Here is the current S.H.A.D.O. Video Phone Mk.II project status summary together with the summary for the most active sub-systems under development. Please feel free to comment on any aspects of this project.
LCD DISPLAY AND CONTROLLER
SELECTION SWITCHES (A-G : 1-8 : H-N)
external communications system
From the very first moment I watched UFO (I was about eight years old) I dreamt about possessing a Video Phone just like Commander Straker’s! But, somehow life just got in the way and I just never seemed to have the time or opportunity to embark on such a project: until now.
Initially, I did consider building an exact replica of the original video phone: and intend to when this project is complete. But, after much thought about the actual practicalities of such a device, I thought it might be better to design and build a Mk.II version that in this day and age would be more practical, and also one that I could actually use on a day to day basis. Thus, the idea for the Video Phone Mk.II was born! I wrote a list of the essential features, and attempted to merge those features to be in keeping - as much as possible - with the original design. I decided to employ a custom designed LCD screen and custom display controller with multiple video/computer inputs. I also decided on a colour display instead of the original monochrome. The LCD display controls to be placed just below the monitor itself in the mounting frame.
● Display Screen: In practise, I found the idea of using a 5” display - as in the original Video Phone - somewhat impracticable on a day to day basis. So, I decided to use a custom 8” LCD display with multiple video input capabilities.
● The original 22 white labelled selection switches: 22 (A-G, 1-8 and H-N). The functionality of the switches to be programmable.
● State of the art compter system: running dual operating systems: Linux and/or Windows 10 Pro.
● Keyboard and Mouse: initially hidden from view. I needed the ability to have keyboard input. But, how and where I could incorporate the keyboard?
● Built-in high definition stereo speakers.
● External inputs: multiple video sources, Ethernet, WIFI, Bluetooth and general networking.
● The Video Phone must be able to show ALL 26 UFO episodes on demand.
● The ability to turn on/off the Video Phone and perform various functions using voice recognition: recognising my voice.
● Voice and video communications using current mobile phone technology.
31 January 2018
Design, specifications and PCB layout all completed. PCB layout checked and tested and sent to the US manufacturing company. Some problems found and corrected. 10 PCB's set and tested in QC.
PCB and assembly completed.
BIOS tested, and dual-boot MS Windows 10 Pro and Linux tested. On-board SSD (initially 64GB installed) and tested.
22 April 2018
The initial design specifications and PCB layout all completed. PCB layout checked and tested and sent to the US manufacturing company. A few non-serious issues found and corrected. 5 PCB's set and tested in QC.
PCB and assembly completed.
Status: Assembly completed and Phase I and II tested
22 April 2018
Layout, specifications and final design completed. 2 way switch selected. Mounting frame completed.
Rocker switch buttons sent for manufacture: should receive during the coming week.
Status: in progress
1st November 2018
The Selection Switch mountings, layout and frame are completed. The design for the Selection Switch controller PCB/s is complete and has been sent to the manaufacturer (Sunstone Circuits in the USA).
Status: in progress
Background: From the very first moment I was able to watch UFO (I was about eight years old) I have dreamed about possessing a Video Phone just like Commander Straker’s! But, life somehow got in the way and I just never seemed to have the time or chance to embark on such a project: until now. Initially, I did consider building an exact replica of the original video phone, and propbably will at some stage. But, after much thought about the actual practicalities of such a device, I thought it might be better to design and build a Mk.II version that in this day and age would be more practical, and one that I could actually use on a day to day basis. Thus, the idea for the Video Phone Mk.II was born! I wrote a list of the essential features I needed, and also attempted to somehow merge those features to be in keeping - as much as possible - with the original design version. I decided to employ a custom designed LCD screen and Custom Display Controller with multiple video/computer inputs. I also decided on a colour display instead of the original monochrome.
Specifications: ● Intel CPU runs Microsoft Windows 10 Pro and Linux. ● Memory: System 4-16 GB DDR3 RAM + 57.5GB (C: Boot) on-board SSD, plus 32-512GB maximum extended capacity. ● Supports multi-boot Windows 10 pro & Linux (Ubuntu) System. The system is able to run full Microsoft Office 2016 (2007 and 2010) as a full office PC. ● Equipped with high-efficiency, lower-power Intel Processor N3450 (2M Cache, up to 2.2 GHz and burst mode) and integrated Intel HD Graphics 500, with seamless visual, life-like images and smooth graphics. ● Dual band WIFI 2.4GHz + 5.GHz and 10/100/1000 Mbps LAN, for fluent video, practically no video buffering, stuttering or freezing. ● Supports up to 4K Video (external ultra high-definition) for high definition video viewing and video effects. ● No moving parts at all (i.e. no fan: uses heatsink), no hard disk drive) ● PCB mounts support custom heatsink for fan-less cooling for the computer system and associated systems.
I completed a fair amount of research into the origin of the selection switches used on the original S.H.A.D.O. Video Phone. The selection switches are labelled A-G (left), 1-8 (centre) and H-N (right) that’s 22 switches in total. My conclusion was that the switches (single-pole, dual throw selector switch) were originally manufactured for ICL and also IBM - both large computer manufacturers. ICL (originally International Computers and Tabulators later renamed ICL (International Computers Limited ). ICL was eventually acquired by Fujitsu, and in April 2002 it was re-branded as Fujitsu. IBM (International Business Machines Corporation) originated in 1911 as the Computing-Tabulating-Recording Company (CTR) and was renamed International Business Machines in 1924 and is still operating.
Specifications: Display input support for Studio B.N.C. (Bayonet Neill–Concelman) input, so that the signal has mutual interference reduction, and can thus achieve the best signal input. The video card also supports chromatic Ypbpr input: the more vivid the colour, the more realistic the final image. YPbPr or Y'PbPr, also written as YPBPR, is a colour space used in industry and broadcasting video electronics, in particular in reference to component video cables. YPbPr is the analogue version of the YCbCr colour space; the two are numerically equivalent but YPbPr is designed for use in analogue systems while YCbCr is intended for digital video. NB: YPbPr is commonly referred to as ‘component video’, however there are many types of component video, most of which are a variant of RGB.
Specifications: Panel size: 8" digital display, Video input interface: VGA/HDMI/BNC/USB/AV, Aspect ratio: 4:3, Resolution: max: 1280 x 800, HDMI Input support resolution: 480i /60Hz,480P /60Hz,576i /50Hz,576P/ 50Hz,720P 50/60Hz,1080i 50/60Hz,1080P 50/60 Hz, Viewing angle: Wide view angle 178 degrees, Brightness: 400cd/m2, Contrast ration: 800:1, Response time: 18ms, OSD Menu Language selection.