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Cinema Products CP-16, beginning a project.

Tanner Martin

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This was posted in a different thread, but I wasn't sure what section this post would belong under better and I think it would belong better here.

"I recently found a 16mm CP-16R movie camera at a junk store for $250. Cosmetically it's in nice shape, optics seem to work fine, and it came with a few rechargeable batteries, and a 400' film magazine. However the drive belt that attaches to the magazine and camera is missing, and it did not come with a charger or power supply. Does anyone know of any suitable replacements for the belt and charger/is willing to sell those? The only parts like that I've found has been in cp16 camera sets on ebay that cost 2 grand, something as which I can not afford. I am well aware this camera might not even function properly, but I'd rather find out then let it sit here. Thank you for your time."

i would also like to add that this camera i found out that this camera was well cared for by its previous owner (according to information asked by the store owner when he bought it) but it has sat some time since about the mid 2000s. It seems like this will be a project camera, so is there any servicing that anyone would recommend i do to it before i operate it?


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I too am going through the motions of discovering what works and so forth on my CP16.  I bought a belt replacement kit from Whitehouse Av and replaced the camera's belt, very easy to do.  Here is the ebay site:


There are also numerous instructional videos on youtube about the belt replacement process:




This video relates to inspecting the camera's circuit board:


This link takes you to a youtube page with several videos on acquainting yourself with the CP16 operation and use, very handy videos.


For manuals and the like, I do not have the links handy at the moment but there are lots floating around the web and available for download.  Here is a link to the user manual I just found:


Good luck and keep us posted,


Cheers, Gareth

Edited by Gareth Blackstock
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  • 3 weeks later...

Ok, update on the camera. I managed to get my hands on a battery charger and AC power supply (thanks Andrew!) and managed to test the camera. The camera function with an exception to two things. I ran an old tri-X short end through it with the camera open to make sure it would go through the guiding mechanism correctly. Aside from the sync light going off for a second when the camera started, it stayed off and the film ran through the mechanism smoothly. The only issue with the camera now is the external white wheel and the footage counter doesn't move while running film. I will probably not be able to look at the camera until the end of the week due to school, but if anyone can come up with any ideas as to why those would not be working, it would be really helpful! I haven't had a chance to take off the external casing of the camera to look at the inside of it, but when I do this weekend, I will be sure to post photos to see if anyone can find anything out of place, thanks for all the help already!

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  • 4 weeks later...

Another Update: Was able to open up the camera. The rubber teeth on the clutch belt have completely disintegrated, but other than that, everything appears in order internally. The only other issue I might be running into might be the batteries I have may not be holding a charge. Once I get the belt in place, if anyone has some leads on any batteries for a CP-16 with good cells in it for a reasonable price, please let me know!

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Regarding the battery set up, you might be better off purchasing 17 or 18 AA rechargeable batteries with solder tabs and connecting them in series, this will add up to the required voltage.  They are pretty cheap and easy to solder together.  The below link is an example of what I mean, you should find cheaper closer to you.  Finding a decent battery pack thats almost 30 years old would be a fruitless search I reckon.


The only trouble is fitting all the batteries into the little plastic box once you have finished.  I am going to just cut a large hole in the side of my plastic box so I can fit all the batteries in, I do not care about making the plastic box look perfect, rather it just functioned.  If you can fit all the batteries into the little box you are better than me.. 

see how you go,



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I bought a CP-16r just to try a few modifications on it, It came without a lens, battery and magazine so Instead of looking for a battery I decided to make my own. I'm using some of those rechargeable batteries and I'm getting 19.6v which is pretty close to the 20v that the camera needs. Those batteries are rated at 2200mAh vs the 500mAh on the original battery.That's a lot of footage, I guess thousands  of feet. Since I didn't have a battery to begin with I 3D printed my own version, which has more space (still not much space) I got the banana connectors and I'm almost done with the design.

I don't know how Gareth is charging those batteries, but seems like the amounts of cells you use and the volts are a limitation with chargers, but I'll figure it out.

So yes it is possible, less expensive and you get more mAh than with the original battery. Be careful with the charger, I'm not an expert but I know you need different chargers for different battery chemistry, the wrong charger can damage the batteries or make them explode.

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For my Arriflex I've had good luck using rechargeable RC car/plane batteries. There were several available in the same rating as my original batteries and they work pretty well with the Arri. Never tried one on the Cp16 but imagine it should work the same.

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I did look into using rechargeable hand tool batteries but the cost was still high, in Aussie anyway. For all the AA batteries I am using the CP charger. Have had no issues yet, I figure that as the charger originally had to charge 500ma nimh batteries, my ones are also NiMH and should not be an issue. If the little buggers explode this board will be the first to know!



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Got around to charging the second battery. It powers the camera, but the red sync light stays on the entire time it is running. With the power supply, the sync light turns on for a second or two and shuts off. Any idea what might cause that?

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If they're both the same nominal voltage, the only difference can be that the battery voltage is dropping under the current load of the camera (due to a bad or too low capacity battery) and setting off the sync warning, or the battery power cable has high resistance and the voltage is dropping across that. 

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Thanks Gareth,

That's what I remembered, but I wanted to make sure. I like the camera and I didn't want to burn the circuit.

I saw a post where one of the knowledgeable technicians around here confirmed that, but I spent hours searching and I didn't find it.

Thanks again.

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Thanks for doing that Gareth,

Well after a lot of time trying to find the parts and a lot of work, I'm almost done with my new battery. It has 16 AA, 2200mAh rechargeable batteries and I'm going to add a 30A fuse as specified on the camera's manual.



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I purchased two packs of batteries. They came soldered from the manufacturer, so I just used another connector (Thin, flat metal) from another rechargeable battery that I had and all set. The problem that I have right now which is not big is soldering the cables to the terminals before I screw the onto the plastic case, but I'll figure it out.


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