Meeting the Requirements of Television
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WITH the further development of the VV B.B.C. television service comes the necessity for transport vehicles designed and built specifically for the work. One such is shown in the accompanying illustrations, with body and equipment built by Merryweather and Sons, Ltd., Greenwich Road, S.E.10.
The basis of this unusual type of machine is an Albion Victor chassis with forward control and fitted with a 65 b.h.p. four-cylindered petrol engine.
The steel-panelled body is of the totally enclosed type and is intended for the accommodation of aerial equipment and cables and other impedimenta. In addition to the usual cab doors, a third door is provided in the centre of the body on the near side. This door is hinged at the bottom, so that when opened it serves as a ramp to facilitate the loading and unloading of cable drums and other material of a weighty nature. Means for operating it are provided in a steel cable carried on a concealed drum, a handle for turning the drum being arranged on the outside of the vehicle. The interior of the body is lined with plywood.. Inside dimensions are: length 13 ft., width 6 ft. 9 ins., and height 5 ft.
Perhaps the most interesting features of this machine are the extensible ladder and the manner in which it is accommodated on the body roof. 824
The ladder, which, in the fully extended position, reaches a height of 80 ft., is in four sections, each section being braced by means of steel tension rods. Rungs are provided only in the top section, as it is intended to elevate the ladder, in the first instance, sufficiently for a man to ascend to attach the aerial and to connect the cables, prior to the extension of the ladder to the working height of the aerial.
Mounting of the ladder is by means of trunnions located at the apex. of an A frame, which is secured to the chassis, and arrangements are made for locking the base of the ladder, when in the extended position, to the chassis.
For operating the ladder power is obtained from the vehicle engine through the medium of a power takeoff on the gearbox, engine control being arranged at a convenient point at the rear of the machine. The ladder can be operated manually when required. It will be noted that, in the erected position. the base of the ladder is accommodated in a suitable cut-away section at the rear end of the .body. In the travelling position the ladder lies along the roof, and the roller shutters effectively close in the vacated space.
In order to provide stability when the ladder is extended, the rear of the vehicle is raised off the ground by means of four screw jacks, to which access is gained by raising flush-fitting panels which serve to cover the jacks when travelling.
The geneml finish of this piece of equipment is both smart and pleasing, the body being in Burlington green, with a waist line in Langham grey, in which colour the ladder and body roof are also finished.
We reported the intention of the B.B.C. to acquire this vehicle so far back as March 25 of this year. ,