WGSF Television expanded the ability for remote production by putting
together what we called the MINI-MOTE (Miniature remote unit).
Mounted on the Blue Cart, the Mini-mote could be loaded into the Blue
Truck (or other vehicle) and taken just about anywhere, and it was.
An ampex 2 inch VR-660 VTR would
fit on top of the cart for recording, providing two hours of recording time
on one of the large reels of tape, with editing capability.
The television camera was the GBC videcon, with zoom
The sync generator was a small solid
state unit, which fit into a special rack mount containing a pulse distribution
was routed through a powerstat, a variable transformer, with voltage meters
built into the panel. The VR-660 was especially sensitive to power
line voltages higher
or lower than the standard 120 VAC.
A 3-monitor rack mount unit was used for picture monitoring.
A Shure audio mixer was used for microphone and Auxiliary audio inputs.
The Mini-mote was used for coverage of
the Ohio State Fair in 1974 (?) at a time when most television stations were
anchored to a fixed venue. WGSF roamed the fairgrounds, getting a very enthusiastic
response from the people we covered. We could edit on the fly with the VR-660B
Edicon® system. Even though the rubber on the old wheels on the cart
peeled off from the weight (the VTR alone weighed nearly 100 pounds) the
ability to go nearly anywhere made for a sucessful addition to the station's
It proved to be the beginning of the end for the large
RCA production truck, which took well over an hour to set
up. We could wheel in with the Mini-mote, plug into any standard 120 volt
AC source, set up the small tripod/dolly and camera, hook up the cables,
and record - all in the matter of a few minutes.
Later, a newer version of the Mini-mote was used for
years providing television production facilities at Newark High School. The
cart had larger, sturdier wheels, color cameras, better monitoring, a video
switcher with effects, the Shure Audio mixer, and either a 3/4
inch U-matic® videocassette recorder, or the newer 1/2 inch VHS VCR system.
Many programs were aired live on the CATV system, CATV 19, as well as recorded.
The cart was wheeled all over the Newark High campus, and one of the specially
equipped school busses with a wheelchair lift was utilized to take it to other
production locations that were covered with multiple cameras.