Discussion in 'Tape' started by jcamero, Sep 12, 2018.
Looking for something else, the image of a Marconi-Stille steel tape recorder popped up.
meh!....my Studer B67 is bigger...
Probably couldn't lift a reel of tape. Not a very high WAF either.
Unless the wife is the Bride of Frankenstein.
Great Googilie Mooglie!
The Chefs ...
Might need to build some bigger shelves to store those reels...Expedit/Kallax won't do it.
A very short lived format, also had safety issues. A modern good 1/2 track slow speed broadcast deck will outperform it.
I think it ran at 30ips. I read that rewind\fast forward operations were rather dangerous. No end of tape auto shutoff, crude brakes, and a lot of energy stored when those reels got spinning fast. Imagine one of those reels coming off it's hub at full boil......
It's actually worse than that. Those machines did not use tape but a steel ribbon spinning at 1.5 metres (5 feet) per second! Each reel weighed 55 lbs for just half an hour of program, and was so dangerous in case a ribbon broke that it sat in its own room - needless to say, no one was allowed to stay in while in operation. A monster of a machine, replaced by the AEG Magnetophon and its post-WWII lineage after only a few years of service.
http://www.orbem.co.uk/tapes/ms.htm contains a fairly comprehensive description of the machine, including a copy of the operator's manual. [https://www.arts-et-metiers.net/sit...nregistreurlecteurmagnetiquemarconistille.pdf] shows an earlier version of the Marcon-Stille, less monstrous than the final machine but still spooky.
But the Marconi is from 1935! In the technology climate of the time, it was an amazing achievement.
Yes, amazing for it's time. And did point the way to future tape machines.
Well, at that time it was a mature technology, and its successor was already being demonstrated in trade shows. The Marconi-Stille machine already had many of the features of modern recorders, as it used the principles of tape transport and head arrangement that survived in all the following generations. However it had been developed in the '20s, meaning that it filled a whole room and could never have been made portable, if only because of the weight and of the necessary protections associated to its recording medium. In short, it was a technological dead end.
In 1935, the same year it was put into service by the BBC, AEG released the Magnetophon K1 which was a vastly more modern machine: much more compact, self contained, usable on the field. It used magnetic tape instead of a steel ribbon, which brought both safety and the possibility to splice it. The steel ribbons of the Marconi-Stille could be repaired but you had to weld the joints, and it weakened the ribbon so that the latter was considered too dangerous and disposed of after only a dozen joints, so it was not an editable format.
Where's the shoulder strap and headphone jack?
In the next room
More or less the wire recorder's big, dangerous brute of a cousin.
BTW I've found a video showing a restored blattnerphone in operation. The blattnerphone (1930) was the predecessor of the MS machine showed on the photo above, smaller, using a wider ribbon (6 mm vs. 3), even more dangerous to use. The two guys on the video were certainly taking risks by standing next to the machine while it was running, don't do this at home
Some blattnerphone porn (and more details on both versions): http://rfwilmut.net/broadcast/recording2.html.
And finally, here is the 1942 BBC engineering division training manual, featuring the history and most of the technical details of the Marconi-Stille recorder (see pages 182-188):
https://www.americanradiohistory.com/Archive-BBC-Books/BBC-1942-Engineering-Training-Manual.pdf. One will notice the absence of AC bias (this improvement appeared on the German Magnetophon at about the same time as the manual was published), and the judgements on the cost, reliability, safety and recording durability of this machine.
... And a technical description of the system by its designer himself: https://www.americanradiohistory.com/Archive-Marconi-Review/Marconi-Review-1934-01-02.pdf
It's amazing what you can find on the internet when you use the right keywords.
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