Various 8

8mm Various


A Beaulieu 708 EL. As so often, someone has been convinced that projectors love damp and you can see from the pix below how the finish on the main casting has suffered. The original finish seems to have been a matt black with texture-y bits; these seem to have enlarged and become spiky and a sort of whitish sheen has appeared as well. You can also see the general state of my workbench, which I usually try to conceal from you by editing the background out.

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At first, the motor wouldn't run, tho' the amp and lamp did. I poked and fiddled ( and replaced the main "fuse" of silver paper with a proper fuse - presumably fuses are for wimps), clicked things etc and, not knowing what I did, succeeded in making it run. First impressions of light and sound are very favourable. Final pic is a Beaulieu silent - looks a bit primitive.


Bell and Howell 606

This machine came in two versions. The first was a standard B&H design, with a resistance for the lamp built into the top of the lamphouse. It seemed frankly a very retrograde step after the Filmo 8. Although this had only 200' spool capacity, it looked vastly better, black where the 606 was a sort of dull brown/red crinkle finish that has aged badly. Almost as if in recognition that the 606 was a design disaster, it was then utterly transformed into the splendid 606H, in a beautiful silvery gold finish, to become what I think is one of the most attractive projectors around. The resistance in the lamphouse is gone and we have separate motor and lamp switches. But they are odd machines, with that friction brake speed control - it's just a tiny slice of the sort of stuff car brake pads were made of, pressed against the fan by a sprung plunger with screw adjustment.

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I sacrificed (Jan 2012) a very battered and faded B&H 606 which was just taking up space. As usual, I dismantled it for any possibly useful parts. I thought I would show you this pic of the drive to the arms. I had to remove 9 screws to get the cover off, and then found this insanely complicated gear train. The large gear on the left end, and the somewhat smaller corresponding gear on the right hand end are moved in and out of engagement with the small gears at the ends of the arms by the rewind lever. There are even hidden gears below some of the visible ones. I can't help thinking this is totally over the top and quite needlessly complicated. Not that the rest of the mech is straightforward, either. It must have made servicing and repair a nightmare and well beyond the capability of the average cine enthusiast.


Been fiddling with a B&H 606H 8mm machine (July 2010). For some reason I have yet to discover, the motor is running slow and hot. Anyway, while I had it in bits, I thought you'd like to see the innards.

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First pic is looking towards front of proj; top of proj is on R. Gate aperture bottom, that thingy (top) is the primitive speed control device. Second pic looks to rear of proj, which is upside down. The motor shaft (see pic 4) comes up thru that hole next to the pulley thing. The shaft carries a small grooved wheel, which is a friction drive against the larger one. Also evident is the still pic device, which opens a gap between the two wheels and brings the heat shutter into play.

The RH bit of pic 3 is the rear of the part in pic 2; you can see the bearing the motor shaft passes thru. The LH bit is a conventional motor cage. You can see upper R the curved slot into which fits a sliver of brake shoe material. Speed of the motor is controlled by this being forced against the face of the fan assembly on the motor shaft, ie control is by increasing or decreasing the load on the motor. I have always felt this to be poor design and a weak point of this B&H mechanism, although I suppose it doesn't matter much if you lose energy via a resistance or like this.

In the end, I failed to make the motor run fast all the time, so have shelved it as a spares machine. One other thing I did, tho', was to try a new way of wiring. Original B&H mains leads are rare and often decaying, so I removed the original fitting from the projector. In its place I put a block of steel, about a 1" cube (have to chamfer the corners a bit for it to go in). I made a threaded hole in it, so I could copy the original method of holding it in place, ie a screw down thru the top of the socket. I also bored a central hole for a wire, which was connected inside the machine by ordinary soldered joins, covered with heat-shrink tubing. I put a knot in the cable inside the machine to stop it being pulled about. As I also dislike those great, clumsy trailing leads, I cut the cable to about 6 " long and put a socket on the end, which will take any standard euro plug, like you get on kettles and computers.


B&H 625

This one is brown, and takes a standard 500w pre-focus lamp. I can't imagine how they came to choose such a drab colour. It has speed control by a belt drive with two comical pulleys; by varying the position of the belt, the ratio and so speed is varied. I seem to recall this from the dim and distant past as being tricksy; this one needs to start slow or it stalls - mind you, a set of new belts might help. But there is no point as the film is unsteady in the gate. The claw appears to be slightly out of line and so catching the film. Extra tension on the top gate spring cures it, but presumably at the risk of damage to sprocket edges. There is in any event no way of doing anything with the gate springs, as they are riveted or peened in place rather than bolted. There also seems to me to be some "bounce" at the bottom of the claw stroke. I do not have the knowledge to do much about this, tho' I would welcome input from anyone who knows.

BH625Back1    BH625Back2    BH625front

I don't like the securing mech for the folding spool arm - far too floopy. I don't like the very tight trapping of the spring belts, which is a nuisance. I don't like the front cover, the catch of which usually seems to fail. This is partly due to having a fat mains lead to try to somehow bundle up inside the cover when it really just wants to spring out all over the place. This is in turn due to possibly the most stupid mains input B&H ever used, where the cable enters vertically thru the front "deck" of the machine. Not unnaturally, it is subject to extreme bending forces at the point of entry and weakens dangerously - one can easily imagine a short as the wires inside the cable deteriorate invisibly. And it looks like an absolute pig to replace.


  BH635001    BH635004    

While rummaging around doing a bit of tidying up. I came across a B&H 635 Std 8 machine. This dates way back to an era when I acquired, because there was sufficient interesting and useful stuff, a job lot of projectors and equipment that had originally come from someone who repaired them (maybe for a living, which might actually have been possible when he was doing it). The only thing I could find wrong with this one was the speed control lever, which sticks out at the front at the line between grey and silver. For some reason, the lever was constructed in two pieces. One was a large and complicated thing that fitted around the shaft of the adjustable front foot (!). The other was a tiny little tongue - most of which is what is actually visible from the outside. This second piece was lightly tack-welded to the first in a sort of overlap joint, and the problem was this weld had failed. As you can imagine, taking apart to get at was typically awkward and fiddly, but in the end I succeeded in replacing the weld with two screw, reinforced by superglue (mostly in the hope it would stop the screws moving).

I was, however, moved to ponder on the design of the 635 and its various sister machines. They had some major defects. First was the lamp, which at 21.5v 150w was quite bright (tiny mirror behind filament) but expensive, short-lived and, as things moved on to QI etc, exceeding rare. Second was the speed control. That little lever of which I have spoke caused a rubber belt to slide and so change the drive ratio, there being two conical pulleys, facing opposite ways, with an available travel for the belt across the pulleys of about an inch. This resulted in a fairly floppy drive and one which had to be nursed along to increas speed. Too fast a movement of the lever and the belt could not respond fast enough and delivered a very high ratio for an instant, causing the mech to stall. This is not good for films as they get holes burnt in them. Third, I have mentioned elsewhere the stupidity of a mains lead emerging from a horizontal surface, ie vertically. 

Nonetheless, this is a very pretty machine and great fun for the dabbler like myself, with an excellent zoom ;ens. The 635 improves on its predecessor by having a much more robust system for folding away the arms, and scores over successor machines that are grossly disfigured by translucent plastic guides for auto-threading. Very ugly.



I have recently processed a Cineric Type F 8mm machine I acquired at the big Argenteuil cine fair in 2011. I just love the glossy brown bakelite casing.

CinericTypeF01      CinericTypeF02     CinericTypeF03     CinericTypeF04     CinericTypeF05     CinericTypeF06     CinericTypeF07

It's in very good nick; the very strong cardboard box it came in seems to have taken all the punishment - which is, after all, its most important job. For some reason, it had been re-wired to take a 230v lamp instead of the original 110v. This seems odd, as I had always thought that 110v lamps gave greater efficiency. There was a separate wire trailing out thru the grille at the back, so I re-wired it back to 110v. The pilot lamp - missing here - seems to have been quite a large one, but at 110v 3w, with a base the size of a torch bulb I don't expect much luck in finding one. There is a hint in the instructions that there is a circuit thru the main lamp to the pilot, but I have not yet fathomed this. But it's a lovely little machine, that works well and runs very cool for a 400w lamp (should be 500w really but I had the 400w on hand). Both spool arms have little spring-loaded dog clutches, one engaged for take-up and the other for rewind.

cinericFinstrs01     cinericFinstrs02     cinericFinstrs03     cinericFinstrs04     cinericFinstrs05     cinericFinstrs06     cinericFinstrs07     cinericFinstrs08      cinericFinstrs1     cinericFinstrs2

For the ACE piece on this machine, see Row 6 of the ACW pages on the opening 8mm page.


 dominus leaflet1a    dominus leafletb2

Found a leaflet for the Dominus. It was over-stamped with "New Price £120", so presumably was originally even pricier.

 dominus0001    dominus0002    dominus0003    dominus0004

These pages about the Dominus have defeated my photo-editing skills, but as I have one on the bench even as we speak, I thought them well worth including. I'll do you some pix of the real thing. It's an amazingly well-engineered bit of tackle but, as you can see from the review, it has some fairly basic flaws.


dominus 010     dominus 011     dominus 001     dominus 005     dominus 002     dominus 004    dominus 006    dominus 007    dominus 008    dominus 009

When closed up, it's just an anonymous two-tone grey box. As required by the Regulations for the Storage of Projectors Not in Use, it has obviously been stored in a damp, unheated area, to maximise the chances of condensation, rust, mould growth and electrical dysfunction. Take the covers off the sides and you have a fairly conventional tape deck, but vertical, and a projector, which is most odd, with those drunken loops and a lens pointing straight out. To see any more, you have to dismantle, which involves taking off a cover that goes over 3 sides of the cube, with the handle at the top. The mains inlet is odd; you need to unscrew and disconnect it before removing the cover, and in reverse on re-assembly. I think I was lucky with this machine in that there was nothing much wrong; as you can see, further dismantling would be a job and a half. I did manage to make a brief recording and play it back, so it's clearly functional. The entire thing is run by the one induction motor, to give constant speed. 

Interestingly, The Dominus is based on an original French design. The Danson was based on an Italian design. Was there something of a trend after the war for small British companies to find foreign designs to reproduce? I can't see it ever making much economic sense; the Danson ended up remaindered for a mere £60. The Dominus can't have sold widely - I don't know the date of the ACW but it can't have been long before 8mm mag sound blew such machines out of the water, and it had the P8 as a competitor As it is, I was the only bidder on eBay and got it for a mere £2, which is insane. I only bid cos it was local. 


Have had for years a Russian silent S8, but never looked in detail until now. It's a remarkable piece of mechanical design and engineering, but the styling must, even at the time, have looked rather dated alongside, say, the Eumig Mark 8. In those pre-Glasnost days, of course, stuff like this was heavily subsidised and you got a lot of bangs for your bucks.

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The styling speaks for itself. Pix 3 and 4 show the idiosyncratic but cute way the arms fold away into the cube of Pic 1, hence the two deep round holes in the face of the machine. One snag is that the drop-down front just sits there - it will only go a bit further than flat, so you can't even dangle it over the edge of a table and it sits there in the way.

Undoing the single knurled screw next to the little red (of course!) pilot light, gives access to the chitterlings, or inside bits. Most unusually, some of the components, notably the transformer, are actually on the hinge-down flap, making it heavy and easy to drop. What would the Health and Safety people say, my dear? Close examination will reveal a disc with four projecting lugs on the end of the sprocket shaft above the projector. These operate a switch, four times per rotation. What you can't see is that on the back of the machine is a socket like an old-fashioned valve socket; presumably there was some kind of synchronising arrangement, possibly involving motor speed control.

What you also can't see, partly because I had taken part of it out before I took the pic, is that there is a centrifugal thingy on the end of the shutter shaft. This operates a heat filter which comes into play when revs drop. Even tho' I don't much like 8mm, I am reluctantly impressed by this machine. Quite a bright light, too, from a standard A1/186 12v 100w incandescent; I suspect the optics are very good, as was often the case with Eastern European stuff.

A sound attachment was advertised, too.


Here are the instructions.

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This (2 LH pix) looks pretty sophisticated for a Noris, with coarse and fine speed controls and, as it's called a Synchroner, presumably for sound-related purposes? Compare with its baby brother on the right, of which there were 8, 9.5 and 16mm (last 2 pix) versions.

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I found I had a rather battered old instruction book for the Synchroner - it appears only responsible people, married with kids, were allowed to use one.


Now, how's about THIS for a projector.

Revere8 1      Revere8 2

This is a Revere, and it's a proper projector, made of metal and with a commonly available pre-focus 500w incandescent lamp. Superficially similar to contemporary B&H machines, it is in fact better thought out. Apart from the lamp there is rheostat speed control, rather than that brake thing B&H have. It has nice little touches like a little window that can be opened under the gate to provide a bit of light to check all is well. Oddly, spool capacity is 300'. I just think it's an elegant machine. I love it. 



Technicolor produced mini projectors, either side of the emergence of Super 8, to show pre-loaded cassettes, basically for industrial education use. I acquired a Std 8 and a Super 8 and loads of cassettes from the coal industry many years ago, and played around with putting Super 8 silent films in some of the cassettes - there is a little doover and instructions to help wind them the right way for the endless loop to work properly. You can project direct or via a right angle mirror, either built into a box with a little screen built in or freestanding projector and screen. The lens was very short throw, but of very good quality. Larry Pearce sold the machines off cheap many years ago, and also re-sleeved the lenses from some to fit projectors such as the Vox - a very welcome solution to my domestic projection problems at the time.

Tecnicolor01     Tecnicolor02     Tecnicolor03     Tecnicolor04     Tecnicolor05     Tecnicolor06     Tecnicolor07     Tecnicolor08



Toei 1     toei 2     ToeiTalkie3     Toei recordunit

Dave Whistler has reproduced the instructions for the Toei optical and magnetic Standard 8mm projector - they look good. He is happy to provide copies - they're a bit more informative than many - and I will happily pass your details on to him. Sadly I can't print his email address for fear of the evil spammers. Here are ads, a real one and a record/mixer unit.