Assessing old equipment


Well-known member
Helping a friend who just got hired to run a community college RTV program sort through what appears to be decades of gear that was stored (and should have been phased out and dispersed of by prior instructors - but that's another story). It's all mixed in with newer and more current stuff.

I can handle checking out and assessing the cameras and most of the field equipment...but some of the studio goodies not as expert at.

The big one is a giant studio control setup housed in a gigantic metal mother-of-all units. Maybe six deep by twelve long by eight high. Recommending the school keep the Shure LX4 wireless kits (we still need to find the transmitters), JVC audio mixer and a few other goodies. The damn thing takes up half a room that could be put to better use...have suggested if the budget will take it to get a Tricaster but need to find out if the old rack-mounted Marshall 3x and Sony 4x monitors will work with it (pretty sure they might even though they're SD).

But what about the Echolab Optima 500 video switcher for example...will it play nice with today's high def gear. There's an old fashioned waveform vector monitor and scope. Three Sony CCUs and power adapters (can only find one of the cameras). And more.

I can post a more complete list if anyone is interested in discussing. Especially you Necktie Boy since we've already talked this over a bit...but I figure the more the merrier.

And thanks in advance.


Well-known member
Trouble is, trying to interface all the old gear to the new gear is a headache.

I'm starting to collect 'old' gear again as I'm slowly dumping over my own personal archive onto hard drives. But I'm finding that shipping old equipment is more costly than what they're worth, not to mention clogged heads, and possibly trying to source replacement parts!

(I'm looking for spare heads, service manual and rack rails for a Sony EVO-9850 Hi8 deck.)

Land Rover

Well-known member
I'm guessing the old Echolab has composite inputs? Unless they are running SD and don't need SDI in the signal path it should be ok but you won't be able to do much more with it. Even if it is SDI it won't do HD. I can hardly find any information on that model except for an old listing on ebay.

As for the waveform and vectorscope I'm guessing VSM-61 or similar models? Again, if they are staying SD then they're fine but if they move to HD they're going to want something else. There are differences in the signals so even if it will read HDSDI, which I doubt, it won't be accurate.

Marshall monitors are about as cheap as you can go. Are they CRTs or LCDs? Again, check to see if they're composite or SDI but if they're going to go HD then they're not going to work anyway.

Model numbers and a more complete list would help if have the time. I've helped design and build two control rooms, both SD and HD.