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The MBT Logo is a loving homage to the great RCA Company, created by Peter Fasciano. The reflection in the silvered sections is a reverse image of the gold statue of Prometheus, located at 30 Rockefeller Plaza. Another deeper homage to a place and time of great significance to Broadcasting history. (Click on pictures for full-sized versions)

At the Thursday, June 22, 2012 meeting...
A joint event with SMPTE/New England,
SBE Society of Broadcast Engineers - Chapter 11
and the Massachusetts Broadcasters Association

By Paul Beck

This was a special open house and self-guided tour of the evolving Museum of Broadcast Technology, based in Woonsocket, Rhode Island, with satellite offices and facilities in Brookline and Foxborough, MA.

First time visitor gets a hands-on look at the Philips LDK-9000 720p HD camera system with 40x lens.

The MBT is a private museum that is a venture to foster the objectives of Preservation, Restoration and Education with respect to Radio and Television technologies and tools, spanning from 1930 to present day.

Tom Sprague discussing the RCA TR-70A VTR and a recent repair of the FM circuitry with allowed the unit to play as good as new.

The special meeting was the first large-scale Open House for the MBT and its management staff after 5 years of construction and preparations. The Museum is a WORK-IN-PROGRESS and is not yet open to the general public at this time. It is planned to be a museum that will be opened on an appointment basis within the next year.

1969-era RCA TK-44A color camera.

Video operator's station for the four RCA TK-44A color cameras.

Senior Broadcast Engineer Jay Ballard steps back to admire his hard work with four working RCA TK-44A systems..

Also planned are Seminars and Colloquia related to Motion Imaging and Communications technologies where the MBT will play host for small gatherings, workshops and webinars.

RCA TK-11/31 B&W Orthicon camera.

1950-1965 era RCA TK-31 and TK-14 B&W field cameras being restored.

As part of it's mission to undergird the Education arm of it's mission, the MBT is positioning itself to assist the Motion Imaging and Broadcast Communications communities by enabling access to a facility and space that is conducive to broad information exchanges related to these rapidly changing technical fields.

RCA TK-40A color camera from Oklahoma City, circa 1954. S/N 00007.

At this first Open House meeting event, the many guests from all over the New England area also included distinguished members for the New York SMPTE Section and the Connecticut Sub-Section.

One of four working RCA TK-47 color camera systems.

Master Video Operator's station for the four RCA TK-47 color cameras.

Over 80 attendees had the opportunity to meet the Founders and Curators of the Museum: Thomas R. Sprague, Henry L. Berman and Paul R. Beck, along with several Museum Founding Collaborators, they being Technical Managers: Jay Ballard, Marc Berman and Peter Fasciano.

The ever-popular Norelco PC-70 camera.

Norelco PC-70 Image tubes in yokes with prism and deflection circuits.

EQUIPMENT ITEMS ON DISPLAY: (Partial list) Over 100 assorted Broadcast Cameras and over 75 assorted Industrial and professional Video Recorders and Telecine Systems ranging from 1954 through 2006 were available for inspection. Working RCA TK-44A and TK-47 cameras were on display for hands-on experiences as well as an Ampex VR-1000HB and TR-70A Video recorders playing 2" Quad tapes.

RCA TR-600 Quad VTR featuring the extra-gentle tape handling via B-Wind technique.

RCA TR-600 Quad VTRs in a grouping.

RCA TPR-10 Quad VTR featuring 'portability.' It weighs 100 pounds.


During the light barbecue buffet that was provided, the guests were treated to some historic Video clips from the Joe Roizen collection originally produced by Ampex for training and sales promotion purposes. These were well-executed demos of Editec and related VTR enhancements of the 1958-1959 time period.

Other Joe Roizen Video and Film Clips including the famous Nixon-Khrushchev Kitchen Debate in Moscow in 1959 with an Ampex VR-1000 and RCA TK-41 camera. Guests were treated to viewing the entire video recording of that event, complete with camera deflection and power supply failures during the live event, as well as Joe Roizen's personal home movies of the technical set up with the RCA camera and the Ampex Colorized VR-1000.

Venerable Vinten 556 pneumatic pedestal with a newer, later-model, Vinten head.

The Museum of Broadcast Technology is a 501(c) 3 registered charitable entity. Donations of Corporate or private funds of from one thousand to five thousand dollars annually support the Museum's activities and outreach year long. Such are always gratefully received. The emerging Website is:

For more information, contact Paul R. Beck at 617-824-8834 or

RCA TK-28B Telecine in the throes of full restoration with a TP-55 Multiplexer.

The ubiquitous RCA TM-6 Master Monitor with integral waveform monitor, circa 1957.

The Bank Vault is ideal for storing technical manuals and documentation.

Great to have a 'SAFE PLACE' to store rare small parts and components.

MBT Engineer Cheryl Lustenberger and MBT Creative Director Lois Deblasi.

MBT Founder Thomas R. Sprague telling the tale of the conversion of the Ampex VR-1000 to High Band in the 1970s.

Distinguished Technologist Peter Fasciano chats with Dr. Henry Berman.

The Museum of Broadcast Technology resides in the former Woonsocket Institute For Savings. It provides about 10,000 square feet for displays and about 5,000 square feet for storage and administration.

Paul Beck is Co-Founder of the Museum of Broadcast Technology.

Click here for writeups of other past meetings

Posted: 20 July 2012
Bob Lamm, SMPTE/New England Newsletter/Web Page Editor