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Author Topic: Review Wolverine Reels2Digital MovieMaker 8mm film digitizer
Alan Taplow
Junior
Posts: 29
From: Plainfield VT, USA
Registered: Feb 2015


 - posted May 17, 2017 05:48 PM      Profile for Alan Taplow   Author's Homepage   Email Alan Taplow   Send New Private Message       Edit/Delete Post 
Some pix of inside of newer model:
Apparently my pix don't match forum standards, so you can download them at:
http://omlets.tripod.com/omnilucent/Wolv-fan.jpg
http://omlets.tripod.com/omnilucent/wolv-motor.jpg
http://omlets.tripod.com/omnilucent/wolv-assy.jpg

Alan Taplow
http://preserve-your-memories.info

======================================

--------------------
Alan Taplow
ataplow@gmail.com

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Berend De Meyer
Expert Film Handler

Posts: 140
From: Leek, The Netherlands
Registered: Apr 2017


 - posted May 21, 2017 04:09 AM      Profile for Berend De Meyer   Email Berend De Meyer   Send New Private Message       Edit/Delete Post 
Hi Alan,

Your links above don't seem to work...

Cheers

--------------------
Cheers | “I am an advocate of the "if it ain't broken, don't fix it" modus operandi!”

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Doug Stratton
Junior
Posts: 10
From: New York, NY, USA
Registered: May 2017


 - posted May 25, 2017 09:12 PM      Profile for Doug Stratton   Email Doug Stratton   Send New Private Message       Edit/Delete Post 
It was seeing this thread with some info on whats going on behind the shell of the Wolverine that prompted me to join the forums. I did not see it mentioned, but in the US the rather well known (mainly) catalog company Hammacher Schlemmer a few months ago offered their exclusive version of the machine (for all intent purposes it seems Wolverine made this for HS and this will explain why the HS has 2 features the normal version does not.

Pretty much 100% the same in all specs except that the HS version allows for 400 foot 7" reels and captures at 1440x 1080

They also charge an arm and a leg for this ($500.00), but I bought it. Like many I was very unsatisfied with the horrendous mp4 artifact noise this created to try and keep a smaller file size (3" reels come out to about 236 megs)

what also got me interested was the post from Alan Taplow. If indeed its actually true with the whole new inners design, I am more concerned if they finally lowered the compression giving a larger file size and better quality. That is what I need to know.

My unit heats up like Roberts and I too was thinking to mod it for a fan. The only thing stopping me was if they ever upgraded the firmware or something else to improve the overall quality. HS gives a life time guarantee so no matter how long goes by, if I am not happy I can return it which means I obviously can't modify the machine

You guys are also aware that you can just rebuild the mp4 container the video stream is in and change the frame rate OF THE container and therefore you do not have to re-encode the clip or loss any quality.

MP4 like MKV is a container file for many different formats. When you remux your video stream back into a new mp4 container- computer programs obey the info of the container and not the actual file inside. So our files are 30 frames per second but you made the mp4 file saying the framerate is 24 frames per second. All media players will obey this. Now instead of always changing the speed in a player (or if you bring it somewhere else) it will play the speed it should be with no re-encode and no quality loss---

here is how to rebuild the mp4 container and fix it to the proper framerate with no re-encoding and no quality loss

Below is the tool used (my mp4 box gui) which is free and you can get this at videohelp.com (also where I posted info about the HS scanner).

So if you want to fix your clips speed with no encoding and in 20 seconds or less- follow these steps below:

on here download and install my mp4box gui
https://www.videohelp.com/software/My-MP4Box-GUI

once installed open the program and you will see a box with 4 tabs you can choose (mux, demux, join and split)

1. click the demux tab and on the right side click "open" and now browse to any mp4 file made from the wolverine. It will then show the video track of that file and tell you its dimensions. Click the small box next to the video file it shows

2. Now hit "demux" (on the right). It will save a file in the same directory as your original mp4 video clip with a name something like "0021_track1.h264" That is actually the raw video stream from the mp4 file made by wolverine

3. with mp4box still open click the "mux" tab and on the right select "add" and browse to the demuxed track it just made (ex: 0021_track1.h264)

4. NOW on the bottom of the program box you will see an option on the left "FPS:"no change". Click that drop down box and select the proper framerate your film should be. Now hit "mux" and in like 4 seconds it will create a new mp4 file for you with a name like
0021_track1.h264-muxed.mp4

enjoy your proper speed clip-

This is the Hammacher machine with a 400 ft reel on it (Squirm, super 8 sound). Very similar to the Wolverine and upon first glance they look the same, but cosmetically a little different to allow the larger film reel. Sorry if the image is large

 -

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Alan Taplow
Junior
Posts: 29
From: Plainfield VT, USA
Registered: Feb 2015


 - posted May 25, 2017 10:21 PM      Profile for Alan Taplow   Author's Homepage   Email Alan Taplow   Send New Private Message       Edit/Delete Post 
To reduce the heat problem on the older model Wolverine machines without cutting up the case and installing a fan, it should be possible to run it with the back removed to let the hot air out. Also, if that isn't enough, direct the airstream from a small household fan into the rear to keep the air circulating.

--------------------
Alan Taplow
ataplow@gmail.com

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Barbara Strohl
Film Handler

Posts: 44
From: Hamilton, NJ, USA
Registered: Jan 2016


 - posted May 26, 2017 10:06 AM      Profile for Barbara Strohl   Email Barbara Strohl   Send New Private Message       Edit/Delete Post 
Alan,
Better than a household fan are these fans that overclockers use. They are computer fans with rubber shrouds that you attach or push up against openings in computer, or other electronics, case. I've used mine on various things. You just need any opening.

For more serious cooling I use a USB or battery fan with a frozen water bottle or ice pack behind it. Don't use open ice because the melted water is too much of a risk.

--------------------
Barb

I'm an amateur noob. Please be gentle.

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Alan Taplow
Junior
Posts: 29
From: Plainfield VT, USA
Registered: Feb 2015


 - posted May 28, 2017 11:12 AM      Profile for Alan Taplow   Author's Homepage   Email Alan Taplow   Send New Private Message       Edit/Delete Post 
The download for mp4Box-gui results in a file: https://www.videohelp.com/download-XqkqHdPR/My%20MP4Box%20GUI%20v0.6.0.6.7z

I can't seem to find any way to open this .7z file --- any other download which will result in a .zip or an application file which will open on most windows computers?
Alan
ataplow@gmail.com

--------------------
Alan Taplow
ataplow@gmail.com

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Janice Glesser
Film Goddess

Posts: 3318
From: Sunnyvale, CA USA
Registered: Sep 2011


 - posted May 28, 2017 04:21 PM      Profile for Janice Glesser   Email Janice Glesser   Send New Private Message       Edit/Delete Post 
Alan any of these apps will extract a .7z archive.

7zip (FREE)
https://sourceforge.net/projects/sevenzip/files/

WinRAR
http://www.win-rar.com/download.html?&L=0

WinZip
http://www.winzip.com/win/en/

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

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

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Gary Schreffler
Film Handler

Posts: 33
From: North Potomac, MD, USA
Registered: Jun 2017


 - posted June 12, 2017 12:24 PM      Profile for Gary Schreffler   Author's Homepage   Email Gary Schreffler   Send New Private Message       Edit/Delete Post 
So far, I am pretty happy with this unit. I currently have a Moviestuff CineMate 20, which works great, but takes a lot of footprint. And my Moviestuff Workprinter XP has the same foorprint issue. So when I saw this Wolverine, I figured what the heck. I mostly like it because it has a smaller foorprint, even when I am doing 7" films and using my rewinds. I have to say that I am pretty much impressed with the output quality of this device. Probably as good as the Cinemate (after I edit the video in my Adobe, the differences are really impossible to distinguish).

One very pleasant surprise: it handled a film with sever VS (curly and does not lay flat). I had all but written this film off, despite its significance (footage of the F7F Tigercat aboard USS Kearsarge (CV-33) in 1948), as no projector I tried could even run this film. The Wolverine captured it almost perfectly, and the entire field is in focus, so the film is held very flat at the gate. I was not expecting that...

I haven't noticed a heating issue, yet. In the event I do, what size O-Ring has been found to be most effective?  -

--------------------
My God; It's Full Of Stars!

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Ty Reynolds
Film Handler

Posts: 92
From: Calgary, Alberta, Canada
Registered: Nov 2015


 - posted June 14, 2017 02:52 PM      Profile for Ty Reynolds   Author's Homepage   Email Ty Reynolds   Send New Private Message       Edit/Delete Post 
Gary - The pulley belt path on the take-up side looks different than what I have seen on other modifications. Could you post a close-up photo?

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Gary Schreffler
Film Handler

Posts: 33
From: North Potomac, MD, USA
Registered: Jun 2017


 - posted June 14, 2017 03:05 PM      Profile for Gary Schreffler   Author's Homepage   Email Gary Schreffler   Send New Private Message       Edit/Delete Post 
I will get a photo later, but it is very low tech. After playing with tandem reels and looped leader and whatnot, I discovered two things: ONE: I have a set of rewinds that only engage the gears and spindle when the crank is pushed in. TWO: a 7" rubber band (the type you buy at the supermarket that hold large trash bags to the trash can) makes a great drive belt. Since the rewind gears are not engaged, allowing the spindle to turn without any resistance (or wasting energy by turning the hand crank), the wear and tear on the rubber band seems minimal. I have done 13 full 7" reels now with the same rubber band, and it is not showing any signs of giving up.

I hope my attempt to describe this makes sense...  -
 -

[ June 15, 2017, 06:13 PM: Message edited by: Gary Schreffler ]

--------------------
My God; It's Full Of Stars!

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Doug Stratton
Junior
Posts: 10
From: New York, NY, USA
Registered: May 2017


 - posted July 04, 2017 06:12 PM      Profile for Doug Stratton   Email Doug Stratton   Send New Private Message       Edit/Delete Post 
Hey Alan,
Sorry for an almost 2 month reply. Normal life got very busy and I took a long break from the computer world

I was even thinking of doing a resin cast of the back cover to then fully modify. In my case because Hammacher offers a "for life" guarantee, the units cover has one more screw covered by a sticker under/around the memory card slot, and I would have to carefully peel this which I have not attempted yet. At the same time with the heat you can feel especiially around the memory card slot I could always say it heated it up enough to peel

Amazon had 2 external usb powered PC (5volt) type fans with a knob for speed adjust that would work well with this unit. One fan on the left side of the case to suck air in and the other fan with the opposite direction on the right to suck that air flow out. Course keeping the cover off with a full fan is ideal as well. I used to do that many, many years ago with an old PC video capture card I had.

I also have not used my machine since my post about it back in May. Really want to get some fan control working before I do or finding out that in addition to the case and internal design your newer version has if they actually lessened the compression of the final MP4, which would mean it now has better video quality (sent a PM with more info)

Also going to get it real sprocket rollers and swap them with the plastic ones these machines all come with

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Berend De Meyer
Expert Film Handler

Posts: 140
From: Leek, The Netherlands
Registered: Apr 2017


 - posted July 06, 2017 05:34 AM      Profile for Berend De Meyer   Email Berend De Meyer   Send New Private Message       Edit/Delete Post 
Hi all,

For those interested in more information on The Wolverine and its use, post-production etc. I would like to share the channel of YouTuber Ron:

https://www.youtube.com/channel/UCSIu1cyLMCNfuDJ9GGuUOVA

Cheers

--------------------
Cheers | “I am an advocate of the "if it ain't broken, don't fix it" modus operandi!”

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Doug Stratton
Junior
Posts: 10
From: New York, NY, USA
Registered: May 2017


 - posted July 10, 2017 10:08 AM      Profile for Doug Stratton   Email Doug Stratton   Send New Private Message       Edit/Delete Post 
Was pleaseantrly surprised this morning. I finally took another shot at opening up my HS unit. The HS has 7 screws and what I thought was another screw behind the serial number sticker was just plastic. This time I sort of pulled it open by holding one of the plastic front sprockets.

However the biggest surprise was that it actually has a fan attached to the back cover!!! You would not think anything is there if you feel the heat on the back of this unit in use. Why they did not put in vent holes is completely beyond me. I also need to turn on the machine and make sure that fan works.

PS: I also spoke with Alan about his newer edtion of the wolverine and the firmware number is the same as the old meaning they may have revamped the internals but they did not touch or do anything with the compression

 -

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Berend De Meyer
Expert Film Handler

Posts: 140
From: Leek, The Netherlands
Registered: Apr 2017


 - posted July 10, 2017 10:18 AM      Profile for Berend De Meyer   Email Berend De Meyer   Send New Private Message       Edit/Delete Post 
Hi Doug,

quote:
However the biggest surprise was that it actually has a fan attached to the back cover!!! You would not think anything is there if you feel the heat on the back of this unit in use. Why they did not put in vent holes is completely beyond me. I also need to turn on the machine and make sure that fan works.
The EU Market rebrand Somikon has a new backplate with vente holes!

 -

Cheers

--------------------
Cheers | “I am an advocate of the "if it ain't broken, don't fix it" modus operandi!”

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Doug Stratton
Junior
Posts: 10
From: New York, NY, USA
Registered: May 2017


 - posted July 10, 2017 10:24 AM      Profile for Doug Stratton   Email Doug Stratton   Send New Private Message       Edit/Delete Post 
Hey Berend,
the newest version of the Wolverine (posted by Alan) also has vent holes, but at the time this HS unit was made, none of the other units even had a fan. Will just drill or dremel in some vent holes and thats it. Also going to take a look and see if another extension is free on the circuit board to hook in an additional fan

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Osi Osgood
Film God

Posts: 9943
From: #399R K.O.A. Mountian Home, ID. 83647
Registered: Jul 2005


 - posted July 10, 2017 12:03 PM      Profile for Osi Osgood   Author's Homepage   Email Osi Osgood   Send New Private Message       Edit/Delete Post 
I'm amazed to hear that something so new, (belts) would be melting so quivkly. However, not all the parts are necessarily as "new" as other parts on a "new" machine. I hope that you can replace those belt and have a perfectly workable machine, (if you have already addressed this, I apologize, as i didn't get to read all of the posts on this subject.) [Smile]

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"All these moments will be lost in time, just like ... tears, in the rain. "

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Gary Schreffler
Film Handler

Posts: 33
From: North Potomac, MD, USA
Registered: Jun 2017


 - posted July 18, 2017 11:41 AM      Profile for Gary Schreffler   Author's Homepage   Email Gary Schreffler   Send New Private Message       Edit/Delete Post 
I have been doing a lot of talking back and forth with the Wolverine technical people (a really good bunch of folks). I originally bought the belt-driven, non-vented back. I use it modified for 7" reels. I then sent it to them for evaluation, and they upgraded to the gear driven, vented back.

Interestingly, the gear-driven model performed miserably with the 7" setup. Constant slipping, chattering, machine turning off, etc., that made the conversion unviewable.

Wolverine then asked me to send the unit back to them for evaluation, and they subsequently advised that the gear driven units do not appear handle extra tension very well (the type of additional tension experienced with a 7" reel setup), so they have modified the unit again. Now back to belt-driven, but modified/improved over the first belt-driven iteration.

So I will now do robust testing with the latest model/improvement, and post the results here.

--------------------
My God; It's Full Of Stars!

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Paul Adsett
Film God

Posts: 4812
From: USA
Registered: Jun 2003


 - posted July 18, 2017 12:01 PM      Profile for Paul Adsett     Send New Private Message       Edit/Delete Post 
Obviously a product still in development and not thoroughly tested before marketing it.

--------------------
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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Gary Schreffler
Film Handler

Posts: 33
From: North Potomac, MD, USA
Registered: Jun 2017


 - posted July 18, 2017 12:07 PM      Profile for Gary Schreffler   Author's Homepage   Email Gary Schreffler   Send New Private Message       Edit/Delete Post 
I think it was well tested as designed. But for folks like me who modified it to handle 7" reels, we went beyond the design capability/specifications. To their credit, rather than just blow us off and say we are not using as designed, they have done a good job in listening and making it work in an environment to which it was not intended. So I guess I view that as darned good customer service, as many companies today would never have responded to my issues when I first brought them up. Or would have simply said outside the warranty, too bad...!!!

--------------------
My God; It's Full Of Stars!

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Mike Spice
Expert Film Handler

Posts: 215
From: Chichester, West Sussex, UK
Registered: Jun 2017


 - posted July 18, 2017 01:31 PM      Profile for Mike Spice   Email Mike Spice   Send New Private Message       Edit/Delete Post 
4 weeks in and my wolverine scanner is broken.
the take up reel has stopped turning, lost all its power.
couple of emails to the tech support.
I have two choices, return to the seller Amazon or have them send me a new take up motor assembly from california.
It is now a separate motor and cog wheel system on the take up, Not an O ring.
I took the back off to check.
They are sending me spares and I will fix it myself.
No cooling fan in mine but I do have air vents.

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Paul Adsett
Film God

Posts: 4812
From: USA
Registered: Jun 2003


 - posted July 18, 2017 03:35 PM      Profile for Paul Adsett     Send New Private Message       Edit/Delete Post 
They need to make the unit more robust, incorporate forced air cooling, and make design changes so it can routinely handle at least 200ft reels without problems. Also incorporate software for 18 and 24fps scans. If this results in the price of the unit going up by an additional $100 or $200 so be it, they will still have an eager and ready market at that price.

--------------------
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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Berend De Meyer
Expert Film Handler

Posts: 140
From: Leek, The Netherlands
Registered: Apr 2017


 - posted July 18, 2017 04:30 PM      Profile for Berend De Meyer   Email Berend De Meyer   Send New Private Message       Edit/Delete Post 
quote:
Obviously a product still in development and not thoroughly tested before marketing it.
I have to agree to a certain extend

quote:
4 weeks in and my wolverine scanner is broken.
the take up reel has stopped turning, lost all its power.
couple of emails to the tech support.
I have two choices, return to the seller Amazon or have them send me a new take up motor assembly from california.

Mine took almost the same time to break down. I got a brand new deck for the exchange.

quote:
They need to make the unit more robust, incorporate forced air cooling, and make design changes so it can routinely handle at least 200ft reels without problems. Also incorporate software for 18 and 24fps scans. If this results in the price of the unit going up by an additional $100 or $200 so be it, they will still have an eager and ready market at that price.
This is exactly my sentiment. It's a great little device that serves my needs, but the engineering is somewhat poor. Using a post-production software to reduce the speed is of no importance to me.

The upcoming weeks I'll be batching some more 180 mtr reels. Keep you posted!

Cheers

--------------------
Cheers | “I am an advocate of the "if it ain't broken, don't fix it" modus operandi!”

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Mike Spice
Expert Film Handler

Posts: 215
From: Chichester, West Sussex, UK
Registered: Jun 2017


 - posted July 19, 2017 12:13 PM      Profile for Mike Spice   Email Mike Spice   Send New Private Message       Edit/Delete Post 
A Massive Thank You to Doug Stratton

I have just tried your software to bring my wolverine scans down to a better frame rate.
ABSOLUTE GENIUIS. quick. really good.

I chose 15fps which is a lot closer than the 30fps Wolverine spits out.
I tested it on a 50ft reel and it was done in seconds.

Very Many thanks. Highly reccommended!

Thank You to Doug Stratton

[ July 19, 2017, 02:32 PM: Message edited by: Mike Spice ]

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Gary Schreffler
Film Handler

Posts: 33
From: North Potomac, MD, USA
Registered: Jun 2017


 - posted July 19, 2017 12:51 PM      Profile for Gary Schreffler   Author's Homepage   Email Gary Schreffler   Send New Private Message       Edit/Delete Post 
regarding the dreaded MP4 issues and 30FPS speed, this from Wolverine:

"As for MP4 compression we tried our best to lessen the compression as much as possible with firmware. If we do more than that the MP4 files becomes unstable. We rely on a chip manufacturer that provide us with the camera module integrate with the processor. Therefore, very little we can do with firmware to change the hardware. Today there is no hardware that can do less than 30fps and for that reason we cannot offer a playback speed of 18 or 24fps."

I also like the freeware mentioned by Mr. Stratton, so I guess not a horrible issue...

--------------------
My God; It's Full Of Stars!

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Mike Spice
Expert Film Handler

Posts: 215
From: Chichester, West Sussex, UK
Registered: Jun 2017


 - posted July 19, 2017 02:28 PM      Profile for Mike Spice   Email Mike Spice   Send New Private Message       Edit/Delete Post 
if I was to be real picky, I would like 18fps as a choice, but 15fps is a significant improvement over 30fps.

It is really quick as doing the task too, so it's the best solution for now. My customers will be very happy.

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