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Crank Lever on a Filmo.


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#1 Charles MacDonald

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Posted 12 November 2005 - 08:17 PM

My Fun and Larning with 16mm FIlm up to now has been mostly with my Trusty FIlmo. (having given up on the Very old keystones) Mine is a 70DL.

The filmo has a place where you can insert a hand crank. The Dl does not have any place to attach the AC motor. I did have a HL, that I bought on e-bay but it was scratching the film, and so I took advantage of the sellers return for refund offer. That has a place to anchor an ac motor and also the little door that one can attach a 400 Ft magazine.

The instuctions for my DL say I can put in the hand crank, and with the spring motor run down, and the triger locked on, If I turn the crank I can take pictures under the control of the fly ball speed control system that runs the speed with the spring motor. This seems to work, but the camera really needs to be on a "Cement" tripod to do this.

The mad scientist in me wonders if one could rig up some sort of geared motor to that opening, and locate it with a braket off the tripod socket in order to get a longer run time.

I have been filming my wife running our Dog on an agaility course, and the dog runs the course for just a bit longer than the spring runs the Filmo.

I am doing this as "no-budget filmmaking" and my costs are already climbing as I will be soon find myself switching over to ECN and workprints rather then VNF, so A nice $10K camera will likly be forever out of the question. I am not interested in Video.

and yes I know I am crazy to even try.
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#2 Fran Kuhn

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Posted 13 November 2005 - 01:54 PM

The instuctions for my DL say I can put in the hand crank, and with the spring motor run down, and the triger locked on, If I turn the crank I can take pictures under the control of the fly ball speed control system that runs the speed with the spring motor. This seems to work, but the camera really needs to be on a "Cement" tripod to do this.

The mad scientist in me wonders if one could rig up some sort of geared motor to that opening, and locate it with a braket off the tripod socket in order to get a longer run time.


I'm not a total expert on these things, but my gut tells me you should avoid slapping on just any old motor drive system, even if you have the camera in the hand-crank mode. Filmo motors are designed with a drive clutch that prevents the motor from overwinding the spring. You may be able to get a good Filmo motor, or a lead on where to get one, from Shelton Communications http://www.sheltoncomm.com/ Then again, maybe a Black & Decker cordless drill with a 90-degree attachment plugged into the camera's drive socket is the hot ticket. In any case, Mr. Shelton should know.

If you find an original Filmo motor you may be able to attach it to your DL model, as you said, by fabricating some kind of bracket to clamp the motor to the tripod socket. Just make sure to get the motor serviced so the clutch is properly adjusted--they tend to lock up over time which negates the essential clutch function and turns the motor into a direct drive unit that will overwind the spring.
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#3 Boris Belay

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Posted 14 November 2005 - 12:03 PM

Hi, For that kind of question, I would get in touch with the company that bought the left-over stock of Filmos from B&H and sells near-new kits and accessories on eBay. They seem very very serious and helpful. Look them up through their eBay pseudo : kinemaman
Good luck, B.
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#4 Clive Tobin

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Posted 14 November 2005 - 10:32 PM

Filmo motors are designed with a drive clutch that prevents the motor from overwinding the spring.


Not true. The clutch has nothing to do with the spring, it is to prevent damage from stalling it if the motor is run without the Run button being pressed.

When the motor runs with the spring wound down, the spring just idles on its ratchets and is not wound by the motor.

This shaft is I think 3/8" diameter and is 20 frames per turn, so you need 72 RPM to get 24 FPS. At one time we were trying to develop a crystal motor for the Filmo, but it really needs the governor connected to prevent flicker in the film. So we gave up on it as we can't have the crystal fighting a governor.

Some people have used a Superior Electric Slo-Syn 72 RPM synchronous motor to drive the Filmo. This requires a source of 120 volts 60 Hz commercial power. I have not seen results with this. The motor and camera could be bolted to a bracket of some sort.
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#5 Charlie Peich

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Posted 15 November 2005 - 03:15 AM

Charles,
Bell & Howell would factory retro fit any existing Filmo 70 DA through DR cameras to use a 400 ft magazine and electric motor. To use the motor and mag your camera would need the following installed:
motor shaft and hand crank socket (included on DL model)
motor support rod socket
take up pulley and drive

starting button lock (included on DL model)
Veeder footage counter ( you could go without this, but you would have to keep track of the number of times your existing counter went past the 100 ft mark. Easier with the veeder)
attachment plate for the magazine
magazine door lock control plunger (this opens the light valves in the magazine when the camera door is locked)
inside of the camera door, a push bar needs to be added
(this activates the previously mentioned plunger when the latches are turned the quarter turn to the closed position)
for the finder on the door, you would need to add the 1-inch spacer between the door and finder assembly, otherwise you?ll never get your eye to the finder.

On eBay now there is a 70-HR body , 115V AC/DC motor and a new 400 ft magazine

B&H offered 4 motors for the Filmo in the early 50s: 12V DC - 8 to 64 fps, 24V DC - 8 to 64 fps, 115V AC/DC - 8 to 64 fps and 115V 60-hz AC only ? synchronous - 24 fps only.

The 50s version 24 volt motors have a clutch in that is adjusted to an output torque of 7 to 8 inch-pounds. If a motor slips during camera operation, it indicates that the output torque of the motor has not been properly adjusted. The motor has a gear reduction of 21 to 1 and weighs approximately 3 ½ pounds. A problem with the Filmo motors is the failure of the phenolic ?worm wheel? due to age, wear, abuse and lack of lubrication.

When using the motor on the camera, you must 1st run the spring down and lock the starting button in the ?run? position. The motor does not wind or over drive the spring. You set the running speed/fps as you would while using the spring drive, with the speed adjustment dial on the camera. The speed governor in the camera controls the speed while the clutch in the motor controls the torque the motor needs to put out for the speed selected. If the clutch in the motor were to fail and all the torque went to the camera, or if the run button was not locked in the run position, I think gears would strip 1st with out affecting the spring. Perhaps that is the reason for the phenolic clutch gear.

When Bell & Howell discontinued making Eyemos and Filmos, Alan Gordon in L.A. bought all the parts and tools. A couple of years ago Alan Gordon sold the remaining Filmo parts etc. to Kinemaman in Miami. Kinemaman is always running auctions on eBay. He probably has the parts to convert your camera, but you would have to contact him. I don?t know if he would do the modifications. Of course, how much do you want to spend?

Lets flash back to 1954 (because that?s the date of the B&H catalog I have in front of me). B&H is cranking out Filmos as usual. You have a DL and want to add the above features. This is what B&H was charging for the adaptations to your camera:

Adapt for use with external motor $20. Adapt for use with external magazines $128.50. Install Veeder footage counter $55. Install 70-H type door complete with parallax correcting positive viewfinder system and 1? objective $100 (credit allowance on return of old door $15), so the door is $85. 1- 400ft mag $162.50. Finally, 1 motor (non synchronous) $142. That totals $593 in 1954 dollars. I don?t think you would find parts, then get an experienced tech that?s knowledgeable with this camera to do these modifications for $593.

You best bet would to keep watching eBay for a 70-H, 70-HR or a 70-KM (military) body or ?kit? with camera, mags and a motor to show up. I found a 70-HR with 3 lenses, 24V motor, 1 mag and case in near mint condition for $425. I was lucky. A majority of the kits come from high schools that used them filming sports for training.

Charlie
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#6 Fran Kuhn

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Posted 15 November 2005 - 11:08 AM

Not true. The clutch has nothing to do with the spring, it is to prevent damage from stalling it if the motor is run without the Run button being pressed.


Thanks for clearing that up, Clive, I had PM'd Charles about this mistake after remembering how the guys at UT Photo in Burbank laughed at me when I mentioned that concept to them a long time ago.

Edited by FKP-1, 15 November 2005 - 02:14 PM.

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#7 Charles MacDonald

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Posted 17 November 2005 - 11:07 PM

Thanks folks. Sounds like the system parts may just turn up. I should try to get that motor if it is not bid up too high. I can always plug it into an inverter. if Not - 72RPM, another spec to look for when visiting suplus stores. The 12 volt or 24 Volt motor sounds like exactly what I am picturing, although it is probaly a military item and would weigh as much as the Camera.

The HL I had actually came from Kineman, unfortunatly it was scratching the film, and gave me several overexposed frames at the begining of each shot. I had bought it with a return privledge, and decided to not risk any attempt fixing those problems myself. It probaly just had slugish lubrication, and something caught in the presure plate. but I did not want to tinker, and perhaps get stuck with a dead camera. I still have a twinge of regret as I have seen a couple of other ones go for more than I bid on the one I had. While I had it here, I did compare the differences, and I would guess that to change over you would be looking at a different housing, or in other words an entire disassembly of the camera.

There are several places where one would have to use a milling machine on a DL to Get the holes that the accessories would need. At the factory, this would not be a real problem, as the jigs were already made up, and a visit to the factory for any reason would include a stripdown and readjust.



Again Thanks for the detailed info.
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