Taking Stuff Apart: Bell & Howell 2143 XL Video Camera

I came across a Bell & Howell 2143 XL, a quick search on ebay showed that this thing had little to no value. Its from the 1978-1980's and is an impressive mess of electronics and machinery. This particular device is video only.

Here it is:
Video Camera - Front

Other side and tape:
Video Camera - Back

I peeled off all the fake leather stuff and there were some markings underneath:
Video Camera - Peeled "Leather"

Most of this seems to control the focus and shutter:
Video Camera - Focus / Shutter

Other side:
Video Camera - Electronic Guts

Some sort of lens array:
Video Camera - Lens Assembly

The lens area and shutter area were two distinct pieces, on the left is the lenses and the right is the shutter:
Video Camera - More Mechanical Guts

I cracked open the tape too, basically two chambers with tape that moves between them and not much else:
Video Camera - Tape


  1. Aww come on, you need to do further research!! That's a FILM camera not a video camera.

    And on the panasonic video camera the "tube" is a video tube, you can google how they work. Google "vidicon".

  2. I mean, it's so obvious it's a FILM camera, if you just have read the KODAK label on top of the film pack...

  3. Amazingly, you be able to act all of this at present with a little wireless color video camera. For more details Visit this website


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