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Author Topic: Bolex 18-5L - DIY Lamp Conversion
Janice Glesser
Film Goddess

Posts: 3468
From: Sunnyvale, CA USA
Registered: Sep 2011


 - posted September 26, 2014 02:23 AM      Profile for Janice Glesser   Email Janice Glesser   Send New Private Message       Edit/Delete Post 
I bought a Bolex 18-5L a few months ago. These are great little Super 8mm silent projectors. Sturdy built...very quiet...very steady picture. However the one I got didn't have a power cord and it not only had that expensive spaceman bulb...but this bulb had a funky base you just can't find anymore. So I proceeded to rectify these issues.

First, I said the projector didn't come with a power cord...well that's not totally accurate. The previous owner had made a power cord with un-shielded wire connectors which proved to be an extremely dangerous solution. I replaced the connectors with shielded ones...but I still felt it wasn't safe. I had a 2-prong socket type plug from my Chinon 2500GL that I gave a try. WOW! It was a little tight but worked fine ... and much safer. I've ordered another 2-prong cord from Amazon to see if it will fit also.

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Next to replace the lamp.

The lamp holder I got from a spare Sankyo 2000H and I fabricated the new raised base for the holder, by cutting a piece of sheet metal.
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I only had a 50W bulb (it will take up to 75W)...but it was plenty bright.
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Projected great!
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[ September 26, 2014, 05:12 PM: Message edited by: Janice Glesser ]

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Janice

"I'm having a very good day!"
Richard Dreyfuss - Let It Ride (1989).

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Paul Mason
Jedi Master Film Handler

Posts: 540
From: Aldershot, Hampshire, UK
Registered: Nov 2013


 - posted September 26, 2014 04:10 AM      Profile for Paul Mason     Send New Private Message       Edit/Delete Post 
Hi Janice,
That's an excellent neat lamp conversion you did. Thank you for showing us how to do it.

I also have an 18-5L which is a lovely compact, beautifully engineered projector. I was lucky, mine had already been converted or was a late factory fitted example with a 12V 75W mirror lamp. It is rumoured that some owners have fitted 12V 100W lamps without problems due to Bolex's generously rated transformer. However there is no need as it has plenty of light, 75W lamps are still readily available and an unnecessary risk to an old valuable machine.

One concern. My 18-5 has a socket on the power lead including a ground or earth connection. You will need the correct Bolex lead to provide a ground connection as the Chinon appears not to have this.

--------------------
Paul.

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Paul Adsett
Film God

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From: USA
Registered: Jun 2003


 - posted September 26, 2014 11:05 AM      Profile for Paul Adsett     Send New Private Message       Edit/Delete Post 
Yet another great piece of engineering work by the awesome Janice! [Smile]

--------------------
The best of all worlds- 8mm, super 8mm, 9.5mm, and HD Digital Projection,
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Janice Glesser
Film Goddess

Posts: 3468
From: Sunnyvale, CA USA
Registered: Sep 2011


 - posted September 26, 2014 05:28 PM      Profile for Janice Glesser   Email Janice Glesser   Send New Private Message       Edit/Delete Post 
Paul Mason and Paul Adsett thank you for the nice comments. I post these little projects in hopes that it helps others and stimulates alternative solutions.

I received the new power cord today and with a little bending, stretching, and prodding of the socket with a screwdriver, I was able to get it to fit onto the prongs of the projector.

As far as I know this solution only works on the North American design of the Bolex 18-5L projectors. This projector has a 2-prong outlet with no ground.

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Power Cord bought from Amazon
http://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B000068OA6/ref=oh_aui_detailpage_o00_s00?ie=UTF8&psc=1

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... with a little manipulation and persuasion the socket elements can be stretched to fit over the 2-prongs of the outlet.

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--------------------
Janice

"I'm having a very good day!"
Richard Dreyfuss - Let It Ride (1989).

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John Richard Almond
Expert Film Handler

Posts: 103
From: England
Registered: Feb 2012


 - posted September 26, 2014 05:51 PM      Profile for John Richard Almond   Email John Richard Almond   Send New Private Message       Edit/Delete Post 
have a look in this thread please.

http://8mmforum.film-tech.com/

I have around ten of the spaceman bulbs so I dont think I will need to replace the lamp any time soon.

But your photo of the input socket looks different to mine. Like Paul says, there should be a contact on the plug to earth the machine.

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Janice Glesser
Film Goddess

Posts: 3468
From: Sunnyvale, CA USA
Registered: Sep 2011


 - posted September 26, 2014 06:39 PM      Profile for Janice Glesser   Email Janice Glesser   Send New Private Message       Edit/Delete Post 
Hi John... Glad to hear you won't have any bulb issues. The US models of this projector ARE different. My solution relates only to the model I've shown. It's been discussed before in another thread that several US model projectors only have the 2-pin cords, e.g. Sankyo 1000 & 2000H, Chinon 2500GL, Keystone 2500....and others of this type. I realize a ground is safer, but that's the way these models were designed. For me...it's just not practical to change the outlet.

Here's a comparison photo of the CXR lamps I have. The two outer lamps are both labeled CXR and have the same base design. This bulb design although can be expensive... is still available. The bulb in the middle is the one that came with my Bolex 18-5L and if you look closely...you'll see it has a different base design... one not so readily available.

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Janice

"I'm having a very good day!"
Richard Dreyfuss - Let It Ride (1989).

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Terry Lagler
Jedi Master Film Handler

Posts: 525
From: Ontario, Canada
Registered: Apr 2008


 - posted September 26, 2014 09:37 PM      Profile for Terry Lagler   Author's Homepage   Email Terry Lagler   Send New Private Message       Edit/Delete Post 
Hi Janice

I hope I'm not hijacking this thread, but I thought this might be an interesting little addition. I just finished a test this evening and lo and behold I just saw your post!!
Last Sunday I bought a dozen standard 8 Laurel and Hardy's locally off Kijiji and the owner also gave me their "old" projector (Bolex 18-5). It too, was without the power cord but as I already have a nice working one with cord I though I might try a little conversion.
My mount is take from a trashed Sankyo 700 and and I tested it with a 50w dollar store lamp - worked well with slighty less light output, I'm assuming because it is a 12V 50W lamp.
I see there are EFM lamps rated at 8V 50W on Ebay - same as CXR's - might give that a try.

Was not too worried if it failed but early results are promising. This 18-5 has a 1:1.3 f=12.5 - 25mm zoom which was a plus since my "working 18-5 only had a fixed lens so I get a much bigger image now.

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BTW - wonderful work Janice!

Cheers
Terry

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Janice Glesser
Film Goddess

Posts: 3468
From: Sunnyvale, CA USA
Registered: Sep 2011


 - posted September 26, 2014 09:49 PM      Profile for Janice Glesser   Email Janice Glesser   Send New Private Message       Edit/Delete Post 
Looks really good Terry! Does your model take a 2 or 3 prong cord? You should look for an EFN bulb. It is 12V - 75W.

I only have a fixed lens on mine...a zoom would be much better. I'm keeping my eyes out for one [Smile]

--------------------
Janice

"I'm having a very good day!"
Richard Dreyfuss - Let It Ride (1989).

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Terry Lagler
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From: Ontario, Canada
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 - posted September 27, 2014 10:08 AM      Profile for Terry Lagler   Author's Homepage   Email Terry Lagler   Send New Private Message       Edit/Delete Post 
Same configuration as yours Janice.

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I will take your advice on the 75W lamp.

BTW your DIY method saved a few bucks!!

Cheers
Terry

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Maurice Leakey
Film God

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From: Bristol. United Kingdom
Registered: Oct 2007


 - posted September 27, 2014 11:09 AM      Profile for Maurice Leakey   Email Maurice Leakey   Send New Private Message       Edit/Delete Post 
Janice
Is this what you purchased?
http://www.ebay.co.uk/itm/Hosa-Technology-8ft-PWC-178-Power-Cord-IEC-C9-to-NEMA-1-15P-Cable-PWC178-/251448198219?pt=US_Cables_Snakes_Interconnects&hash=item3a8b7b044b
If so, it might interest other owners who do not have a power cord. If an earth connection is required (UK etc) then a separate wire could be attached to a suitable point on the projector.

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Maurice

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Paul Adsett
Film God

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From: USA
Registered: Jun 2003


 - posted September 27, 2014 12:37 PM      Profile for Paul Adsett     Send New Private Message       Edit/Delete Post 
My 18-5 standard 8mm has only a 2-pin socket. No provision for a ground connection.
I love the easy manual threading and rear sprung gate design of this superb projector. The whole machine is so compact , quiet running, and beautifully made to the legendary Bolex quality.

--------------------
The best of all worlds- 8mm, super 8mm, 9.5mm, and HD Digital Projection,
Elmo GS1200 f1.0 2-blade
Eumig S938 Stereo f1.0 Ektar
Panasonic PT-AE4000U digital pj

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Janice Glesser
Film Goddess

Posts: 3468
From: Sunnyvale, CA USA
Registered: Sep 2011


 - posted September 27, 2014 01:56 PM      Profile for Janice Glesser   Email Janice Glesser   Send New Private Message       Edit/Delete Post 
Yes, Maurice....that looks like the same cord. Hopefully it will work for you guys too [Smile] If the prongs on your machine are the same size as on mine...then like I said with a little stretching and prodding you can make it fit.

Paul...I agree about the great quality of this little Bolex. It's a pleasure to run even though it looks like a 1950's toaster [Smile]

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[ September 27, 2014, 06:32 PM: Message edited by: Janice Glesser ]

--------------------
Janice

"I'm having a very good day!"
Richard Dreyfuss - Let It Ride (1989).

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Barry Fritz
Phenomenal Film Handler

Posts: 1061
From: Burnsville, MN, USA
Registered: Dec 2009


 - posted September 27, 2014 07:00 PM      Profile for Barry Fritz   Email Barry Fritz   Send New Private Message       Edit/Delete Post 
Anyone looking to purchase one of these fine projectors should make certain they are getting the model with the halogen bulb, unless they are as creative and handy as Janice is. This is from the Bolex collector web site:

When first introduced, the 18-5L used an incandescent 12V 75W bayonet mounted bulb. (Phillips designation 13730C 04 RT44 - also referred to as the "spaceman bulb") After approximately 1970, the projector used a halogen lamp with a built-in dichroic filter. Bolex catalogs and advertising from 1970 offered a choice between the two types, and it appears that both versions were offered for a short time. Later advertising, however, only lists the 18-5L with halogen bulb. Halogen Lamp EFN Halogen Lamp Unfortunately, the 12V 75W incandescent lamp used on earlier models was discontinued in the 1980s. The modern equivalent of the Halogen bulb is the EFN 12V/75W, and is relatively inexpensive. From what I've been told, Bolex offered a bulb adapter for the incandescent version, but I don't have any more information than that. Chambless Cine Equipment offers a conversion that allows early 18-5L projectors to accept the EFN lamp.

For a compact, no frills reliable machine (with limited reel capactiy), these machines are hard to beat.

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Paul Adsett
Film God

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From: USA
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 - posted September 27, 2014 11:20 PM      Profile for Paul Adsett     Send New Private Message       Edit/Delete Post 
Janice, looks like you have the 4-slice model, whereas mine is the earlier 2-slice model. [Big Grin]

--------------------
The best of all worlds- 8mm, super 8mm, 9.5mm, and HD Digital Projection,
Elmo GS1200 f1.0 2-blade
Eumig S938 Stereo f1.0 Ektar
Panasonic PT-AE4000U digital pj

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Janice Glesser
Film Goddess

Posts: 3468
From: Sunnyvale, CA USA
Registered: Sep 2011


 - posted September 27, 2014 11:45 PM      Profile for Janice Glesser   Email Janice Glesser   Send New Private Message       Edit/Delete Post 
[Smile] [Smile] [Smile] Paul...mine's Super 8mm.

--------------------
Janice

"I'm having a very good day!"
Richard Dreyfuss - Let It Ride (1989).

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Paul del Rosario
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From: Tokyo, Japan
Registered: Apr 2015


 - posted April 22, 2015 07:46 PM      Profile for Paul del Rosario   Author's Homepage   Email Paul del Rosario   Send New Private Message       Edit/Delete Post 
Hi. Yet another Paul here.

A friend of mine will soon present me with an 18-5L (without cord) from Germany. Does anyone know if the cable that Janice ordered from Amazon will fit? Also, do these things have built-in power converters? I see the little window on the side that indicates 220, 117, etc. with a knob to the side.

Any information appreciated.

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Barry Fritz
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 - posted April 23, 2015 11:45 AM      Profile for Barry Fritz   Email Barry Fritz   Send New Private Message       Edit/Delete Post 
Yes, Paul. You set it to the power you will be using.

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Paul del Rosario
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 - posted April 24, 2015 07:30 AM      Profile for Paul del Rosario   Author's Homepage   Email Paul del Rosario   Send New Private Message       Edit/Delete Post 
Thanks, Barry.

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Mathew James
Jedi Master Film Handler

Posts: 740
From: Hamilton, Ontario, Canada
Registered: Dec 2014


 - posted August 24, 2017 07:56 AM      Profile for Mathew James   Email Mathew James   Send New Private Message       Edit/Delete Post 
Great post that should be in the index!
______________

Dear Janice,

Please help! I just bought a Bolex 18-5 Super from a fellow in Ontario. Everything works great as far as i can tell, except the bulb [Smile]

I will not buy a new bulb(Robby Robot CXR) but will wait until i can convert to halogen like you did... i am in no rush, but i am having trouble locating which parts i need and from where.

I realize you did this conversion a while ago, but perhaps you have some tips to save me a headache [Smile]

Any help or tips on this machine is appreciated. Is there a service manual that shows the inside parts and schematics? i haven't found that either.
Thanx very much in advacne.
Matt

ps: I am so pleased with the cool soft purr sound this projector makes. it is so soothing however that i almost fall asleep watching silent films [Smile] [Smile] I only tried a couple before the bulb went .

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--
Cheers,
Matt 📽

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Janice Glesser
Film Goddess

Posts: 3468
From: Sunnyvale, CA USA
Registered: Sep 2011


 - posted August 24, 2017 11:10 AM      Profile for Janice Glesser   Email Janice Glesser   Send New Private Message       Edit/Delete Post 
Hi Matthew...This conversion thread is already in the Technical Tips Index... Listed under Bolex.
http://8mmforum.film-tech.com/cgi-bin/ubb/ultimatebb.cgi?ubb=get_topic;f=1;t=011528

The conversion I did in the posts above used a lamp holder from a parted out Sankyo projector. However, I'm pretty sure you can do something similar using a QLV-1 socket. It could be mounted very much the same.

I have another 18-5 projector like yours that hasn't been converted yet. Hopefully I'll get around to converting it soon and I'll post the results. I plan on using the QLV-1 socket.

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Janice

"I'm having a very good day!"
Richard Dreyfuss - Let It Ride (1989).

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Mathew James
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From: Hamilton, Ontario, Canada
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 - posted August 24, 2017 01:09 PM      Profile for Mathew James   Email Mathew James   Send New Private Message       Edit/Delete Post 
sorry i missed it in the index.

I wish i had half the confidence to tackle these issues as you do Janice [Smile] I'd love to shadow what you end up doing, again no rush! Maybe in the meanwhile i can order some parts to get ready. I see some QLV-1's listed on ebay. Where would you get yours?
It would be nice to fit this to work with the exact same bulbs as one of the elmos i have so as to share bulbs!

I would really like the one that just plugs in to the existing base and adapts to the EFN bulbs, but this is lazy, i know:
http://gyroscope.iwarp.com/bulb_sales_sheets/bolex18-5Ladapter.html

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--
Cheers,
Matt 📽

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Janice Glesser
Film Goddess

Posts: 3468
From: Sunnyvale, CA USA
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 - posted August 24, 2017 01:49 PM      Profile for Janice Glesser   Email Janice Glesser   Send New Private Message       Edit/Delete Post 
Matthew...When replacing a lamp system you should use the same voltage and wattage as the original bulb. Is your projector a 12 volt or 8 volt? If it's an 8 volt you can only use the EFM 8v 50w MR16 bulb.

I don't think it's lazy to buy an adapter...just expensive [Eek!] These were made for the 18-5L models. These projector were 12 volt lamp systems and the bulbs are no longer available. Hence...the conversion would use the 12v 75w EFN bulb. The EFN would not work in the 8 volt model. However...I don't see why the adapter wouldn't also work in an 8 volt system...just use the EFM bulb.

--------------------
Janice

"I'm having a very good day!"
Richard Dreyfuss - Let It Ride (1989).

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Will Trenfield
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From: Shrewsbury, Shropshire, UK
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 - posted August 24, 2017 04:45 PM      Profile for Will Trenfield   Email Will Trenfield   Send New Private Message       Edit/Delete Post 
I'm still experimenting, trying to find a cheaper alternative to the CXR lamp. I've found that a 12v 50w MR16 GU5.3 halogen bulb, as sold for household lighting, works on a Sankyo 1000 which has a 8v 50w power supply to the lamp. On some Eumig projectors such as the Mark 501, you had a choice between projecting at full or economy illumination. This was achieved, I think, by applying a reduced voltage to the lamp for the economy setting so a higher voltage bulb should work on a lower voltage supply providing it has the same wattage as the original lamp. These 12v 50w bulbs can be bought on eBay for as little as £2.35 post free and are said to last up to 5,000 hours.

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Mathew James
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From: Hamilton, Ontario, Canada
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 - posted August 25, 2017 12:38 PM      Profile for Mathew James   Email Mathew James   Send New Private Message       Edit/Delete Post 
Janice, It looks like my machine takes the 8V50W Robbie Robot!

I guess i cannot modify to take the same bulbs as my elmos, which are 12V100W EFP.
That is fine. I was just hoping to make life easier.

I agree with using that adapter with the proper bulb.
Where can i get those parts to make that adapter? Thanx!

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--
Cheers,
Matt 📽

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Janice Glesser
Film Goddess

Posts: 3468
From: Sunnyvale, CA USA
Registered: Sep 2011


 - posted August 25, 2017 01:22 PM      Profile for Janice Glesser   Email Janice Glesser   Send New Private Message       Edit/Delete Post 
The adapter you reference Mathew is a proprietary unit designed by Bolex. I don't know if these are still being produced. You either buy one off the website or try to find the parts off a junker machine. The projectors labeled 12V 75W will have this adapter. You can also try to find a bulb holder and socket from a junker Sankyo like I and Terry Lagler did...or use the QLV-1 as I mentioned before.

As far as the QLV-1 is concerned...I just look for the cheapest price + shipping. I have frequently bought off Ebay. I've used several of these sockets and sometimes someone is selling multiples for a good price. I usually get them for about $9-$10 a piece.

Yes...It's a little scary getting into one of these conversions...but as Jennifer Tilly said in "Let It Ride"..."Nothing ventured...Nothing ventured." [Cool] [Smile]

[ August 25, 2017, 03:40 PM: Message edited by: Janice Glesser ]

--------------------
Janice

"I'm having a very good day!"
Richard Dreyfuss - Let It Ride (1989).

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