For use of the Specto for Ultra Pan 8, click here

There is now lots on Specto, so a separate page is indicated. Aunt Em has had some Specto correspondence, too. The Ultra Pan 8 page also has stuff on it of more general relevance, tho' I haven't bothered to repeat it here.

specto1     Specto2

This is a picture of a 9.5/16 Specto from the Picture Gallery; there was also an 8/16 model. Single-gauge 8, 9.5 and 16 machines were made, too. Today, only the 9.5 and 9/16 machines seem to be in any demand; 8 and 16 machines, often in fine condition, are more or less given away. One day I must see if it is possible to transplant the 9.5 bits from a knackered machine to a pristine 8mm one. (Colin Loffler says he has done it He was right - I have it now). My 8mm-converted-to 9.5 (by Colin Loffler) Specto performs very well; the only slight hitch I have found is that the 9.5 framing needs to be at one end of the available adjustment. This means that when I want to open the lens housing to clean the gate, I have to slack off the framing a bit before the thing will open, and re-adjust afterwards. But the light output with original lamp is excellent.

I have come across what I fear may be evidence that Spectos, too, suffer from the dreaded Mazac disease. I had a 9.5/16, converted to QI, but non-functional because on of the raised "bearings" for the mech, on the plate behind the lens holder, had partially broken away and stopped the claw mech working properly. On closer examination, it looks like this was not the first time - two others seem to have been replaced. When I dismantled it all, the gearbox was very stiff and some of the individual gears were very tight in the bearings. I tried to remove the shutter shaft, but this actually broke the entire plate in two - very Mazac. This didn't matter as it was already well past it and I was deeply suspicious that Mazac had a part to play in making some of the shafts very stiff in the bearings. Worse, one of the 800' spool arms just broke apart in me 'ands, 'onest guv. This could probably be fixed if I needed to.


 specto mech_002a     specto mech_004a     specto mech_005a     specto mech_009a     specto mech_008a

spectomech09     spectomech10a    spectomech10     Spectomech06     spectomech08a

I have labelled bits in pic 7; 1 is the raised "bearing" referred to above - you can see the side has broken away and it simply would not hold the shaft it was supposed to support. At 7, the same thing seems to be happening to part of the hinge. 2&3 seem to me like replacements for broken parts (held by a screw from the other side) and I have suspicions about 5&6, tho' I may be wrong. Some of these are seen closer up in the next pic.

Anyway, to return to the plot, I also had a very nice 16mm Specto 750 with, as you would expect, a 750w mains lamp and the larger-barrelled lens that appeared in some late Spectos. I managed to transplant the 9.5/16 parts to the 16mm body, tho' I had to cut off a bit of one shaft which, as it was hardened steel, was tricky. Hopefully, I now have a decent 9.5 (and 16) Specto that has probably had less use than the poor, tired old 9.5 machines one sees so often. And it's gold and shiny. Done an 8mm to 9.5 one as well, now.

Spectogate1     Spectogate2     Spectogate3     Spectogate4     Spectogate5     Spectogate6

There are at least 2 quite different types of front gate fixing (quite apart from the adaptable gates for dual gauge machines). There is the simple single screw top and bottom type, with a large gate cut-out to miss the claw, and the more sophisticated four-point jobbie, used with a retractable claw. The latter seems to go with the wire gate-opener shown in pic 3; the earlier type has a cam immediately next to the handle, which works on one side of the gate only. Great care is needed with gates, because the screws are small (tiny in the case of the one that holds the gate-opening lever in place) and the threads are into Mazac or something very similar - it is all too easy to strip the threads.

The more complex arrangement of the retractable claw involves a different film retainer for the sprocket - earlier ones are straight and simply ride on the sprocket itself, and so, presumably, on the film, hence perhaps the change. Incidentally, I was wrong about 2&3 ; they seem to be the holes for the retractable pin that holds the rollers above rather than on the film.

I have mentioned earlier a problem with my 8mm-converted-to-9.5 Specto that I got from Colin Loffler. To open the gate, I have found it necessary to slack off the framing screw; the adjustment for 9.5 is close to the bottom of the available travel and I can't else open the gate. Then I have to re-adjust afterwards. However, I noticed while working on the Spectos that there is a small washer, really a spacer I suppose, inserted just above the lower hinge. I've not spotted it before; it may not always be there, having gotten lost over time. And I don't know what it does, tho' it is clearly original as it matches the colour of the projector. So I have removed it from the offending projector to see if it overcomes my little problem.

Finally, I have often noticed that the Specto lower arm leaves a 9.5 900' spool too high, so that it can interfere a little with the bottom of the projected picture. This presumably relates to the 800' capacity, which was all Specto claimed. On the ones I have been working on, I have noted that there is considerable scope for lowering the arm by filing away the "elbow" on the rear of the spool arm, which contacts that lump cast into the main body to support the arm. I made sure there was still room for a 1000' 9.5 reel, as I use these a lot, but there's no point in leaving the arm higher than need be.

In the 9.5 section, under Silent to Sound, are details of Specto sound units, repeated here as page 2 of this article.