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Problem with my Elmo 1200HD , can you help?

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  • Problem with my Elmo 1200HD , can you help?

    a few weeks ago I went to watch some films. I had to switch the 18/24 switch ( yes I know the power needs to be off when doing this) I switched it and the film began to slow down and eventually it got stuck. had to manually remove film. The belts seem to be good, they arent sticky at first one seemed like it twisted, but then I rotated it and they look straight now. but now the 18/24 switch WILL NOT MOVE. the projector had a weird problem before where is ran louder than it should, found the source of the sound. the 18/24 switch would vibrate back and fourth. if you took your index finger and pressed the 18/24 switch ( lightly) to the left or right, the extra sound the projector made stopped. now it runs at 18fps but you can't change the switch its "stuck" any ideas?

  • #2
    Hi Ken,

    I have never seen one of these jam: then again, what can go wrong will go wrong.

    -maybe you can get in there and see what's gone wrong: some foreign object wedged in someplace or something bent past the point of interference?

    I like a lot of what Elmo did with their machines: I like the way they are built, and I like the way they run. I like they fact that when one heads south, I can often fix it myself. What I don't like is this weird roller-on-roller speed selector scheme in the ST-1200s. This machine was considered the GS-1200 of its time, yet they gave it a speed selection scheme like something Fred Flintstone would design! I find mine to be finicky: I dedicated my machine as 24 FPS only years ago so I don't have to disturb the roller and re-establish traction. (Maybe this worked better when the machines were new?)

    -simplicity is a wonderful thing, especially in mechanical and electronic design, but it is possible to take it too far!

    "Plumbing? WHAT plumbing?! You take the bucket and go out to the well!"

    When I have stereo films and 1200 Foot reels I go with the ST-1200HD. My first choice otherwise is ST-800: DC motor and electronic speed regulation. I find the difference between the 150W and 100W lamps isn't that spectacular and the 800's motor control just plain works! I have one of these that sat dead in the box from the 1970s until 2017 and once I got it going, it ran erratically for less than a minute, settled into 24FPS and has been fine ever since.
    Last edited by Steve Klare; May 04, 2021, 06:27 AM.


    • #3
      ok, things got real interesting right after my first post. ok got the projector to work. watched four films. then after rewinding, started to put another on. threaded, turn the switch motor does not run, hear a hum, thought it was the motor problem the woman janice had with hers. waited a few days. turned the projector on, started to run and it spat the smaller belt out ( I had the back off when I started it.) the belt broke in two spots, its not soft or gooey, as I had them replaced by a tech about five years ago. now, without the smaller shutterbelt, it runs again, I can see a flicker in the light, which goes away after a few seconds, it will project a film. I have ordered new belts. this time I am going to attampt to replace the belts myself, but I think its odd it wouldn't run until the smaller belt broke.......I got the turbine zoom spout oil for the motor, but read something that talked about how the motor needed friction to start, so now I am afraid to oil the part of the motor shaft I can see near the right most back cover screw hole......

      do the motors in these projectors have a "spot" for you to add lubricant? I am really not good enough to remove the motor...... it's a rare M+O model and I have a 1.0 lens so I really want to get it working again.


      • #4
        Interesting Question: You can find ST-1200 service manuals online (.pdf) and they talk about applying lubricants to all sorts of things, but not to the motor. (Anyone?!...Anyone?!)

        These machines are known for having cold start problems, but usually once they have run a little they are OK.

        A guy from Maryland should know that there's a film collector's convention in southern New Jersey twice a year (-just saying!).

        We know Janice is a woman: she knows it too!


        • #5
          I must agree with Steve's 'Fred Flintstone' design comment. I have 3 Elmo 1200's but only one offers 18/24 fps as it should do. The other two had issues when I first got them in the area of the rubber pulley making contact with the shutter pulley wheel, and are now just set at 24. Its about getting right the balance between the pressure of the rubber pulley on the wheel and being sure that the rubber pulley is parallel to the shutter wheel. Ideally the projector should sound reasonably quiet when the balance is found. Even so, sometimes on a cold start the two will not engauge when the transport control is turned, meaning that you just get a hum from the motor. I don't want to let the motor turn as its not under load, so I put the transport switch back to O and then switch to forward hoping that on the second time the assembly will engauge. Sometimes it may happen in the rewind mode, though I tend to use manual rewind arms anyway.
          The belts don't normally snap. Perhaps they are being put under pressure because something is misaligned?


          • #6
            Yes, it's a shame that even though they already had a pretty trouble-free drive scheme that was successful everywhere else, they decided to go this way here. I like mine, I could love it if it had DC transport drive.

            If you think about it, Eumig did the same thing: AC motor with a mechanical multi-speed "transmission" for different frame rates. Problems over there aren't very rare, but overall I'd say they pulled it off better.

            The ST-1200 is a pretty important machine in film collecting: it's the gateway to 1200 foot reels that a lot of us take. These last two nights mine has put Fantasia 2000 on screen and it was literally spectacular.

            -I just don't touch that lever! It's kind of like bringing up a touchy subject with a cranky relative over for dinner!


            • #7
              -I just don't touch that lever! It's kind of like bringing up a touchy subject with a cranky relative over for dinner!
              Very true, lol!


              • #8
                Janice "the woman" here 😎 I remember I did use some machine oil on my motor when I was first having the slow start issue. I'm not sure if it helped, but it certainly didn't make it any worse. Since this is a common problem with these machines I'm not too worried. Like Steve says...once it starts running you are good to go. It's just when the machine sits without being run for awhile that it needs a little prodding to get started.
                Last edited by Janice Glesser; May 05, 2021, 11:08 PM.


                • #9
                  Hi, Lady!

                  I'm working on a theory that the motor non-starts and slowness are at least mostly worn control switches. I've noticed that if I work the switches before I even apply power, I get much more reliable startups from cold. I powered mine up from many months of storage the other day and this worked like a charm.

                  Personally, I hate this theory and I hope I'm wrong! It will lead me to a fairly nasty teardown someday.


                  • #10
                    Steve, I haven't run my Elmo 1200HD for awhile. I'll see if your switch theory helps it start faster. I'll report back.


                    • #11
                      Well exercising the switch didn't make the motor start up any faster.. at least on my machine. I will say the startup time is much faster than when I first got the projector. All the things I did in that past thread seemed to help a lot. Today I started the machine in the still mode until I heard the fan start to spin up then put it in forward. From that point on I could turn the projector off and back on with no hesitation.


                      • #12

                        Maybe this is more the case of my own machine. I have noticed without working the switches I am more likely to get the humming stall.

                        Maybe two years ago, I clipped my meter on the motor voltage. Fully operating I saw 100VAC, but in this stalled mode it was something like 56 VAC.

                        I don't want to change those switches! I did this years ago on another Elmo because the Lamp switch welded "on".

                        -I've had worse days, but few not involving general anesthesia and time spent in the Recovery Ward!

                        (Some days, you wish you collected stamps instead!)


                        • #13
                          so, got belts. went to replace the smaller shutter belt, realized you have to take the flywheel off, so removed the pin and plate, and a small washer or something skipped across the flywheel and landed PERFECTLY somewhere inside the machine and you can't hear it rattle and it won't come out either, so now I just re installed the plate and pin because I didnt want to unscrew the plug receptacle to get the flywheel out and now I have to pay someone $400 dollars to locate the missing washer, so now the projector is a doorstop. I have the worst luck with these things.......oh well.


                          • #14

                            In your predicament I would turn the room lights off and lay down on the floor next to where you were working with a flashlight as close to parallel to the floor surface as is possible. It's amazing how even small objects cast a long shadow this way.

                            -with a little luck, maybe it skittered off onto the floor.

                            BTW: the flywheel should be easy to get out: it's not actually fixed to the shaft it rides on. It's mean to slip so it can get up to speed gradually.