Western Technologies employee John Ross went with Mike Pervus, Tom Sloper, and Steve Marking to Electro Mavin, a surplus dealer's warehouse in Los Angeles. There Ross found a 1" Cathode Ray Tube from a Heads Up Display. This led to a demonstration of how to make a vector display from a raster television: a stereo amplifier was connected to the horizontal and vertical deflection coils and driven with music program material. (A seperate deflection coil, off to the side and on the table, had its horizontal deflection coil substituted in place of the television's circuitry original horizontal deflection coil to keep the high-voltage section of the television compliant.) There is a patent on the deflection fail detection circuitry that shuts down the electron beam so as not to damage the screen phosphor.

Ross was responsible for the monitor design. He also shepherded the production of prototypes with Jamie MacInnis and the initial printed board circuitry and Hong Kong manufacturing via Steve Marking.

Later, Ross invented and prototyped the 3D Imager. It was made in a Viewmaster plastic case. The wheel rotates freely on a D.C. motor. The software notes the wheel rotation index point and keeps score of how many software rotations are late and early relative to the actual wheel rotations. The software rotation rate and the frame rate is adjusted to keep these equal.

Ross also invented and prototyped the Light Pen for the Vectrex. It was made in a Marks-A-Lot felt pen marker case. It used a photodetector and a cascade of transistorized pulse stretching circuits in feedback.

Ross, in sheer enthusiasm, also prototyped a CRT to film accessory for the Vectrex, although this was never released commercially.

Ross currently lives in his car:


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