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Somikon HD XL D8/S8 scanner amazing defect.

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  • Somikon HD XL D8/S8 scanner amazing defect.

    I've successfully used the quite nice Somikon scanner for digitizing forty 3'' bobbins and about 30 7'' films until the carrier started to move forward and backward, unable to pull the film.
    I've decided to open the machine (still under warranty) because there was a lot of green dust in the little metal finger hole and sticking on the finger.
    That dust could not be removed from the outside.
    I suspected also that there was an optical sensor nearby likely full of dust.
    Don't worry, I'm an engineer in electronics (specialized in the manufacturing) and I'm used to debug that kind of situation😉.

    You will see on the attached photo what I have found.
    🤢
    The horror, i.e the complete Chinese nightmare: the carrier support metal plate was incorrectly bent and the assembly operator had decided to use it anyway.
    See the dotted lines that should be parallel.

    That's typically an anachronistic behavior in production: the operator is focused on quantity rather than quality.
    The little Chinese operator likely receives a premium based on quantity.
    The defect is really very obvious and visible.
    Despite of the fact that he/she perfectly knows that the assembly is wrong, he/she has decided to push the product towards the next manufacturing steps.
    What's amazing is that the product is doing the job perfectly.
    However, I don't know how long it will last?

    Now I'm wondering what to do with that?
    I'm curious to see if the seller (Pearl) will accept the return of that product in RMA?
    After cleaning up the metal finger area, the scanner restarted and worked again very well.
    On a long term, some abnormal wear could appear in the stepper motor plastic gear.

    Other than that, I've found that the design is quite good, with the stepper motor and the metal front plate.
    A very annoying problem with the Somikon: the scanned file number is not displayed on the screen like the Reflecta clone.
    That's really a problem when you have to scan many films and post-prcess them later.
    I've reported that issue to Pearl. They will report the problem to the manufacturer.
    Pearl is really very responsive, either in Germany and France.

    Another issue is due to film path.
    The film turns too sharply around the first post which brakes the glued connections between the films on a big bobbin.

    Yves

  • #2
    Whatever the name brand is, I really believe they are all poured out from the very same manufacturer.

    The output quality would largely depend on the strictness of those brand themselves. Buying this from one brand would be as certain as buying government's bond, while buying from another brand is like investing to the lotto.

    Even in the best case when everything works as intended. The result quality isn't up to my expectation so I still keeping on DIY route. At least I have more degree of control to the work.

    Comment


    • #3
      Originally posted by Nantawat Kittiwarakul View Post
      Whatever the name brand is, I really believe they are all poured out from the very same manufacturer.

      The output quality would largely depend on the strictness of those brand themselves. Buying this from one brand would be as certain as buying government's bond, while buying from another brand is like investing to the lotto.

      Even in the best case when everything works as intended. The result quality isn't up to my expectation so I still keeping on DIY route. At least I have more degree of control to the work.
      I agree !
      The scanners are all made in Guandong by the same manufacturer.
      The pity is that the concept is OK and the device works well considering the price range, but the production quality is poor.
      The manual, as usual with Chinese equipment is just ridiculous.
      I had to download various customized manuals (Wolverine, Reflecta..) to fully understand the machine.

      Anyway, after cleaning up the machine and NOT changing anything to the carrier plate, it continues to scan the Double 8 films.
      I'm almost done with these souvenirs !

      My intent is to fix the problem when I'm done with the scanning. It's easy to fix even if I have to make another plate.

      Something to know also:
      Sometimes the Double 8 films were not cut correctly and the width of the film can increase up to 8mm i.o 7.9 mm / 5/16'' max.
      The too wide film is blocking in the carrier chute and cannot be scanned.
      It's rare but it happened 3 times.
      Only the beginning of two films was too wide, while the third one was completely too wide and not scannable.


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      • #4
        I have eventually fixed that scanner.
        Here are a few pictures of the operation.
        The twisted support plate was rather easy to fix.

        Photo of the support plate was before the repair

        Click image for larger version

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        Plate twisted and removed 1

        Click image for larger version

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        Plate twisted and removed 2

        Click image for larger version

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        Plate re-assembled after fix

        Click image for larger version

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        I guess that the plastic gears under the stepper motor will feel better in the future.
        Yves

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        • #5
          I was expecting some degree of manufacturing tolerance, but surely NOT this level of sloppiness! I no way any item should come out of the production line unnoticed like that.
          This really sealed of any interest I had left to this thing. I would rather move on and keep going on my DIY route then.

          Comment


          • #6
            I would not go that far Nantawat. This is the first time I see an issue like this and there are quite a few units out there. I am more concerned with the cam wear and skipped frames on these units and the cost is much higher than the projector approach. But it is definitely less fiddling around unless you run into problems similar to Yves.
            BTW - awesome work Yves.

            Comment


            • #7
              This really sealed of any interest I had left to this thing.
              Don't consider that Somikon scanner as a piece of junk. This is a quite good device.
              Despite of that defect, it did the job on many medium and large Standard 8 reels.
              The use of a reliable stepper motor is a really an advantage.
              Once the little metal part with the 2 adjusting screws pushing on the film is correctly adjusted it makes a nice sound while scanning.
              Otherwise you have a disturbing "clackity" sound.
              😉
              Yves

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