The picture below shows the Coronation mobile television repeater van outside Buckingham Palace, London (1953)
The Post Office Electrical Engineers Journal
A Vehicle for Television Outside Broadcast Service
The new vehicle shown in the accompanying illustrations has been designed to accommodate equipment used by the Post Office in the provision of temporary vision links for B.B.C. television outside broadcasts. Two of the vehicles were in use during the Coronation broadcast; several more will shortly be going into service.
In selecting a chassis for this vehicle great attention was paid to obtaining minimum vibration during running and ensuring the ability to withstand the wear and tear associated with manoeuvring the vehicle on and off broadcast sites, some of which may be difficult of access. The main feature of the chassis finally adopted is a suspension system using semi-elliptic springs operating in conjunction with double-acting piston-type hydraulic dampers. The power unit, a 4-cylinder side-valve engine rated at 16 h.p. is mounted on rubber to reduce vibration, and transmits power via a 4-speed gearbox.
The body of the vehicle consists of a timber framework with outer panels of aluminium alloy and inner panels of plywood, the space between them being packed with a heat-insulating material. The plywood surface forming the interior of the vehicle is covered with P.V.C. fabric. In the rear compartment of the body, partitioned off from the driver's cabin, some 40 sq. ft. of floor space is available with 6 ft. headroom. Against the partition and extending the full width of the vehicle is a 2 ft. wide table on which the equipment is set out when the vehicle is on a broadcast site. When not in use the table can be folded back against the partition, leaving maximum clear floor space for stowing equipment in transit. Access to the rear compartment is obtained via a central glazed door at the rear of the vehicle.
To facilitate wiring distribution for the television equipment, a channel fitted with hinged covers in 2-ft. sections extends from a terminal board at the rear of the vehicle to the table. The security and neatness of permanent wiring is thus obtained together with flexibility for wiring changes to meet various conditions. Flush-fitting cable entry flaps hinged at their upper edges are fitted on either side of the rear door.
Sockets for carrying the aerial post are located on the outside of the vehicle at the rear. The aerial post is made up of two sections of standard duralumin pruning rod, a full set of rods being carried so that the height of the aerial may be increased if necessary. The lowest length of rod provides at its upper end a convenient anchorage for power cables.
A 3-section aluminium extension ladder is carried in the vehicle secured by straps over the offside wheel arch. The cab accommodation affords comfortable seating for the driver and four passengers with locker space under the rear bench seat.
Last revised: February 05, 2021