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Author Topic: Review Wolverine Reels2Digital MovieMaker 8mm film digitizer
Berend De Meyer
Expert Film Handler

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


 - posted September 01, 2017 02:28 AM      Profile for Berend De Meyer   Email Berend De Meyer   Send New Private Message       Edit/Delete Post 
Hi Kurt, thanks you very much for your DIY photos, appreciated! My 3rd new Somikon will arrive next week. I find your tweak very interesting, so I'll follow this with great interest.

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

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David Hollandsworth
Junior
Posts: 21
From: Roanoke, VA, USA
Registered: Jun 2013


 - posted September 01, 2017 08:32 AM      Profile for David Hollandsworth   Author's Homepage   Email David Hollandsworth   Send New Private Message       Edit/Delete Post 
By stopping, I mean it just quits advancing. Everything else is on and I can see the image on the screen.

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Berend De Meyer
Expert Film Handler

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


 - posted September 01, 2017 08:59 AM      Profile for Berend De Meyer   Email Berend De Meyer   Send New Private Message       Edit/Delete Post 
Hi David, you mean the takeon - rightside of your deck?

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

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Mike Spice
Master Film Handler

Posts: 253
From: Chichester, West Sussex, UK
Registered: Jun 2017


 - posted September 01, 2017 10:31 AM      Profile for Mike Spice   Email Mike Spice   Send New Private Message       Edit/Delete Post 
Hi David, so is the film getting stuck because of damaged sprockets or bad splices or stopping on good film for no reason?

if you gently pull the film to the right of the gate, will it carry on scanning?

There are two little white tabs in the gate path, have you made sure the sprocket side of the film is tucked under those as you thread up the film and close the gate?

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Berend De Meyer
Expert Film Handler

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


 - posted September 02, 2017 04:25 PM      Profile for Berend De Meyer   Email Berend De Meyer   Send New Private Message       Edit/Delete Post 
quote:
Mike - There are two little white tabs in the gate path, have you made sure the sprocket side of the film is tucked under those as you thread up the film and close the gate?
I agree that this is probably the reason for your issue.

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

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Kurt Froberg
Junior
Posts: 17
From: Vasteras, Sweden
Registered: May 2017


 - posted September 05, 2017 05:30 AM      Profile for Kurt Froberg   Email Kurt Froberg   Send New Private Message       Edit/Delete Post 
The Somikon and Wolverine suffer as we know from quite heavy digital compression with quite strong digital noise. I think however you can improve the results quite much with some post production in an editing software. I use Sony Vegas Pro 13 and I made this short video clip to show what can be done to enhance the picture using the software. I have the Neat Video plugin for noise reduction which is quite amazing, though it costs in the full version around 125 USD. There is a free trial of it with some limitations. A little bit of stabilization and sharpening is also applied in Vegas.
I made the video with split screen so you can see the difference.
Here is the video clip:
Video clip

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John Kor
Junior
Posts: 1
From: Los Angeles, CA, USA
Registered: Sep 2017


 - posted September 05, 2017 03:13 PM      Profile for John Kor     Send New Private Message       Edit/Delete Post 
"By stopping, I mean it just quits advancing. Everything else is on and I can see the image on the screen."

David - My unit sometimes stops too when there is a long section of blank (transparent) film. I think the Wolverine, at least the version I have, may be monitoring the image, and when there is a period of "inactivity," stops scanning. All film movement stops, but the light source stays on for a while, but then eventually will also turn off, followed by powering down of the unit entirely. The same also happens when the reel finishes when I've left the room and don't get back in time (don't hear the alarm timer on my phone, or I'm just lazy and forget).

General comments - I recently purchased my unit through Amazon when the price dropped to $269.95 US (it's since gone back to $299.95 last I checked). I've been on a scanning spree of my dad's 125 or so 8mm home movies (50 ft lengths) from the early 50s through early 80s. So far I've been very impressed with the scans, though the quality of the source material is not that great (what you get from a Bell and Howell Sears special in one hand and a high-ball or beer in the other). So far I've scanned 75 reels. Only a few reels so far did not make it all the way through due to the film width being too large in some sections (oddly, for the ones that bind they start off ok, but seize at some point usually a third to halfway through). And even then I'm able to scan most of these reels by "nursing" the film through by partly opening the cover (i.e. closing it to the point it restricts the movement of the film so it stops at each frame, but not pressing it past its "click" point, which ends up seizing the film). Also, sometimes I pause the scan to adjust the frame, which sometimes shifts after the first seconds or minute, especially on the oldest reels. You lose several frames (4 I think) each time you do this (and creates separate files), but is worth it to avoid losing too much of the film. I've been using Doug Stratton's great MP4Box GUI referenced earlier in this thread (thanks Doug!) to re-join the files (and adjust the speed) in post-processing.

I just hope my Wolverine survives long enough to finish up the remaining 50 or so reels, but it should still be under warranty if something does go wrong seeing as I've only had it for a little over a week. I'm also buoyed to hear of Wolverine's excellent customer service (admittedly for a partly flawed design and subpar construction, though it's difficult to complain too much at this price point). Hopefully they'll keep refining the unit (as they've apparently been doing regularly), and upgrade those components leading to common failure - even if they have to raise the price by 20 or 30% there would still be a good market, as others here have mentioned.

John

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Mike Spice
Master Film Handler

Posts: 253
From: Chichester, West Sussex, UK
Registered: Jun 2017


 - posted September 08, 2017 09:14 AM      Profile for Mike Spice   Email Mike Spice   Send New Private Message       Edit/Delete Post 
Wolverine have just informed me they are sending me new parts.
Hopefully I should be getting my second new motor, new gear wheels and a new motor bracket..

So far I've had one motor and one take up assembly....

If you suffer from the frame jitters, wolverine also advised me to unscrew a quarter turn on the two screws that hold the silver plate in the gate, I can't test this yet as my machine is not running..

I also had an email from richard at winait, it is too late to return my wolverine for a refund, but they are happy to reapir it, if I send it back to china!

No way am I posting it back to china, wolverine in california are sending new parts, so we'll see how things turn out.

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Pere Pasqual
Film Handler

Posts: 43
From: Gandia, València, Spain
Registered: May 2017


 - posted September 09, 2017 08:30 PM      Profile for Pere Pasqual   Author's Homepage   Email Pere Pasqual   Send New Private Message       Edit/Delete Post 
Hey guys, could you pass me the email address of your Winait contacts? I wasn't able to find any at their web page...

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Mike Spice
Master Film Handler

Posts: 253
From: Chichester, West Sussex, UK
Registered: Jun 2017


 - posted September 10, 2017 04:02 AM      Profile for Mike Spice   Email Mike Spice   Send New Private Message       Edit/Delete Post 
My email from winait came via the amazon website so the address is hidden from me.

I found this at the winait website.
Richard...
sale1@winait.com

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Pere Pasqual
Film Handler

Posts: 43
From: Gandia, València, Spain
Registered: May 2017


 - posted September 10, 2017 07:00 AM      Profile for Pere Pasqual   Author's Homepage   Email Pere Pasqual   Send New Private Message       Edit/Delete Post 
Thanks a lot, Mike. I couldn't find it and it's my last resort to try to get the missing info needed to attempt to do any firmware modification.

I'm still following this thread with lots of interest. I feel sorry for your late problems with the machine and hope you can fix them with the coming spare parts.

Also, I'm really amazed by Kurt Froberg work and wouldn't discard applying them to my machine... But I still have two priorities: one is modding it for accepting bigger rells, and another is being able to increase the bitrate of the output files. I feel like it's not enough to take really advantage of the increase in focus sharpness without it...

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Mike Spice
Master Film Handler

Posts: 253
From: Chichester, West Sussex, UK
Registered: Jun 2017


 - posted September 10, 2017 07:52 AM      Profile for Mike Spice   Email Mike Spice   Send New Private Message       Edit/Delete Post 
I am going to try the re focus at some point and if I see an improvement I will re scan my navy films again..

My mod for larger reels is to use a projector to feed the 400ft reel, and do a cut at 200 ft and a new take up spool. It's not ideal but I have presstapes to splice things back together during a rewind on the projector.

I won't be doing too much paid work now, so hopefully the new parts will last a while longer this time.

I will post a video of the new parts and repair at some point in the coming weeks. The spares have arrived in the uk according to the parcel tracking info but I won't have time to do repairs for a couple of weeks as my real work is about to get very busy for a fortnight.

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Berend De Meyer
Expert Film Handler

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


 - posted September 10, 2017 03:46 PM      Profile for Berend De Meyer   Email Berend De Meyer   Send New Private Message       Edit/Delete Post 
Thank you all for these great new posts, infos, insights and tweaks. Greatly appreciated.

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

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Mike Spice
Master Film Handler

Posts: 253
From: Chichester, West Sussex, UK
Registered: Jun 2017


 - posted September 11, 2017 11:08 AM      Profile for Mike Spice   Email Mike Spice   Send New Private Message       Edit/Delete Post 
Arrived today. Take Up Motor number 2
That is now a total of three take up motors.

I won't have time to fit it for a couple of weeks, but I will post a video when it is done
 -

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Berend De Meyer
Expert Film Handler

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


 - posted September 11, 2017 11:36 AM      Profile for Berend De Meyer   Email Berend De Meyer   Send New Private Message       Edit/Delete Post 
Thanks for the update Mike! Cheers

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

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Phil Hall
Junior
Posts: 3
From: London, UK
Registered: May 2017


 - posted September 12, 2017 07:02 AM      Profile for Phil Hall   Email Phil Hall   Send New Private Message       Edit/Delete Post 
I'm glad to see the issue of poor focussing is being discussed;it seems it is still an issue with Wolverine and different brands, and was so bad on mine that I re-scanned many feet of film. As mentioned in the Post Script of my old post Focus Problem it is possible to check your focus without dismantling the unit, and should be the first thing to do when you get it new out the box: then you can choose whether to send it back, or open it up to re-focus yourself.
If in doubt, opening the unit up is easy, AS LONG AS YOU POP OFF THE SMALL TOUCH PANEL FIRST! There were no evident 'anti-tamper' seals to void your warranty.

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Mike Spice
Master Film Handler

Posts: 253
From: Chichester, West Sussex, UK
Registered: Jun 2017


 - posted September 12, 2017 10:30 AM      Profile for Mike Spice   Email Mike Spice   Send New Private Message       Edit/Delete Post 
My wolverine warranty is long gone! ha ha.

I have fitted a new motor and a take up assembly in the last two months.

I decided to email winait in china, through the Amazon site where I purchased.

I have just received this reply from Richard at Winait when I asked if it was possible for me to buy spares direct from winait, needless to say I have replied asking for a metal motor to arrive at my home asap with many thanks.

If Richard is prepared to send me a third gen motor I'd be foolish not to accept.

As always I will keep you up to date, altho this could take three weeks to arrive.....

Richards email:

hi Mike
good day, sorry for the problem
do you mean the motor have problem?
now we are on the production of the third gerenratoin, we will change the Motor to be metal one
if you need, we can send one motor to you , if you can change yourself

Regards
Richard
Winait Technologies Limited

I have also decided that for sure, I will hook the scanner up to my plasma tv and look at the focus and re adjust. I will use a little 'evo stick' rubber glue to re seal the focus afterwards.

[ September 12, 2017, 11:49 AM: Message edited by: Mike Spice ]

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Mike Spice
Master Film Handler

Posts: 253
From: Chichester, West Sussex, UK
Registered: Jun 2017


 - posted September 13, 2017 05:02 AM      Profile for Mike Spice   Email Mike Spice   Send New Private Message       Edit/Delete Post 
and another reply from Richard at Winait

hi Mike Spice
get your address, will arrange it as soon as possible, will send out this week, now motor still on process of testing

Regards
Richard

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Mike Spice
Master Film Handler

Posts: 253
From: Chichester, West Sussex, UK
Registered: Jun 2017


 - posted September 13, 2017 10:26 AM      Profile for Mike Spice   Email Mike Spice   Send New Private Message       Edit/Delete Post 
Phil Hall

Thanks for your post and the link to your focus thread.
Really helpful, as was one other post about the focus, with pictures.

I will definately be refocusing mine when I put the new motor in.

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Simon Hawketts
Junior
Posts: 4
From: Stevenage, Hertfordshire, UK
Registered: Jan 2017


 - posted September 17, 2017 01:59 AM      Profile for Simon Hawketts   Email Simon Hawketts   Send New Private Message       Edit/Delete Post 
Hi all

I've not posted to the forum before but I've been watching this thread because I was interested in getting one of these machines. Well on Sunday last I took the plunge and ordered the Winait version from Amazon and it arrived on Friday.

My first impressions were quite positive - I did a short 'first impressions' post on my vintage camera blog if anyone is interested (I haven't included the URL - not sure if that is within forum rules but you can find it by searching "simonhawketts.com winait") but subsequently I've found an issue.

My first 3inch reel film went through quite well and I started the machine on a 5-inch longer film, leaving it to run in the bedroom while I got on with other things. I regularly checked it and everything seemed to go well until about half-way through when I found the display frozen with lines running down the screen. The reels were still turning, but the device had crashed. I tried turning it off, but the keyboard had locked and I had to just pull the power lead out to stop it. After this, the unit crashes regularly when I attempt to run a film through it - sometimes within a few minutes, sometimes 30 minutes but without fail it will crash. I discovered if I hold the on/off key it will stop, but I have to then turn the machine on and off and the SD card has only the starting few seconds of the recording.

I emailed winait via the Amazon message centre asking if there are any firmware updates and received a response which said the version I have (20170310) is the only version but another will be released before the end of the year. At the moment I've tried a 'restore defaults' in the menu to see if that sorts it but if it doesn't (and I suspect it won't) I'll have to organise a replacement or repair. I'm also going to suggest when I email back, that the upcoming software update adds a 'slower speed, higher quality' option to the menu.

This is really just an informative post for anyone who is interested but I also wondered if anyone else has seen anything similar on their machine?

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Mike Spice
Master Film Handler

Posts: 253
From: Chichester, West Sussex, UK
Registered: Jun 2017


 - posted September 17, 2017 03:28 AM      Profile for Mike Spice   Email Mike Spice   Send New Private Message       Edit/Delete Post 
really really sorry to hear your wolverine failed so soon, and a very frustrating fail too, mechanical fails are easier to deal with, your fault would drive me really mad!

there is a video at you tube of an exact same fault so you are not alone. I would email wolverine data in california and see what they say.



youtube video with the 'lines on the screen' fault


the link to Simons blog

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Simon Hawketts
Junior
Posts: 4
From: Stevenage, Hertfordshire, UK
Registered: Jan 2017


 - posted September 17, 2017 03:44 AM      Profile for Simon Hawketts   Email Simon Hawketts   Send New Private Message       Edit/Delete Post 
Hi Mike
Yes it is annoying. I'm writing an email to support at the moment, but thanks for the video link - it's useful to know that the problem is not entirely unique and that people seem to have had a good response from support at Winait.

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Simon Hawketts
Junior
Posts: 4
From: Stevenage, Hertfordshire, UK
Registered: Jan 2017


 - posted September 17, 2017 08:33 AM      Profile for Simon Hawketts   Email Simon Hawketts   Send New Private Message       Edit/Delete Post 
Just in case anyone has this crashing problem I've found there is a workaround of sorts.

If you set a film to record and then every few minutes stop the recording and start it, the Winait will close the file it's writing and start a new one when you restart the recording. In this way, if a crash happens you only lose a small part of the encoding. Interestingly, since I've been doing this the machine hasn't crashed so it could be the problem is tied to having open files and memory issues.

Anyway, it's a way I can get films digitised until a solution is found although you can't leave the machine unattended so it's a bit of a pain.

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Mike Spice
Master Film Handler

Posts: 253
From: Chichester, West Sussex, UK
Registered: Jun 2017


 - posted September 19, 2017 09:39 AM      Profile for Mike Spice   Email Mike Spice   Send New Private Message       Edit/Delete Post 
The problem of many files, generated by mulitple scans of the same film....

Further back in this topic you will find reference to a peice of software called MyMP4Box GUI and a link to download it and how to use it.

Use this to seamlessly join all the chunks of film files back together without any re encoding, and also use this software to correct the frame speed back to 18 or 16 fps without any re encoding.

It is really easy to use, it's free and safe.

If you need any help using it, let me know. I have been using it for several months now, it's a great peice of software to have on your laptop if you have a wolverine or similar.

I know you could rejoin the files in a video edit, but I prefer to join the original scan files without any re encoding so you always have the original scan file to go back to at a later date, in one complete file, and then do any video edits from the master file

[ September 19, 2017, 11:02 AM: Message edited by: Mike Spice ]

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Berend De Meyer
Expert Film Handler

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


 - posted September 20, 2017 02:49 PM      Profile for Berend De Meyer   Email Berend De Meyer   Send New Private Message       Edit/Delete Post 
Thanks all for the additional info's! My new Somikon is still unboxed, haven't had the time yet. Keep up the good works...

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

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