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Bauer A512 issues

bauer super 8 a512

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#1 Baltasar Thomas

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Posted 19 April 2018 - 12:33 PM

Hi,

Can anyone tell me if the Bauer A512 only actually starts the filming mechanism with a cartridge inside?
I picked up one of these for quite cheap and it looks to be in decent shape, popped in 6 fresh AA batteries, set the top switch to indicate the power to show the green dot, pressed the trigger and...nothing happens.

And if it is supposed to start up without a cartridge, any ideas as to what's causing the problem? The contacts of the battery compartment seem clean to me.

Thx!


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#2 Michael Lehnert

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Posted 19 April 2018 - 01:06 PM

It does start up without a cartridge inserted. Make sure that the switches are set to SPEED on the right-hand side and M is released - pull the M release down to make sure the camera wasn't accidentally left in Rewind mode half-way through that trick effect.

If nothing helps, could be that an IC going bust on the electric motherboard. Tricky to repair.
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#3 tom lombard

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Posted 19 April 2018 - 01:23 PM

I was loaned a Bauer C2A Super that didn't work with the batteries I put in initially.  Those were rechargeable which collectively didn't have enough voltage.  I replaced those with non-rechargeable and it runs just fine.  No cartridge in both cases.


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#4 Baltasar Thomas

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Posted 19 April 2018 - 01:40 PM

@Michael Lehnert


 

I've attached a photo, this is the M-setting you were talking about right? (still figuring out all the knobs, have a french manual that i've yet to decipher). I pulled it down a few times. Didn't change anything!

 

@tom lombard

I'm afraid the batteries shouldn't be the culprit either, at least, they're te right voltage and non-rechargeable.

 

Would be a shame if I can't get this beauty to work!

Might try opening it up next to see if there's any visible damage or dirt..

 

 

 


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#5 Michael Lehnert

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Posted 19 April 2018 - 02:05 PM

Unfortunately, I can't see the image you say you have embedded in your post, but there's only one lever on the left-hand side, next to the variable shutter wheel marked with an M. It should make a clicking noise when released (pulled down), thus cancelling the Rewind memory. Based on your description, It seems that wasn't the issue.

If you go to this post here, www.cinematography.com/index.php?showtopic=26088&p=467106 , you will find two files to download, which are articles I penned for Super 8 Today magazine about how to operate the top 4 production cameras, one of which is the Bauer A512 (tou definitely made the right choice choosing this camera - I use mine since 96 alongside Beaulieu 4008-series models).

The downloads arw basically free manuals to read. One file is the text file, the other a PDF of the printed articles with pictures. Maybe this will help?

I have a PDF of the original manual, but it's in German, so unless your German is better than your French, it may not be much of a help.
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#6 Baltasar Thomas

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Posted 19 April 2018 - 02:43 PM

Thanks a lot Michael!

 

Seems something went wrong while I was attaching the image, but we are definitely talking about the same button.

 

I'll check out those articles!


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#7 Baltasar Thomas

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Posted 20 April 2018 - 03:15 AM

If you go to this post here, www.cinematography.com/index.php?showtopic=26088&p=467106 , you will find two files to download, which are articles I penned for Super 8 Today magazine about how to operate the top 4 production cameras, one of which is the Bauer A512 (tou definitely made the right choice choosing this camera - I use mine since 96 alongside Beaulieu 4008-series models).

 

Great articles Michael! I understand the camera a lot better now. Unfortunately still can't get it to work for now. I did notice that the battery compartment for the two AA batteries is not as tightly locked as I would expect. It locks, but there is some room to push the door of the compartment even farther in when locked, pushing the batteries inside a bit farther as well. The door of that compartment comes off completely as well when I open it, is that how it was designed? I could make a short video if it helps?


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#8 Michael Lehnert

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Posted 20 April 2018 - 04:36 AM

Yes, that two-battery compartment panel is supposed to come off completely, like the panel at the bottom of the pistol hand grip. There's no hinge to keep it in place or swivel it out or something.

With the upper side of the panel interlocked with the metal plate notch on the camera body, and the panel swung in to turn the turn screw into place, the two-battery compartment panel should close quite tightly. There is the tinniest bit of play on the extreme sides of it, where you can push it in by half a milimeter with great force when shut. However, the centre of the panel should be immobile and have no play whatsoever. If you can push that entire panel in while the lock screw is turned into the close position (the white dot), to the extend that you can feel the batteries being pushed in further, than that's not alright.

Is the little plastic notch on the inside of the turn screw mechanism in the compartment panel intact, or broken off / re-glued on? This is one of the main fail points of the construction of the camera... this, and the plastic shaft of the female screw cavity in the pistol hand grip.

Now, do keep in mind that if we surmise that there's potentially an electrical contact issue from the panel being too loose and the electric circuit with the batteries not being closed correctly, then your pushing the compartment further, bringing springs/batteries more into touch, should actually remedy the lack of electrical contact, and make the camera power up.

Also: Is the camera completely dead, i.e. when the power switch is on ON, is the exposure meter changing the f-stops in the viewfinder as you move or zoom round? If that's the case, we can say that there might be a contact issue with the main switch (corrosion), or an IC on the electronic circuitboard has blown, which controls the master control of the camera. If some sub system work (exposure), we can narrow this down a bit more.
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#9 Baltasar Thomas

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Posted 20 April 2018 - 04:53 AM

Is the little plastic notch on the inside of the turn screw mechanism in the compartment panel intact, or broken off / re-glued on? This is one of the main fail points of the construction of the camera... this, and the plastic shaft of the female screw cavity in the pistol hand grip.

 

The notch is intact.

 

Now, do keep in mind that if we surmise that there's potentially an electrical contact issue from the panel being too loose and the electric circuit with the batteries not being closed correctly, then your pushing the compartment further, bringing springs/batteries more into touch, should actually remedy the lack of electrical contact, and make the camera power up.

 

Yeah, I figured as much! Nothing happens when I push it back as well so I guess this can't be it.

 

Also: Is the camera completely dead, i.e. when the power switch is on ON, is the exposure meter changing the f-stops in the viewfinder as you move or zoom round? If that's the case, we can say that there might be a contact issue with the main switch (corrosion), or an IC on the electronic circuitboard has blown, which controls the master control of the camera. If some sub system work (exposure), we can narrow this down a bit more.

 

What I did notice just now is a red dot just above the image in the viewfinder, that's only visible with the power switched on, and only while pressing the trigger.

There's no F-stops visible however, and no change in the light meter.

Would the red dot indicate a dead battery perhaps? They're fresh batteries - so I guess there's still the chance of a contact failure somewhere in that case..?


Edited by Baltasar Thomas, 20 April 2018 - 04:53 AM.

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#10 Michael Lehnert

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Posted 20 April 2018 - 05:40 AM

AHA! If it's the red dot indicator on the top left hand side of the viewfinder that is the only indicator light on, then this means that the camera is indeed in Rewind mode programme as we originally discussed.

In that case, you would also not see the green indicator light on the top right side of the viewfinder, that indicates that the batteries have an operational state of charge, and the camera operates nominally.

Please have a look on the left hand side of the camera. You can see the variable shutter wheel there. If it is not in the open position (at 12 o'clock), but in any position between 12 (open) and 6 (closed), and the wheel is slightly elevated, showing a red border around the knob's rim, then this indicates the variable shutter is not open, and the fade/rewind mode programme is activated. It needs to get deactivated to run the camera normally.

Make sure that the outer manual wheel is on 12 by simply turning it anticlock-wise into this position. It should sink in a bit at 12, somthat the red borderline disappears. Although you have done so already, do push down the M lever once more. Then try again to run the camera by pulling the trigger, with the PROGRAM button on the right hand side set on SPEED (green dot), and the SPEED button set to 18 fps (green dot). The camera should now run at 18fps, and operate as intended.

Furthermore, it could also be that only the inner AUTO wheel that is in the 6 o'clock Closed position, while the outer MANUAL wheel is at 12. In that case, turn on the camera, pull the trigger (set the camera onto SPEED and into 18, as discussed above, so that you it start at a reasonable 18 fps after maybe many years of non-operation), and then depress the inner Auto wheel into the camera body. You should hear a click noise when the electronic is cancelling the memory (what the M lever does manually for the manual outer wheel), and the camera should now start running at 18 fps while the inner wheel automatically turns clockwise (!) into the 12 o'clock position. The camera should now run normally.

Also, without jumping ahead to your A512 working, don't press the 54 button at the top without a cartridge inserted. It's not good to yank cameras above 36 fps without a cartridge inserted.

Good luck!
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#11 Baltasar Thomas

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Posted 20 April 2018 - 07:04 AM

Still no luck I'm afraid!

The white dot of the outer-manual ring is at 12 o'clock. The white dot of the inner auto-ring is at 6 o'clock. Pulled down the M' lever a few times. It's set to speed and 18fps (tried 12 and 24 as well). Still no movement with the only thing indicating power being the red dot above the viewfinder image.

Guess all that remains is trying to open it up. Any advice on where to start? If I can't get it to work, maybe I can make someone happy with it to use for spare parts.

Thanks for all the help so far Michael!

*EDIT: The powerzoom buttons work as well, I just found out!
**EDIT: I might have misunderstood! With the outer-manual ring white dot set to 6 o'clock it works!

 


Edited by Baltasar Thomas, 20 April 2018 - 07:09 AM.

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#12 Baltasar Thomas

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Posted 20 April 2018 - 08:32 AM

So it works with the outer ring set to CLOSED at 6 o'clock.
I'm guessing, by the photo in your article, I should be able to turn the outer ring, without turning the inner ring. But I can't, so that might be stuck somehow.
I see there's two small screws holding the FADE control plate in place. I might just take a look and see if there's anything visible causing it to stick, unless you advise against it!


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#13 Michael Lehnert

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Posted 24 April 2018 - 05:52 AM

Okay, your descriptions are getting a bit confusing, but given that the camera runs and other power features (such as zoom) work, the camera seems to be - at first sight - fully functioning.

The white dot of the outer-manual ring is at 12 o'clock. The white dot of the
inner auto-ring is at 6 o'clock. Pulled down the M' lever a few times. It's set
to speed and 18fps (tried 12 and 24 as well). Still no movement with the only
thing indicating power being the red dot above the viewfinder image.

So the inner ring is not moving from Closed / 6 o'clock clockwise to the Open/ 12 o'clock position when depressing it firmly, while the trigger at the front camera is being pulled and held down to make the camera run? That's not good. However, if that's the case, the camera shouldn't be running at all, under any circumstances. So I am unclear how you can run the camera otherwise.

I might have misunderstood! With the outer-manual ring white dot set to 6 o'clock
it works!

That's also not possible. The camera is always locked and unable to run when the outer-manual ring is at 6 o'clock (Closed), with it also being slightly elevated showing a red rim around the the ring closest to the body.

 

Can you open the rear cartridge compartment, point the camera at a light source or sunlit scene, and start it? You should see the light through the camera film gate while the camera is running, which means that the variable shutter is open.

 

If that's the case, then a previous owner tinkered with the camera variable shutter ring, and may have accidentally put the ring button back in 180° the wrong way round, so that Open is Closed, and Closed is Open. That would be extremely stupid, but given the amount of stupid tinkering that perfectly functioning production cameras had to endure recently, mostly ruining them in the wake of it, I guess that's how the S8 camera market looks today  :rolleyes: 

I'm guessing, by the photo in your article, I should be able to turn 
the outer ring, without turning the inner ring.
But I can't, so that might be stuck somehow.

No, that's actually how it's supposed to be: when you turn the outer ring in any direction by hand, from 12/Open to 6/Closed or back, the inner ring is always moved along with it, so that the white dots of both rings always remain aligned when the outer ring is moved. You will also not be able to depress the inner ring.

 

While the camera is running in any SPEED setting (12, 18, 24), the inner ring is moved by an electric motor when you depress it. The outer ring does not move along, it stays where it is. The inner ring will turn from 12 to 6 in around 3-4 seconds, and then stop the camera. You can actually see how the variable shutter is closed when looking through the film gate (cartridge compartment open, pointing the camera at a light source). In order to re-start the camera from this locked 6 o'clock/closed position, the only way is to pull the trigger at the front (the camera won't start), depress the inner ring (the camera will then start) from when it will turn clockwise back to 12 and then

A ) stop again if you haven't pulled the M button down to cancel the memory feature (which is for rewind/double-exposure etc.), or

B ) continue running for as long as the front trigger remains held when you.

 

I checked my library, and I only have the full set of documentation in German.


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#14 Baltasar Thomas

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Posted 28 April 2018 - 07:31 AM

Hi Michael,

Thanks for the extensive reply, haven't been able to further test the camera the past week. I suspect the camera's been tinkered with a bit, as you say. I'm going to run those tests you've described and see if I can correct it soon, I'll report back when there's progress, thanks a lot so far!

 


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