Silent 9.5 machines

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Cinegel Silent

Did you ever have one of those days? There was I, innocently trying to run a bit of 9.5 I'd just checked, repaired and cleaned. I thought, "What a good opportunity to try out that little Cinegel". So I did; all well, quite a bright pic I thought from the 250v 300w A1/37, tho' the projection lens leaves a bit to be desired tho' of course nothing else will actually fit. Then a sudden clonk. Funny, I thought. Stopped (First Commandment) and checked. Projector turning over OK, concluded I had joggled the projector (I was tensioning the feed reel by hand). Tried again, OK for a moment or two then big clonk and projector stops.

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Nothing for it now but to take it apart. Above are the projector, then a naked rear view with the lamp housing detached, then a close-up of the claw mechanism (which looks quite a bit like a Vox claw). What had happened was that part of the condenser lens, ie one of the two elements, and the spring separating them, had fallen out into the mech. They were supposed to be held in place by a circlip affair, ie a springy bit of wire in a ring bigger than the hole, squashed to fit and so grip. Clear? The circlip was still in place, it was just not doing its job. How or why I know not, but the missing bits were still able to fall out when I re-fitted them.

So, into my trusty gander bag to find something to replace it. Remember one should never throw anything away (Second Commandment) ? Well, I keep all sorts, and found an odd bit of spring wire that turned out to be just right when bent to shape. That was the easy part. When I put the machine back together, narrowly avoiding forgetting to re-fit the drive pulley and belt, came to put the lamp back in and it wouldn't fit. I'd put the back element of the condenser in the wrong way round and it was fouling the lamp. Open it all up again, re-fit lens, then spot that I had broken off one of the lamp wires in all my fiddling. Re-solder, struggle to re-align lamp. Other end of wire breaks off. When I finally get it all back together ready to test, I found that, this time, I had not managed to avoid missing off the main pulley and belt. By the time I finally got it all working, I was a bit peeved. Not one of my better days.


This is an entirely different kind of Cinegel silent 9.5, kindly donated by David Whistler. And (pic 4) a model 220

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Here is the Rex I acquired in France; the Pathé logo on the lamphouse and the Rex badge on the front are about the only differences from the Eumigs. (See Eumig Super in Son (ugh!) of Gallery). More badge engineering. Also a couple of pages from the instructions - rest still in progress, and in French, but added here for John Collins who has just acquired the Eumig Super version.


The Eumig PIII is apparently quite a rare 9.5 machine. There have been rumours of a notched version, which would have been a great boon. Any sightings?. Bob Andrews loaned me a somewhat foxed copy of the instructions, which I have tarted up and reproduce below.

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've never really used a Gem in anger, so to speak, nor have I seen the instructions. So here as a compromise are the Instructions for a Mark VIII (and what an ugly machine it is), with 9.5 added as a footnote.

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various1Compare this to the original Gem, which has that amazing air of an Art Deco design out of its time, even tho' The Dark Lord corrupted it and made it into a Son (ugh!).

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Yet another of the fruits of my trip to Argenteuil in September 2011 was this Ercsam Senior 30 M 9.5 machine.

Being French, it is 110v as you would expect in a projector from this era.



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In a number of ways, its quite impressive. Its very solidly, even ruggedly, constructed and very modular.

Covers for the lamphouse and for the mech are simplicity itself to remove; the mech itself is an integral

unit that is secured to the lamphouse by just three knurled knobs that screw from the inside of the lamphouse

onto studs protruding from the mech; similar knobs provide many of the fittings on this machine. It looks like

the gearbox is a yet smaller sub-assembly, but I havent gone so far as to remove it.


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The lens/front gate assembly hinges right down to give easy access for cleaning and to the claw. The latter

is one of those which, although in front of the gate, turns thru 180 degrees to enter the film from the back.

The mech itself is solidly constructed with a chain drive for the sprockets; note also a limited central oiling

system. The shutter has only two blades odd for a silent machine but they are shaped oddly. Ive seen this

before, but I dont actually know what it is intended to achieve. One can speculate about speed and angle of

cut-off, but I would appreciate any input on this point. (NB, especially in the pictures of the mech, that the

yellow sheen to the brightwork is not wholly down to poor photography most of it cleans off but I ent done

it yet). An unusual feature is a fuse inside the lamphouse not sure why they felt this was right. The base, if

a little chunky, is very simple, just the two switches of an unusual, open design inside the base and a small

resistance for the motor speed. (The connector strip is my addition, tho it replaces a similar arrangement).


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The motor, as in a number of other machines, is an integral part of the structure; I think in this case the

blending-in has been done particularly well, with a tube to provide oil to the inner end of the motor, which

is not accessible without dismantling. The inching knob is on one end of the motor shaft where better? - and

at the other end is an unusually-designed fan, with partially-enclosed chambers which are presumably intended

to improve air flow to the lamp.


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Let me focus now on where I feel there are defects, or flaws in the design.

The very simple three-screw fixing of the mech to the fixed part of the lamphouse falls down slightly where one

of the knurled knobs falls too close to the side. Part of the inside of the lamphouse has been shaved away to

accommodate this, but it is still necessary to keep the corresponding stud back a little, then tighten the knob

part way, before finishing off. If you fit the mech up close to the lamphouse at the start, you cant get the knob

on. More serious is the belt-change problem. One has to attach the belt to the pulley that is part of the shutter

assembly, and to the motor pulley, with the mech not coupled up to the lamphouse, then fiddle things into place

while not dropping the belt from one or other pulley. My first replacement (the original was hopelessly floopy

and pink; you can see its residue in some of the pix) proved to be too tight and caused the motor to labour

there is no way of checking fit first. The lamphouse is fixed to the motor by four ordinary countersunk machine

screws, but one of them is almost wholly concealed by the lampholder. You have to unscrew the lampholder and

move it aside a bit (not much, cos theres very little play in the wires) in order to undo the fourth screw. Sloppy



I am also unimpressed with the framing arrangement. There is a little handle at the top of the rear gate, which

moves the entire thing up and down, with the two screws about half-way down holding the gate in place. It feels

crude and difficult to fine-tune, with some sideways movement as well, tho things may improve with cleaning and

a spot of lube.


Found another guiding pin for the framing while cleaning, so less bad than I thought, tho' still crude. Fitted a top

belt, which was an absolute devil to get in - no compromise towards DIY here, and I suspect the bottom is just as bad,

tho' that came ready-fitted. Went to check the motor brushes, because the motor was so slow, which I blamed in

part on the tension of the replacement belt I fitted. One simply would not come out and the motor did not want to

come apart easily so in the end I ground it away with an end mill. When I re-started with new brushes, not only did

I get an amazing firework display from the commutator, but it actually emitted smoke, not something I've seen before.

Once under load, however, it seemed to settle down and it does now have more speed (tho' I had also changed the

belt again......).

Threading up, I found the top loop was either impossibly tight or leaned back against the lamphouse - not good for

a silent-wound 9.5 film. The take-up needed a crossed belt - why, when this is a 9.5-only machine, I don't see. And

it also rubbed against both the reel and the spool arm. The lower spindle dog arrangement is unusual - the (fixed) spindle

screws into the arm. Next to the arm is a reduced diameter section over which a free-running dog-cum-pulley fits, so you

have to put the dog on the spindle, then screw the spindle in. It will need tightening pretty hard, 'cos if only finger-

tight, the spindle keeps unscrewing and dumping the reel!



This is yet another of the haul from Argenteuil 2011. The case is in lovely condition, tho' the machine

could do wit6h a clean. Not actually done anything with it. And it's 9.5. It says it's an Ercsam Malex, but I don't

know if that's a Model or a change of company name. I suspect the latter, as the single pic below just

says Malex. And has a Pathé Coq.


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This 8mm one spotted (but resisted) at Argenteuil 2009 bears an obvious family resemblance. It is an unusual

form of adding sound with what looks to be in effect its own built-in tape recorder - a double-band unit,

in fact, and a very neat one.







Never seen one of these - it was stated to be a 9.5mm Emel, found on French eBay.




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This is an 8mm Norris; I have the identical-looking 9.5 version, too. I found an original instruction leaflet, which I have tidied up for you. The shape of the motor looks early.


Keystone is a name I usually associate with 16mm, but this one appears to be 9.5.That dome presumably covers a pilot light.

The second machine is one Dave Humphrey is restoring.

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These two are a Keystone Supreme. The speed control is in the motor casing, the red knob you see on the front. As usual, I gave the machine a good lubricate, but I then found that I could not slow it down enough - the speed control cuts out at the bottom end of its range. Must try film - that would probably help.


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