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Tanner Martin

Fairchild 900 Series Camera: Another Project (Double 8mm Format)

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I just recently picked up a Fairchild 900 Series Standard 8mm camera for relatively cheap secondhand. I couldn't find a sub-thread specifically for double 8mm for I figured I'd post it here. It's a single-system Sound camera from 1967 (I think?) for the double 8mm format. It came with an external magazine for up to a 200ft size film role of double 8mm. The optics appear in fine order but I cant seem to get power to the camera. It's supposed to run off of a rechargeable battery in the handgrip. The wallmount and camera uses a 5 prong Din cable to connect the battery to the camera, and to charge the battery from the wall. Does anyone have any recommendations on how to go about looking into this problem? I know it's a bit of a rare camera, but any help would be appreciated. I'll include pictures of it below. I did manage to get the camera manual with it.

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A hundred to one the rechargeable batteries are long dead, so you'll need to get them out and figure out a replacement.

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A repair shop might be able to take on the task of recelling the power supply for you.  Or you could alternatively make up your own external power supply and plug it into the camera.  This camera was the top of the line and 4rth version of the FAIRCHILD Double 8mm Single-System Sound film cameras.  The earlier ones were the single lens model, the triple lens turret version, and the 10mm to 30mm reflex zoom lens version.  They all ran at 24fps for magnetic sound recording on pre-striped Double 8mm movie film, and the non-magazine versions held 50ft spools.   The only real advantage to the FAIRCHILD 900 was the ability to use the magazine for extended filming.   You'd have to locate Double 8mm film in bulk to spool down your own 200ft lengths of film if you actually want to shoot that much.  It would be only in silent of course, since pre-striped mag filmstock has long been discontinued. Although, it is possible, though expensive, to have silent stock pre-striped by someone having the capability, or get the gear together to do it yourself.  While an otherwise nice looking camera, if you are truly into filming in Standard 8mm, I would consider any one of the nice BOLEX H-8 to H-8RX cameras out there which allow spools of 25ft, 50ft and 100ft in Double 8mm.  Alternatively ELMO made a nice Double 8mm that also has a magazine option for holding 100ft spools, with the main camera only using standard 25ft spools.  Lots to think about for sure, if you want to get that 900 model into a user.

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My work colleague put together an external Lithium pack for this camera but I have not shot film with it. My interest is primarily the 200ft magnesium magazine.

 

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It could be a project to replace the magnetic heads by an optical one and feed an LED with linear signals. You’d need to install a very narrow slit between the LED and the film, maybe a microphotograph of a black line on a piece of sound recording film. The line should be clear, surrounded by opaque black, four tenths by 0.032" or so. Then you can try out photographic sound recording on the available Double-Eight stocks.

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Simon. That is a fascinating idea. However, I would love to use this technique to burn timecode preferably at the gate but I would be willing to live with an offset of 'n' frames. This could be applicable many cameras. 

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On 6/24/2019 at 2:11 PM, Martin Baumgarten said:

A repair shop might be able to take on the task of recelling the power supply for you.  Or you could alternatively make up your own external power supply and plug it into the camera.  This camera was the top of the line and 4rth version of the FAIRCHILD Double 8mm Single-System Sound film cameras.  The earlier ones were the single lens model, the triple lens turret version, and the 10mm to 30mm reflex zoom lens version.  They all ran at 24fps for magnetic sound recording on pre-striped Double 8mm movie film, and the non-magazine versions held 50ft spools.   The only real advantage to the FAIRCHILD 900 was the ability to use the magazine for extended filming.   You'd have to locate Double 8mm film in bulk to spool down your own 200ft lengths of film if you actually want to shoot that much.  It would be only in silent of course, since pre-striped mag filmstock has long been discontinued. Although, it is possible, though expensive, to have silent stock pre-striped by someone having the capability, or get the gear together to do it yourself.  While an otherwise nice looking camera, if you are truly into filming in Standard 8mm, I would consider any one of the nice BOLEX H-8 to H-8RX cameras out there which allow spools of 25ft, 50ft and 100ft in Double 8mm.  Alternatively ELMO made a nice Double 8mm that also has a magazine option for holding 100ft spools, with the main camera only using standard 25ft spools.  Lots to think about for sure, if you want to get that 900 model into a user.

Any recommendations on where to possibly send it to get fixed? I'm not exactly the most versed when it comes to dealing with electronics. Plus, I dont even know what amperage the camera uses, just the voltage. I was lucky enough when i purchased the camera that it came with 3 rolls of pre striped double 8mm film (unfortunately Kodachrome II, so I'll be lucky to get a semi ok b&w image out of it.) But if the film fails, the stripe on it will be good enough to see is the audio circuit/head works. As for a source of extended recording film, I know there are some places in the EU that offer extended film loads (Orwo and Kahl films if I remember correctly) in both 100ft loads for b&w negatives, and 400ft spools of print films in double 8mm.

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