Production desk

Now we need a production desk to put the Vision Mixer, Sound Mixer, Comms panel and other items on.

Marconi BBC Truck.

As you can see from this archive photo, the desk was a fairly simple affair constructed from a tubular base with a two-section top. The units are mounted on an angled part of the desk top, this allows the vision mixer operator (in particular) to see over the top of the mixer and view the pictures on the Mk III picture and waveform monitors which also acted as the preview monitors.

Production desk frame.
Production desk frame.

We managed to locate some square-section steel tubing which needed cutting to size, sanding, treating to remove the rust and finally spraying in the usual grey colour. Some “speedframe” offcuts were used to stabilise it and support the wooden top.

There was much measuring, scratching of heads and making of hardboard templates to make sure that the angles and distances were all correct as this was a “one-way ticket”!

Desk top preparation.

The wooden table-top being prepared. Richard is taking a well-earned rest after sawing lots of steel section!

Checking the desk.

A quick lash-up to check the sight-lines from the operator positions to the preview monitors. Richard and Dave are holding on to the equipment to ensure it doesn’t slide onto the floor. Quick Paul – take the picture!

Desk covering.

Next we covered the top with some cloth-backed grey vinyl. The strip closest to the camera will have a piece of wooden batten to help support the equipment and hide some of the cabling.

Final assembly.
Final assembly.
Temporary vision mixer.

Pictures of the final assembly – although the units are not yet fixed to the desk, friction and some invisible supports makes the magic happen!

Note that the vision mixer is not the one we intend to use (it’s a studio one not an OB one) – we’re still trying to source the “period correct” mixer.

The Comms Unit is a “pastiche” Marconi unit assembled from suitable spares! Not sure what the official Marconi type number for one of those is!!