(See Also   Duplex)


I have gotten my hands onto an unconverted Monaco (most were converted to standard 9.5 with one of the lenses blanked off). This projector is weird with a Capital W. It is not helped by the fact that the instruction manual was translated from the French and is in consequence hard to understand. Add to that a complex set of adjustments to make to change formats and you have a recipe for trouble. The machine has to cope with three different kinds of film:- standard Classic 9.5, 4.75mm Monoplex AND 9.5mm Duplex, which has two sets of sprocket holes, neither in the same place as the single perforation of Classic 9.5. 

For a start, it don't got any sprockets which, given the foregoing, is perhaps not too surprising. It was supposed to have a sprocketless film transport system, whereby the film was simply driven by revolving wheels/rollers. Look at the first pic below. The multi-tier thing on the right is what I assume to be the frictionless drive; you can see the top portion has channels for 9.5 and 4.75. Ok, so we suspend judgement for a moment. This is the feed side; when we get to the take-up side, we have an arrangement that looks identical, but ain't. The roller turns on the feed side, but on the take-up side, it is fixed. The lower portion, driving the belt, turns independently of the fixed upper section. How this can work without the take-up simply tugging at the film in the gate I cannot yet imagine. Good scope for scratches, too, I'd have thought.

Monaco 003     monaco 005a     monaco 006a     monaco 008a


And just look how insanely complex the gate(s) is/are. It must have been a nightmare to make. You can only have one half of the gate shut at a time; try to shut the wrong half and you can bust it. To adjust the gate from upright to horizontal projection, MAKE SURE BOTH HALVES OF THE GATE ARE OPEN then press in the red button visible above the gate and slide the whole gate unit along. Get it wrong, and you bust it. I have given you a series of pix so you can see it all. The instruction book insists things are done in a specific sequence to avoid damage.

monaco 001a     monaco 002a 

Now lets look at the opposite side, ie from behind the gate. I have shown a general view and a close-up. Concentrating on the close-up, you can see the following:-

- the central gear, with only a few spiral threads, which engages with gears on either side; these drive the rollers for the belts and, for the feed side, the sprocketless drive roller.

- the peculiar middle section of this gear, which I do not yet understand. I can, however, point out that the two holes between the two pairs of copper rivets   are where the drive from the motor connects.

- the single-bladed shutter, which can be seen from just after 2 o'clock to about 6.

- a horizontal metal strip near the bottom of the picture. This is of spring steel and is flexed upwards by pushing a button on the outside of the machine. The inner end of this button is the shiny bit  which can be seen at the left end of the strip. You can just see a vertical strip leading up from the horizontal strip; I assume this connects in some way with the shutter for adjustment. Didn't I mention that all these different formats also require a variable shutter? Presumably claw, cams and shutter adjustment are all behind the central gear, which is not a place I intend to go.

monaco 016a     monaco 009a     monaco 015a 

Now more pix. The first is as per the last two, but this time with the smiley-face ring attached. This ring is what provides for the rotation of the mechanism between horizontal and vertical. Then we have a view of the front of the main body of the projector. You can see the peculiar forked drive which fits into the two holes in the central gear referred to above, and the circular bed for the front turret. On the right is the spring strip which provides a simple lock/release mechanism for the turret rotation.Third is a pic of one of the three fittings that secure the turret to the body. Two of these can be seen in place in the previous pic. What happens is that the two prongs of the spring thing go into holes in the little bracket. The loop head of the spring is screwed from behind to the front of the projector body. The slight bend in the spring provides just enough friction when the screw is tightened to allow firm but fair rotation of the turret.

monaco 011a     monaco 012a 

This shows the flexible drive link from the motor; it's that brownish blob more or less in the centre of the pic. What it is, is a primitive sort of universal joint. Presumably the way the drive couples to the turret at the other end that forky thing has scope to flex and so this end needs the same. I have seen better quality flexible drives; this depends entirely on the durability of a piece of plastic or rubber, held by a split pin.

This pic also shows something of the general layout of the chitterlings. Just out of sight left, under the blue wire, is a standard resistance mat for the motor speed control. You can see it from the other side in the next pic. The tangle of wires bottom right is just mains input and motor and lamp switches. I assume the capacitor thing on top of the motor is something to do with suppressing radio/TV interference. The tall tubular resistance thing? I have no idea. (I later figured it was for running the motor, a 110v jobbie, from 240v).

Here are the instructions for use.


monaco monaco monaco monaco monaco monaco monaco monaco


monaco monaco monaco monaco monaco monaco monaco monaco


monaco monaco monaco monaco monaco monaco


Having actually run the thing, I can now say that it does work; against expectations, the sprocketless drive works and seems to have no trouble maintaining loops. It's OK once you actually get your head round it, but it was never going to succeed in the mass market.