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Mark Danforth

Arriflex BL4s startup problems

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Hey everyone,


I recently purchased a BL4s package in used but decent condition. I'm pretty excited about the camera but so far have not been able to get it to run. The previous owner stated the camera is running and good to go. The motor turns over but then stops right away. I bought the Arriflex 35 book and have been combing through but it doesn't describe this issue. When I plug the battery in (Bescor 12v 14.4ah) I get a quick beep tone. Then when I flip the cam switch the motor kicks but then stops half a second later. More like a quick jolt. The leds come on and I was able to reset the footage counter. I also checked the fuses and none of them appear to be blown. The camera came with a precision speed controller which I tried as well and that does the same thing. If anyone has any advice that would be great.



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HI, thanks for the response. I cannot locate the buckle switch. I flipped through the Arriflex 35 book and there was nothing called a "buckle switch" in there. There is an inching button but when the camera has power nothing happens when I press it.


The inching knob moves free and smooth when the movement is open or closed.


When the door is open and I flip on the switch. Everything seems to have movement and nothing seems to be getting in the way. I hear no grinding, no scratching, nothing. The belt and inching knob move for a split second then stop.


My initial guess was there wasn't enough amps to run 23.976 but even down at 5fps the same thing happens. The battery has been charging for 12 hours now so I would think that would be enough to get a steady frame rate.

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Update: I found the buckle switch. However, after running the camera for a few minutes the belt slipped off. Hmm...is this usually something someone fixes themselves? Or do I have to send it in?

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ok the original problem was the switch then?

the local rental house taught me that switch to be the first to check with 35bl cameras if the don't seem to work. there is also the alarm sound which indicated it might be the switch.


I don't know about the belt problems, seems like the camera may be in need of fine tuning. there may be more than just the belt.


was the seller actually using the camera for shooting movies or did he just test running it without film like some sellers do?

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Just to update this forever later. I am bringing it into the shop to have the whole camera looked over. I'd rather hand it off to a professional's eye and then be good for the next few years (hopefully).


The seller was a reputable seller but I think the camera sat for a while.


Thanks aapo for the help!

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I was wondering what the "Buckle switch" was referring too.

It that the little switch that gets thrown when you lose the loop?

It took me a bit of playing around before I figured that one out on my BL4.

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