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Author Topic: New member/new Elmo ST1200 experience
Matthew Newman
Junior
Posts: 9
From: Berlin/London
Registered: Mar 2007


 - posted April 27, 2007 03:57 AM      Profile for Matthew Newman   Email Matthew Newman   Send New Private Message       Edit/Delete Post 
Hello everyone! My name is Mat, and I've recently followed with pleasure your discussions about 8mm projectors before making my own purchase.

In a toss up between an Elmo ST1200HD and a Bauer 610, I went for the Elmo, largely due to the enthusiasm expressed for them on this site, not to mention the enthusiasm of the man in the shop (Foto Braune in Berlin). My own feeling was simply that the metal casing might bode well for extended future use.

Last night was the first time I've ever seen anything projected on film outside of a cinema. It was almost everything I'd hoped for. Even my girlfriend, who like me is also a digital baby with HD everything, was charmed. Nice bright and large picture, and even if the film kind of stank (Bruce Lee chop socky) it was a genuine thrill to see moving pictures projected freely as light on a screen, instead of as pixels stuck behind a piece of glass.

But it was LOUD! I mean, the mechanical noise was surprising. Clack clack clack. I had to turn the volume way up to cover it, and it ended up being a war between mono sound, the background hum of the amp, and the Elmo cranking over. I was expecting a pleasant hum, like a whirring, and not a crank sound.

This is my first projector - I have nothing in my experience to compare it to. Do ST1200 owners out there rate it as a noisy machine? Or could something be wrong? It didn't sound broken. The shop technician said he had overhauled it before selling. They're the only 8mm place in Berlin, and well recommended, so I suspect it is what it is.

Everyone has his own feeling for loud, so I'll try and be precise; when I was standing next to the Elmo during projection, my girlfriend and I had to practically shout to each other to communicate.

If anyone has anything to say about Elmo noise levels, and the Elmo in general, I'd love to hear it.

Glad to be on board,

Mat

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Lee Mannering
Film God

Posts: 3216
From: The Projection Box
Registered: Nov 2006


 - posted April 27, 2007 04:15 AM      Profile for Lee Mannering     Send New Private Message       Edit/Delete Post 
Hello my friend and welcome to a fascinating hobby which will bring you and your family years of fun. Reading your mail reminded me of my 20’s when I more or less trained my young lad to use the projector and he used to sit on my lap as I showed him what did what on the projector. So long ago now, but nice memories.

In some way I am the least ideal person to talk about the noise from an Elmo as only a few months ago I criticised the Elmo GS1200 for mechanical rumble. Having just purchased a much newer machine and identical model it was my older machine that was at fault having become well worn and run many very long feature films over the years. Thankfully I am not one of these folk who thinks he knows it all and I am pleased to hold my hand up and say I was wrong.

Now to your baby. If you are shouting over the top of it sounds like something may not be quite right. It could be a simple thing like the film loop has been lost just under the picture gate area. This can quickly be checked just by lifting the front cover down when running a film, and you need not have the lamp on to check the loop by the way. If it has lost the loop it will sound noisy and the sound from the speaker will also be very poor like as not.

Another problem could be failure of the rubber belt which covers the edge around the shutter just in front of the lamp. Its worth checking it is in place (the black belt) just in case someone has removed it as the do perish with age. Some run the 1200 without it when it goes. That’s about as much help as I can offer. If the belt has gone from around the shutter I do have spare Elmo belts here so could help you out at a pinch. A caper to fit as great care needs to be taken, but worth knowing you can still get good new parts if need be. I have been very happy with the projected image ans crisp sound quality from the ST1200's. Take your time checking the machine over and just look and listen to it, and also this forum which has been a great help to me in recent months for a start. Resist getting the screwdriver out before you have lots of ideas what might be up as help is available from the good folk on this forum.

Good luck and enjoy the hobby which is like no other..
Lee.

[ April 27, 2007, 09:46 AM: Message edited by: Lee Mannering ]

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Keith Ashfield
Jedi Master Film Handler

Posts: 997
From: U.K.
Registered: Dec 2006


 - posted April 27, 2007 06:29 AM      Profile for Keith Ashfield     Send New Private Message       Edit/Delete Post 
Hi Matthew, I would also like to add my welcome to you, to the world of film collecting and projecting and all of the joys (of which there are many) and somne of the frustrations, too. You must realise that you cannot compare projecting film, whatever the guage,with its video or digital counterparts. The noise of the film going thru the machine is part of the enjoyment. However, like Lee, I also own a Elmo ST1200 and GS1200 and they are not "noisy" machines. If your machine is as noisy as you say then I would think something is most certainly wrong. You shouldn't have to adjust the machine sound volume to "overlap" the machine noise. Lee's theory about the loop is your first "port of call" I would think.
I am not qualified to comment on what your problems could be - there are eminently better qualified than I (come in MR.Elmo). However if you purchased the machine from a shop, who claims to have serviced it, then I would take it back, or at least speak to them about your concerns.
The problem is that when someone describes a "noise" it is never the same as "hearing" the noise and to someone who is new to the hobby it may seem excessive, but in fact can be quite normal. I'm sure there are more than enough members to give you all the re-assurance, help and advice that you will need to overcome any "teething" problems you may experience. As the saying goes "We've all been there at some stage".
I hope you solve your "problem" Matthew and start to enjoy what is probably the most addictive hobby there is. Warmest regards.Keith [Smile]

--------------------
"We'll find 'em in the end, I promise you. We'll find 'em. Just as sure as a turnin' of the earth".

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Trevor Adams
Jedi Master Film Handler

Posts: 763
From: Auckland,New Zealand
Registered: Jun 2003


 - posted April 27, 2007 06:33 AM      Profile for Trevor Adams   Author's Homepage   Email Trevor Adams   Send New Private Message       Edit/Delete Post 
Welcome Matt!By and large I reckon the ST1200 is a rather noisy machine. In contrast,film simply glides through the Bauer 610! The latter would get my vote as the most "lounge friendly"super 8mm projector.Having said that,I mostly use an Elmo ST1200HD for convenience(1200ft reels).I just keep it well back from the audience.regards,Trev

--------------------
Trevor

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Gary Crawford
Jedi Master Film Handler

Posts: 979
From: Manassas, VA. USA
Registered: Jun 2003


 - posted April 27, 2007 08:25 AM      Profile for Gary Crawford   Email Gary Crawford   Send New Private Message       Edit/Delete Post 
A well adjusted (mentally and physically) 1200 properly greased and belted....with film loops correct...should not be so loud as to cause you to have to really pump up the sound...also the hum from the amp. should be barely, if ever, noticeable. Granted Elmo's are not the quietest machines...but I've got 4 1200HD's, 1 D and one original 1200..and none of them are THAT noisey. Granted...the surface the machine is on can make a huge difference....also walls or windows around the machine can tend to basically amplify it. some folks have gone so far as to build a large wooden box, with foam padding, with a vent for a little computer fan for exhaust...and glass in the front to baffle the sound. Someone once posted a picture of such a thing on this forum.

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Lars Pettersson
Master Film Handler

Posts: 282
From: Stockholm, Sweden
Registered: Jan 2007


 - posted April 28, 2007 12:45 PM      Profile for Lars Pettersson   Email Lars Pettersson   Send New Private Message       Edit/Delete Post 
The surface the machine is on and the walls surrounding it definitely matters, and can amplify running noise. Very quiet motion picture cameras that otherwise are almost completely silent when running, can become audible if placed over say a wooden dining table, causing the table surface to resonate.

Cheers,
Lars

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Matthew Newman
Junior
Posts: 9
From: Berlin/London
Registered: Mar 2007


 - posted April 28, 2007 07:21 PM      Profile for Matthew Newman   Email Matthew Newman   Send New Private Message       Edit/Delete Post 
thanks for the tips and encouragement. I'm going to go through each suggestion on the day off.

I also noticed that it's quieter playing back 18fps than 24fps.

But a great picture, clean and bright, and a real thrill to project film finally.

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Kevin Faulkner
Film God

Posts: 4071
From: Essex UK
Registered: Jun 2003


 - posted April 29, 2007 05:00 AM      Profile for Kevin Faulkner         Edit/Delete Post 
I did a repair on an early ST1200 recently for Keith above and when it arrived it was very noisy in forward play but quiet in reverse.
I found that there was no clearance between the worm gear and the two cogs which are driven off the worm gear.
There must be some play in this area. After adjustment and cleaning off the old grease and reapplying some fresh the machine was one of the quietest I have ever heard. [Smile]

Kev.

--------------------
GS1200 Xenon with Elmo 1.0...great combo along with a 16-CL Xenon for that super bright white light.

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Matthew Newman
Junior
Posts: 9
From: Berlin/London
Registered: Mar 2007


 - posted April 29, 2007 12:45 PM      Profile for Matthew Newman   Email Matthew Newman   Send New Private Message       Edit/Delete Post 
I'm attempting a home service on the Elmo.

Lee, you suggested checking the picture loop under the gate; following pics are at 18fps transport.
 -
 -

They're lightly looped as film transports - I assume this is correct. It kind of flutters.

"Another problem could be failure of the rubber belt which covers the edge around the shutter just in front of the lamp. Its worth checking it is in place (the black belt) just in case someone has removed it as the do perish with age."

Well, there's this;

 -

Which seems to be such a wheel, and is indeed naked. I went through what spares came with the projector, and found two rubber belts;

 -

However, when I try and hook the larger belt around the rim of the metal wheel, it is too tight and stops the wheel spinning, besides being impossible to hook around properly. Ought it go on the inside rim of the wheel? I have no repair manual for the projector which might illustrate this procedure.

If you think this is too complicated a job without proper tools, but is worth doing, then I'll just take it back to the shop for a fix up.

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Lee Mannering
Film God

Posts: 3216
From: The Projection Box
Registered: Nov 2006


 - posted April 30, 2007 08:45 AM      Profile for Lee Mannering     Send New Private Message       Edit/Delete Post 
Hello again my friend and it indeed looks as though someone has removed the THIN rubber belt from around the shutter wheel. Be cautious with my suggestions as I am not sure all models had the rubber belt fitted or not. However, the ST1200HD machines I have all have this black very thin (thickness) fitted. Not having this cushion/drive friction belt may well add to projection noise perhaps.

Your film loops top and bottom look fine to me.

Another point. Some older films are made of Acetate, and newer ones Polyester. The older Acetate prints can become brittle with age and this can also make them noisy. About 60% of my collection are Acetate as I like very old black and white films in the main and I have to keep them lubricated with a good film cleaner such as Film Renew. This film cleaner is applied liberally on a lint free cloth and the film passed through the cloth.

Before we get to deep and confuse you with science as a newcomer can I suggest you carry out a test on a few feet of film, preferably a silent film as follows.

Get a film which is not valuable and a clean cotton handkerchief. Squirt a very small amount of WD40 on the cloth and run the film through it having wrapped the cloth around it. Next using a clean part of the cloth wipe of the WD40 as much as possible which will just leave a very small film. Run the film again in the projector and note where the WD40 treated section stops and listen. Does the projector run quieter on the treated part of the film or not? If it does it might be worth you investing in some film cleaner.

See how you get on….

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Matthew Newman
Junior
Posts: 9
From: Berlin/London
Registered: Mar 2007


 - posted April 30, 2007 09:10 AM      Profile for Matthew Newman   Email Matthew Newman   Send New Private Message       Edit/Delete Post 
Thanks for the cleaning advice Lee. I'll try it out.

As for the rubber belt, maybe I should get a new set if this one is too thick. doens't seem to fit snug at all.

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Lee Mannering
Film God

Posts: 3216
From: The Projection Box
Registered: Nov 2006


 - posted April 30, 2007 10:39 AM      Profile for Lee Mannering     Send New Private Message       Edit/Delete Post 
Matt.
The shutter belt is a special one and is only (at a guess) half a .5 MM thick and very thin indeed. Try the WD40 trick first just to make certain all this noise is not due to the above, but make certain you get as much off the film as you can just to leave a thin coating. If you leave quite a bit on in may casue your sound to wow.

The other belts will not suit the shutter drive as way to small and far to thick.

Good luck my friend.

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Matthew Newman
Junior
Posts: 9
From: Berlin/London
Registered: Mar 2007


 - posted April 30, 2007 11:05 AM      Profile for Matthew Newman   Email Matthew Newman   Send New Private Message       Edit/Delete Post 
I found a seller called isellprojectorbelts on USA ebay who has a newly manufactured replacement shutter wheel belt for $20. I'll get that put in at the repair shop and in the meantime try out the film cleaning.

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Kevin Faulkner
Film God

Posts: 4071
From: Essex UK
Registered: Jun 2003


 - posted May 04, 2007 03:08 AM      Profile for Kevin Faulkner         Edit/Delete Post 
Stop right there! Some ST1200HD's had no rubber round the shutter at all so dont try and put anything round it. The two rubber belts you have are for the drive round the two rubber drive rollers and motor. Most people remove the rubber off the shutter wheel as it deteriorates with age and then starts to make a sticky mess everywhere but in your case this has either been done or is a version manufactured without it so leave well alone.

When you say the machine is noisy are you referring to film transport noise or mechanical noise. The shape of those loops in your pictures is as I would expect so I dont think you have any problems where that is concerned. Try Lee's suggestion above and see if that helps.

Kev.

--------------------
GS1200 Xenon with Elmo 1.0...great combo along with a 16-CL Xenon for that super bright white light.

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Matthew Newman
Junior
Posts: 9
From: Berlin/London
Registered: Mar 2007


 - posted May 07, 2007 04:18 PM      Profile for Matthew Newman   Email Matthew Newman   Send New Private Message       Edit/Delete Post 
Thanks for the heads up. If that's really the case, then I guess I'll leave the rubbber off the shutter wheel. I don't want it melting down unexpectedly.

So I've a spare rubber shutter wheel floating about if anyone's interested and would like to ignore Kev's advice. [Big Grin]

Mat

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