Author Topic: 1969 1-Inch Video Tapes with Apollo 11 Landing & Moonwalk  (Read 1234 times)

Offline apollo16uvc

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1969 1-Inch Video Tapes with Apollo 11 Landing & Moonwalk
« on: July 12, 2021, 04:57:53 PM »
Found these three video tapes at an online auction in the USA. They have since been sent to me in Europe and should arrive by next month.

1" tape on a 10" reel.







If we have to go by the case identifier (79P-ON-7084B-W3), they are exactly:

    Memorex Type 79 Series designed for helical-scan broadcast and closed circuit television recorders.

    Ampex VR-6000 and VR-7000 Series Recorders
    79P-ON-7084B-W3

    62 minutes 9-4/2" Precision Reel 1" x 3000' in Box 1"

So probably recorded with an NTSC Ampex Type A machine.


The seller did not have a way to play back the tapes, so nothing is known about their content or which format/machine they were recorded with. Neither do I know the condition of the tapes, if they need special treatment before they can be played back and digitized. It is a gamble and I am prepared to be disappointed, there could be something different on them entirely!

If the labels are correct however, the tapes likely contain USA television broadcasts of the missions during the written events. Of the NBC, CBS or ABC.

So while unlikely to be lost NASA footage, still very cool possibly live recordings off of US TV.


If they were recorded in 1969, the possible VTR formats are:

    Sony 1" (1964)
    Ampex 1" SMPTE Type A (1965)
    IVC 1" (1968)


Once the tapes arrive, there are several steps I need to undertake before I can look into contacting people for digitisation:

1. Assess their condition. What type of carrier is the tape? (Acetate, polyester?) Is the tape brittle, does it suffer from Sticky Shed Syndrome or similar.
2. View the tape under a magnetic viewing solution to verify there is any signal on them at all, and possibly determine format it was recorded with.
3. Determine if the tape is PAL or NTSC.

Finding an NTSC machine in Europe/UK is obviously much harder than a native PAL machine.
If possible, play the reels in a machine just for the audio, so I can verify the contents to be NASA related. I and I am sure many others here would recognize any Apollo 11 mission audio from a genetic late 1960s TV show...


Lets not think too far ahead, small steps. Not to get too excited...
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Offline Obviousman

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Re: 1969 1-Inch Video Tapes with Apollo 11 Landing & Moonwalk
« Reply #1 on: July 12, 2021, 05:29:29 PM »
Hope it all goes well for you. They look interesting regardless!

Offline JayUtah

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Re: 1969 1-Inch Video Tapes with Apollo 11 Landing & Moonwalk
« Reply #2 on: July 13, 2021, 10:04:18 PM »
That looks like so much fun!
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Offline molesworth

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Re: 1969 1-Inch Video Tapes with Apollo 11 Landing & Moonwalk
« Reply #3 on: July 14, 2021, 05:37:23 AM »
Wow!  An amazing find.  Here's hoping you can get something off them.

Keep us posted  :)
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Offline bknight

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Re: 1969 1-Inch Video Tapes with Apollo 11 Landing & Moonwalk
« Reply #4 on: July 14, 2021, 08:46:17 PM »
I find it difficult to get any data from those tapes in the degraded condition they appear.
Good luck.
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Offline apollo16uvc

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Re: 1969 1-Inch Video Tapes with Apollo 11 Landing & Moonwalk
« Reply #5 on: July 28, 2021, 08:34:28 AM »
I have been talking with several companies and people in the Netherlands that have the capability to play 1" video tapes, including Ampex Type A, C and IVC.

For a payment I can visit and try my tapes on various machines. 

If they are PAL, transfer is most likely going to be possible as long as they play well. If they are NTSC, modification of a PAL machine may be a possibility (At a much greater expense)


Either way, it is going to be rather costly. But this may be worth it if the tapes contain broadcasts from channels largely lost.


I can probably I.D the content by the audio alone which will certainly be possible.


It would help greatly if I had a list of channels that you know very little footage survived of, and which channels were largely conserved.


Then I can ultimately determine if it is going to be worth IT or not.
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Offline JayUtah

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Re: 1969 1-Inch Video Tapes with Apollo 11 Landing & Moonwalk
« Reply #6 on: July 28, 2021, 09:34:08 AM »
If you bought them from someone in the U.S.A., the chances that they are NTSC are pretty high.
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Offline Obviousman

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Re: 1969 1-Inch Video Tapes with Apollo 11 Landing & Moonwalk
« Reply #7 on: July 28, 2021, 10:25:12 PM »
If you bought them from someone in the U.S.A., the chances that they are NTSC are pretty high.
Yup.

Interesting that they are labelled "Apollo XI" rather than "Apollo 11". Someone from NASA?

Offline apollo16uvc

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Re: 1969 1-Inch Video Tapes with Apollo 11 Landing & Moonwalk
« Reply #8 on: September 23, 2021, 01:11:03 PM »
Time for a delayed update!

The tapes have since arrived at my place. The condition of the tape appears to be good...tape does not fall apart, is clean, does not smell or does not curl/spoke/come off.



Furthermore, the reels themselves also bear identification numbers, which correspond to the numbers on the boxes. So there are no random tapes put in the boxes.



More good news... see a piece of tape under my magnetic developer:



Clearly visible from top to bottom:
1. Mono soundtrack
2. Helical scan video track.
3. Control pulse track.


So there is definitely video on them... and most likely Ampex Type A NTSC, maybe PAL.

I have already found a company in the Netherlands with two Ampex Type A machines. Even if they are NTSC reels, playback on a PAL machine for the sound is possible. Then I can identify if it has NASA material on it, or something else like football or I Love Lucy.


If they do contain Apollo 11 broadcasts, I think I will be able to identify source from the audio aswel. If they were sourced from NASA, a television channel or a tracking station.
« Last Edit: September 23, 2021, 01:13:45 PM by apollo16uvc »
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Offline smartcooky

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Re: 1969 1-Inch Video Tapes with Apollo 11 Landing & Moonwalk
« Reply #9 on: September 23, 2021, 05:17:32 PM »
I have already found a company in the Netherlands with two Ampex Type A machines. Even if they are NTSC reels, playback on a PAL machine for the sound is possible. Then I can identify if it has NASA material on it, or something else like football or I Love Lucy.

Here's hoping for the former and not that latter!

If they do contain Apollo 11 broadcasts, I think I will be able to identify source from the audio aswel. If they were sourced from NASA, a television channel or a tracking station.

Would the presence or absence of quindar tones be a clue to that?
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Offline apollo16uvc

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Re: 1969 1-Inch Video Tapes with Apollo 11 Landing & Moonwalk
« Reply #10 on: September 23, 2021, 05:33:59 PM »
I have already found a company in the Netherlands with two Ampex Type A machines. Even if they are NTSC reels, playback on a PAL machine for the sound is possible. Then I can identify if it has NASA material on it, or something else like football or I Love Lucy.

Here's hoping for the former and not that latter!

If they do contain Apollo 11 broadcasts, I think I will be able to identify source from the audio aswel. If they were sourced from NASA, a television channel or a tracking station.

Would the presence or absence of quindar tones be a clue to that?

Yes

I think quindar tones were added by houston for internal communication and would not be in the feed received by an antenna from the spacecrafts or recorded at a tracking station.

Comments from channel hosts, some of which are pretty historic, would also be a big clue as to the source.
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Offline apollo16uvc

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Re: 1969 1-Inch Video Tapes with Apollo 11 Landing & Moonwalk
« Reply #11 on: October 24, 2021, 08:02:15 AM »
I find it difficult to get any data from those tapes in the degraded condition they appear.
Good luck.
They don't look very degraded to me. They unspool easily, are not falling apart and don't have any strange smells. No water and mold damage either.

Hopefully they play fine and don't need to be baked.
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