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Camera techs: Why isn't my Elmo 612S-XL running?


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#1 John R Woods

John R Woods
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Posted 24 April 2015 - 09:14 AM

I've been out of the filmmaking game for many years.  Life intervenes, right?  But as it happens, my real life is in a period where I can work on a friend's film and I've been dragging out gear.  We're shooting on my Aaton in super-16, and my friend was so enthusiastic about his Ultra-16 Scoopic I had to get one.  If you've followed my posts, you'll know that I've got my Beaulieu R16 out too.  But like many people of a certain age, I started out in super-8.

 

Close to a decade ago I bought an Elmo 612S-XL on eBay.  Very nice, and in its original styrofoam packing.  I pulled it out last week, and it's not running.  When I put batteries in, the red light comes on and the power zoom works, but the motor doesn't.  I'm aware that consumer electronics can 'go bad' over time, but this is such a nice-looking camera I wonder if there's something really simple wrong with it.  This camera has a folding handgrip.  It occurred to me that perhaps a wire is broken.  Since the zoom works, the camera is getting power.  It just isn't running.  (Hm...  Sounds like the R16 when I use the 1,000 mA battery in the Power Grip!  It works with external power.)  Or perhaps the problem lies in the trigger switch?

 

I'm not an electrician, or camera- or electronics technician.  How hard is it to open up one of these cameras?  (And how do you do it?)  If it's something as simple as a broken or disconnected wire, I might be able to fix it and have another toy to play with.  If it's something in the electronics, that's that.

 


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#2 Martin Baumgarten

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Posted 22 June 2015 - 11:17 AM

Oftentimes, over the years, some of the lubricant on the gears gets hard, thick, or tackier, and it will offer just enough mechanical resistance to prevent the motor driveshaft from rotating, since it too hasn't moved in ages.  A good old school thump to the side of the camera with the open palm of your hand (or wrapped with a towell) while depressing the trigger, will sometimes persuade the camera to begin running.  Make sure no film cartridge is loaded, batteries are fresh; and don't beat the camera, just a gentle thump, maybe a few times, maybe a bit harder to get it to run.  If it begins to run, let it run for a couple minutes to help move the lubricant around inside.  Then see if it will run on and off in shorter bursts afterward.  If so, it should be fine.  Just make sure to run the camera a bit prior to loading any film into it. Also, wiping the film gate with a soft cotton cloth or flannel moistened with silicone will help allow the film to glide smoothly thru the gate.  Good luck, I hope your camera comes back to life!


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