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Some basic Eclair questions...


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#1 Assaf Hayut

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Posted 14 April 2010 - 01:48 PM

I recently purchased an acl 1 with the original motor and 2x english. I alsready gathered that I have the lowest ranking Eclair, and I'm just fine with that!

But I am sleepless as I'm dying to go out and shoot with it but I'm still working on sorting out the batteries.

My question is what do people reccomend me to do, replace or upgrade?

Another question is does anyone have or know where to get a Heavy Duty or CP motor? And does anyone know roughly what are the prices for these motors?

Many thanks in advance,

Assaf
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#2 Evan Ferrario

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Posted 15 April 2010 - 12:26 AM

congratulations on the purchase, if you take the time to get to know your camera, you will be very happy with the results.

1. For the battery, I'm not sure if you have options that you are looking at already but there are lots of different batteries that will work. Has your camera had the 4 pin xlr power cable added? If so, then check out

http://www.batterysp...packseries.aspx if you want a small high powered battery pack. Also people have been known to use a 12 volt drill battery you might find at home depot. You can even get creative and use the flashlights they make that hold the 12 volt drill batteries as a quick change battery holder. There are also a few 12 volt xlr battery packs on B and H in the 50-80 price range. If you want really cheap but heavy, I have a power wheels 12 volt battery I keep as my backup for shooting.
For some of these suggestions, basic battery wiring knowledge and soldering might be required so if you are uncomferatable with that, get a battery that already comes wired with an xlr connection, but it is easy to put one on yourself.

You are right to be cautious about running 400 magazines with that motor. You specified english mags but you didn't say if they were 400 or 200. If they are 200, and the camera has been well maintained, you will be fine, even with 200 foot loads in those magazines. If they are 400, you might still be okay with that motor, I would assume that at some point in time your kit ran with the motor and magazines you were given, the magazines were designed to work with the smaller motor. However for the 400 mags to work with the small motor, there is little room for error or poorly running parts. Regardless of your setup, but especially if you want to try 400 mags and your motor, a tune up by a professional tech might be a good idea. If you want to experiment a little, try loading a 100 foot load in the 400 mag and running it at a slow speed, then slowly try faster and more film. Hopefully the fuse will do it's job and blow if the load becomes too much for the motor. Also knowing how to perfectly thread the magazine is important so you don't overstress the motor. I own an ACL and NPR and 99% of all the problems I've ever had with the cameras have come from not loading the mag properly. Watch the youtube vids, practice and try to get the 12 perf loops perfect, a well loaded mag makes a big difference.

Check on ebay for motors. I think I've seen one cp motor sell on ebay for $400. Anything new is probably going to be priced more than what you paid for your whole package. It's taken me a few years of hunting on ebay to get my 400 foot french mag but parts do show up every now and then. I would recommend learning and experimenting with your camera setup as it is and keeping an eye out for the parts to upgrade.

Hope something I said was helpful and post results when you start shooting!
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#3 Ian Cooper

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Posted 15 April 2010 - 02:17 AM

...I'm dying to go out and shoot with it but I'm still working on sorting out the batteries.

My question is what do people reccomend me to do, replace or upgrade?....



Well the original ACL battery was 12V 1.2Ah and according to the manual that would run 2,400ft of film (x6 400ft rolls, or about an hour's worth).

As for sourcing a battery yourself, I don't know where you're located, but in general I would point you to this post I made regarding batteries for an NPR. This assumes that the connector is a 4-pin XLR.

You should be able to find a 12V 1.2Ah sealed lead acid battery for about $10. If you shop around, perhaps even less. The dimensions of that example are about 4"x2"x2" and weight is 1.3lbs, so carrying a couple of spare with you shouldn't be too onerous.

If you haven't got to connect to an XLR, then the next question is whether you already have a 'dead' battery pack? If so, then the simplest solution would be to cut off and reuse the lead from that on your own battery, alternatively open up the original and consider replacing the cells. I don't know for sure, but I suspect you'll find x10 NiCad cells soldered together inside the original battery pack. Getting hold of replacements for these should be fairly simple if you'd prefer to go down that route.

Probably the most expensive option would be sourcing a "new Eclair ACL battery pack" from a camera dealer. Here in the UK it is possible to buy commercially a brand new battery and charger kit for both an ACL and (different design) an NPR for £295. Recelling the original pack myself cost about £60, and buying a sealed lead acid spare cost about £12. Clearly the big difference here was in the charger, but I'd already got a suitable charger for the original pack and already have a suitable charger for a lead acid battery.
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#4 Jason Hinkle (RIP)

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Posted 23 April 2010 - 02:30 PM

Excellent advice from Evan and Ian. If you're not into the DIY thing with batteries, I use these - http://www.bhphotovi...te_Battery.html I'm sure there's a place to order them in the UK. Comes with a charger and everything for under $40 so it's pretty cheap and will power an ACL for practically a whole day.

my humble advice would be to go out and shoot as much as possible with the rig you have now. it's pretty easy to get consumed with building the ultimate rig! in the meantime just put a watch list on ebay and wait for parts to show up. motors show up once in a while, not too often. sometimes it's cheaper to just buy a whole new camera package, take what you want from it and then re-sell the rest.

be sure to post back when you shoot some footage.
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#5 Saul Rodgar

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Posted 23 April 2010 - 07:00 PM

As for the motor, sometimes they pop up on fleaBay. They are expensive tho. There are some original motors that were modified by Cinema Products, to fun at 8,12,24,32,48 fps and that may run a 400' load. Mine does. So just keep your eyes peeled for that.
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#6 Blith Clockwalk

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Posted 18 October 2011 - 03:56 PM

I recently purchased an acl 1 with the original motor and 2x english. I alsready gathered that I have the lowest ranking Eclair, and I'm just fine with that!

But I am sleepless as I'm dying to go out and shoot with it but I'm still working on sorting out the batteries.

My question is what do people reccomend me to do, replace or upgrade?

Another question is does anyone have or know where to get a Heavy Duty or CP motor? And does anyone know roughly what are the prices for these motors?

Many thanks in advance,

Assaf


Hi Assaf,
Just wanted to ask you if you would know where I can info on the Eclair NPR models? I searched online but didn´t find anything.
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