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Project If Rediffusion Reditune had Continued... Perhaps the MP22?

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crustytv
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In light of recent comments in another thread, I'm probably going to get lynched for this, however, maybe I'll be cut some slack. In all my years' of repairs and TV restorations, I've not done anything like this before, swampy the TP48A resurrection, is a typical example of what I always try to do.

Anyway, enough with the excuses, on with the story.

What if.....

Let's suspend reality and just imagine Reditune were still in operation, and they still produced a modern version of their background music systems in 2022, perhaps the MP22?

Background

Going back a few months, as I was never quite sure if Swampy was going to be a viable repair to actually work, so as a parallel task, I decided to try and build my own background music system. I ordered one of those cheap eBay media players, and waited a couple of months for it to arrive. In the meantime, I gathered lots of period background music from 3M, Seeburg and other offerings. When the unit arrived from China, it was time to set about adapting something to suit.

Mediap

Early in the year I had purchased, for the princely sum of £14, an old 70s 8-Track player. It had been got at in  a number of ways, I couldn't be bothered to invest time sorting it out, especially when I already had a decent 8-track in the form of the Ferguson 3440, so the £14 bargain, was put on the spares pile.

The cabinet however was rather nice, and slowly the idea came to me this might make a project. The internals were removed and in place their place, a couple of speakers were installed. One facing forward and one facing down over an air vent on the base board, the feet and slider apertures providing clearance for the sound. I found a spare piece of speaker grill from an old CTV, cut out the slot for the media player fascia and cut the matching slot in the front of the cabinet. Located a suitable 7.5V 1A PSU, and hooked everything up, including the original external Phono's for extension speakers. This meant it was not only a standalone device, it could be hooked up to the speakers that service the three areas of the museum.

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Hence, the title, the imaginary prototype Rediffusion MP22 was born, MP=Media Player, 22=this year. It has a 16 GB USB stick, which contains 128.5-hours of continuous, period background music before repeat. Some of the files are 11-hours long, so you can see how the hours start to add up.

tunes

So now my museum background music is provided by two alternating systems, the MP22 in conjunction with the Reditune TP48A which has just 40-hours of music spread across 10 4-Hour tapes. Rather than running the TP48A 7-days a week all year, the "MP22" will lighten the load on the TP48A, preserving those precious tapes and new head.

This means in total I have 168-hours of music, 21-days before a repeat, if used for 8-hours per day.

The neat thing about it, is that it's a portable unit with those self-contained speakers, so it can be used to supply the workshop speaker system (one speaker shown below), or moved anywhere to provide background music.

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I'll await the mob with burning torches. 😮 

 

CrustyTV Television Shop: Take a virtual tour
Crusty's TV/VCR Collection: View my collection
Crustys Youtube Channel: My stuff
Crusty's 70s Lounge: Take a peek

 
Posted : 09/04/2022 8:59 pm
Alex728, slidertogrid, WayneD and 12 people reacted
Cathovisor
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<fx: looks for lighter>

 
Posted : 09/04/2022 10:01 pm
Cathovisor
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I shall look enviously at your Telefunken 743 instead.

 
Posted : 09/04/2022 10:03 pm
WayneD
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That is very similar in concept to the device that replaced the cassette-based talking newspaper system for the blind. 

 
Posted : 10/04/2022 1:02 pm
Nuvistor
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@wayned 

I was a volunteer repairer for the RNIB and fixed many Clarke and Smith cassette machines, they later replaced those with CD units made by a Canadian company using the Daisy format, have they changed the format again to USB pen drives?

Note the cassette was quite a large affair compared with the compact cassette and had 6 tracks and a total of 12 hours playing time using 1/4 inch tape.

 

Frank

 
Posted : 10/04/2022 9:21 pm
WayneD
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@nuvistor I don't know if this was a local thing but the talking newspaper around here used standard audio cassettes and then moved to USB pen drives around the late 00s. I have some cassettes with the last few recordings on and there's advice for their listeners on receiving and using the new digital players.

 
Posted : 10/04/2022 9:29 pm
WayneD
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@nuvistor I found one of the tapes.

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Posted : 13/04/2022 7:14 pm
Nuvistor
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@wayned 

These were the RNIB cassettes, much larger..

https://www.radiomuseum.org/r/clarkesmit_tapete_cartridge_of_electronic_book.html

Frank

 
Posted : 13/04/2022 8:18 pm
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Alex728
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This reminds me a bit of Coomber audio equipment, very common in schools in the 1980s.

Coomber are still going with a UK factory - their current equipment has modern features like Bluetooth but still looks like something from decades ago!

I remember reading an article where the gaffer was interviewed and asked about this - he said "this is done on purpose"; it means when/if a school gets burgled, the thieves usually don't bother nicking it  😀 

 
Posted : 20/04/2022 5:19 pm
Cathovisor
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@alex728 My junior school was very much a C&S stronghold. I have one of the FM radios and a record player.

In a similar vein were Portogram - also still going strong.

 
Posted : 20/04/2022 7:30 pm
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Alex728
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@cathovisor there was some long disused/abandoned C&S stuff at high school (the remnants of some PA system existed in the 6th form buildings) - at junior school music was played using a mix of Coomber and Philips equipment (the Philips N4308 reel to reel turned up at just about every school I went to from the late 1970s onwards)

 
Posted : 20/04/2022 7:49 pm
Cathovisor
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@alex728 We moved into a new school building that combined the two separate infant and junior schools in my village in late 1974 and I think the C&S FM radio was left in the old building, but the C&S record player and the Truvox R102 tape recorders came across. From fuzzy memory, the radio was replaced with a large Philips transistor set.

At secondary school, tape recorders were Tandberg series 15s.

 
Posted : 20/04/2022 8:10 pm
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crustytv
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An update to this project

The "MP22" has been providing non-stop daily background music to the Museum/Workshop. I've also spent the last few months finding hundreds of period tunes. Many available on YouTube and converting them to MP3 files.

As I mentioned in the initial post, this project was my re-imagination of a Nostalgic Reditune player using modern technology. I've also tried to stay true to the original and follow the colour coded cart system, though this was limited to what I had in stock.

Each stick runs for almost 28-days if used for 12-hours a day, all without repeat. When the USB stick is removed, it reverts to playing Test card music via the micro TF card. This holds the entire Test card catalogue. When a new stick is inserted, that stops and the USB starts.

New and old for comparison

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To further expand its capabilities, I can connect the 8-track recorder/player via Aux input (grey lead), also my 80s TEAC cassette deck (black lead).

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CrustyTV Television Shop: Take a virtual tour
Crusty's TV/VCR Collection: View my collection
Crustys Youtube Channel: My stuff
Crusty's 70s Lounge: Take a peek

 
Posted : 20/07/2022 4:26 pm
WayneD, Lloyd, Alex728 and 6 people reacted
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