There were at least 3 different models of 9.5mm Dekko that I would class basically as toys, two hand-cranked and one motorised with sprockets. The latter still falls pretty much into the toy category because of its gate. Here are some pix.


Dekko07     Dekko05     Dekko 001     dekko 004a     dekko 005a      Dekko SB_reels     

Dekko obviously had a basic claw and gate that they used in all three machines pictured above; the first was also sold under the Coronet label - conveniently, the machine itself is anonymous. (I would be pleased to get details if there are any other models). But like the Pathé Baby, there were fundamental flaws which strictly limited the scope for development. In contrast, look at the Ampro or old B&H - mechs which easily made the transition to sound, tho' even B&H ultimately faced limits on how much light could be pushed thru a small lens barrel. For Dekko, the flaw is basically the gate; see pic 5 above. The two parts of the gate are fixed together in such a way as to limit their separation at any point to a couple of mm, or about 16th of an inch. Like the Pathé Kid, the film has to be pushed down thru the gate channel to thread, and cannot be removed part-way thru a reel. Rewinding, except at the end, has to be thru the gate. The gate is inaccessible for cleaning - you can't even get a thin brush between the two leaves. You have to remove the pulley, undo 3 nuts and remove the mech cover. Once you have fiddled the gate out, it is still difficult to clean and you can't even see inside to gauge the degree of cleaning you might have achieved. All the springing of the gate to hold film and to allow it to move back if the claw is out of register with the sprocket holes, is provided by a basic compression spring which fits over the condenser lens. The gate is only secured by the top pivot; the spring does the rest. The other obvious drawback of a small lamphouse and limited lamp power could more readily be overcome, as there is nothing to stop a larger housing being fitted. Or Super arms (see ad in last pic)

I have looked mainly at the motorised machine in pix 3-6 above. It is in many ways a surprisingly sturdy and well-made machine, with decent sprockets. But that gate! The lamphouse may hold a slightly more powerful lamp - it is marked 50-25w, presumably being 50v 25w, with a standard small bayonet cap. I can't tell about the hand machines as the lamps are not marked. What makes me think the lamp may be more powerful, tho', is a rather surprising feature of the motorised machine - the cooling from the motor fan is directed not to the lamphouse but down into the base, presumably to cool the substantial resistance needed to drop mains voltage to 50v. (The top of this resistance also seems to serve as the motor speed control.) The wires in the base are either sheathed in heat-proof fabric or - mostly - covered in ceramic beads. Can I once again warn people not to trust the wiring in old projectors; here, the insulation on the mains input wires had hardened and cracked, exposing bare wires both to the mech and to each other - I had to replace most of the wiring. It would be relatively simple to install a halogen lamp, powered by one of those low-voltage lighting transformers which would easily fit in the base, but elsewhere important things are happening.

You may have noted that the machine in pic 2 has a pulley behind its crank handle, even tho' the machine appears basically designed only for 30 and 60' cassettes. However, the one I acquired recently had a "Super Arm" to enable 300' reels to be used, presumably driven from the pulley. I have now found a fitment for the top arm as well. Curiously, the motorised machine has a spring-loaded pulley which pivots on an extra small arm fitted on the bottom arm with a rubber pad at the opposite side of the pivot, that seems the same as the arrangement on the Baby, Lux and other sprocketless machines for braking the spool if the film is pulled tight. Also note the fixed stud and removable knurled knob on the top of the motorised model, presumably to fit a device for holding cassettes. The drive to the spools for take-up or rewind is also unusual. The pulleys on the spool spindles incorporate the peg/stud that engages with the drive holes in the reel. The pulleys are not fixed and are placed outside the spool, being held in place by push-on sprung doodads, such as I have seen on some other machines. I have left one spool off to help to show how this works. This arrangement, of course, invites the loss of the vital pulley-cum-drive-dog or the retainer, and I have already had to make one pulley. I have left both belts in position; the relevant one of course would have to be removed before projecting or re-winding.

I did try running some film thru the sprocketed machine, but the picture was vertically unsteady and it didn't seem worth spending a lot of time on fixing it.

The other machine sold under the Dekko label was radically different.

Dekko 8mm     bobadekko 9.5a     Dekko 016     Dekko 011     Dekko 013     Dekko 010     Dekko 010     Dekko 014     Dekko 016


This was produced in 8, 9.5 and 16mm versions, and is a totally different animal and vastly superior to its earlier eponymous stable-mates. I haven't yet found out a great deal about the Dekko, which has not come much in my way; the machines in the first two pix are not mine and the rest are of a considerably-bodged example I found deep in the vaults of Cinerdistan. For that reason, you get only basic pix, not cleaned up like you are used to. As you can see, the mech is much higher quality, with a proper gear drive, much like latter-day B&H in layout. But beyond that, the design is pretty weird. I don't think that boxy shape can have helped increase sales, for a start. There is no access from underneath as in most projectors, the base contains the motor (a standard Specto look-alike) and fan, then the mech and the control panel are mounted on top. This seems to have involved mounting the motor resistance at a weird angle. The machine has had a new input socket (badly) fitted and a transformer for the 12v halogen lamp. There was no lens, but old-style B&H fit, and despite all, the machine does run, tho' clunkily.

I have no idea where this radically different projector design came from, and should be grateful for info, including a copy of the manual. Unusually, Gerald McKee has let me down and only mentions this model in passing. He does say it had a 500w lamp, which would place it up there with the Eumig P26 and Bolex M8R, tho' I have to say it would struggle against these Rolls Royce machines.

Later. I have come across something from ACW that casts at least some light on where this later, more advanced Dekko came from.

8mm proj_guide24a

The inference I draw is that Dekko did some war work which forced them to raise their game, plus a new boss.

Cameras were also sold under the Dekko name; they seem already to have been of higher quality than the earler projectors.

Dekko Camera_1     Dekko Camera_2     Dekko Camera_3     ACWDec35Dekko     ACWDec34001     ACWJan35010     ACWJun35006     ACWMar35002     ACWSept35006

 Finally, a real one!

Dekko Cam1     Dekko Cam2     Dekko Cam3