Re: a projector question

From: Fred Camper (email suppressed)
Date: Thu Sep 25 2008 - 15:12:28 PDT

Several points.

If you're buying a used projector, and need to keep it working, you need
to buy several, for when one breaks. Ideally they should be serviced
regularly, and when that's not possible, they won't last forever. B&H do
have a good reputation for durability.

Be sure that you can obtain extra projector lamps and exciter lamps for
it, and buy a bunch of those.

Take up belts can go bad. Someone else will know where or if you can get
replacement ones.

See if the motor sounds like it's running smoothly. Test the sound.

On some projectors, you can test the motor speed. See if the sprocket
wheel has a distinctive marking. For example, it might have a single
screw and have 16 teeth. Then you can count how many times 16 frames go
through in 60 seconds. Or, bring 50 or 100 feet of film with clear
markers for beginning and ending points and project that and time it.
That will of course work with any projector. And you should, obviously,
see that the image on screen is decent.

I strongly advocate doing a scratch test using a clear strip of film, or
film that is as light as possible and with as few scratches as possible.
First clean the projector thoroughly, gate and rollers, with Isopropyl
alcohol and q tips. The q tips that you run across the gate and rollers
(roll the rollers against them) should be coming out white. Then project
your scratch test footage multiple times, looking carefully both on
screen and on the strip to see if new scratches appear. Many projectors
will deposit a scratch between picture area and sound track, not visible
on screen. This isn't necessarily a disaster but you'd be better off
without it, obviously.

Helsinki and St. Petersburg are both 220 V, right? Make sure that's
right for this projector before plugging it in.

These are my tests based on my own experience. I could be mistaken about
some things. If anyone on FrameWorks thinks I'm wrong, or has better
information, please let us all know.

Fred Camper

For info on FrameWorks, contact Pip Chodorov at <email suppressed>.