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Elmo GS1200 GS800 maintenance

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  • Elmo GS1200 GS800 maintenance

    Wasn't quite sure what to call this thread but it needs tips/help in keeping our beloved Elmo projectors running smoothly.

    Film Scratching ...The ultimate film sacrilege

    Elmo GS machines have a bit of a reputation for scratching or lining Super 8 films, but is this the projectors fault or ours?

    Over the years I think it fair to say we have heard all manner of solutions but prevention is oft the best answer.

    Equipment: one aerosol of Foam cleaner, Silicon spray, micro fibre cloth and tools.

    The plastic film guides do wear with age of course which by design is a natural effect. You can forestall this wear and still protect your films if acting quick enough.
    This is something I do ever 3 months as I use my Elmos regularly.

    Remove the green film path guides on the front of the machine
    Spray foam cleaner on your cloth and clean them including rollers.
    Leave to dry for a few minutes.
    When dry lay the guides flat and spray the Silicone on them.
    Leave dry for 24 hours.
    Once dry replace onto your beloved Elmo.

    Invest in some Film Guard and apply to your films as instructed.
    I don't work for the manufacturer!

    Been doing this procedure to all my 8mm projectors and to date zero scratching.

    It does help and considering this Elmo was purchased by myself early 80s anything we can do to sustain the guides will be a bonus.

    I do remove the big film path guide from the top to make a clean job of it. You can see the gleam on the guides once completed.

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    To confirm you projector is not scratching..

    Buy a out of date super 8 50ft unexposed film off ebay
    Remove it from its cassette
    In a bucket mix in 25% bleach and top up with 75 water.
    Drop the loose film in it and leave overnight.
    Empty the liquid and flush the film in clear water for 15 minutes.
    Dry the S8 film on a washing line.

    Once dry cut a 4ft length and splice the ends together.
    Manually thread the film then project it watching the screen for any signs of scratching.

    The film will be completely clear after bleaching so you will see dark lines if your projector is causing scratches.

    Good luck.

    Thank you to a professional cinema projectionist who shared the tip decades ago.
    Attached Files
    Last edited by Lee Mannering; December 27, 2020, 12:11 PM.

  • #2
    Well Lee, you and I are doing the same thing today. My version 2 GS1200 is presently stripped down to replace the STK439 stereo amp IC on the main circuit board, which has been acting up of late. So i have taken advantage of the strip down to do a thorough cleaning of the entire machine, inside and out. That includes the green plastic film guides which, like you, I remove on a regular basis for cleaning and polishing with Pledge furniture polish which gives the guides a deep shine. I totally agree that keeping these guides clean and polished eliminates a lot of the scratching problems, Right now my machine passes the scratch test.
    One thing about tearing down a GS1200 is you realize that absolutely no expense was spared in the design and manufacture of this machine. Elmo were designing what they thought was the ultimate super 8 projector, and the final cost fell wherever it did. As fussy and tempremental as the GS can be, all the components are of the highest quality. This machine was built to last. I predict they will be the last super 8 projector standing.


    • #3
      Also been doing both my GS's, removing the film path guides is pretty easy and well worth doing, I would hate to scratch a film. I also do the 16mm CL ,take off the plastic rollers and lube, a few minutes to do and again preventative maintenance, Mark


      • #4
        Hi all, you may know by now that I have been spending a lot of time on regenerating my recently acquired Elmo GS1200. So far I only had experience with the much easier but less enticing Bauer T610.
        after having restored all functionality such as full audio and recording functionality as well as restoring the DC motors I now would like to go to general cleaning and making this machine picture perfect looking. What are the things I need to do and what supporting stuff is needed in terms of cleaning products?

        and what about lubrication? What are the key lubrication actions to do? What lubricants do you use?

        many thanks in advance!!