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Attempting to salvage a 240T

Nick Brown

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I purchased a Bell & Howell 240 from eBay with a lot of unknowns. It turned up today and sure enough, it doesn't move film. I turned the crank a few times when I got it and then held down the shutter button -- nothing. Between my cranking and the previous owner's, the indicator suggests that the spring is mostly wound and I know that these cameras are not meant to be stored when the spring is under tension. So even though the sewing machine oil doesn't arrive until next week, I decided to start taking it apart and see what I could see. I've been following Garrett's excellent notes and disassembly was simple enough, but it was only when went beyond his guidance and loosened these two screws to remove the next layer that the motor suddenly sprang to life.

Rather than pressing onward, I quit while I was ahead and re-tightened these screws. But that caused the motor to cease to work. I'm finding that only if they are slightly loose will the camera operate. Are these screws actually supposed to control the spring movement, or is something else going on? Any other pointers?

I didn't pay much for this camera but if I can save it from becoming a bookend, I'd like to!

Edited by Nick Brown
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In case of failure I should take the camera for repair. Have you noticed the rather small shutter opening angle? A Filmo 70 will give you 50 percent longer exposure. The scotch-yoke mechanism is similar to the one used in the Eyemo.

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Yes, I noticed that it was quite small. I can't imagine that this was done as a form of cost-cutting for consumer models, but perhaps to differentiate the higher end models? Do you know which of the other wind up models have a 180 degree shutter? I'm sure the Bolex cameras must.

This particular camera isn't in very good shape. If I have a cleaner copy, it will be a better candidate for a professional CLA.

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