel new in a box.

  7. jayessell says: April 7, 20155:59 am

    Some 21st century projector TVs and rear projection TVs used color wheels with the DLP chips.
    Do current LCD projectors use them?

  8. Bubba says: April 9, 20155:23 am

    No, LCD projectors do not use color wheels

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