Recollections of BBC engineering from 1922 to 1997
The British Broadcasting Corporation
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Eng Inf - The Quarterly Newsletter for BBC Engineering Staff

Home Up

Page last updated on 5 April 2007

A significant record of BBC engineering activities

Between 1980 and 1993 many BBC engineering activities were described in Eng Inf and a full set of 54 issues forms an excellent record of numerous achievements.  The BBC kindly offered a full set for this web site.

..and links to PDF documents.
Front page image
..and links to low definition enlargements.

Most issues also included an Editorial and a list of transmitters opened (many low power relay stations were built during the years that Eng Inf was published).

No. 1

Summer 1980



Major BBC showing at IBC (International Broadcasting Convention);

'Our standards are highest' D.E. (Director of Engineering);

405 ends, self-help begins;

Radio with data as well;

'Digital TK within five years' -says Sanders;

Faster News through Bush EDS;

BBC rays, in mirror, stop cars;

Major OB for Queen Mother's Thanksgiving;

25 year old Wrotham gets major re-build;

New continuity suite in BH basement (Broadcasting House, London);

More legs for PCM (distribution system);

Digits catch on in Local Radio;

Energy savers at ETD (Engineering Training Department);

Radio Newcastle;

Radio Leicester;

R.D. ahead in satellite broadcasting;

New HETD to review courses;

UK Teletext beats world rivals;

Components to lead digital future.

No. 2

Autumn 1980



D.E. reports on Commonwealth Broadcasting Association conference in Sydney;

Olympic Games not forgotten;

New film and video-tape dubbing theatre at Lime Grove;

International Broadcasting Convention, Brighton;

ERIC - Television graphics microcomputer;

New Electronically generated clock at IBC;

NICAM-3 put to the test at IBC;

Automatic tape reclamation equipment saves money;

COmputer for Processing Audio Signals, COPAS-2D;

Polyglot CEEFAX receiver;

Latest standards converter;

CMCCR-2 on the beach at Brighton;


Teletrack draw the crowds;

TV waveform Generator;

Marconi make and sell BBC Band II equipment;

New VHF Line up levels gives better results;


New Manager Engineering Promotions;

Manchester gets new stereo control vehicle SCV2;

R.D. engineers assist in EBU data tests.

No. 3

Winter 1980/1



BBC OPENS 1000th TV transmitter;

Award for CEEFAX paper;

ACE comes up trumps (standards converter);

CARFAX goes to court;

Electronic Nws Gthering;

Radio 1 at Wood Norton;

Designs '80 exhibition in langham;

D.E. addresses Es-i-C (Engineers in Charge);

Silver Streak launched (TV transposer);

Transmitter department: special feature:

Woofferton transmits to the world,

Remote Team keeps things going in the Western Highlands,

Kirk O'Shotts;

Confederation of aerial industries seminar at TV Centre;

New lighting system in TC 7 & 8 (Television Centre, London);

CEEFAX: live subtitles;

25th General purpose radio control room;

Royal opening for Manchester music studio.

No. 4

Spring 1981



Boat Race makes history for new 08 vehicles;

Digital Stills Store at R. D. (Research Department);

Cardiff: new continuity;

RF tests on new OB vehicles;

Equipment Department open day;

Loudspeaker developments;

BBC Piccadilly, Manchester closes;

Computer aids Project Planning;

Replacement of type D sound mixing desks;

TV Sound gets it together;

News from Pebble Mill;

Communications Department: Special feature;

Experimental SAW filters;

405 LINE Transmitters to close;

TV Licence - good value;

Crystal Palace 25 years old;

World at One from Studio 3C;

Bristol camera goes underwater;

Digital Television Standards:HRD reports from San Francisco;

Wrotham gets a new mast;

New microprocessor based routing system at Television Centre;

No. 5

Summer 1981



Live stereo from China - another first;

Studio 'B'-Manchester;

Equipment Department:Special feature;

Proposed Satellite Link to Cyprus;

McMichael to make Electronic Clock;

50th 'C' format VTR;

First Phase of new Dual-working Telecine Suite at TC;

Royal Wedding - with subtitles.

No. 6

Autumn 1981



The Royal Wedding;

Wrotham mixed polarisation;

Satellite Terminal made by RD.

No. 7

Winter 1981/2



Radio - Data will aid tuning;

Digital sound desk;

Radio Scotland continuity suite;

TC2 re-enters service;

"Showgirls" creates a wow;

BBC/Open University: special feature;

"C" format editing suite;

FLAIR graphics computer;

Real-time graphics from Designs Department;

Lesotho gets help from the BBC;

Valve section gets a new computer;

Engineers-in-charge meeting.


No. 8

Spring 1982



Enhanced CEEFAX on air;

Electronic stills store;

TV waveform analyser;

New studios for BH;

Automatic testing;

Extended PAL;

Digital transcoder;

NCl re-enters service;

Ampex make 4000 tape recorders;

Radio maintenance;

Transport Dept. computer;

Steerable array;

Silver streak licensed (UHF transposer);

Award to engineers


No. 9

Summer 1982



ETD Avon Wing;

Earth loops;

Radio mobile studios;

Draughtsmen training;

American sub-titles;

Audio recording tape;

HF stations automate;

2kW VHF amplifier;

High quality picture monitor;

New continuity in Cardiff;

Lime Grove;

TV training package.

No. 10

Autumn 1982



BBC and Rank Cintel;

The Merriman report;

International Broadcasting Convention 1982;

Automatic reverberation timer;

Video rostrum camera;

Headphone limiter;

Fibre optic transmissions;

LS5/9 loudspeaker;

Type 5 CMCR;

Stereo TV sound;

Electronic Test Card F.

No. 11

Winter 1982/3



Macro-bench at Bristol;

Satellites and C-MAC;

Community radio studios;

The Greenwood theatre;

E-i-Cs Conference;

Safety at heights;


Breakfast television;


Safety using solvents;

Transmitter news;

Satellite programme;


No. 12

Spring 1983



Satellite agreement;

Resistor colour codes;

Pebble Mill;

Towards the digital studio;

Radio outside broadcasts;

Ladder safety;

Fibre optics;

TV stereo sound;

Satellite link borrowed;

Designs Department modular audio storage system;

Remote control specification.

No. 13

Summer 1983



Queen's Award;

Radio Data;

Schedule Unit;

'Election '83' special feature

 - Radio;

 - External Services;

 - Television;

 - Regions;

Faster CEEFAX;

Satellites to Singapore;

Canopy at Pebble Mill.


No. 14

Autumn 1983



London to Birmingham link;
Fibre-optic agreement;
Topica support vehicle;

Film rostrum camera;

Maida Vale Studio 7;
Designs Department open day;
Studio 4, TVC.

No. 15

Winter 1983/4



Queens Award received;

Compact Discs;

Moorside Edge;

Digital labels;

140 Mbit/s YUV transmission;

Stereo sound with television;

ETD training package;

Radio Teleswitching agreement;

RTS monograph;
Saturation Line-Up Generator);

Safety at work.

No. 16

Spring 1984



DDE retires

OBA/8 in the war rooms

Pebble Mill refurbishments

Elstree studios

ETD new TV transmitter

Soundproof cabins

Digital stereo

Control vehicle

New CTA for Norwich

New CTA for Glasgow

Licence agreements

No. 17

Summer 1984



TCPD special feature:

Digital TV Sound looks good

VHF Radio re-engineered

C.O.E.R. Retires

Main station change

Stereo to Channel Islands not easy

Stereo OB link equipment

Regional Links

Monitoring Satellites

How the stations were built        

Power control a Gem

TCPD work on Ascension Island


Skelton automated

Power at TVC

Rampisham project

War-time TX replaced

Radio Bristol tests

DSS transponder tested

No. 18

Autumn 1984



Tenth International Broadcasting Convention

BBC stand at IBC84

BBC Engineer wins top IBC Award

On show at Woodlands

Licence Agreements

New waveform monitor

Stereo sound with television success

Flat plate antenna for DBS

Digital PAL decoder

Cuts in digital audio not easy

HDTV on display

Electronic news system on show

DuaI ChanneI Sound-in-Syncs

Loudspeaker components

Test card F

Rebroadcast receiver on display

New aerials for LF stations


Eagle towers re-furbished

OB vision links

Wenvoe mast

Remote OBs

No. 19

Winter 1984/5



New studio complex opened in Belfast

Licence agreements

Transcription service compact disc

Woodlands exhibitions

More developments at Pebble Mill (Birmingham)

New film dubbing and Sypher suites

Studio 8 control rooms refurbished

Major milestone in Bush modernisation (World Service)

405-line transmitters close

Dodford gone! (mast near Daventry demolished)

No. 20

Spring 1985



BBC 1 - bright new World

The cost of ITV

TV 36 camera cable

Improved videotape editing

Special effects compact disc

Animated graphics for new TV weather system

New steerable HF monitoring array

Digital PAL-to-PAL transcoder

House of Lords: first live television debate

No. 21

Summer 1985



The London Marathon

Radio 1 Moves to Egton

DBS Project Abandoned

As-Iarge-as-life with Macro-Glide

News Routing by Computer

Remote OB System

SCV5 for Manchester

LSI chip for NICAM 3

TC3 Refurbished

Film Dirt Detection

Princess Anne visits Pebble Mill

No. 22

Autumn 1985



New Digital Sound Mixing Desk

PSC Facilities at Pebble Mill

News VT Modernised

Greater Stand-by Power forBH

Successful Tests of the EBU/SMPTE DigitalRemote Control System

Radio 1 Needletimer

Licence to Manufacture

Data Transmission by Teletext

News from Equipment Department

No. 23

Winter 1985/6



Glasgow Studio 1 Refurbished

MSS (Message Switching System) Into Full Service

New North East Regional Headquarters (Newcastle)

New Triax Cable

60 Years of Transport

405 Line Converter Removed

Frequency Planning for Ancillary Services

BBC Prototype Tweeter

Routers Switched Into Service

No. 24

Spring 1986



New facilities at BBC training centre

Computer Keeps Track of 2000 Broadcast Services

Masterful Acorns

Outside Broadcast Peripheral Equipment

Glasgow Studio A back in service

Quantel DVE moved

Damage to Holme Moss Transmitter Station

New Local Radio Cars

D.A.T.V. - New concept for Television

Streak Test Waveform Generator

Satellite Control in TVC

Streamlined Text Handling

I.E.E. Television Conference

24-Track at ETD

Ceremonial Bays

"The Archers" Studio refurbished

Special Issue:
Commonwealth Games

July 1986

BBC - Host Broadcaster for XIII Commonwealth Games in Scotland 1986

No. 25

Summer 1986

World-wide Coverage for the Royal Wedding

IOOOth Ampex VPR

New OB vehicle for the Royal Wedding

New look for the Paris Studio

New Con's for Bush

Traffic noise levels in TC Stage 5

Designs and Equipment Departments Reorganised

NC 1 and NC2 Refurbished

No. 26

Autumn 1986



BBC Engineering at IBC 86

UHF Multi-Tone Generator

The EBU-SMPTE remote controller

DATV Research Concept

HDTV Field Rates

Stereo Sound with TV

RDS Radio Data System

Digital Video Effects Mixer

Datacast from Enterprises

Television Sub-titling

No. 27

Winter 1986/7



Transcription Service New OB Vehicle

The SCAR at Television Centre

Art File graphics system

AudioFile in Bristol

A Wide band VHF Aerial from Research Department

Swain's Lane Refurbished

No. 28

Spring 1987



BBC Engineering awarded fourth Queen's Award

Edit Suite for TV News

Electronic Graphics Area for TV News

New radio pager for west London TV premises

Transport moves to Park Western

TC 5 re-furbished

New Director of Engineering appointed

The Queen's visit to China: Part 1

No. 29

Summer 1987



New Director of Engineering looks ahead

New digital editing suite for TRU

Film dubbing at Lime Grove

Research Department demonstrate digital audio editor

PCM re-engineered bit by bit

The Queen's visit to China: Part 2

New machine to replay old cylinders.

No. 30

Autumn 1987



Sypher 3 and 4 enter service at TVC 

Novel waveform generator identifies sources

Manchester VT developments

New antenna testing facility at K.W.

New Glasgow TV continuities

Time on your hands? All is revealed

Radio News and Current Affairs on line

No. 31

Winter 1987



Queen's Award presented


BBC to give annual lEE Faraday Lectures

New graphics area for Cardiff

Newcastle move to new Broadcasting Centre

Southampton Alight

Process Shots in Post Production

Japanese Competition

Helicopter used to measure aerial patterns

No. 32

Spring 1988



New Radio OB vehicles

Design and Equipment Department

RACE: Research and development in Advanced Communications technologies in Europe

Westminster Studio refurbished

Temporary Studios A and B in Cardiff

New Sound Technology at TC

New library system for N &CA stills

No. 33

Summer 1988



Integration of D &ED now complete

Research agreement on digital audio editing

The IEE/BBC Faraday lectures

Some current VT recording formats

RDS- Radio Data System

CAD developments in the BBC

Special feature on D &E D

New facilities for satellite monitoring at Crowsley Park

Now you can make your own wideband FM aerial

ICCA refurbished

NC1 goes stereo

Tribute to Frank Wheeler

D & E D's semiconductor service

Two new studios for ETD

No. 34

Autumn 1988



IBC88 THE year of HDTV!

RDS takes off

D&ED's open days

Engineering safety

BBC Engineering at IBC88

The HDTV OB Vehicle

Birmingham initiative..

..Southampton initiative

New CEEFAX computer


No. 35

Winter 1988



The Broadcasting White Paper

Television downloading

PSC editing and conforming

A tale of three cities: Southampton, Glasgow and Belfast:

Bush sounds out the nineties

Some memories of 1988

The BBC Radio Show -an OB nightmare!

RDS - Taking radio into the 21st century!

No. 36

Spring 1989



Transmission wins GEC-Marconi maintenance contract

RD hosts Governors' meeting

Radio Sport - New computer system

Research Department - A tale of two bushes

Incorporated Engineer - A new grade of professional institution membership

Vertical blanking interval

Dundee new studio centre

Glasgow - two new 'micro cons'

Tristar - Transmission's new data management system

CAR - Conversion to stereo

CAR - New control-line router

South & East - New remote studios

Cardiff studio C2 re-enters service

No. 37

Summer 1989



New satellite link for Radio OBs

Research Department A special feature

'Engineering Information' on CEEFAX

Across the Channel bit by bit! - PCM to Channel Islands

Television Centre NC2 reopens in stereo

Cardiff - Improved Post-Production Facilities

Sunspots and magnetic storms

Wood Norton - New audio facilities

Radio OBs - new satellite link

MAC (Multiplexed Analogue Components) - a brief recap

N&CA - 3D graphics

No. 38

Autumn 1989



Enterprises signs Olympus satellite agreement

Charlie Sandbank honoured by the SMPTE

PS/163 Stabilised Power Supplier

Maida Vale - Studios 4 and 5 refurbished

The Olympus satellite project

CCD - cameras for the nineties

Ascension - new control system

Bush House - new infonnation display system

Broadcasting House - new travel centre

Broadcasting House - new network switcher

Birmingham - Studio 5 refurbished

Wood Norton - switchgear training

Engineering Safety papers - GP4 and GP6

HDTV - at Wembley, Wimbledon and Berlin

Notiingham - new East Midlands Broadcasting Centre

Elstree - Studio D refurbished

Radio WM - the 'Heartlands' project

No. 39

Winter 1989



CWR (Coventry & Warwickshire Radio) on target for January 17

Television Centre new music studio

D&ED Open Days report

Information Technology special feature

Caversham new listening room

Crowsley Park - new 11m KU-band antenna

Wood Norton demo unit for digital audio

TV Lighting the Q2 and Leopard control systems

South Bank - new broadcast facilities

World Service - roving publicity bus

Safety - New COSHH regulations

Digital Broadcasting special feature, part I

Wood Norton - component video area

No. 40

Spring 1990



The 'Six-Pips' time signal

Belfast - Further Post Production facilities

Bristol - Design Award for ACED

Broadcasting Bill - Additional Services

D&ED - Coded Equipment Register 1990

Digital Broadcasting (Part II) - Transmission Techniques and Standards

Enterprises - New Transmission Area at Television Centre

Film - A Medium or a Style?

HDTV - The future on display at Ally Pally

Network Radio New Time and Frequency distribution system; The Emsys computer system

Network Television The Telfax display system; Transfer of tv facilitiesfrom BH to CAR

Patent application - Auto-tracking antenna system

Phillips committee report - Funding the future

Research Department Computer simulation of Signal Processing

Safety - Noises At Work Regulations 1989

Wood Norton The McCrirrick Conference Centre

No. 41

Summer 1990



Live from Rome - HDTV

Bangor - Improved facilities for News

Design Group - New chip design capability

Digital Broadcasting (Part Ill) - Bit-rate reduction

Energy Management

Enterprises - Ceefax Mercury Paging agreement

Glasgow - Computing the Local Election results

HDTV - At the Ideal Home Exhibition

Leeds - Logica's DPA system

Network Radio - A New Pattern of Broadcasting; - A tasteful refurbishment

Network Television - Electronic stills system for Presentation

Radio Training - Studio 3 refurbished

Sutton Coldfleld - The first forty years

Vertical Blanking Interval - New usage from 8th June

No. 42

Autumn 1990



IBC 90 - Farewell to Brighton

ACED - Guide to Acoustic Practice

Digital Television - Spot the homologous structures!

EID - The FM promotion campaign 1990

Enterprises - The Cardcast fraud system

mc90 - The BBC's exhibits and papers

Local Radio - RT frequency changes

Network Radio - Radio 5's studio facilities; - The Radio Roadshows 1990

Network Television - New vision mixer for TC7; - New sound desk for Pres A

Research Department - 60th anniversary Open Days

Skelton - The flight of the fritillary

Southampton - New car parking areas

Television Scenery - Modular steel system

World Service - Punggol: the end of the line!

No. 43

Winter 1990



Stereo TV sound

D&ED - Open Days 1990

Engineering Management - Structural changes

Engineering Recruitment - The way forward

Engineering Training - First blind trainee

Local Radio - Radio Car comms system; - Solent's new studio premises

Loudspeakers - The BBC collection

Midlands Region - Fast response News vehicle; - East Midlands Today

NICAM Stereo - Initial UK coverage

Northern Ireland - New PABX system

Building Energy Management System

Optical TV routeing - Update on RACE Project 1036

Research Department - Programmable Gate Arrays

Safety - Blowing a fuse!

Scotland - Edinburgh's new facilities

No. 44

Spring 1991



The new network

ID entities

DAB - The story so far

EID - Moves to White City

Family Trees - D&ED and RD

Network Identities

Network Television - Sypher 1 reopens; - TCI reopens

RDS - Traffic Message Channel

Research Department - The Marriage of Figaro

Safety - To withdraw or not!

Transmission - Containerised FM systems; - New FM control system

World Service - Broadcast Coverage Dept.; - New Control Room

No. 45

Summer 1991



Digital Audio Broadcasting

Charter Review - The BBC as technical innovator

ENG.T.O.R. Transmission DEEs

Family Trees Transmission & Project Services

HDTV - HDMAC satellite tests at KW

IEE - New residential home

Local Radio - Programme Share and Contribution network

Network Radio - Radio l's Egton Studio 2; Radio l's Production Workshop

Network Television - Remote control of SWC; TC's l85kW UPS system

South & West Region - Plymouth's new TV studios

Royal Albert Hall Control Room refurbished

Stereo TV Sound Preparing for service

Transmission - UHF re-engineering

No. 46

Autumn 1991



TC's new dish antenna

ENG TOR - Positive action scheme for women

Family Trees - Eng R & D

Network Television - EastEnders Stage One

South & West Region - Southampton's new BC

Tel OBs - Cordless cameras for Golf

Transmission - Cyprus extension; - Rampisham's 2 x 500kW Tx; - Skelton 'c' development

Wales - New film dubbing theatre

White City - RF distribution system

World Service - Audibility improvement programme, 1981-91

No. 47

Winter 1991



New post production block

Electronic Graphics - Part I: Introduction

Family trees - Radio Ops & Eng

Film - Super 16 format

Local Radio - Radio Stoke's Reporter car

North Region - Manchester's Studio A

Network Radio - MV4's new control room

Network Television - 9m satellite antenna; - New Post Production block; - TOTP moves to Elstree

Radiophonic Workshop - Making COs write

SCART Connectors

South Region - Soton's new title sequence

Safety - Locking device for BA plugs

TV Training - New book titles added

No. 48

Spring 1992



Daventry closes

Daventry - A brief history

Digital HDTV - RD demo at WARC 92

Electronic Graphics - Part 2: digital formats; - Paint systems in use

Family trees - World Service Engineering

Network Radio - Three Neve 66 desks installed

North Region - Lightweight link units

Regional Broadcasting - The new English regions

Research Department - Controlled reflection zones; - The Wings computer system

Telecommunications - Part I: optical routeing

Wales - New TV continuity suites

World Service - The EDiT computer system

No. 49

Summer 1992



BH's 60th Anniversary

Broadcasting House - The Langham Leviathan

Digital HDTV - RD satellite demo

Electronic Graphics - Part 3: Picture storage; - Election 92

News & Current Affairs - Live news subtitling

Telecommunications - Part 2: voice and data networks

Vertical Blanking Interval - The one-line ITS


No. 50

Autumn 1992



R. D. demonstrations

Broadcasting House - Fit for another 60 years!

Development Group - New Title, New Roles

Electronic Graphics - Part 4: animation techniques

Equal opportunities - Engineering agrees six action points

Midlands Region - AMS Logic One Console

Network Radio - Drama Studio MV6

Network Television - Hot Lips 2

Telecommunications - Part 3: the White City scheme

Training - Manager's Technical Awareness Workshop; - DO Practice Handbook

Video Formats - Part I: analogue formats

No. 51

Winter 1992



Resources, Engineering and Services

Alexandra Palace - Battle of the beams (1940-41)

CEEFAX - New technology

Digital HDTV - BBC and BT demonstrate digital coding

Electronic Graphics - Part 5: animation stores

Family trees - Resources, Engineering & Services

loudspeakers - New amplifier for the LS5/8

Network Radio - The historic Blattnerphone

Network Television - Post Off-line Dubbing area

Recruitment - Joint BBC/CBI Workshop

Telecommunications - Part 4: Managed Telecomms Network; -It was only 4 digits to Rio

Video Formats - Part 2: digital formats

No. 52

Spring 1993



BBC Radio now on Astra

ASTRA satellite- BBC Radio Services now available

Family tree - Engineering Division

ITU - Its function and new structure

Local Radio - Cumbria refurbished

Network Radio - Radio 2's new transmission suites

North Region - Manchester's Edit Suite 5

Radio-Cameras - RD's new switched-horn system

Telecommunications - Part 5: self-provision of OB circuits

World Service TV- Impovements to BBCfax

No. 53

Summer 1993



BBC Weather Centre wins RTS award

BBC Weather Centre - New bi-media centre at TC

Family Tree - Radio Resources

NCA - News Programme Branding

Nicam TV Sound - The next five stations

BDMS profile (Building Design & Managements Services)

Digital Audio Broadcasting - Q&A

Research Department - European research projects; - Technical demonstrations in Brussels and Montreux

RFI - Weather-related interference

No. 54

Autumn 1993



Studio TC6 re-opens

Digital VT Editing - New suites for Glasgow and the OUPC

EBU - New Control Centre

Network Television - TC6 refurbished

News & Current Affairs - News Branding Graphics

Research Department - RINSE eliminates freeze-frame

Telecommunications - The Mk II NICAM network

Time Standard for PCs

Transmission - Automatic test equipment

No more issues of Eng Inf were produced.  

The transfer from the printed issues was done by Martin Ellen, NOT the BBC, using a scanner with automatic sheet feeding, together with software that produced the PDF files (which minimised the effort required).  Two different types of PDF file were produced, the "large file" version displays an image of the original which overlays invisible text that is searchable, and the "small file" version only displays the searchable text, with graphics.  Initially, it was not feasible to put the "large file" version on this web site as the file sizes range from 6 to 42MB per issue.  The "small file" version has file sizes between 1 and 16MB, with most at the lower end, so this is the version that was used initially on the web site.  In September 2013 the hosting service used by the web site was changed and it became feasible to offer the "large files".