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Please tell me I didn't totally screw up!


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#1 James Steven Beverly

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Posted 11 April 2006 - 01:50 AM

I finally found a power source to test my Konvas 1m reostate camera. I know this dosen't sound like much of an acomplishment but I've tried a lantern battery which I had lying around and it spun the motor but didn't have the amps to turn the camera, then I tried a computer power supply as Clive Tobin had suggested but it didn't work. In Clive's defence though, the power supply I tried was an old one and may have been shot, so I remembered I have a battery charger that was both 6 and 12 volt. I brought it into the house and hooked ot up and it worked perfectly. It ran that camera very well. I thought "Well this camera hasn't been used in a while so maybe I should just let it run and loosen up any stiffness in the mechinism.

I let it run, without film in the mag to keep the drag to a minimum and tried the various switches on the motor, Starting and stopping the camera, testing what each did in the various positions. The motor got a little warm, but not excessively hot. I did notice the that when I adjusted the reostat to 24 fps, the tach tended to bounce around a little and it was impossible to maintain a constant reading. This didn't worry me all that much as I know it's not possible to maintain a constant frame rate with a reostat motor, although the rate did vary from 22 to 26 (roughly) fps/. I decided to see how long it would take for the motor to get hot and see if by running the camera for a while if it would loosen up and the frame rate would smooth out so I just let it run for about 5 to 10 minutes.

That's when disaster struck. The motor began to slow down. I stopped it, thinking it was getting too hot. It was pretty warm but not excessively hot. I could stand to keep my hand on it. I tried pressing the button again and the motor just buzzed and camera didn't run. I hought"Oh S*#t, I've burned the motor up." I took it off the camera and tested it immediately. It spun perfectly. I touched the edge of the drive cog with my thumb and there was plenty of tork. The motor's not shot. Then I tried hand cranking the camera with the manual animation drive crank. The mechinism was very stiff. it turns but is significantly stiffer than it was when I had tried it earlier before running it on the electric motor. I thought maybe there was some hair, dirt or other foriegn object in or around the gears and shafts but I couldn't feel anything.

I can only hope that this is a question of needing to be lubed as I haven't had anything done to it sense recieving it from Mother Russia. I didn't see any metal or plastic flakes so I doubt if anything is distroyed but am, as you can imagine, a little concerned. Is this a question of needing to be lubed or am I going to probably have to ship it off for a full service and possible repaired w/ parts replacement? One of the reasons I got this camera was they were suppose to be pretty indestructable as far as movie cameras go. I was wondering if they have there are some weak points I should check or things that commonly break? Also, is it hard on a camera to run it without film in it? Did I screw up? Thanks for your help.

Edited by Capt.Video, 11 April 2006 - 01:55 AM.

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#2 Freya Black

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Posted 12 April 2006 - 04:44 PM

I finally found a power source to test my Konvas 1m reostate camera. I know this dosen't sound like much of an acomplishment but I've tried a lantern battery which I had lying around and it spun the motor but didn't have the amps to turn the camera, then I tried a computer power supply as Clive Tobin had suggested but it didn't work. In Clive's defence though, the power supply I tried was an old one and may have been shot, so I remembered I have a battery charger that was both 6 and 12 volt. I brought it into the house and hooked ot up and it worked perfectly. It ran that camera very well. I thought "Well this camera hasn't been used in a while so maybe I should just let it run and loosen up any stiffness in the mechinism.


Actually it is quite an achievement to find a power source for the Konvas. The rheostat motor originally is supposed to use 6 volts at 9 amps!!!! It can handle up to 8 volts, so most people use 8 volt batterys of a lower ampage. I'm not sure what exactly. Part of the problems with the Konvas are finding power for the motors. The other problem is that the motors are often unreliable. You are lucky to have a hand crank there! Those are usually reliable. :)

I let it run, without film in the mag to keep the drag to a minimum and tried the various switches on the motor, Starting and stopping the camera, testing what each did in the various positions. The motor got a little warm, but not excessively hot. I did notice the that when I adjusted the reostat to 24 fps, the tach tended to bounce around a little and it was impossible to maintain a constant reading. This didn't worry me all that much as I know it's not possible to maintain a constant frame rate with a reostat motor, although the rate did vary from 22 to 26 (roughly) fps/. I decided to see how long it would take for the motor to get hot and see if by running the camera for a while if it would loosen up and the frame rate would smooth out so I just let it run for about 5 to 10 minutes.


Be very careful about leaving the motor running for long periods. The Konvas motors have a duty cycle which means you run them for a certain time and then you leave them to rest for a certain time. I'm not sure what the duty cycle is for the rheostat motor but I think 10 minutes may be a long time. Do be careful.

That's when disaster struck. The motor began to slow down. I stopped it, thinking it was getting too hot. It was pretty warm but not excessively hot. I could stand to keep my hand on it. I tried pressing the button again and the motor just buzzed and camera didn't run. I hought"Oh S*#t, I've burned the motor up." I took it off the camera and tested it immediately. It spun perfectly. I touched the edge of the drive cog with my thumb and there was plenty of tork. The motor's not shot. Then I tried hand cranking the camera with the manual animation drive crank. The mechinism was very stiff. it turns but is significantly stiffer than it was when I had tried it earlier before running it on the electric motor. I thought maybe there was some hair, dirt or other foriegn object in or around the gears and shafts but I couldn't feel anything.

I can only hope that this is a question of needing to be lubed as I haven't had anything done to it sense recieving it from Mother Russia. I didn't see any metal or plastic flakes so I doubt if anything is distroyed but am, as you can imagine, a little concerned. Is this a question of needing to be lubed or am I going to probably have to ship it off for a full service and possible repaired w/ parts replacement? One of the reasons I got this camera was they were suppose to be pretty indestructable as far as movie cameras go. I was wondering if they have there are some weak points I should check or things that commonly break? Also, is it hard on a camera to run it without film in it? Did I screw up? Thanks for your help.


The motor is the thing that usually breaks so take good care of it!

People often complain that the fibre gears in the konvas automat might be a bit weak but I've never heard of people having problems with them.

It could well be that it just needs some sewing machine oil and lube. It also might need a clean inside, perhaps it has got gummed up. My guess is it might need both! ;)

If you go to the Konvas smart group there are photos there that show where the camera should be lubed and oiled.

You could also ask for more advice there too! :)

love

Freya

Edited by Freya, 12 April 2006 - 04:45 PM.

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#3 James Steven Beverly

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Posted 12 April 2006 - 06:12 PM

Actually the battery charger worked fantastic as a power source although I will try and find a smaller one for location. This ine is one of those ones you see in at a mechanic's shop, the standup roll around type. I think the portable type w/ dual voltage should work OK if I can find one with enough amps to pull this thing. I'll just change the chips to a dedicated plug that fits the Konvas.

I also found seveal sealed batteries that will go up to 50 amp hours depending on how much you want to spend. Helios makes a 6vt, 13 aph for about 12 bucks plus shipping at Batteries.com. I plan to order a pair and run them in series in a fabricated battery belt after I get this camera striaghtened out. Thanks for the advice. If anyone else has any comments, I'd love to hear them.
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#4 Freya Black

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Posted 12 April 2006 - 08:48 PM

Actually the battery charger worked fantastic as a power source although I will try and find a smaller one for location. This ine is one of those ones you see in at a mechanic's shop, the standup roll around type. I think the portable type w/ dual voltage should work OK if I can find one with enough amps to pull this thing. I'll just change the chips to a dedicated plug that fits the Konvas.


Sounds great, you really lucked out as I don't think I've come across a high ampage 6volt supply around. :)

I also found seveal sealed batteries that will go up to 50 amp hours depending on how much you want to spend. Helios makes a 6vt, 13 aph for about 12 bucks plus shipping at Batteries.com. I plan to order a pair and run them in series in a fabricated battery belt after I get this camera striaghtened out. Thanks for the advice. If anyone else has any comments, I'd love to hear them.


There are some threads about batteries if you search for the word power or motor or batteries/battery in the Konvas smart group. I think I remember batteriesPlus being mentioned but I don't live stateside so I have to confess to not having paid too much attention, but maybe you will find some useful info in there.. Sounds like you found some good 6volt batteries there for a good price tho!

Incidently, what does it sound like when you hand crank it? Does the shutter move in the viewfinder? Take a lens off the front and crank it and see if everything at the front of the camera seems to be moving okay. (Don't touch the shutter but it should be rotating freely without scraping against anything).

I hope you work it out soon, sounds like you are close to having it all up and running. :)

love

Freya
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#5 James Steven Beverly

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Posted 13 April 2006 - 12:45 AM

Ya, it turns and I can crank it, shotter works, it's just fairly tight. I had to put a bit more muscle into it. But if I remember correctly itt sounded pretty much like it did before.

Wait a minute, NOW I"M TOTAL CONFUSED. I just tested it to make sure it didn't have any strange sounds in it when I crank it and it's working prefectly, just like it did before! The motor is pulling the camera fine. This MUST be a lubrcation problem. Apparently the as soon as it cooled down it works fine. The gears must have expanded as they got hot and when they cooled, they came back into tollerance. I have some 3in1 oil, it's not sewing machine oil but it should work, right? I have the oiling instructions but it requires pulling the turret and I'm not too wild about doing that but it I Gots ta do it, I gots ta do it.

Freya, I really apreciate the advice, you've been great. Thanks again.
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#6 Freya Black

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Posted 14 April 2006 - 07:04 AM

Ya, it turns and I can crank it, shotter works, it's just fairly tight. I had to put a bit more muscle into it. But if I remember correctly itt sounded pretty much like it did before.

Wait a minute, NOW I"M TOTAL CONFUSED. I just tested it to make sure it didn't have any strange sounds in it when I crank it and it's working prefectly, just like it did before! The motor is pulling the camera fine. This MUST be a lubrcation problem. Apparently the as soon as it cooled down it works fine. The gears must have expanded as they got hot and when they cooled, they came back into tollerance. I have some 3in1 oil, it's not sewing machine oil but it should work, right? I have the oiling instructions but it requires pulling the turret and I'm not too wild about doing that but it I Gots ta do it, I gots ta do it.

Freya, I really apreciate the advice, you've been great. Thanks again.


I think sewing machine oil should be somewhat easy to find and might be better, but you can probably get away with 3 in 1 I'm not sure. I've always used sewing machine oil on my filmo.

It might have been a motor issue. You might have exceeded the duty cycle time a little and then you gave it a rest and it was happy again. I think you can find details of the duty cycle times on the Raf camera site. I'm really glad to hear it is going again anyway! :)

You will need to check the distance settings are accurate for your lenses. Apparently the marking can be a bit out. First you can check by eye through the viewfinder and maybe using a tape measure to check individual distances, then perhaps a film test.

Perhaps you can help me. I want to buld a hand crank for my Konvas automat but I would like to know a bit about the standard hand crank before I start. Perhaps you could look at the rear of your hand crank and tell me what it looks like? Is it a single cog that meshes with the cog internally? If so what is the diameter of the cog and how big are the pointy bits. :) Any information you can give me about the hand crank would be great.

love

Freya
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#7 James Steven Beverly

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Posted 14 April 2006 - 08:46 PM

Is yours an older reostsat model or the one that uses a ep 15 or 17 motor, cuz if it's an older model, the cranks go cheap, real cheap. It's really not worh trying to build one unless there's some kind of specific reason you want to do that. Even if that's so it would be easier to modify the stock one than trying to reinvent the wheel so to speak. It is a single cog an a shaft that goes throught a round plate that mounts on the drum of the camera w/ centering tabs tha fit into the slots so the large locking ring keeps it in place, with the crank handle attached to the outer side of the shaft.

The animation crank which seems to be designed for on frame at a time shooting screws into where the motor's cog goes with a large flange nut around the shaft. The animation crank is impractical for for hand cranked filming unless you were to add a gear to replace the handle and another much larger gear w/ a crank to turn the smaller one, speeding up the RPM. Both of these should be pictured on the Commiecam and Raf's site in the motors or accessories section.

If you still want the techical information (I.E. gear size, number of teeth, ect) I'll try and find it for you, but really you'd be better off spending the 15 or 20 bucks and just buying one. That way you know it'll work. One other thing, these things don't crank all that smoothly and their light so my guess is it's going to be difficult to get a perfectly smooth shot without the camera being locked down tight, just something to think about. Thanks again.
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#8 Freya Black

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Posted 15 April 2006 - 06:06 PM

The animation crank which seems to be designed for on frame at a time shooting screws into where the motor's cog goes with a large flange nut around the shaft. The animation crank is impractical for for hand cranked filming unless you were to add a gear to replace the handle and another much larger gear w/ a crank to turn the smaller one, speeding up the RPM. Both of these should be pictured on the Commiecam and Raf's site in the motors or accessories section.


They certainly do have pictures but only of the outer side! :)

love

Freya
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#9 Hal Smith

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Posted 15 April 2006 - 11:48 PM

I think sewing machine oil should be somewhat easy to find and might be better, but you can probably get away with 3 in 1 I'm not sure. I've always used sewing machine oil on my filmo.

Freya


Ace Hardwares in the US have a turbine oil bottle with a nice long, thin spout. They sometimes call it "zoom spout oil." The Ace Hardware SKU is 12054; the UPC is 650760236548 (012054)". Turbine oil is one of the better oil grades for lubricating fine machinery like cameras. Ampex used to specify it for their audio and video tape equipment. Another high quality oil is HP's oil for their Designjet printers, its another highly processed oil with very good characteristics.

I've never heard a machinist or engineer speak well of 3-in-1, stick with at least sewing machine oil.
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#10 dd3stp233

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Posted 16 April 2006 - 12:33 AM

Any high quality fine oil should work ok but the best for cameras is watch oil (excepting of course, oil from the cameras manufacturer). It is also several times more expensive then, say sewing machine oil.
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#11 James Steven Beverly

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Posted 16 April 2006 - 02:22 AM

Any high quality fine oil should work ok but the best for cameras is watch oil (excepting of course, oil from the cameras manufacturer). It is also several times more expensive then, say sewing machine oil.


Thank for the info boys. I have the 3 in 1 sitting on my table but haven't used it yet and it looks like I won't be. Where would one get watch oil if one were so inclined and will it would on these noisy Russian beasts?
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#12 James Steven Beverly

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Posted 16 April 2006 - 02:41 AM

Here ya go, Freya. Sorry they could be bigger.
DSCF0020_micro.jpg DSCF0021micro.jpg
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#13 dd3stp233

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Posted 16 April 2006 - 08:05 AM

A well stocked Watch/Jewelry or Clock shop may sale watch oil or on the internet. Generally the synthetic type of watch oil should be used, check the type because there are different kinds. Sewing machine oil should work fine, it is not as high quality as watch oil but much less expensive and easier to find.
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#14 Freya Black

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Posted 16 April 2006 - 10:33 AM

Here ya go, Freya. Sorry they could be bigger.
DSCF0020_micro.jpg DSCF0021micro.jpg


Er yes, they are incredibly tiny (and why all the black!!!) but I am very grateful. Nobody has ever poted me pictures of the crank before so it's really interesting. I managed to blow them up larger and while they went all pixelated (I need one of those machines Harrison Ford has! ;) ) I was able to get a vague idea of what it looks like a little.

At least I know it's mostly just a single cog on the other side.

Thankyou!

I wonder if there is a place I could even buy ready made cogs?

love

Freya

A well stocked Watch/Jewelry or Clock shop may sale watch oil or on the internet. Generally the synthetic type of watch oil should be used, check the type because there are different kinds. Sewing machine oil should work fine, it is not as high quality as watch oil but much less expensive and easier to find.


Ah! Watch oil! I wonder if I can find some of that somewhere. It sounds like a good tip! Then I can get my filmo running like clockwork! Oh, hang on, it is clockwork...

Anyway I think it is a good tip. People have mentioned Arri oil to me before, but it's not the kind of thing you can just wonder down to the shops and buy, and I suspect it would be very expensive if I could find it, but watch oil, that sounds like something I might be able to find at a watch repairers or something. You never know!

Sewing machine oil is readily available tho and I think it's got to be better than 3 in 1! You might as well use it really, unless you can track down some more magical oils! :)

There are parts of the Konvas that are supposed to be lubed with grease too. I remember someone talking about some super magical grease they tried on their Konvas that really did the job! Maybe it was some strange Teflon thing? I wish I could remember what it was now.

love

Freya

Edited by Freya, 16 April 2006 - 10:36 AM.

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#15 James Steven Beverly

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Posted 17 April 2006 - 12:43 AM

Ya sorry about that, for some reason that's the largest pic I could post. I had to reduce the number of pixels twice before it would allow me to attach them. I must be doing something wrong, I'll try and email them to you. The reason they're black is the interior side with the cog it painted black from the factory. Why they did that, I don't know.
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#16 Freya Black

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Posted 17 April 2006 - 07:34 AM

Ya sorry about that, for some reason that's the largest pic I could post. I had to reduce the number of pixels twice before it would allow me to attach them. I must be doing something wrong, I'll try and email them to you. The reason they're black is the interior side with the cog it painted black from the factory. Why they did that, I don't know.


No I meant your photos have big black borders around them! :) I guess it must be because you reduced the picture size but not the canvas size which I guess must mean that the place where you posted the pictures didn't care as much about the physical size as the file size, so maybe it would have been better to increase the ,jpg compression when saving instead? *shrug*

Anyway, this is all besides the point, thanks again for the pictures! :)

love

Freya
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