|Hardly had the VR1000 machines arrived in this country than they were squeezed into trucks to create Mobile VTRs. We have few pictures of these, but the small selection below gives an idea of the working environment.|
|The first mobile VTR company in the United States was Mobile Video Tapes inc, founded by three ex ABC men in May 1959.||
The interior of the first mobile VTR van
|This was the Western Summit conference in France 1959. 819 came from France - usually converted to 405 at Tolsford then cable to TC, but in this case went as 819 on link to KW (via CP) to be converted 819/525 then linked back to Heathrow via CP to be put on tape in a mobile Ampex van to fly to USA. The VT 'operator' may well look familiar to some of us 'oldies'.|
|Stan Pow cut editing on a mobile RCA TR22 at the Winter Olympics in Innsbruck in 1964||A CBS mobile VR1000 at Heathrow for Princess Margaret's wedding
|Another picture from Princess Margaret's wedding in 1960, it's titled "French dubbing". But, is that French France or French Canada?
And, more to the point, does anyone recognise the make of audio machine?
The writing is not that clear on the fullsize original, but looks like PICIISYNC, or PICINSYNC - all thoughts and ideas greatly welcome!
|18/9/2010 We have discovered, following contact with ex CBS engineers, that the name is actually MAGNASYNC and the device is a Magnasync 602E, 16mm.. Further research has located a recording amplifier for the device for sale(!) at $750. Click here for more information|
|Even in those days VT people managed to get out of the Basement and join in with OBs at events like the Party Conferences. This set of four pictures comes from Bob Oakley (in monochrome) and Ian Rutter (in colour). There's a slight difference of remembrance over which Party the relevant conferences were - Bob says " I took the photos when I went, with Geoff (Higgs), to the Labour party conference in Scarborough in September 1967. Ian (see below) has them the other way round(!) - but, it was over forty years ago! Of interest is the RCA TR22 in the VT van - see also Stan Pow three years earlier in Innsbruck (above).|
|Ian Rutter says:
"It was for the party conference, I was there as a very new TA, on Radio Links at the time with John Stirling. It was very peaceful where we were up on the cliffs above at Dennis's Happy Holiday camp as we only had vision. The sound went via PO Lines. The camp has probably fallen into the sea by now. Alongside us was ITV. Both of us were running on generators and John and I were camping in the van overnight as the holiday camp was closed. I remember John settling who's turn it was to go out and start the genny in the morning for the cup of tea by up-ending my camp bed and tipping me out of the back door on to the cold wet grass. Being the BBC we had two generators and ITV had one. Theirs failed and we lent them our spare. Unfortunately our's then stopped and we ended up running both the BBC and ITV on one genny. We had to run a Tele-J wind up phone between us to make sure that we did not both plug in the kettle at the same time or the genny would have shut down. Starting the genny in the cold was by inserting an Ether cartridge in the inlet manifold and cranking the engine. Too much ether and you could split the crank case, not enough and the feeble battery gave up. You then had to hand crank the engine to start it. If you had any ether left over it smelt quite nice.
I also remember that the sea came over the wall and filled up a switch box. Being made of aluminium I was told it exploded in a most satisfactory way.
The B&W picture was the Tory conference but I was there for the Labour one. The two parties always chose the same seaside location to save money and usually ran their conferences back to back with just a week's gap to change the banners. I was once surrounded by Special Branch when Ted Heath as Prime Minister was speaking at Blackpool. I had forgotten to change my Labour pass for a Tory one!