Jump to content

Moviecam SL power supply/power cable problems


Marian Gabriel Weber
 Share

Recommended Posts

3 hours ago, Raymond Zananiri said:

Hi Marian:

So you did in fact short the circuit. Fortunately, nothing serious happened. Did you need to change the fuse in the camera?

When you say you checked the vclx and it provides 27V, is that a reading you got from the battery lcd or a measurement you made with a voltmeter? If you had in fact shorted the circuit the first time, you might have blown the fuse in the battery as well, the 28V fuse. Also, I think many block batteries have a circuit protection that automatically go down to 12V in case something wrong happens to the battery. But if you measured 27v with a voltmeter that the problem is in the camera. I would try somehow to hook the camera to another 24-28V battery and check that first. 

One of the easiest ways to protect a high power consuming dc circuit from reverse polarity is to add a diode to it which does not conduct power in normal operation but short circuits the power supply immediately if reverse polarity is applied. This creates very high current spike which blows out the fuse before other damage can happen. It is fully intentional feature and I believe the moviecams have this kind of arrangement too

Link to comment
Share on other sites

There is a small chance that you could be reading 27V with the meter but if the fuse is blown or the battery sustained any damage, that in such a case its protective circuit, the one that brings its voltage down to 12V, only gets triggered when substantial current is drawn from an appliance (camera). 

Link to comment
Share on other sites

@Raymond Zananiri Ah, ok. Thanks! I will get a lab power supply and then I can double check.

According to the Compact manual, the 12 V is flashing for about 4 secs when a defective video accessory is connected. Since it flashes permanently, there's something else going on...

I also moved the black wire to the middle pin on the 3 pin connector inside the camera, but still no luck. It's still flashing "12 V"...

Link to comment
Share on other sites

  • Sustaining Member
1 hour ago, Marian Gabriel Weber said:

@Satsuki Murashige No, unfortunately I have just the VCLX battery right now, but I was thinking about getting an adjustable
lab power supply to nail exactly 24V and see if that solves anything...

Thanks a lot for the picture of the black plastic 3-pin connector! 

Hmm, this is getting really interesting now, because on your connector there's the red wire on the right pin and the black wire in the middle pin. Mine looks like this:

getpubthumb?code=XZacChXZVftnwASclfRyXVE

There's no cable on the middle pin, just left and right...

 

getpubthumb?code=XZCyxhXZLmOh1z7l20HVYrB

 

I think this might cause the problem...

I think I'll move the black cable to the middle pin. I hope I don't fry the board... but seeing that you have it like this makes me confident that this should work. After all I'm running out of options what could cause the problem.

I wouldn’t do that, better take the camera into a good technician instead! It’s not worth the risk of damaging the electronics. 

My XLR port is also wired differently than yours, btw: 

5D0987FE-1042-4C7E-893A-3A817439413C.jpeg.b0db7fde9efd4fb958af7ae5511a4eff.jpeg

So it’s probably not a good idea to assume what the wiring is like based on another camera body. 
 

 

Link to comment
Share on other sites

It's so spooky how each Moviecam is wired so differently. I guess all these cameras were only supposed to be sold to rental houses. People like us were not supposed to own them 😅.

Marian, I still can't believe that the cable that came with your camera had reversed polarity. That messed up everything for you. It must be a bunch of cameras, each with its own cable, that were sold by a rental house and they just didn't bother matching each cable to its camera but rather randomly include any cable with any camera for sale.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

@Raymond Zananiri Yes, indeed. It was also very hard to believe for me. The whole crazy story with the cable actually went like this: The seller sent me the camera with no cable at all. I contacted them and a couple of days later I had the 3pin to 4pin XLR which actually had a label ("Moviecam") on it. I plug in the cable and battery...nothing happens, the camera doesn't switch on at all. I opened up the camera and found out that on the XLR connector from inside the camera the 4 pin XLR had a black wire on pin 1 and a red wire on pin 2, whereas the 4pin XLR cable connector was connected on pin 1 and 4 (!), but these two wires were not colour-coded at all, they were just black. I moved the wire from pin 4 to pin 2 on the camera cable, plugged the cable in again and the fuse popped... With the remote help of Carmine (an engineer from Rome) we checked continuity on the camera cable and we found out that the cables were twisted: pin 1 on the battery and went to pin 4 (now pin 2, because I had moved it) on the camera side and pin 2 (camera side) went to pin 1 on the camera side = reversed polarity, that's why the fuse popped. I was told that Panavision cables had their pins twisted, but since I moved one of the wires it created a reversed polarity situation. Then I swapped the pins and then (for the first time) the camera switched on, but, after a split second, always goes to the flashing "12V" led, no motor running, nothing...

@Satsuki Murashige Ok, good to know! Yes, it's interesting to find out, that every Moviecam that I come across seems to have a different wiring... 🙂 Yes,  I will try to find a technician. I hope I'll find one here in Switzerland because the two remaining rental houses don't have any film cameras at all anymore😕

Edited by Marian Gabriel Weber
Link to comment
Share on other sites

Hmm, and on top of that the pressure plate is missing:

getpubthumb?code=XZAIKhXZ7MWrUJDKEMmnTQR

 

I contacted the seller yesterday regarding the missing pressure plate and his reply was: "This is an excellent camera. You just need to put on fresh Kodak film stock and you'll get beautiful images."😮

Oh well, it seems I have been really conned with this one...😟

Edited by Marian Gabriel Weber
Link to comment
Share on other sites

  • Sustaining Member
9 hours ago, Marian Gabriel Weber said:

Hmm, and on top of that the pressure plate is missing:

getpubthumb?code=XZAIKhXZ7MWrUJDKEMmnTQR

 

I contacted the seller yesterday regarding the missing pressure plate and his reply was: "This is an excellent camera. You just need to put on fresh Kodak film stock and you'll get beautiful images."😮

Oh well, it seems I have been really conned with this one...😟

What, no pressure plate?!! That’s a major issue, to say the least. I’m sorry to hear that, what a bummer.

I wonder if it would be possible to have a machinist make a new one based on the specs from an existing one? I’d be happy to send you measurements for mine if it helps.

 

Link to comment
Share on other sites

@Satsuki Murashige Yes, indeed! Quite a bummer to say the least....

I was also already thinking about letting a machinist make me a new one. I think it might be actually possible to 3d print one out of aluminum or steel and then get it polished. Oh, if you could send me the measurements and some images of the pressure plate that would be more than fantastic!! Thank you so much! I'll definitely send you some delicious swiss chocolate in return 🙂

Link to comment
Share on other sites

No pressure plate makes the camera useless. You should demand a refund from the seller or publish their name for all to avoid. 

The pressure plate is a very precise and carefully made part of the camera, you definitely can't 3D print one to the fine tolerances or material finish needed and having one machined would be quite expensive I think. They are hard chromed with dimensional tolerances within 0.01mm, and adjustment grub screws for setting the film channel depth very precisely. 

An Arricam one might work , since the movements are identical (at least on the Mk 2 version I know), but whether Arri still sell them I don't know.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

So frustrating. But, apart from the big productions, great to see 35mm motion picture film surviving by the efforts of a tiny, dedicated band of people willing to put up with all the problems, patiently looking for solutions. For that level of camera you need a technician to help you out. To go it totally alone would really be tough. Maybe get your money back and get a 2C or III or something like that, that generally has more spare parts available out there.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

yes it sounds pretty challenging to make a completely new pressure plate. 1/20th mm accuracy would still be doable with dimensions I believe but for higher accuracy it is likely that the machinist would need to have the original plate on hand to be able to replicate it in good enough quality for it to be usable.

if the seller would refund a substantial amount like 1.5 to 2k then one could maybe wait to find a new pressure plate or get one made. assuming that the camera would otherwise be in perfect condition

Link to comment
Share on other sites

  • Sustaining Member
On 2/10/2021 at 4:11 PM, Dom Jaeger said:

No pressure plate makes the camera useless. You should demand a refund from the seller or publish their name for all to avoid. 

The pressure plate is a very precise and carefully made part of the camera, you definitely can't 3D print one to the fine tolerances or material finish needed and having one machined would be quite expensive I think. They are hard chromed with dimensional tolerances within 0.01mm, and adjustment grub screws for setting the film channel depth very precisely. 

An Arricam one might work , since the movements are identical (at least on the Mk 2 version I know), but whether Arri still sell them I don't know.

I think this is the best advice you will get on the matter.

I spent some time today measuring out my pressure plate. Unfortunately, they are all very rough measurements because there are practically no square surfaces on it - everything is beveled or curved.

I think it would be impossible to machine a new one without a CNC machine and some very specialized tools. 

Here are my photos and measurements just for kicks - please just be aware that they are extremely rough and shouldn’t be relied upon to make parts. 

FRONT

A4A397D9-45F3-4C12-8D72-C2D157D08BDD.jpeg.bbede6eccd13a873ee3a848307764131.jpeg

BACK

9B669BEB-3ACC-4A4B-B8FB-B973EE3AE2BF.jpeg.6e322d7cf2cbb4cb0d6857c99499c159.jpeg

TOP

251E84AE-8E73-46C6-8FCC-705196785D20.jpeg.c1465b959c6823aaade57d4a77552449.jpeg

BOTTOM

F377B23A-DC98-4AE3-890C-2822832ECD32.jpeg.26941ffe858e3e0c26b627efc9f4726e.jpeg

LEFT SIDE

525F9670-3277-4A1A-81BD-82D69A885164.jpeg.8f72f8c697111fd43f88ccad1d20f475.jpeg

RIGHT SIDE

00D19CDC-3362-4576-BCA0-A203BA16E690.jpeg.1cdeec2e7e2e0d8980521abaae957c99.jpeg

ANGLE VIEW

49DDFCE6-74A4-49AB-94CF-2C278523BE1C.jpeg.23fcace4e5b6ee598f7bd842f0f93b2a.jpeg

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Unfortunately that's a different pressure plate to the one in Mk2 SLs and Arricams. Many of the dimensions aren't super critical, the ones that matter are the distance from where it seats in the movement block to the raised ridges that create the the film channel (the 2.75mm measurement), and the flatness. I don't know how fine adjustments might be made on that one either, but a tech would need to measure the channel depth and flatness when fitted if a new one was made. 

You could try contacting various established rental houses in case someone has an SL camera body that was damaged beyond repair or otherwise retired and ask if they would sell the pressure plate. I still don't understand why your camera doesn't have one. 

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Thanks a lot to all you guys for your inputs, thoughts and suggestions!

@Satsuki Murashige Thank you so much for taking the time to measure out the pleasure plate and sending the images. That's really helpful! Very appreciated!!

@Dom Jaeger You mean, the height of the raised ridges are the most critical measurements? Only the ridges are directly touching the film, right? Is there are an obvious technical reason, why there are these ridges? I've seen pressure plates with (Moviecam, Krasnagorsk 3, Arricam?) and without ridges (Arriflex SR3 inside the magazine). Maybe to allow dust particles that collect to fall down between the ridges?

After lots of phoning and talking to rental houses here in Switzerland and Germany I could luckily find an ex-engineer here in Switzerland who used to service film cameras like Arricams and Moviecams. I have made an appointment with him next week and I'll bring him the camera so he can have a look. I'll hope to have more info then and I'll keep you up to date!

Link to comment
Share on other sites

  • Sustaining Member
1 hour ago, Marian Gabriel Weber said:

@Satsuki Murashige Thank you so much for taking the time to measure out the pleasure plate and sending the images. That's really helpful! Very appreciated!!

...............

After lots of phoning and talking to rental houses here in Switzerland and Germany I could luckily find an ex-engineer here in Switzerland who used to service film cameras like Arricams and Moviecams. I have made an appointment with him next week and I'll bring him the camera so he can have a look. I'll hope to have more info then and I'll keep you up to date!

You’re very welcome, and good luck!!

Please let us know how it goes. There was a SL on eBay a few months ago with a broken optical glass on the top of the body where the viewfinder block attaches - the owner was selling it for parts. If it’s still for sale, maybe they would be willing to sell you just the pressure plate? 

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Does anyone know what is the name of the single pin (both ends) coiled cable that connects the eyepiece to the camera for the eyecup heater? Is that a common cable or one only made specifically for Moviecams. 

It looks a lot like this one but I'm not sure:

https://www.lemo.com/en/products/coaxial-triaxial-50-75-o/3t-connector

My camera came without the cable. 

Link to comment
Share on other sites

  • Sustaining Member
33 minutes ago, Raymond Zananiri said:

Does anyone know what is the name of the single pin (both ends) coiled cable that connects the eyepiece to the camera for the eyecup heater? Is that a common cable or one only made specifically for Moviecams. 

It looks a lot like this one but I'm not sure:

https://www.lemo.com/en/products/coaxial-triaxial-50-75-o/3t-connector

My camera came without the cable. 

I don’t know. It’s not listed by name in the manual. But the plug does output 24v. 

Link to comment
Share on other sites

  • 7 months later...

Hey everyone!

I promised to come back to you with updates about my Moviecam SL.

The last few months the camera was with a technician here in Zurich who used to work at Panavision LA some 30 years ago repairing cameras. He has retired but offered to take a look. Unfortunately he was not able to find out what exactly the problem was with the blinking "12 V" error on my SL.

Since I wanted to start shooting with this camera almost seven months ago – and couldn't – I'm reluctantly selling my SL now since I don't know how to fix it and have no clue what to do otherwise.

In case you guys are interested, here's the camera on Ebay: 

https://www.ebay.com/itm/304170449859?hash=item46d1f8bbc3:g:4cEAAOSwpW1hWJdZ

Maybe some of you have some more resources than I to get this camera fixed or use it for spare parts.

Thanks again for all your help!

 

Best

Marian

  • Thanks 1
Link to comment
Share on other sites

Join the conversation

You can post now and register later. If you have an account, sign in now to post with your account.

Guest
Reply to this topic...

×   Pasted as rich text.   Paste as plain text instead

  Only 75 emoji are allowed.

×   Your link has been automatically embedded.   Display as a link instead

×   Your previous content has been restored.   Clear editor

×   You cannot paste images directly. Upload or insert images from URL.

 Share

×
×
  • Create New...