I accepted a position of technician at the University of Maryland RTVF department in 1977, and worked there until 1983. It would be easy to chalk up to nostalgia my interest in preserving the RTVF Tech Center history. But I continue to run into media professionals in the Washington D. C. area who also enjoy reflecting on their time spent at RTVF. One, a PBS Master Control operator (upon hearing my name in the headset traffic) asked the producer to take a quick look at me and tell her if I was an “old guy”…surprised I suppose that I’m still kicking around D.C.
I had been a night student in RTVF for several years prior to accepting a position in TV Engineering. I had seen RCA quad machines (vacuum tube type) in Tech Center, as well as a small (sometimes “touchy”) video switcher in Control B. When I interviewed, these items were gone. During my first year, I stumbled upon a pair of RCA TK-42 color cameras, an RCA monoscope test pattern generator, an RCA TK 41 4 tube color camera, and so much other gear that I drew certain conclusions about the past operation of the facility. “Lore” from various people suggested that programming had been produced for PBS in the past. Commercial stations played programming from our facility (in the past). But I never followed up with those truly in the know about such things.,
So there you have it. As I learn things about the former RTVF TV facility, I’ll post it here.