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Author Topic: Dangers of Amateur Mechanics
Simon McConway
Phenomenal Film Handler

Posts: 1085
From: Doncaster, UK
Registered: Jun 2004


 - posted March 26, 2015 08:35 AM      Profile for Simon McConway   Email Simon McConway   Send New Private Message       Edit/Delete Post 
I'm sure we have all seen/owned a projector which has been on the verge of ruin because of the dreaded amateur mechanic. Here are examples:

"All this thing needs is a good oil...I'll get the spray oil...it can't do any harm".

"Great Uncle John is good with mechanical things...I gave it to him to look at"

"I decided to do a touch-up job with a spray can of paint...I prefer red to the original black the projector was painted"

Watch out! Use a professional.

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Andrew Woodcock
Film God

Posts: 7477
From: Manchester Uk
Registered: Aug 2012


 - posted March 26, 2015 12:45 PM      Profile for Andrew Woodcock         Edit/Delete Post 
Couldn't agree with you more Simon. [Wink]

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"C'mon Baggy..Get with the beat"

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Dominique De Bast
Film God

Posts: 4486
From: Brussels, Belgium
Registered: Jun 2013


 - posted March 26, 2015 02:39 PM      Profile for Dominique De Bast   Email Dominique De Bast   Send New Private Message       Edit/Delete Post 
I brought a projector to a repairman but unfortunately could not repair it (or didn't want to). When he gave me the projector back, he told me that it was dangerous to use it because of electrical troubles.

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Dominique

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Rob Young.
Phenomenal Film Handler

Posts: 1633
From: Cheshire, U.K.
Registered: Dec 2003


 - posted March 26, 2015 02:50 PM      Profile for Rob Young.     Send New Private Message       Edit/Delete Post 
Likewise, armed with a service manual, the right tools and a lot of patience and care, we can sometimes remedy our machines without the awful risk and expense of shipping back and forth, etc. Don't you think?

I reference my own thread regarding the Beaulieu take-up issue.

I'm sure there will be a happy outcome, although if it tears itself apart when I reassemble it, Simon, you can be the first to tell me, "I told you so!"...lol! [Smile] [Smile] [Smile]

Then I might just cover the darn thing in WD40 and re-spray it red! [Eek!] [Big Grin] [Smile]

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Bill Shenette
Film Handler

Posts: 85
From: Shrewsbury, MA, USA
Registered: Nov 2014


 - posted March 26, 2015 03:04 PM      Profile for Bill Shenette   Author's Homepage   Email Bill Shenette   Send New Private Message       Edit/Delete Post 
Yeah kinds like my B&H 535 I don't have any monies to have it looked at [Frown] Being poor stinks some how i get by.
Thats when I saw an ad on C-List Singer Insta Load sum of $50.
So I purchased it. he purchased it from someone who had a big room of movie viewing. IU also got a Kodak roundie of slides.
thus of differnt movies up and comming offered it to me so I took it . It also came with 2 cartoons so I took those as well as an extra small reel.
thus makeing my 19 min drive to pick it up a happy one. Needless to say I never could have found out where he was until i did all my foot work on recearching the address My Garmin could'nt locate it because it was a brand new delopment with ony three open where he lived condos.

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Live life to the fullest each and every day. You never know when you will be called home to Glory.

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Steve Klare
Film Guy

Posts: 7016
From: Long Island, NY, USA
Registered: Jun 2003


 - posted March 26, 2015 03:09 PM      Profile for Steve Klare   Email Steve Klare   Send New Private Message       Edit/Delete Post 
To a certain extent we have to be willing (and able) to work on these machines ourselves.

The pros are getting to be pretty few these days, and the technically inclined around us are a lot more likely to be app savvy than gear and circuit savvy.

This has become a hobby a lot like owning classic cars: unless you are some dilettante that can call for a tow truck and a mechanic five times a year and still pay the mortgage, you'd better know your way around under the hood.

You'd better also learn the beast well enough that you can see, hear, feel or smell little problems and fix them before they grow fatal.

I hate fixin' 'em, but I love it when I'm done!

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All I ask is a wide screen and a projector to light her by...

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Douglas Warren
Master Film Handler

Posts: 282
From: West Chester, OH, USA
Registered: Feb 2008


 - posted March 26, 2015 03:42 PM      Profile for Douglas Warren   Email Douglas Warren   Send New Private Message       Edit/Delete Post 
Finding someone to work on projectors now is like the equivalent of finding a repairman to fix an old console television.The internet is our friend when these old beasts break down. I've managed to bring a couple of basket cases back to life,and currently working to do the same on a few others. Steve,your analogy about old classic cars really nails it.Those are my feelings exactly.We all must love this hobby,as the machines get older and you get to the point where you wonder if that last reel watched will be the final one for any given machine.
Douglas

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Turn out the lights,the movie is starting!

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Steve Klare
Film Guy

Posts: 7016
From: Long Island, NY, USA
Registered: Jun 2003


 - posted March 26, 2015 03:52 PM      Profile for Steve Klare   Email Steve Klare   Send New Private Message       Edit/Delete Post 
It's a changed world these days.

Back in 1975 anybody, anywhere could buy a brand new machine and (most of the time...) have years of reliable service: maybe a couple of bulbs, maybe a set of belts or two.

The day came it "broke" you went downtown to the camera shop: maybe they didn't fix it there, but they knew a guy that came by with a van once a week and rounded up cameras and projectors for repair. He'd seen a hundred machines just like it, he had a line on brand new spares. You had it back in a week (or so) with a warrantee.

the new machines
the photo shop
the "guy" with the van
the spare parts
the warrantee

-are all gone.

We're kind of like a guy stranded on a desert island: either learn to fish or starve!

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All I ask is a wide screen and a projector to light her by...

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Paul Browning
Phenomenal Film Handler

Posts: 1006
From: West Midlands United Kingdom
Registered: Aug 2011


 - posted March 26, 2015 04:00 PM      Profile for Paul Browning   Email Paul Browning   Send New Private Message       Edit/Delete Post 
Yes, Steve all those Jensens, Corvettes, and Panteras I've repaired in the past, account for nothing I guess, for "this amateur Mechanic"

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Steve Klare
Film Guy

Posts: 7016
From: Long Island, NY, USA
Registered: Jun 2003


 - posted March 26, 2015 04:02 PM      Profile for Steve Klare   Email Steve Klare   Send New Private Message       Edit/Delete Post 
Corvette?

Right hand drive, perhaps?

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All I ask is a wide screen and a projector to light her by...

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Paul Browning
Phenomenal Film Handler

Posts: 1006
From: West Midlands United Kingdom
Registered: Aug 2011


 - posted March 26, 2015 04:12 PM      Profile for Paul Browning   Email Paul Browning   Send New Private Message       Edit/Delete Post 
No Steve, left hooker, 350 small block, with the turbo rims, very nice, but the brakes are not good on these heavy weights, a friend of mine had a 454 big rat vet with the chrome bumpers, manual shift, black what a beast, blew the diff out of it twice !!!!, real muscle car.

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Steve Klare
Film Guy

Posts: 7016
From: Long Island, NY, USA
Registered: Jun 2003


 - posted March 26, 2015 05:17 PM      Profile for Steve Klare   Email Steve Klare   Send New Private Message       Edit/Delete Post 
When I was about twenty I got a 68 Torino GT coupe and we swung a rebuilt engine into it.

-it was my second car, so I only drove it on weekends. Every Saturday I'd take it out and drive it. For the first couple of weeks by Sunday afternoon it would break down and I'd spent the week getting it running again.

-after a while it stopped dying on me and became very reliable.

It was a tremendous learning experience.

-Actually I had a very similar experience with one of my first sound projectors, too!

The sad thing is I bought a brand new Honda Civic two years ago. The thing runs perfectly without any intervention from me.

Where's the challenge?

(What's even sadder is I kind of like that!)

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All I ask is a wide screen and a projector to light her by...

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Paul Browning
Phenomenal Film Handler

Posts: 1006
From: West Midlands United Kingdom
Registered: Aug 2011


 - posted March 26, 2015 05:39 PM      Profile for Paul Browning   Email Paul Browning   Send New Private Message       Edit/Delete Post 
Yes Steve, my mate had a starksy and hutch one, with a cobra jet engine in it, he used to race it at santa pod, straight shifter, on tick over it used to rattle the plates off the shelves, a real legend, good old Shelby, what a beauty. No substitute for cubic inches, nothing like Detroit Muscle.

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Steve Klare
Film Guy

Posts: 7016
From: Long Island, NY, USA
Registered: Jun 2003


 - posted March 26, 2015 05:53 PM      Profile for Steve Klare   Email Steve Klare   Send New Private Message       Edit/Delete Post 
Mine is (still have it, in mothballs) an earlier one: looks kind of like a larger '66 Mustang.

I bought a brand new 88 Mustang, it was my dally driver for 25 years. Injected 5.0, roller cam, headers, dual exhaust, 5 speed manual, posi-rear, two extra shocks on the rear axle just to try to hold in on the pavement. It could spin the back tires in first and second gear and out of fear for my life and license I never got it anywhere near top speed.

Really great car, but time passes and at about 220,000 it felt kind of shaky to be driving 60 miles a day, so I got this one.

This could be my mid-life crisis, except I stuck to my guns and got the coupe instead of the four door.

It's actually fun to drive: a big go-cart with a stereo and a sun-roof!

-I'll get a stripe down each rocker panel and thumb my nose at middle age respectability!

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All I ask is a wide screen and a projector to light her by...

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Paul Browning
Phenomenal Film Handler

Posts: 1006
From: West Midlands United Kingdom
Registered: Aug 2011


 - posted March 26, 2015 06:15 PM      Profile for Paul Browning   Email Paul Browning   Send New Private Message       Edit/Delete Post 
When Detroit produced real muscle cars man, the local petrol station owner had a mach 1, bright red, with all the stripes, not that unusual on British roads then, not seen one in 25 years on the road that is, pity really, fantastic growler of a car, I'm sure that was 351 Cleveland with the auto tranny, with an 8 track cart player !!!!.

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Graham Ritchie
Film God

Posts: 4001
From: New Zealand
Registered: Feb 2006


 - posted March 26, 2015 06:21 PM      Profile for Graham Ritchie   Email Graham Ritchie   Send New Private Message       Edit/Delete Post 
One of the best things I got my hands on was an actual workshop manual for the GS1200, around 170 pages of it [Roll Eyes] its something you do need for any tech person or yourself to fix it.

Sure you need to have some kind of understanding as to how things might work and the "dangers" of playing with electricity [Eek!] but as far as amateur mechanics are concerned, these days, unless you have a lot of money, and up to a point with certain type of repairs, with the help of this forum you can give some things a go. [Wink]

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Steve Klare
Film Guy

Posts: 7016
From: Long Island, NY, USA
Registered: Jun 2003


 - posted March 26, 2015 06:36 PM      Profile for Steve Klare   Email Steve Klare   Send New Private Message       Edit/Delete Post 
They still make 5.0 liter Mustangs: I saw a sweet looking convertible listed for twice the sticker price of my Honda.

-but I'm not 25 and single anymore: priorities!

So, to draw our on-topic conclusion:

Do not trust your vintage cinema gear to just any Amateur Mechanic, but at the same time do your best to learn what you need to know to take care of your own machines.

-Your budget and ability to keep your screen bright depend on it!

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All I ask is a wide screen and a projector to light her by...

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Bill Shenette
Film Handler

Posts: 85
From: Shrewsbury, MA, USA
Registered: Nov 2014


 - posted March 26, 2015 07:36 PM      Profile for Bill Shenette   Author's Homepage   Email Bill Shenette   Send New Private Message       Edit/Delete Post 
cars can be the other subject I gueess . funny how things get camers to cars. I worked at a Drive-In Theater for more than 20 years, well it's gone now all is left is the markee.
sad but I still have some speakers my girl and myself use them to listen to the mvie when we go. most radios are am/fm sound for the theatere well i hook up mine speakers that is too an old boom box they work awesome. I also have many Disney press books as well as other books that I saved from the dumpster

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Live life to the fullest each and every day. You never know when you will be called home to Glory.

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Andrew Woodcock
Film God

Posts: 7477
From: Manchester Uk
Registered: Aug 2012


 - posted March 27, 2015 03:56 AM      Profile for Andrew Woodcock         Edit/Delete Post 
Just for clarification, I said I couldn't agree with you more Simon to your initial post. If anyone thinks it is a good idea to spray oil liberally at any mechanical problem or if anyone takes a can of spray paint to any projector in a built up state, then of course I totally agree with your statement Simon.

However if it was implied in any way to professional people engineers or otherwise , who more than have the capability to carry out professional standard repairs on projectors by using service manuals, correct tools and techniques and have the knowledge to know exactly what to do and how best to do it .. then I strongly disagree with the statement.

At the end of the day, there are so many different machines out there even now that even the few projector repair People that still exist, don't know every procedure for every job on every machine.
They just learn as they go on anything new to them just like we all do in life.
They have the skills, knowledge and tools to do a great job even when it's done for the very first time.
In this repect, I am certain professional knowledgeable people can achieve exactly the same when they put their minds to it.

I know of one professional projector person that will not touch electronic problems, he just passes the work over to someone else and I know of others that will only carry out repairs to specific models and only a few at that!

Therefore for all of the rest, it's just as well we have more than capable people on here who are prepared to fill in the gaps for the rest of us to all learn from.

[ March 27, 2015, 09:03 AM: Message edited by: Andrew Woodcock ]

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"C'mon Baggy..Get with the beat"

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Bill Shenette
Film Handler

Posts: 85
From: Shrewsbury, MA, USA
Registered: Nov 2014


 - posted March 27, 2015 04:47 AM      Profile for Bill Shenette   Author's Homepage   Email Bill Shenette   Send New Private Message       Edit/Delete Post 
no need to explain Andrew I under stand now what you meen.
Sorry I've been suffering with a bout of severe deperession
from Bill

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Live life to the fullest each and every day. You never know when you will be called home to Glory.

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Andrew Woodcock
Film God

Posts: 7477
From: Manchester Uk
Registered: Aug 2012


 - posted March 27, 2015 05:15 AM      Profile for Andrew Woodcock         Edit/Delete Post 
I hope you are feeling much brighter about things soon Bill.

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"C'mon Baggy..Get with the beat"

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Paul Adsett
Film God

Posts: 5003
From: USA
Registered: Jun 2003


 - posted March 27, 2015 10:15 AM      Profile for Paul Adsett     Send New Private Message       Edit/Delete Post 
If you own a GS1200 you almost have to be an 'amateur mechanic'. If I sent my GS to Leon every time a microswitch or relay went out, I would have spent a whole lot of money. I will utilize Leon's expertise if and when the time comes that I feel I cannot do it myself. I know my limitations and will not attempt a repair job if I do not have a clear plan and am confident of a successful outcome. The GS manual is of course invaluable in doing any work on this machine. I usually discuss my problem with Leon beforehand and he will always offer his considerable experience over the phone for any particular repair situation. So far, touch wood, I have not reached a point where I have had to box up my GS and send it to him.

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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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Dominique De Bast
Film God

Posts: 4486
From: Brussels, Belgium
Registered: Jun 2013


 - posted March 27, 2015 10:48 AM      Profile for Dominique De Bast   Email Dominique De Bast   Send New Private Message       Edit/Delete Post 
It is obvious that most of us are able to make the basic maintenance and some small repairs. Some of us (and I'm not to count in that group) are Lucky enough to disamble a projector and fix it in most case (Janice is a perfect exemple of the perfect collector). But we should all remind that it can be dangerous to handle some old machines built at the time when safety was not a priority. To come back to the projector I refered to in my preceeding message, it is obvious that someting burnt in the base of the machine and a small electric contact had been gently bent to avoid being in touch with metallic parts surrounding the projector. Just imagine what would happen if you move lightly that small piece. Is it Worth to take a risk ? Not in my opinion.

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Dominique

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Steve Klare
Film Guy

Posts: 7016
From: Long Island, NY, USA
Registered: Jun 2003


 - posted March 27, 2015 11:06 AM      Profile for Steve Klare   Email Steve Klare   Send New Private Message       Edit/Delete Post 
Everybody has limits: not getting in trouble depends on understanding what your own are.

(Pretty decent lesson for life in general!)

For myself, I work daily with stuff that could kill me in milliseconds if I do something dopey, so I'm OK here.

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All I ask is a wide screen and a projector to light her by...

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Paul Adsett
Film God

Posts: 5003
From: USA
Registered: Jun 2003


 - posted March 27, 2015 12:39 PM      Profile for Paul Adsett     Send New Private Message       Edit/Delete Post 
Worst shock I ever got was 3KV off a MAG-ION pump. I obviously survived it, but it really rattled me for several hours after.
I have also had shocks from a 1KV stack of grid bias batteries, and another nasty one was 220 volts DC from my parents old HMV radiogram.
When I worked at Sylvania's Microwave Tube Division, there were 30KV pulse modulators all over the test area. Each test kit had a yellow rope hanging there so you could safely pull someone off if they were 'hung up' on a 30kv line! [Eek!]

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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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