Studio B8 by Chris Chambers

Chris Chambers sent this picture taken, in April 1980, on completion of an additional continuity built in the area previously Studio B8. He writes:-

This was built, as I recall, to relieve the problem of the late running maxi con project. The number of type D cons had proved to be insufficient to service the required radio services, so an extra con was needed in a hurry.

The picture shows the control cubicle of B8 with the announcers' studio through the glass. (Cubicle and studio were the other way round when the area was an ordinary studio.) Seated on the right is Jeff Bottom, the project manager for the work which had needed to cut through much red tape in order to get the job done in around four months. The people standing behind the desk are the SCPD project team who carried out the work. I am third from the right!

B8 went into service carrying Radio 3.

The control cubicle desk was made up of a lash-up of Type D, Local Radio desk parts and a good quantity of hand crafted components. There were several one-off design features, in particular in the announcers' desk. These included electronically balanced CMOS audio switching (using 4066s) and a VCA (voltage controlled amplifier) in the main announcers' fader circuit, all designed by myself. I believe it to be the first VCA inserted into a national radio broadcast chain and we did it without making any announcement of that fact. I recall a year or two later when Maxi cons went into service some "golden ears" complained that they could hear the VCAs in use with the new installations, not realising that Radio 3 had at least one in circuit at all times from early 1980!