Tag Archives: Customer-Centric

Going to extra-ordinary lengths…

In mid-December, Chief Marketing Officer Ted Langdell drove 400 miles from Northern California to Los Angeles to pick up equipment for Zinspection that an Eastern US customer bought at an auction when a film and video company closed.

Ampex VR-7800
Ampex VR-7800 that Ken built a custom wooden top for when he refurbished this machine in the mid-2000s for a Los Angeles film and video restoration company

Among the five vintage video recorders was a late 1960s Ampex VR-7800 1″ VTR that Ken Zin had refurbished for the now-closed company ten or so years ago.

Colleague Al Sturm built an interface box to allow the VR-7800 to be used with a 1986-era digital time base corrector.

The Eastern customer needed the machine inspected, repaired to working condition if needed, and shipped to them ASAP.

VR-7800 Playback
Playback of a VR-7800 test recording after Zinspection and adjustments — with Textronix 1780R Test Set

Ken’s inspection revealed the machine to be working. He thoroughly cleaned, tested functions, made adjustments to improve the playback quality.

Once satisfied that the machine was ready to ship, Ken built a crate for safe shipping.

Ted and Ken crated the VTR, boxed up the associated TBC and interface.

VR-7800 ready to ship by FedEx Heavyweight Air

Here’s the ZinCrate with VR-7800, Ampex TBC-6 and custom interface box strapped on tope and ready to ship to our Eastern customer from the FedEx Heavyweight Air terminal in Sacramento

Ted worked with the customer’s logistics department to get the items shipped via FedEx Express Freight, and drove the items 90 miles from the Zin! VTRWorks lab in Magalia (near Paradise east of Chico) to Sacramento on Christmas Eve in time to make a plane for next day delivery.

The boxes were pallet-wrapped to the crate for safety and protection, and then strapped to the crate. “We wanted to make sure all three items arrived at the same time, so our customer could set up and go right to work,” Langdell says.

The customer got the machine the morning after Christmas, and was able to have a batch of tapes converted to files, QC’d and delivered to its customer before New Years Eve, which was the deadline for them to complete the job.