P5 – The power of television

Richard Harris & Jeffrey Borinsky

What do you do at a television outside broadcast (OB) when you’re miles from the nearest mains supply? Or you have mains but nowhere near enough current for the heavy demands of an OB? The answer is a mobile generator.

This article appears in the bulletin of the British Vintage Wireless Society, Vol 46 Summer 2021. It is © British Vintage Wireless Society.

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My “Palace of Arts” Days

By Dan Cranefield, Senior Engineering Manager, BBC Tel OBs

The Palace of Arts, Wembley during the 1948 Olympics.
Photo: BBC Archive via web.archive.org.

After the war BBC Television Outside Broadcasts (Tel OBs) operated from their base at the Palace of Arts in Wembley, one of the substantial buildings which were built there specially for the British Empire Exhibition in 1924. Some of these buildings were put to other uses later on.

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BBC Power Generators

By Richard Harris. Updated 2021-02-27.

All outside broadcast (OB) units need electric power but supplying it lacks the interest of the OB trucks themselves. At BECG our thoughts turned to this vital subject with our acquisition of a 1953 BBC generator truck. In this article, we survey the various ways in which power was provided for BBC OB trucks and look in particular at the 10 generator trucks that the BBC operated.

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