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Projector problem - ruining my film


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#1 Jonathan Betz

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Posted 23 May 2009 - 12:34 PM

I have been having a problem with my Bell and Howell projector. It seems to project some films fine and have problems with others. (I bought a few old boxing reels on ebay a while back and one seems to always play fine, while the other gives me problems. I have also had problems projecting some of my own footage. It is an auto load super 8 projector.

The problem: the film starts out playing fine, and the loops above and below the lens are loose but not too loose (I'm not sure how to describe this accurately, but from what I understand, the loops are normal initially). The problem comes when for some reason the lower loop tightens up and the upper loop gets bigger to the point where so much film gets bunched up in the upper loop area that it bends and folds. The bends get pulled past the lens and turn into creases, and sprocket holes on the film are often ripped.

Before disaster happens, as the lower loop gets tight, there is a clicking noise that lets me know its about to happen. Sometimes if I push down on the plastic tab used for auto loading, the upper loop gets smaller again and the problem is solved, but other times, there is nothing I can do. If I try to rotate the nob that controls the lower loop to make it larger again, the loop just tightens up and the upper loop gets bigger again.

Any ideas about why this is happening and how I might fix it? Any help would be greatly appreciated. Cheers.

Edited by Jonathan Betz, 23 May 2009 - 12:34 PM.

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#2 John Salim

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Posted 23 May 2009 - 01:11 PM

Any ideas about why this is happening and how I might fix it? Any help would be greatly appreciated. Cheers.


Does the projector lose loop when a splice goes through ? ..if so, it could be a badly set splicer ( and bad splices ).

John S
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#3 Jonathan Betz

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Posted 23 May 2009 - 02:01 PM

Does the projector lose loop when a splice goes through ? ..if so, it could be a badly set splicer ( and bad splices ).


I did splice my own footage using a bolex cement splicer I purchased online. I have no idea if it is set up correctly. however, I have also had the problem while viewing a friend's footage that was totally uncut. I don't even think her film had a leader, so I don't think splices are necessarily the problem. Any other ideas?
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#4 Simon Wyss

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Posted 23 May 2009 - 02:45 PM

Obviously the film is temporarily not transported in the gate, so the claw seems to not reach it. I'd suggest you check the claw's action without film, the gate swung open (if possible with your projector), and the inching knob turned by hand. Gently push a little on the claw. Generally it should penetrate the film by at least 1/32th inch or a half to 0,75 mm. Maybe the claw's teeth are bent, maybe the control cam of the claw shuttle unit has become worn. Consequently the claw step doesn't fit the film anymore. On the other hand it can be the film, shrunk to such an extent that it doesn't fit the machine.

Is the pressure plate bent? Also, the side guide rails should be able to act freely on the film. Has one of them sprung off the spring? Is the gate dirty? Clean with a tooth brush, if greasy with some isopropyl alcohol on it. Good luck!
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#5 Jonathan Betz

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Posted 23 May 2009 - 04:39 PM

Simon, thanks for all the great suggestions. I can swing open the gate so I will check as much as I can. I am out of town and won't be able to look at the projector until the 31st, so I will post updates once I've taken a look. You obviously know a lot more about these projectors than I do, so I will try to take a look and see if i can troubleshoot it. Is it possible that posting any close-up photos might help?
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#6 Simon Wyss

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Posted 25 May 2009 - 10:47 AM

Is it possible that posting any close-up photos might help?

Certainly
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#7 Simon Wyss

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Posted 26 May 2009 - 07:34 AM

Projector problem - ruining my film
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Post a reply 3 posts • Page 1 of 1 Projector problem - ruining my film
by jbetz » Sat May 23, 2009 8:11 pm

I have been having a problem with my Bell and Howell projector. It seems to project some films fine and have problems with others. (I bought a few old boxing reels on ebay a while back and one seems to always play fine, while the other gives me problems. I have also had problems projecting some of my own footage. It is an auto load super 8 projector.

The problem: the film starts out playing fine, and the loops above and below the lens are loose but not too loose (I'm not sure how to describe this accurately, but from what I understand, the loops are normal initially). The problem comes when for some reason the lower loop tightens up and the upper loop gets bigger to the point where so much film gets bunched up in the upper loop area that it bends and folds. The bends get pulled past the lens and turn into creases, and sprocket holes on the film are often ripped.

Before disaster happens, as the lower loop gets tight, there is a clicking noise that lets me know its about to happen. Sometimes if I push down on the plastic tab used for auto loading, the upper loop gets smaller again and the problem is solved, but other times, there is nothing I can do. If I try to rotate the nob that controls the lower loop to make it larger again, the loop just tightens up and the upper loop gets bigger again.

Any ideas about why this is happening and how I might fix it? Any help would be greatly appreciated. Cheers.

Oh and it happens with uncut film also, so it doesn't seem to be my splicing.

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Tai Audio

CineLab

Ritter Battery

Wooden Camera

Paralinx LLC

FJS International, LLC

Broadcast Solutions Inc

Gamma Ray Digital Inc

Media Blackout - Custom Cables and AKS

Aerial Filmworks

rebotnix Technologies

CineTape

Metropolis Post

Visual Products

Abel Cine

The Slider

Technodolly

Glidecam

Opal

Rig Wheels Passport

Willys Widgets