Museum Hours:

Saturday 10-6

Sunday 12-5

 
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Early Broadcast Equipment

Jim Diaz's RCA TK-31 Restoration

Jim's comments:

The “cosmetically” restored camera, with the KTTV Channel 11 - Los Angeles markings, is mounted on an early version of the Baughman Spider.  This early Baughman Spider does not have a lever or hand-crank used to raise / lower the camera height, which was added in later versions. The tripod wheels are also fixed and not adjustable as added in later versions.

The camera pan and tilt action is provided through a Houston Fearless Cradle Head which was an optional feature, subsequent to the standard initial Friction Head on the RCA TD-11A Tripod.

I have equipped the camera with the standard Kodak Ektanon Television lenses: 50mm, 90mm and 135mm.  In addition, I added the RCA optional Ilex 8 &1/2” lens, which most television stations also included.

The restoration was completed by a local San Francisco Bay Area gentleman.  His specialty is repairing and restoring automobiles.  He is an excellent craftsman and technician, as you can via the “before” and “after” photographs.  He will be restoring, later this year, my second RCA TK-31A and the RCA TK-30A I purchased from the ETF.

Before restoration