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Amazing Popular Science article from 1949, back when you could build your own TV station – “California amateur sends voice and picture over transmitter made from $500 worth of war-surplus parts. PULSING through the California skies from a weather-beaten back-yard shack, the image of a beautiful brunette flows into television receivers around San Francisco Bay. The boys who have seen her call the vision Gwendolyn. Reproduced by a collection of secondhand tubes and war-surplus video equipment, Gwendolyn represents the first standard TV image broadcast successfully and repeatedly by an amateur.” Thanks Charles! Link.

Phillip Torrone

Editor at large – Make magazine. Creative director – Adafruit Industries, contributing editor – Popular Science. Previously: Founded – Hack-a-Day, how-to editor – Engadget, Director of product development – Fallon Worldwide, Technology Director – Braincraft.



  1. monopole says:

    With the exception of licencing hassles, building a working TV station is considerably simpler these days. All that is necessary is a Video Camera, a video RF modulator and a length of unshielded wire. If you keep the RF level low enough it would even be legal.

  2. rmd1023 says:

    You can still build and operate an amateur (ham) radio television station. Some information on “ATV” is available at

    Transmissions need to fall within the FCC’s rules and guidelines for amateur radio use.