Video Portable Tape Recorder VPR 5

Kudelski SA; Cheseaux-sur-Lausanne

  • Year
  • 1984
  • Category
  • Sound/Video Recorder and/or Player
  • ID
  • 266351
    • Brand: Nagra

 Technical Specifications

  • Number of Transistors
  • Semiconductors present.
  • Semiconductors
  • Main principle
  • Audio-Amplification
  • Wave bands
  • - without
  • Details
  • Video-Taperecorder/-Player
  • Power type and voltage
  • Batteries / addl. power jack / ? / 10 -18 Volt
  • Loudspeaker
  • - For headphones or amp.
  • Material
  • Metal case
  • from
  • Model: Video Portable Tape Recorder VPR 5 - Kudelski SA; Cheseaux-sur-
  • Shape
  • Portable set > 8 inch (also usable without mains)
  • Dimensions (WHD)
  • 442 x 137 x 215 mm / 17.4 x 5.4 x 8.5 inch
  • Notes
  • The NAGRA VPR-5 is a remarkable piece of engineering, one can be see in The Metropolitan Museum of Modern Art,  New York. It is a video portable tape recorder using 1” magnetic tape in C format. VPR 5 development plans were introduced to professionals at the 1982 IBC convention at Brighton.  However its production only begins in 1984. Sony Betacam format using cassettes with ½” tape (more practical)  was announced one year before and VPR 5 market suffers with this and with its high price of US$ 45,000. AMPEX, a professional video recorder maker with high quality tradition, made some improvements in initial NAGRA design and VPR 5  was marketed as AMPEX NAGRA VPR – 5.

    VPR 5 Main Specifications:
    Tape format: 1 inch width tape - helicoidally scan tracks for video heads and linear movement for audio and Time Code heads.

    Reels: 5.5” to 9” diameter (special reels)
    Case:  CNC milled anodized aerospace alloy (A7750).
    Tape speed: 9.6 ips (NTSC)  or 9.44 ips (PAL)
    Video writing speed:  1009 ips (NTSC)  or 842 ips (PAL)

    Recording time: 20 minutes with special 5.5” (portable mode reels under the recorder  cover) and up to 1 hour using 9” reels.

    Video: Direct Colour video recording (without any heterodyning)
    Video Systems:  two recorders - NTSC and PAL
    Video Bandwidth (-3 dB): 6 MHz for PALand 5 MHz for NTSC
    Video S/N: 46 dB (NTSC), 43 dB (PAL)
    Video Linearity: L.F.  2% blanking to white (max) for NTSC and PAL

    Video Differential gain: <4 %
    Video Moire: -40 dB and sub carrier 3.58 MHz (NTSC) and -36 dB  and sub carrier 4.43 MHz (PAL) color bars amplitude 75%  

    Crominance/Luminance delay: < 25 ns
    Audio channels: 3 (two stereo channel’s) and another (Line or Time Code)
    Audio Bandwidth (-2 dB): 50 Hz to 15 kHz
    Audio S/N ratio: 56 dB (channels 1 and 2), 50 dB (channel 3)
    Audio distortion: < 1% at 100 nWb/m (reference level 8 dBm)

    Inputs: Video 75 ohms BNC  0.5 V to 2.5 V peak to peak
    Advanced Sync Reference: 1 V  peak to peak

    Audio:  MIC- 150 µV (min) - optional interface, 40 dB above (max)

    LINE – +8 dBm (nom.) at 25 k  with optional interface  (-20 dBm (min) + 24 dBm (max)
    Metering:  3 LCD panels - I) VU or PPM audio levels; II) machine status; III) tape and battery time left, or time code.

    Monitoring: Real time audio and video recorded. Video is B&W directly but the accessory NV-V10 (Time Based Corrected Colour) adapt to a colour monitor.

    Batteries:  2 types- intelligent battery (normal) fits in a recess of the case; battery  4 Ah (NV-2ACC) in  a deeper  package

    Battery capacity: 1 hour of recording

    Energy recovery: when the helical scanning system stop energy is recovered to charge batteries.

    Power Supply: 100 – 240 V AC (external AC adapter) 105 VA to 138 VA;  or 10V  -18 V 40W external  DC adapter.

    Models: VPR-5 is the original one and VPR-5 MkII is a revised version.

  • Net weight (2.2 lb = 1 kg)
  • 6.8 kg / 14 lb 15.6 oz (14.978 lb)
  • Price in first year of sale
  • 45,000.00 dollar
  • Mentioned in
  • - - Manufacturers Literature
  • Author
  • Model page created by Moisés Piedade. See "Data change" for further contributors.

 Collections | Museums | Literature


The model Video Portable Tape Recorder is part of the collections of the following members.


Forum contributions about this model: Kudelski SA;: Video Portable Tape Recorder VPR 5

Threads: 1 | Posts: 1

If you ever come across the repair of the Ampex Nagra VPR-5 be careful not to just switch it on to see what happens …

For whatever reason, the friction brakes inside the supply- and take-up reel motor assemblies were made from some early silicon material that changed to sticky glue as the decades went by, effectively braking both motors to a standstill. As removing the sticky stuff and replacing it by some other sticky stuff would just open a Pandora’s box, a layer of thin coated plastic sheet does the trick. Polyethylenterephthalat (PET) is the raw material for readily available, silicon-coated plastic sheets with typical thicknesses from 1 to 800 µm.

It is recommended that you do not start the VPR-5 without checking first that the motors move freely. The electronics might break down during the brief period of time between the motors trying to run and the sensors recognising the error and switching off the current. If this happens more than once, damage is unavoidable.

Fortunately, Ampex and Nagra supply ample documentation and each(!) cable is numbered(!). All you need (or get during the process) are strong arms (the documentation folders are heavy) and good eyes (the size of the numbering on the cables is around 1/256th of an inch).


Hubert Eisner, 03.Aug.17

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