Re-Birth of MCR21

in the 21st Century

MCR21 or LO21 is now 53 years old

where will it be in 53 years time?


This project is to restore it

to it's original “as new” condition


To bring to life how OB's were made

and to ensure it's survival for another 53 years!


LO21 as arrived

MCR21 arrived on the June 1979.

When it arrived there was little equipment left in it, the main item being the correct vision mixer and PA's desk, but I was fortunate in being able to obtain the correct sound mixer and EM's desk for it. So over half of the equipment was of the correct original BBC specification.


mixing desk

Here's the production desk with the 10 channel cut & A-B mixing. Split fader operation was possible and a selection of wipes could be used.

The Sound desk had 20 channels divided into 3 groups, provision is made for PA outputs and extensive monitoring. There is no provision of equalisation, a flat mixer. In case of power failure the whole sound chain reverted to batteries.

The Engineering Managers desk had the manual telephone exchange and good talkback facilities.


MCR21 in Blue liveryAll those years ago when I first got it, a paint job was needed and blue seemed a good colour. I took the interior and cameras through several re-fits as better equipment became available. This was all before I joined the BBC. Fortunately I kept all the original fittings so the back half is almost as 1963.


The monitor stack and equipment area was not there so I was free to re-fit as I wished. It currently has 3 Marconi MkVIII automatic colour cameras fitted.

Now the wheel has turned and the plan is to return it to as near the original 1963 condition as possible, another re-build!”


MCR21 monitor stack

The monitor stack will have to be re-built to the original plan, I do have some good pictures of the front of the stack and some of the original fitments.

I am going to use the next generation of Pye monitors which were/are much more reliable. Does anyone recall what the 4 white units in the middle did?, The layout for the engineering area is needed.





It is planned to set up a trust to care and preserve MCR21 and other historic artefacts.

Much needs to be done and volunteer help will be needed.

Brian Summers brian(at)

Nick Gilbey nick(at)

Museum of the broadcast TV camera


MCR21 equipment list, found and to be found!

MCR21 Wiring diagram with cable numbers.