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Elmo FP-A & FP-C Lamp Conversion

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  • Elmo FP-A & FP-C Lamp Conversion

    If you own an Elmo FP Series projector (FP-A or FP-C) that uses the DCA (21.5v 150W) bulb you know how expensive it can be to replace the bulb. A lamp conversion is possible. This thread will show you how I did mine.

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    There were certain FP models that had a factory bulb upgrade that used an EJM (21V 150W) halogen bulb, but these are hard to find. The photo on the left is the factory conversion and on the right is what my conversion looked like.

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    The main component is the replacement lamp holder. If you have seen any of my previous lamp conversions this is the holder to purchase. No matter which projector you are retrofitting …. the key is to make sure the QLV-1 will fit inside your projector lamp housing with the cover shut. In the case of the Elmo FP models (FP-A and FP-C) the QLV-1 will fit.

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    Remove the original lamp holder and socket. Try to leave the 2 wires going to the socket as long as possible. You will be left with the chasis with 4 pre-drill holes. This is where a plate of sheet metal will be cut to cover the area indicated by the red rectangle. The QLV-1 will be mounted to this plate.

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    Note: If the cover gets in your way …. You can easily remove it. Just remove the two screws on the inside as shown and slide the cover out to the left. You can replace the cover when you have completed the conversion.

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    Paper Template
    Make a paper template for cutting the sheet metal to size and indicting the location of the screw holes.

    Important: The top edge of the template should line up with the top of the chasis where the 2 upper holes are located. The right side should not extend any further than the right side of the right vertical edge. You don’t want to block the still frame diffuser from dropping down.

    Position the QLV-1 holder to the top of the template and just to the left of the top right screw hole #2. The head of the screw will touch the base of the QLV-1… it will be tight. Trace the holes that will be drilled. Use at least 2 holes on the QLV-1...3 is even better.

    I used a glue stick on the back of the paper template to adhere it to a piece of 6 mil. sheet metal. Then using sheet metal shears cut the metal plate to size.

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    Secure the sheet metal plate to a flat surfaced piece of wood and drill holes as indicated by the template. I drilled pilot holes with a 1/16 bit then used a ⅛ bit to widen the holes. Elongate the 4 holes on the edges to aid in positioning if tweaking is needed later on. After drilling you can remove the template from the sheet metal. I used small round and flat files I bought from Harbor Freight to remove any burrs on the metal and aid in creating the elongated holes. You might have a better solution. Mine isn’t pretty...but it eventually lined up on the chasis.

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    Attach the QLV-1 holder to the metal plate using screws in two or three of the drill holes and use nuts on the back side to firmly secure the QLV-1 to the metal plate.

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    Attach the plate to the chasis using 4 small screws.

    Note: The top two holes are very shallow. If you have trouble getting the screws to go all the way a thin washer beneath the plate to tighten the plate against the screw head.

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    Attach the two wires using connectors (it doesn’t matter which wire you connect to) and insert an EJM bulb.

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    Here is the final result.

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    Attached Files
    Last edited by Janice Glesser; January 22, 2020, 02:24 AM.

  • #2
    None of the pictures are showing here, Janice.


    • #3
      Thanks Brian...not sure what the problem is. I see the pics. I'll see if I can reload them before my editing window goes away.

      I reloaded all the photos again. There should be 12 photos total. Please let me know if you still can't see photos....not much good without them

      It's 1:30AM in California...I'm going back to bed.
      Last edited by Janice Glesser; January 22, 2020, 02:29 AM.


      • #4
        All good now.


        • #5
          Thanks Brian for the feedback. I spent hours documenting the process and transferring it to a post. I'm not a fan of the forum editing time restriction. It puts so much pressure on getting everything right the first time...which for me is never the case.

          Hopefully now that the photos are visable I'll get feedback on the conversion itself. I was very pleased with the results.


          • #6
            Hi Janice, I have an Elmo FP-C. I bought it at a garage sale for a dollar. I started using it when I started reviewing my home movies. It has worked very well until last evening when (you guessed it) the projection bulb blew. I suspected the replacement would be expensive, but was I in for a shock when shopping online for it. That’s when I came across your lamp conversion post. I just received my activation notice for this forum because I wanted to ask you a few questions about it. Question #1: Can you share where you bought the EJM bulb and the socket for it? There are many options out there, and I suspect the market has changed considerably since 2020. But, at least I would have advice from someone that has successfully made this conversion.
            Question #2: I noticed that the metal plate you fabricated seems to cover an opening that is likely used for ventilation. Is there a reason why you did that?
            Question #3: I haven’t taken any measurements yet, but it seems that positioning the bulb socket is crucial to getting it to match the original bulb’s orientation (both up/down and forward/backward). Did you have any problems achieving that?
            Question #4: How would you compare the performance between the legacy bulb and the EJM bulb? It’s hard to determine if it’s an exact match (color temp, lumens output, etc.) Have you looked into the direct replacement types, too, like a DCF?
            BTW, thanks for this article. I would have never guessed that something like this was possible.


            • #7
              One other question: Did you ever consider reusing the bracket from the old bul?. It appears to be very sturdy, but how the new socket would attach to it, I’m not sure at this point.


              • #8
                Hi Dan and welcome to the forum. It's been awhile since I did the conversion but I'll try and answer your question as best I can.

                EJM Bulb

                QLV-1 Bulb Holder

                As far the airflow issue... The EJM bulb isn't as hot as the old bulb and I haven't had any problem with overheating. Using the metal plate seemed the easiest solution for me to secure the QLV-1 and there seems to be plenty of airflow.

                The bulb does need to be positioned inline with the frame opening. I don't remember this being difficult. I had a factory conversion to use as a guide and I pretty much eye-balled it. As you can see in the screen shot the light coverage is very consistent. The EJM bulb is the proper voltage and wattage and is what ELMO used for their factory upgrade.

                As far as a conversion design based on the original socket....that was not something I wanted to tackle. However you might want to check out Tveden Lamp Modules. George Tveden makes a converter that plugs into the old sockets. You will have to text him to see if he has one compatible with the Elmo FP-C using an EJM bulb.



                • #9
                  Dan, I have the Elmo bracket where the bulb sits. I read this post, and checked my parts bin and it was there. I don't have the back piece the bulb bracket screws onto. I had one but don't recall what I did with it. You're welcome to it free of charge. Just let me know here or in a PM. I own an Elmo FPC-8 that was factory fitted with the upgraded halogen bulb. I had forgotten Janice did this upgrade in 2020. She is our go to person for these types of projects. I've followed a few of her retro fits and they're always top notch! Anyways here are a few photos of my bracket with bulb for reference. I'm also including a stock photo from Van Eck's website showing the complete assembly for comparison.

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                  • #10
                    Hi Shane. Thanks for the offer. I think I will take you up on it. It looks like I would still need the upper (shiny) bracket that your lamp holder would screw into. If I can’t modify the original DCA bulb holder to do that, I could start from scratch and fashion one of my own.
                    Then, I would need a socket for the bulb, and I think it will work. The socket I’m looking at is:

                    [ Not sure if the link will be added properly, so here it is in plain text - ]

                    Just let me know the cost of shipping, and I’ll send you a check, if that’s okay with you.


                    • #11
                      Janice, thanks for the info - all very helpful. If I can’t make a bracket to attach Shane’s bracket to (see previous post), I always have your conversion technique to fall back on. I checked Tveden and he doesn’t have a lamp module to fit an EFM bulb. If he did have one, it would likely be a bit pricey (based on his other modules), so I wouldn’t have chosen to go that route anyway.
                      You and Shane have been a big help. This is a great way to start the new year.


                      • #12
                        No matter which way you go Dan it will be worth the effort and a fun learning experience. The Elmo FP series is worth the extra effort. Let us know how it goes.


                        • #13
                          The bracket I am sending Dan was mailed out today. Hopefully it can be of some use to help him in this upgrade! Janice I agree, these Elmo's are great machines. Built like tanks, and will probably outlast us LOL.


                          • #14
                            Well, Shane & Janice. I finished the conversion to the EJM bulb. It was a bit kludgy, but it is sturdy and aligned. See the photos. After finishing the conversion, I ran into two other problems. The film speed was very slow; even at max speed it looked like slow motion. I thought I messed something up during the bulb conversion, but I don’t think so. Even though it was working fine before the conversion, I think it needs a serious lubrication. Question: do you have any pointers on doing that? I was going to use regular lithium (white) grease but am not sure if that is compatible with the plastic gears. Applying grease to the white gears should be easy, as well as the semi-hidden worm gear; but, two areas I’m unsure about is the spindle attached to the external knob that spins when the projector is running. Would 3-in-1 oil work on that? Also, the cam that makes the claws that move the film up and down is binding at the top part of the cam action. How would I lubricate that? I’ve lubricated the motor already. the second problem is the cloudy lens. I’ve read your other posts about it, but I’d really like to clean it if I could (to avoid having to buy the Bolex lens which seems rather pricey). Here a few of the pictures I took during the bulb conversion (btw, the bracket Shane sent me, and the extra bulb, worked out great - thanks, Shane):


                            • #15
                              Hey Dan check your private messages I have something you might be interested in.