BBC RD4/1 (EMI L2B) portable tape recorder

Made:
1958 in Middlesex
maker:
British Broadcasting Corporation

BBC RD4/1 (EMI L2B) portable audio tape recorder, BBC-modified (fitted with transistor electronics - originally these recorders were equipped with 7 valves). Converting the electronics from valves to transistors gave the recorder a much longer battery life. Tape rewind was still with a crank handle. This L2B machine has a capstan speed of 7.1/2 inches per second (ips). The type L2A ran at 3.3/4 ips, and L2C ran at 15 ips.

This portable tape recorder was used for news reports and other outside broadcasts. It was one of the first portable reel to reels produced by EMI, and of the three variants that existed of this device this one (L2B) was the most common.

While one reel would hold tape for recording, the other was for replay. To save battery, the recorder has a rewind handle at the top of the lid which would allow the user to manually rewind the tape rather than using power.

Details

Category:
Television
Object Number:
2012-5118/191
Materials:
metal (unknown) and plastic (unidentified)
type:
tape recorder
taxonomy:
  • furnishing and equipment
  • tools & equipment
  • audio equipment
credit:
The BBC Collection