The S.H.A.D.O. Video Phone Selection Switches are three banks of switches mounted in a single row at the front of the Video Phone. They are labelled: "A to G", "1 to 8" and "H to N". In the UFO TV Series, Commander Straker's Video Phone, the white switches can be seen to operate and control everything from audio and video communications (within S.H.A.D.O. Control and Headquarters) and also external communications, control the wall-mounted video monitor (opposite his desk) and even opening and closing Commander Straker's sliding office door.
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.
NB: I worked at IBM for quite a number of years...
NB: These switches are no longer available.
So, I decided to design and fabricate my own version of this switch using measurements extrapolated from frame grabs taken from many of the UFO episodes, together with an old datasheet I managed to acquire: the switches were originally available in about five versions, and varied in button size, colour and switch specifications.
● Standard MICRO compatible interface - solder rather than plugged.
● SPDT (Single-pole, dual-throw) ON-OFF-ON, White Rocker Switch with solder terminals.
● Contact Rating: B contact material: 0.4 VA max. @ 20 V AC or DC max.
● Electrical Life: At least 100,000 make-and-break cycles at full load. Plus one million plus at 3-5 volts (standard operating voltage of the selector system.
● Contact Resistance: Below 10meg ohms typical. Initial at 2-4v DC, 100 mA.
● Insulation Resistance: 1,000,000,000 Ohms min.
● Dielectric Strength: 1000 Vrms min. @ sea level.
● Operating Temperature: –30ºC to 85ºC.
● Solderability: As per MIL-STD-202F method 208D, or EIA RS-186E method 9 (1 hour steam aging).
● Mounting using 2 x 3.5mm stainless steel socket screws.
From watching each episode, it can be seen that the white Selection Switches fall into three categories:
ROOM FUNCTIONS (A-G : BLUE left bank),
COMMUNICATIONS (1-8 : GREY centre bank) and
MISCELLANEOUS FUNCTION (H-N : YELLOW right bank).
I decided to keep the same style and functionality for the Video Phone Mk.II.
Selection switches labelled A-G (Left) blue rear panel.
In a few of the episodes, Commander Straker may be seen to close his office door using one of the switches on the left hand bank (blue section) I believe it was the A switch.
Selection switches labelled 1-8 (Centre) light grey rear panel.
In various episodes the centre switches may be seen to initiate and terminate communications channels: The Dalotek Affair, etc. In Identified (10:07) Commander Straker can be seen to press one of the centre button to activate the wall viewing screen. At 10:14 Commander Straker presses the #3 key to select the next screen image of the recently destroyed Westbrooke Electronics. Again, at (35:30) Commander Straker answers and closes a call from the Mayland Medical Centre using one of the centre switches.
Selection switches labelled H-N (Right) yellow rear panel.
My conclusion was that the switches (single-pole, dual throw selector switch) were originally manufactured for ICL and also IBM - both large computer manufacturers.
The S.H.A.D.O. Video Phone Mk.II Selection Switch system (see below) uses 3 x custom input/output controllers (Left Blue | Centre Grey | Right Yellow) to provide general-purpose local/remote I/O expansion via a two-wire bidirectional I2C bus (serial clock (SCL), serial data (SDA)). The devices consist of 3 x (eight quasi-bidirectional ports), 100 kHz I2C bus interfaces, three hardware address inputs (A0, A1 and A2) and interrupt outputs operating between 2.5 V and 6 V. The quasi-bidirectional ports can be independently programmed/assigned as inputs to monitor an interrupt or switch status, or as an output to activate control signals, device status, port controls or general outputs.
Each of the three section 8 input/output (I/O) expander for the two-line bidirectional bus (I2C) is designed for 2.5V to 6V Vcc operation.
Each of the three controllers provides general-purpose remote I/O expansion via the I2C interface (serial clock (SCL), serial data (SDA)).
Each bank controller features an 8-bit quasi-bidirectional I/O port (Left P0-P7 - Centre P0-P7 - Right P0-P7), and the system provides general-purpose remote I/O expansion via the two-wire bidirectional I2C bus (serial clock (SCL), serial data (SDA)).
The system master can read from any of the input ports or write to the output port/s through a single register. The low current consumption of 2.5 mA (typically static) is suitable for internal, programmable, remote/mobile applications. The three hardware address pins allow for between one to eight devices to be on this I2C bus (although the design is set for 3).
The active LOW open-drain interrupt output (INT) can be connected to the
interrupt logic of the main system, and is or can be activated when any input state differs from its corresponding input port register state. It is used to indicate to the main controller that an input state has changed and the device needs to be interrogated without the controller continuously polling the input register via the I2C bus. The internal Power-On Reset (POR) initializes the I/Os as inputs with an internal pull-up 100 uA current source.
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 MK2 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 MK2 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.