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29th June 2014




This is the sprung pressure roller for the sound drum. The original roller is on the left; it hav that felty-looking stuff over part of it, no doubt heavily impregnated with oil and little bits of scratchy stuff. The new one is some sort of hardish rubber, which I set aside years ago for this very purpose. It comes from a 16mm machine, possibly an Elmo, and I think is an unused spare. It is hard enough to be able to machine it down a bit in width and to drill and tap for screws to hold the flange - this is essential to keep film in place. I thought of leaving it as a loose washer, but it tended to stick and defy the fairly light spring that holds it against the edge of the film so it had to be fixed to the roller.


28th June


I have finally gotten round to re-assembling the Super Rural. As always, there are always more things to do that take longer than you expect. The big thing that was holding me up was replacing the gate/condenser lens assembly, which fits into the face of the machine and, critically, is part of the seal for the oil-bath. Well, I have tried twice now with red haematite and it still leaks. May have to try something else.


Anyway, in the meantime I have been trying to sort the sound system (tho' not the amp, which is a whole other story). I have cobbled up a power supply to a 12v 10w baby halogen in the original sound tube, but I can't test it until I have the cell sorted, which is what I have been doing.


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The common elements are the long tube in the centre and the black cover to the left of it. The tube passes right through a big bearing (and the flywheel) around which the whole mech swivels and which also forms the sound drum. Originally, the tube would have contained a photo-electric cell, protruding into the black thing, which is fitted from the face of the machine and sticks out from the side. The other end of the tube carried a socket for connection to the amp. You can see the black thing in the second pic and get a general idea of how the whole thing fits together. By the time I got the machine, it had been converted to a cell (looks like a B&H one), with the cell mounted thru a hole in the rim of what seems to have been part of a 35mm film canister, (from when there used to be real film for cameras), split down the side so it could be rolled up to fit inside the black thing and hold the cell in place by the force exerted as it tried to unroll itself. Only Guardian readers will understand the full significance of this hitherto undocumented use. The wires passed to an interim connector, which looks like it was made from the base of the photocell, then on to the final socket which, for some reason, was mounted in another tube force-fitted inside the main tube. I felt this could be improved. My version is at the bottom; the only thing not, perhaps, immediately obvious is the steel rod. This is to give one, as Captain Lord Flasheart would have said, "something to hold on to", because the nylon plug is a very tight fit inside the black thing to stop it moving when I don't want it to move about.

I wonder if it will work? I find I still have quite a bit more to do before I can test, ie re-fitting top sprocket film retainer (now done that), sprung pressure roller for sound drum and final sprocket film retainer. And having put the spool arm assembly back on, it seems to have changed things just that necessary tiny bit to make the shutter "zing" as it turns. This is a bit of a bugger as it means taking the motor off.


22nd June


I have been catching up on a backlog of scanning and have added another eight of the French Catalogue Supplements


18th June


I have been so impressed by the light output from a dichroic mirror 12v 100w conversion I found on an H that I thought I would see if I could copy it.


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Here are the original and my attempt at a copy LH part of pix), using an old lamphouse front I had. It was not clear to me what the springs were for; any attempt to move the lamp forward would make the ends come out of the front of the plate, and rearward adjustment would also be problematic. I found particularly odd the fact that the lamp sat on top of the screw heads. I made a 2" square plate with the necessary large aperture and fixed this with bolts using the original holes (threaded 6BA) for the spring-loaded dowser plate. These bolts are screwed thru the lamphouse front plate, then into threaded holes in my square plate. Slightly tricky getting them all lined up at the same time, but once tightened up there is a rigid fixing. Other holes then provide for lamp retainers, screws and grub screws - I ended up with 2 of each rather than 3 and 1 as in the pix, as the ordinary bolt head on one side (bottom right in LH side of pic 1) fouled the motor resistance which shares the lamphouse. The basic idea is that 2 bolt heads hold the lamp down, the second grub screw being a locating pin whilst the first (top left) is designed to screw down into and thru the plate so as to free the lamp once the 2 bolts have been slackened. The two bolts have locknuts on the underside of the plate which provide a limited range of movement while ensuring the bolts don't just unscrew and fall out. Great care is needed not to tighten these bolts but to leave a bit of slack, to avoid breaking the glass and to allow for a bit of expansion.


That is when the trouble started. I thought my copy of the lamp mounting plate was reasonably accurate, but it badly fouled the motor resistance. I had to remove about 0.5cm from most of the edge that abuts the resistance, so that it fitted snugly right up against the resistance. Fortunately, all the wire turns on the resistance are vertical and well away from the edges of the former on which they are wound. Then I found that not all 12v 100w dichroic mirror lamps are created equal. The one from the original machine would just about go in, but the ones I had in stock would not. In the end, I just sliced about half off of the two small sockets into which the retaining bolts for the resistance are screwed, so moving it the whole resistance back a couple of mm. Will try to do a pic of the lamp in situ.



14th June


After all that work with a 200B I was telling you about last month, I found another one to play with and thought I would go for broke and see what happened if I put 24v 250w in. As usual, I tried to do it without changing the machine irretrievably, so went for a solution that just puts a holder for the new lamp into the old socket, adapting the wiring to feed the 24v thru the back, leaving the front to be 110v only. I think actually it would be better the other way round, then I could use the third socket at the back to provide an earth. One could of course block off both sockets and mount the projector on a box containing the necessary trannies and connect direct thru to the underside of the machine, but leave us not get too far ahead of ourselves.


Here are pix of the holder I made. On reflection, I would make the metal part shorter and mount the lamp holder on legs to make it easier to connect the wires.


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OK, so it's a game of two, or maybe three, halves, Brian. But first we have a rant about lampholders. These little round holders are very useful and can be fitted in lots of places. They are also readily available and most of the other holders one comes across are not much use, even the ones specifically made for projectors sometimes. But the problem with these round holders is that I find them an absolute swine to fit. This is mostly because the lamp contacts are not square to the mounting holes but are at a weird and it seems to me quite unnecessary angle. I admit I'm not much good at spatial stuff; I simply cannot get the damned things mounted so the filament of the lamp is square to the condenser lens.


You can see some of my problem here. The filament on the original 200B lamp is offset forwards inside the envelope, so one has to match this. You need a hole down the middle for the wires, which in this case as I wanted to put a pin down it as well was quite large so it was not possible to get two screw holes

for the fixings without hitting the hole. You should be able to see that I resolved this with a small extension piece screwed to the holder from below (this holder is unusual in that the mounting holes are threaded, but you could use a nut if not), with a hole at the other end for the second mounting screw.


To insulate the centre pin, I added a lower section made of PTFE-type stuff, screwed to the other section by some plastic bolts, and with a side screw to hold the centre pin in place. This pin is itself inside a sleeve so it is insulated from the metal section, and the wire from the lamp goes right inside the top of the sleeve (to maintain insulation) and is soldered into a hole in the top of the pin. Like I said, more space between the upper metal section and the lampholder would have been better. The other wire is simply trapped onto the bare metal and so to the outer connection in the original lampholder.

The unit is held in place by the usual screw at the lower back of the lamphouse, and the springy centre contact in the original lampholder allows a degree of up and down adjustment.


You ask why the lamp is so disgusting. I think it is due to the fact that I tried both this lamp and a dichroic jobbie on 12v hand-held in place to see what results mite be like before proceeding, and I don't think it liked it. It rapidly went partly grey and has continued to decline since. I may try fitting the dichroic later.


The irony in all of this is that when I tried a bit of film, I simply could not achieve focus, except by moving the lens much further forward than usual and even then getting a focus that was only in the centre, with the sides way out. Looked a bit like with a fish-eye lens. I have no idea why this is or what to do; all suggestions gratefully received.


2nd June


Couldn't resist sharing this Aunt Em exchange with you. I regret to inform you that Aunt Em has refused to breach client confidentiality, so I can't tell you who it is.....

Q. Picked up a CAMPRO recently. Just interested in putting it on display beside the MIDAS but, while in the case of the MIDAS I obtained an Owners Manual etc., for this CAMPRO I have nothing! If you have anything on it, would appreciate your input or if you can refer me to another source. I'd like to know what cartridge/magazine/charger was used; what voltage was used to the lamp and how the unit was set up as a projector?

(Before Aunt Em even had a chance to reply, a further email followed..)



Q. Sorry, sorry. Should have read your extensive website first! You've probably answered all of my questions.Have now just downloaded a hard copy to study, so I'll re-phrase my request.......if you have any 'new data' not yet published, I'd appreciate that,otherwise, I'll read all and if I have questions will come back to you.



A. What can I say? Actually, I find myself a bit like a gramophone record sometimes, repeatedly telling people Theres a lot of info AND PICTURES! on my website.



Q. You know what ?, I think you need an INDEX at the start of your comprehensive website for stupid people like me (!) so that the contents will POP OUT AT US before we start asking 'silly questions'. Sorry again.




A. There is a Projector Index and a Contents page, nestling next to each other at the top of the more traditional list of main sections on the Home Page. I think I should take your spade away before you dig yourself any deeper .


Q. You're being cruel now! (I know I deserve it). My problem has been that every time I open your website I JUMP STRAIGHT INTO 'WHAT'S NEW'.......not a bad thing, but I seem to forget the vast amount of material that is already embedded in the site after years of input by your good self. I will try harder in the future before you dismiss me out of the Class! Sorry again. Now get back to work with your important projects while I play around with my 'older version' CAMPRO.

Q. All read, understood and the little CAMPRO is alive and well and up and running, even the lamp illuminates brightly! Can't really say if I'll ever put it to use but it was fun getting it to operate. One question, when you have the time, did you ever source the little 'Projector Attachment' or establish what in fact it was ? Was it ONLY for the older version or for MKI and MKII

A. At last! You have found a small hole in my defences! No, I never found out anything about the attachment. Mind you, I never tried. A task worthy of your attention, perhaps? If you thought cruel before, how about this? I thought our recent exchange would make a splendid addition to Aunt Em's column. How much is it worth to anonymise it?



17th May


I have been wrestling on and off for an age with a problem afflicting certain Bolex DA machines belonging to me and various friends. What happens is that, while the notching mech works fine with the side off, add the side and the mech jams, or fails to turn, or turns very slowly and lackadaisically with no real page-2force or conviction. I have formed a theory that, for reasons unknown, wear or some other problem has caused the side plate to interfere with the correct operation of the notching mech. The tricky bit required testing of the theory by making a copy of part of the mech with part of it extended so as to move it well clear of the side plate. The part in question is shown in this pic; the section I have made longer is marked in red. This part is one half of a dog clutch; in use it actually sits up against the ring, fixed to the shaft with a thru pin, that you can see just in front of the other part of the dog clutch. It is this latter part that moves, against the spring you can see, to operate the notching mech. The part I have copied rotates but does not move to and fro once set in place. Anyway, it seems to work, but I am sending the new part to a friend to test further.

Oh, all right. Here are a couple of direct comparison pix.


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6th May

page-2I found myself in possession of three examples of the Coronet Model II or maybe II A, and have spent quite a lot of time trying to make even one working example from them. I would strongly advise anyone against bothering with these machines, because:-


a) the three I have are all suffering from Mazac disease. Two have lost the ends of their spool arms, and one has lost its cassette holder as well. I can't think of another machine where these parts are all integrated in a single casting. When the arms go, there's not a lot you can do, therefore, except glue them back on, which is hardly satisfactory. I know of at least one other machine with the same problem. The paint job is awful, flaking off all over the place, no doubt helped by the Mazac thing, but it seems clear to me that preparation like cleaning and priming simply did not happen.

b) There is far too much asbestos - see pix.

c) It is electrically unsafe. The mains cable has rotted and the insulation is crumbling. In addition, the two variable resistances are made with very fine wire and seem prone to multiple breaks - see pix.

d) They are not easy to work on, in some ways at least. Most notable is the intermittent mech, part of which is bolted to the side plate of the machine, but has to be fitted AFTER the side plate is in place but still loose.

That said, there are interesting features to this machine. It is one of a class of machine that, until recently, had not really crossed my radar screen, ie an intermittent sprocket sprocketless machine. In recent times I have come across the LaPierre, the Alef and now the Coronet. It seems to me a better system than a claw (or a beater, like the Triplico) because the film can be held stationary in the gate without the pull of the take-up messing things up, something I have found with some of the basic toy machines. In fact the Coronet goes one further and has a hold-back sprocket below the gate, so is not actually sprocketless. Quite why they did not go the whole hog and have two sprockets is a bit of a mystery, especially considering what Dekko did.

The Coronet intermittent is a strange beastie.

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Starting with the gate, there is a complex sliding arrangement to allow the gate to open and close, by a very small amount (so cleaning is an issue). Pic 1 shows the gate closed, pic 2 is a close-up with the gate open. It is an arrangement that one is surprised to find working still; it seems to be inviting trouble and sticking problems. The lower sprocket is on the shaft where the crank handle fits; this is busted as it, too, is made of Mazac. Fortunately, an Ace crank fits. The guide above this sprocket seems to play an important part in stabilising the shaft; as you can see, it is very close-fitting. The view from the opposite side, with the side plate removed, shows the 10-point "star" matching the 10-tooth sprocket. (The large gear is on the same shaft as the lower sprocket). Note the long "fork". Almost hidden behind this is the normal maltese cross pin arrangement. What may be less obvious is that this fork when rotating crosses the plane of the shutter and, if the machine is not correctly set up, the two collide with some force. Visible in pic 4, with the side-plate in place, is the flywheel on which is a pin that is constantly engaged in the fork. Note that, on the outside of the side plate, a second nut secures the planetary gear that rotates inside the flywheel - see pix 5 and 6. This gear is not actually connected to the flywheel; it is just bolted to the side plate. I don't pretend to understand quite how this works. I do know, however, that it makes it no easier to install the flywheel, which lies partly behind the large gear and so cannot be bolted into place until the side plate is nearly in position, and the floating planetary gear has to be juggled at the same time.

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Here are a couple of pix of the original lampholder block, which bolts thru the front plate below the gate. The only lamp I have between 3 machines says it is 40v 15w. I'm a bit dubious, but it does fit (needless to say, it is defunct). It was fairly simple to replace this with a block of aluminium supporting a halogen lampholder. I shall try 50w first, but might have to reduce it - that fan looks to be a pretty weedy affair unlikely to deliver much cooling. The lamp is powered by a low-voltage lighting "transformer" - this one can handle up to 60w. It fits quite neatly in the slot vacated by one of the resistances and some asbestos. There is a slot in the side of the machine adjacent to this (see pic 4 in the first block of pix) for the slider that ran along the resistance to set the input voltage. There was evidence of considerable heat being generated by this resistance. The slot is now covered by a perforated metal strip, held in place by a pair of slider knobs.

Two out of 3 of the motor resistances were useless, with multiple breaks in the very fine wire. I put masking tape on to try to prevent further unravelling and experimented to see if there was any prospect of being able to wind the wire back on and make joins, but it is beyond me. Even the one extant one has a join. The motor and its resistance form a base onto which the main body of the machine fits, with sprung connections in the terminal block seen in pic 6 above connecting with the pins in the base (pic 7).

The machine has no framing adjustment except by freeing and rotating the intermittent sprocket, a pretty hit and miss affair. The lens is small and very short throw. Two are very loose; the third has a protrusion on its side, presumably to provide grip, and seems, so far as I can tell, to be impossible to remove from its mount. Even with a 50w halogen, the pic is not terribly well lit. A noticeable feature is that when the motor is switched off, there is no messing; the machine clunks to an almost immediate and definite stop. When doing some tests, I noted that although the motor is rated at 110v, it needs a 240v feed to get above a crawl. Rewind handles, with fairly high ratio gearing, are built into both the cassette holder and the end of the upper spool arm.

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And finally, the finished (for a certain meaning of the word "finished") article.


2nd May 2014


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I have mentioned earlier my efforts to re-fettle a 200B Plus. Here, finally, is the finished article.


What I set out to do was:-


a) convert the lamp. I wanted to stay with 110v to avoid having multiple power supplies. I have told you about the failure of the 120v 150w valve-type base jobbie with mini internal mirror directly behind the filament and how I then ended up with a traditional pre-focus base lamp in a new holder.


b) get rid of the input at the front, which I do not like, and add a switch. Off-On-On switches seem hard to come by, so I have again used a On-Off-On, with the lamp only fed in one of the On positions. In practice this works fine; I start in the Motor On position, then switch rapidly across the Off position to Motor and Lamp On - the Off bit is barely noticeable. And it does of course mean one can rewind without the lamp. I thought that if I was changing to 110v only I should have a different input arrangement, so I have copied the Lux type, using a much-damaged plug I re-built. Showed you that before, too. In accordance with Standing Orders, it could be restored to original if required (ditto lampholder). Incidentally, I have removed all the asbestos from the lamphouse.


c) to get the machine looking as nearly as possible in the sort of condition it might have been when new, or at least nearly new. This involved in particular cleaning all the shiny bits which, as it extends to loads of fiddly bits like nuts and bolts, was quite a job. It has also had new feet and a very thin coat of satin-finish enamel to overcome the very tired-looking finish most old machines seem to get. I hope the pix give you some idea.


There are a couple of "defects" with the machine as it now stands. The base - as is so often the case - had been broken right across the rear. I have however found a superglue that really works on bakelite and the join has held up thru an awful lot of man-handling as work has proceeded. There was minor damage to the lamphouse top also. The other thing is that it had a still picture capability. Unfortunately, I have mislaid the (manually-operated) heat shutter somewhere along the line, so have rebuilt without it, since I don't really approve of stills devices anyway. However, against the chance that it might still turn up, I have not removed the other part of the mech, ie that extra roller by the motor pulley, even tho' I think it's a pretty dodgy way of doing things.


I hope the pix give you some idea of the finished article. Trouble is, so many old machines need similar treatment and it's very time-consuming. However, you might just get the chance to by-pass all that, if I sell this one. Watch for the next Flickers Marketplace.



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