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Can I Change Tobin Crystal Sync Motor to Fit Bolex Blimp?

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Hello again. I'd posted some photos of a blimp I bought off of ebay for the Bolex H-16 (http://www.cinematography.com/index.php?showtopic=61757&hl=). It came with a motor but I wasn't sure about the motor's accuracy so I removed it. I also own a Tobin TCS TXM-20Ba Bolex Crystal Sync Motor. I want to use the Tobin motor in the blimp but the motor sticking out of it is just a little bit too tall for the camera to go all the way in place with the motor attached. So I got this bright idea (or not so bright maybe) that I would replace that motor with a shorter motor of equivalent specs/function.


These are the specs of the motor currently installed on the Tobin crystal unit:


Mabuchi RS-555 VD - 12V - 13500 RPM - High Torque Motor

  • Manufacturer: Mabuchi
  • Model: RS555 VD
  • Operates on 12 VDC nominal
  • No load speed: 13,500 RPM
  • No load current: .75 A
  • 5 pole armature
  • Stall current: 60 A
  • Can be operated in either direction, simply reverse power supply polarity
  • Dimensions (not including shaft): 65mm long x 38mm diameter
  • Shaft dimensions: 3.3mm diameter x 9mm long
  • Weight: .55 LBS
  • Comes with solder eyelets for power connection


Here is a slightly shorter motor I recently bought in hopes of swapping the two out.


Product Name: DC Micro Motor
Model NO.: 540
Rated Voltage: DC 8-12V
Current(no load): 3A
Rated Power: 28W
Speed(no load): 13500RPM
Rated Torque: 1900g.cm
Body Size: 36 x 50mm / 1.4" x 2" (D*H)
Shaft Dia.: 3mm/ 0.12"
Total Length: 75mm / 3"
Main Color: Silver Tone
Material: Metal, Plastic
Weight: 131g
Package: 1 x DC Micro Motor
Round shape and with 3mm diameter long shaft and 2 pin connectors.

My question: Is the new motor a suitable/equivalent replacement for the original motor?

I thought it was but I'm just not 100% sure and thought I'd ask anyone who is more savvy with electronics before I go taking the Tobin motor apart.

I think the new motor will allow me to use the Tobin unit in the blimp but it would be even better if I could get an even shorter motor. If anyone knows of an even shorter equivalent, please let me know.


Edited by T Sanders
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Well since you bought it already you may as well try it...


Do you have a current/voltage limiting benchtop power supply? It's always nice to compare current draws in situations like this. At least a DMM?

Edited by Chris Millar
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Thank you Chris for assuming I would be professional about this. :D I have a couple of digital multimeters, soldering iron, desoldering iron, solder, etc, and the basic ability to swap out parts (like testing and fixing LCD TV backlight inverters and modding Ataris and Colecovisions). I was simply going to swap out the motor and if it didn't work put the original back. And I'll be careful to not even breathe on anything else in there. :)


But I'd feel better about it if someone who knows more than me could confirm if it "should" work or not based on the specs. :)


I saw another company was offering a mod of my own MST motor to crystal sync but I just can't spend another $1k+ right now.


The Bolex Rex4 fits perfectly in the blimp with the MST motor on it but without it being crystal sync, I see no point but maybe I'm missing something. This Tobin motor would be awesome too if it didn't have this huge motor sticking out of it. :D

Edited by T Sanders
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