RCA TK-28 Telecine Island
I have been in television since 1977. I was responsible for the maintenance and operation of the telecine island at the television
station where I used to work. The station, in the late 1970s, was still
airing a good part of the day on film. A good percentage of commercials, and
shows such as Kojak, Gomer Pyle, Rockford Files, and the late-night weekend
movies all aired on the RCA machines. I was given the responsibility of
keeping them up, because I was a film collector and loved 16mm at home, and
I had the patience it took to align the optics and the camera electronics.
I enjoyed running the late movies. I parked a chair by the film island and
kept it loaded while the on-air swicher ran the breaks and
remotely-controlled the system.
After a long week of heavy maintenance, I welcomed my "movie nights". When
I heard the telecine system was to be decommissioned, I asked what was to be
done with the equipment. I knew the untimely demise the TR-70s went
through, and I did not want these machines do endure the same fate. They
gave me one week to get it out of the building. In less than 5 minutes I
had a moving company contracted to move it to my house. The system sat in
my garage until I built an additional room onto my home to house the
system. When the day came to move it into the new room, I called the same
movers, and with dollies, they carefully moved it into place. I then spent
the next month aligning, painting, and renovating the system. I took a side
panel to my local Home Depot, and they matched the RCA "industrial broadcast
blue" color perfectly.
I use it to transfer film to tape and DVD for my present employer, as well as a local video editing company.
This is a complete working telecine island, with two TP-66 projectors, TP-55 multiplexer, TP-7 slide drum, and TK-28 camera.
It made me feel good to give this equipment a comfortable, working second life. There is nothing quite like the sound of a TP-66 running film.
A lot of programming I watched in my teen years came through this equipment. I am happy to have saved it. Many people who look at it have never seen a device like this.
Also, as far as I know, it's the only RCA island "on my street". With everything going digital, these machines, and to a less
extent, complete installations, are getting rarer. It has a good home now.