Saturday, September 18, 2010

Here is the definitive answer to the question about those last pictures.
It seems that this conversation has become bi-continental!

Hi, Howard,
Thanks for the kind words. Happy to help.
Equipment identifiers Jeff Kreines and Len Modzelesky areCC'd on this e-mail.
So is Harold Deppe, Jr., who picked up your need from the CBS Retirees website, and the CBS Retirees webmaster. Dave will likely post it for the retirees' edification. We'll let the QuadList and AMIA-List know, too.
The folks there might be interested in the background of the pictures.
Someone may have a clue or two as to what was being recorded. A number of CBC archivists are on the AMIA List. Who knows? They might have or know where to find the material seen on the machines!
I wonder whether the magnetic sound was being recorded along with VT and telerecordings (aka Kinescopes) for editing as film with later match-back using videotape?
NBC developed a very sophisticated process for doing so called Editors Sync Guide (ESG).
The late editor Art Schnieder described the process on a page of the late Quad engineer and computer editor designer Dave Calaway's Editing Museum website.
That site and Art's description is preserved in several places, including (guess where):
So, let's keep in touch. There's a lot of knowledge and old war stories to share. Please pass the Quad Videotape Group website on to folks you know.
We'll be making more of our Links page soon and will include VTOldboys.
Have a great Weekend.

Ted Langdell,

Secretary for the
Preserving Tape, Equipment and the Knowledge to use them, in conjunction with the Library of Congress
ted at

On Sep 17, 2010, at 4:23 PM, Howard Dell wrote:
Hi Ted,
Many thanks for getting back to me so quickly - and with the answer, too!
Google, of course, does know about Magnasync and presented a shot of the recording amplifier, although seemingly a slightly earlier version than in our old photos.
Perhaps you've had a look at the BBC OldBoys website - lovingly mastered by our Chris Booth, stuffed full of (mainly Quad) memories and stills of the BBC Television VT operation - mainly London with some remote stuff. I think we now have approaching two and a half thousand shots on the website starting from about 1960. The place was run by kids in those days!
All we know about that Magnasync setup is that the photos were taken by one of the BBC location engineers on 6 May 1960 when the BBC was covering the wedding of Princess Margaret. He stuck his head into the temporary installation of one of the foreign broadcasters who were taking the BBC video feed and grabbed the shots. The note on the back of the photos doesn't say who the setup belonged to, but it does say they were recording a French commentary. Now at that time Canada was still pretty close to the Royals - and the French certainly not (we're always sniping at each other) - so we reckon it was probably CBC.
Now here's an interesting thought. You can't see it clearly on the photo I sent you, but with magnification on the original you can read temporary Dymo labels on a couple of the recorders which identify them as VT23 and VT24. VT23 and VT24 were the numbers of two BBC Ampex VR1000 channels at that time. Were the Magnasync machines recording a second sync audio track of the VT recordings? Maybe English commentary on the VT, and French on the Magnasync? If so, what were they synching to - video or control track? It was many years before we ran separate sync audio as routine at the BBC, and then we used timecode. We never saw Magnasync machines.
Thanks for the invitation but sadly none of us will be at NAB - but we do have a reunion lunch next week at a pub not too far from Heathrow so you're welcome to join us! I have forwarded the URL of your Quad group to several guys - one who is occasionally still working with Quad for an archiving company and who may be worth sharing information with.
Please pass on our thanks to Jeff Kreines and Len Modzelesky for their swift and helpful replies. We can now caption those shots correctly!
Let's keep in touch.
Best Wishes,
Howard Dell.
16 Birkett Way
Chalfont St Giles
Bucks. HP8 4BH, UK
Tel: +44 (0)1494 764149
----- Original Message -----

From: Ted Langdell

To: Howard Dell

Cc: Deppe Jr

Sent: Friday, September 17, 2010 2:36 PM

Subject: Re: BBC boys question--What is this machine--Magnasync 602E

Hi, Howard,
Greetings from the US of A.
You'd asked the website about what you thought was a "Picnsync" 16mm magnetic film recorder.

We have an answer for you, through several hands.
Harold Deppe, Jr is a video engineer with Quad experience. His Dad (Harold, Sr.) is one of the retirees whose name you'd likely see on the website.
Harold Jr. saw your request on the retirees website and passed it on to me (SEE BELOW) thinking some of the folks on the Quad Videotape Group QuadList would be able to identify it.
I also thought someone on the Association of Moving Image Archivists list would have a good clue, so I posted a link to the photo there.
Via the AMIA-L, film maker/film equipment maker Jeff Kreines says:
On Sep 17, 2010, at 5:08 AM, Jeff Kreines wrote:
Magnasync 602E, 16mm.
Very common in the US, successor to the X400 series.
Jeff's post was quickly followed by Voice of America Moving Image Librarian Len Modzelesky, who just said, "Magnasync."
So, we hope this helps. Can you tell us more about the photo and how you came to need an ID?
Feel free to take a look around and to join the QuadList. We have a number of members in the UK, Australia, New Zealand, India, Canada, Germany and who knows where else.
If you're in the US for NAB, please join us on Tuesday for lunch at 12:30, somewhere within the complex.
With IBC just ended... might be fun to propose a Quad/Editing/Telecine gathering there.

Ted Langdell
Secretary for the
Preserving Tape, Equipment and the Knowledge to use them, in conjunction with the Library of Congress
ted at