Cinegel Royale




cinegel royale_022a     Cinegel Royale_034

(NB in  pic 1 machine is on a table so lower arm is higher than it would normally be. Pic 2 shows the two-speed motor pulley, and the odd side drive to the projector mech - if you try to run the belt direct, it fouls the flywheel. The red thing is an oil cup.)

This is a dual 9.6/16mm machine with 1600' spool arms. It is very cleverly designed and engineeered, being compact and modular in design. The changeover between gauges involves the usual swapping of gates, sprockets and spool spindle noses, but the other two elements are unusual. Unscrewing the inching knob releases the claw (a triple, incidentally) to move in or out to for the relevant gauge, and a lever moves the sound optic from one side to the other (see pix below).I suppose it also serves as a fine-tuning adjustment for 9.5 sound reading, as per Vox. The size of the light sensitive area of the photocell is quite sufficient to cover the necessary range.  A single photocell has more than enough light-sensitive surface to serve both.

The main removable covers, eg lamphouse, back and base, are held on by a single knurled knob or a couple of screws, but nonetheless fit well because they are accurately made and the screws are supplemented by locating pins; the interchangeable gate parts are of similar ilk. The rear cover has the usual single knurled knob; beneath (see pix below) is found the sound optic beneath the lamp housing - same lamp for projection and sound - in its two slightly different positions. You can also just see the pin near the top of the sound telescope that varies the width of the slit.


Cinegel Royale_031      Cinegel Royale_032

One of the ways it achieves compactness is by not having a full amplifier on board - it just has a pre-amp in the base. The preamp basically looked like a small bomb had gone off in it; I couldn't make it work then and, although I have replaced the capacitors, I can't make it work now. This left me with two basic jobs, building a pre-amp and replacing the photocell with a diode/solar cell arrangement that would somehow still cover the span between the position of a 9.5 track and a 16mm. As I looked into things, I found I had a third job which, being an idiot, I had not spotted before. But first, some more about the machine.


Royalpix 010     royalpix 011a     Royalpix 014     royalpix 016a     royalpix 017a     Royalpix 020

The mechanism is in two main modules; first is the soundhead. In the first pic, the big hole top left is the photocell housing, the hole below it and to the right is where the flywheel roller fits. The small hole centre right takes the sprocket shaft. So, as you can see, they have solved the problem of trying to read a soundtrack on each side of a revolving flywheel roller, which is nigh impossible, by reading at a stationary part, ie the photocell cover. This has obvious dangers of scratching as film slides across metal, but I have seen this approach used elsewhere, eg the GB L516. The film comes from the right, thru the three small rollers, round the outside of the photocell housing and the outside of the roller bottom left. This does not, as you might expect, actually ride on the flywheel roller. Instead, it is mounted on an arm pivoted just below the photocell housing. In the rear view (pic 2), you can see this pivot far right. It connects to another arm which is damped by a spring and by a plunger in that round pot which is presumably meant to be filled with oil. You can also see in this rear view the two pins top right where the photocell fits and the roller bearing for the sprocket shaft; a clever set-up.

The other main module includes the claw mechanism, a neat barrel shutter and all the necessary gearing. Pic 5 shows the central oiling system in a view from above, pic 6 is from above looking forward.

Royalpix 018     Royalpix 019 

Finally, here is the carcase of the machine as stripped down, but with the pre-amp module in the base in position. The whole machine needed a good clean and all the rollers freeing and re-oiling. The claw changeover mechanism needed freeing, and the damper pot in the soundhead module was locked solid. You can see in pic 2 the three controls; the central push-button starts the motor. Volume control for the pre-amp is the edge wheel under the base, below the switches.


Returning to the jobs I had identified at the start, here are the before and after pix of the pre-amp. I say before, but actually I had cleaned it up a lot before taking this pic (left).  The two pins on the far left connect to a socket which in turn connects to the royalpix 007aphotocell. The output terminals are lower left; the red component is wired to the left one. At the right hand end are two contacts for the mains (110v) input. These also seem somehow to connect the condenser to the motor, which is condenser start, like most Heurtiers, rather than the more normal condenser run motors. Certainly, there is no other condenser. The lip of this base is only about 0.5" deep or so and it is secured to the bottom of the projector by just two small screws. These are backed up by small registration pins, an approach used elsewhere on the machine.

As you know, I don't like making alterations to projectors that cannot be reversed, so in adding a new pre-amp I just used existing holes, hence one or two slightly odd arrangements. The connecting pins at the ends, and the output connectors remain, and there is a new pot for the volume. Right is an encapsulated tranny, 120 + 120 in, 12 out (all these are parts I had to hand). Above it in the pic isCinegel Royale a bridge rectifier. The pre-amp is one of those incredibly useful basic units that Maplin have, of course, ceased to offer. Above it, and held down by a rather crude arrangement with that strip of paxolin stuff, is a tiny on/off switch. There's not a lot of clearance under the machine for a big switch, nor an appropriate hole, so this, basically designed for PCB mounting, is mounted in a grommet and held in place by the paxolin. I must get around to adding an LED to replace the "On-Off" light.

Now the problem of making a small solar cell approx 8mm square cover sound tracks that are 12mm apart, even tocinegel royale_013a centres, let alone edge. Here are pictures of my solution, alongside the original photocell. For scale, both are cinegel royale_008a65mm/2.5" long. The two white discs are Teflon; everything else except the springs is brass. The two connection pins are simply held on by nuts. The two rods carrying springs are plain and a force fit into the base disc (right), just for the other disc to move up and down on. On the left is the 16mm position, with a larger, threaded, knob on top of a smaller sleeve. For the 9.5 position, a smaller, threaded knob is used. Both knobs have screw slots as fingers could not get inside the static drum. You can see the upper (left) disc has a cut-out where I plan to put a cell, if I can find a way to fix it to Teflon, and figure out a way to stop the leads from the cell getting caught in the springs. The central rod has to resist the pull against the springs, and I had to cut a flat in the side and put a grub screw thru the base to hold it in position.

Now the third job that I had initially missed.

Royalpix 010      Cinegel Royale_001      Cinegel Royale_003

Start with this pic (1) of the sound head, removed from the projector and partially dismantled. The film enters from the right, thru the rollers and round the static sound drum. Then round the damped roller bottom left and round the flywheel (this has been removed but locates in the hole next to the damped roller). It then passes to the sprocket, then round the lower right roller and on to the take-up.

Now a second pic, from a different angle. The static drum has a removable sleeve; here is the 16mm one, just placed on the end - it normally goes up flush to the face of the unit. As you can see, there is a big hole in the side of the drum, big enough to cover the 9.5/16 range. The sleeve has a small slit in the correct place (note locating pin and matching notch in the sleeve). It is embarrassing to confess I just did not realise that I would need a separate sleeve for 9.5, which had not come with the projector. I suppose I just thought the 16mm one was turned round. This was moderately challenging, but I rose to it. The third pic is of the two sleeves, the original 16 and my 9.5. Mine is in two parts, because I assumed the 9.5 film would run snug to the face of the unit as the 16 did. It didn't, so I had to make a spacer (with its own notch and locating pin), and cut some off the outside of the sleeve.

As you may by now expect, all of this is still a bit theoretical, in that I have yet to complete and test; we shall see. In the meantime, I have some other pix of the projector for you. Let us start with the naming of parts, altho' I shall not insult your intelligence by naming the obvious. 

cinegel royale_024b21 is the double-purpose film guide roller and pull/push Rewind Knob. 2 is the Framing Knob, 3 is the inching knob, with an unscrew-then-push-pull claw position changeover. 4 is the Sound Optic changeover lever and 5 the Sound Optic itself. 6 is the cell housing, 7 a damped roller and 8 the smoothing drum with flywheel. 9 is the volume control (my added on/off switch is somewhere behind the front foot). 10, between the motor and lamp switches, is a momentary contact switch, used after the motor switch is turned on, to boost the motor into motion. I am not sure if there is a capacitor in the motor (none visible elsewhere) or some other arrangement.

Cinegel Royale_026     cinegel royale_028a     Cinegel Royale_029

11 is the sprung lever that allows the gate to open and 12 the single pin that otherwise holds the front gate in position. Nearly all other projectors have two separate springs and points of contact. This pic shows the arrangement in more detail - a single knurled knob (and making sure the claw is back) allows this to be taken off for gate changing. Here are the various changeover bits - there are separate sound and silent gates for 9.5; the aperture plate is the rear, fixed gate. Finally, a close-up of the rear gate and claw.

As I understand it, there is a silent version of the same machine. This is presumably why the sound head is arranged as an independent add-on unit, although this does lead to a rather cramped layout. I am hoping to acquire a silent version, so I can compare and see if a home conversion would have been possible or if it was just to simplify manufacture.

Having tested, I found that, in fact, it does not seem to need a pre-amp at all; there is quite adequate volume from just connecting the cell direct to the mic socket of an amplifier. At the moment, the sound is a bit muffled and the machine almost seems to be running too fast. Obviously more fine-tuning needed. Also, the light seems quite dim on the screen, so a lamp conversion and possibly a separate source for the sound is indicated. This may have to wait while more urgent projects such as 17.5 move to the head of the queue.