I acquired a two old early 80's video cameras to play with recently. An Hitachi VK-C600 and a Sony HVC4000P. These are the old type that use a tube as an image sensor. These cameras required to be connected to an external VCR to be used. As well as recording video from the camera, these also provided the power supply to run them.
While the cameras on there own are fairly common, the recording units are quite rare and expensive to find in working condition. (From my experience anyway) Each manufacturer uses a proprietary multi-pin connector on the camera cable and recording unit. I just acquired the two cameras on their own.
So lets start with the Hitachi VK-C600. Its a colour video camera from around 1980-82. It uses a “saticon” tube as the image pick-up. Has a built-in b/w viewfinder and a microphone.
After a few minutes checking the wires with the multimeter and a few searches online I was able to figure out which wires do what.
Hitachi VK-C600 Camera cable pinout:
Yellow: DC 12V Power
Black Coax #1
Red: Composite video from camera (goes to your TV/monitor or recording unit)
Black Coax #2
White: Composite video to Viewfinder in VTR mode
Grey Mini Coax
White: Audio from camera microphone (standard audio “line” level)
There are three other small wires that are used for VCR command signals. But I’ve yet to figure these out. I've just left these wires on disconnected for now.
The camera connected up, powered up and displaying an image via composite video. On my 10" TV:
In part 2 I’ll discuss a cable pinout and powering up the Sony HVC4000P and fiting some proper connectors to the cameras cable's.