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TOPIC: Spare me

Spare me 18 Nov 2003 07:45 #21698

  • KingJoe
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I was wondering what everyone keeps for spare parts around the booth. I am planning on being a reel to reel house, and I want to know if that would make any difference. I'm sure there are basic parts I would need, but what about a complete spare projector, a la NASCAR where they keep a spare car in the trailer in case of massive problems.

What ye think??? How much is too much?

The King

'The King is only as wise as his Jester'
'The King is only as wise as his Jester'
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Re: Spare me 18 Nov 2003 11:28 #21699

  • BurneyFalls
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Too much is when you don't have any room to walk around.


[This message has been edited by BurneyFalls (edited November 18, 2003).]
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Re: Spare me 18 Nov 2003 19:41 #21700

  • muviebuf
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If you are planning to be a reel to reel changeover house then in effect you already would have a spare projector. If something happens to the one projector you still have the other. The show could still go on - albeit with an intermission.

If you are going do reel to reel then you should do use at least 6,000 foot reels so that you can have an hour to an hour and a quarter at a time.
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Re: Spare me 18 Nov 2003 23:24 #21701

  • RoxyVaudeville
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Moviebuff pretty much said what I would have said had he not already said it. But there are a few things that I would keep on hand. Belts for one. Both take up belts for the projector and drive belts for your rewinder. Takeup belts are so easy to change that it is a shame to have to run on one machine when one goes bad. It only takes a couple of minutes to change, which isn't much more time then it takes to switch the film to the other projector. It is a real bitch to rewind a 6000' reel by hand, so have extra belts for that as well, or better yet do as I have done and have two rewinders. You don't need a 2nd makeup and rewind table, just a 2nd rewinder. They are available for almost no cost. I have a couple more in the basement in addition to the ones in my booth. Having the 2nd rewinder is good in case the rewind motor fails. It may be easy to change a belt, but the motor takes a bit longer, so a 2nd one is nice to have. There will also be times when you might be making up the next days show while the booth is running, and then you can rewind the current shows reels while you're making up the new show.

Have at least 8 6000' reels. Enough for 2 complete shows plus takeup reels for both.

Try and find some 70mm film cabinets to store your 6000' reels in, both the empty reels and the madeup ones as well. 2 6000' reels fit in each 70mm slot. Most of those cabinets come with 3 slots, and again are cheap. I got most of mine for free, but paid $25.00 for one. I keep 3 in the booth which store 18 reels (and I still have 5 other reels that I store elsewhere).

If your theatre is an old one that still uses fuses, keep lots of back up fuses on hand.

Since almost all parts can be sent overnight delivery,and you have two projectors, don't stock expensive items and have money tied up sitting on a shelf. There is no need to have backup projection bulbs. After your first set of bulbs reaches their normal expected life, take them out and keep them as spares should the new ones go bad before their normal time to be changed. Always change both bulbs at the same time, or one half of the show will be brighter then the other half. If for some reason you are forced to change only one bulb, put the new one in the lamphouse for the projector that is used for the last reel, or make sure you put the last reel on the projector with the new bulb. People remember most what they saw last. So if the last half of the show was the brightest, they will tend to remember that the picture was bright.

As time goes by and you become aware of available equipment the same as yours, I would suggest aquiring it when it can be had at bargain prices. I have Simplex E-7 projectors in my booth. I also have 6 more E-7s in storage in my building. I had 25 of them, but sold off the rest. I bought all 25 of them for $350.00, less then what one would usually go for used. I have 3 splicers, two more power supplies, two more lamp houses, and tons of other equipment. That's what happens when you are in the same business for almost 40 years. You end up with so much equipment that you don't know what to do with it all.

One other thing. Contact Filmack and buy a 35mm Intermission snipe, so that if you do have a breakdown on one of your projectors and will be forced to run more then one show on only one projector, splice the Intermission snipe on the end of the 1st reel, so that it at least looks like it was planned and not a breakdown. Close the curtain (if you have one)while Intermission is on the screen and bring up the house lights. Then after switching the reels, take down the houselights and open the curtain, and the show will resume as though it was planned to be that way.
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Re: Spare me 18 Nov 2003 23:31 #21702

  • revrobor
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I worked in many changeover houses for 25 years and never had a machine break down on me.

The important thing is to keep them clean and oiled (assuming they are in good shape to begin with). A machine that is well maintained and not abused will outlast you and me.

I suspect most of the breakdowns you hear about are because the corporate big boys put people in their booths who don't know what they are doing and don't give a rip about the equipment or the presentation.

Bob Allen
The Old Showman
Bob Allen
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Re: Spare me 19 Nov 2003 00:07 #21703

  • outaframe
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ALL the previous is 100% correct, and I agree completely... Only one thing to add: check the drive belts on your takeup reels often, and replace 'em BEFORE they fail... Once you have sat cross-legged on the floor with a pencil stuck in a takeup reel finger hole, and cranked more than a mile of film because the takeup reel belt breaks, you get the message FOREVER...
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Re: Spare me 19 Nov 2003 00:33 #21704

  • Ken Layton
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Belts, fuses, threading & framimg light bulbs, fibre drive gears.

Keep a spare amplifier for your sound system on hand.
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Re: Spare me 19 Nov 2003 00:52 #21705

  • outaframe
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Right on, KEN, a redundant pre-amp/amp combo that can be switched into the center channel can save a weekend full house refund, AND a dual switchable exciter lamp supply will MORE than pay for themselves IF the situation ever comes up... Murphy's Law says IF you have it, you'll never need it, but that's not a bad place to be... The backup doesn't have to be up to the quality of the rest of the system, just good enough to keep you on screen if the need should ever be there...

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Re: Spare me 19 Nov 2003 17:26 #21706

  • Mudbrother
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We also keep a spare power supply for our LED reader. It's easy to switch out, and is nice to know that should the power supply go... well, you know the rest.
Rance
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Re: Spare me 20 Nov 2003 00:44 #21707

  • RoxyVaudeville
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QUOTE ["Once you have sat cross-legged on the floor with a pencil stuck in a takeup reel finger hole, and cranked more than a mile of film because the takeup reel belt breaks, you get the message FOREVER..."]

lol... been there, done that!
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Re: Spare me 20 Nov 2003 08:20 #21708

  • KingJoe
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Thanks everyone. I fancy myself as a Mr. Fixit, so I'll probably purchase extra projectors just to have something on the workbench.

Are the belts similar to automotive belts, or are they projector specific?

If you have a spare amplifier, does that mean you have easy access to the back of the sound rack or is it somehow mobil?

What sort of tools do you keep on hand? I'm planning on a basic Mechanics set of tools, but is there anything else I must keep in the tool box?

Thanks again everyone!

The King

'The King is only as wise as his Jester'
'The King is only as wise as his Jester'
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Re: Spare me 20 Nov 2003 13:17 #21709

  • outaframe
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BELTS: Depends on which you are referring to, and your equipment... My Simplex 6,000 ft magazines (5/16 in shaft) use a round leather belt which is jointed with a stiff piano wire staple... This belting is actually a treadle sewing machine item that I buy in bulk from a sewing machine service dealer, who orders it for me... The stuff is amazingly durable, but tends to stretch over time, and eventually rots due to oil contact... I also have a set of reel arms with a 1/2 in shaft that I picked up used, with the intention to switch over 1/2 in shafts when the PROMISED 6,000 ft shipping reels came into being (which it now appears ISN'T going to happen)... These arms use a larger tubular (hollow) polyethylene belting with a snap-in joining connector... If the 6,000 ft shipping reels don't happen, I intend to look into converting the Simplex magazines over to use this type of polyethylene belting (IF I can find it)... My rewinds use an automotive type V-belt which I have never needed to replace, but which would be available through any automotive parts source... I also have a complete booth backstage (which I bought and removed, as a spare) and the projector motors drive a flywheel with a standard automotive V-belt, which would be no problem to find...

BACK-UP AMP: I have an integrated (Mono) PA mixer/amp mounted in the rack, and fed with a DPDT switch from the solar cell outputs of the projectors, and feeding into the center channel speaker line through a HD DPDT switch... As long as I have one operative projector, a solar cell output, and a center speaker, I can finish the showing (in a worst case scenario)... I also have a dual exciter lamp (red LED's) supply which is switchable, in case of problems... Never have needed any of this (knock on wood) BUT it's damned good insurance, just in case...

TOOLS: I keep an assortment of screw drivers, Allen wrenches, pliers, a few sizes of combination box/end wrenches, a couple sizes of mechanics hammers, drift pins, soldering iron, solder, spare wire, a VOM, and some other odds and ends in the booth, and have a garage full of tools at home, if something bigger comes up...

SPARE PARTS: I have a cabinet with spare fuses for everything in the booth (and the whole theater), a few replacement plugs, etc... AND I never throw away anything like replaced sprockets, gate shoes, etc... As ROXY said, you can get anything you need in a hurry IF need be, but replacing it before it fails is a MUST... The used replaced parts can be put back in service 'til the new arrives, and you don't have to play a guessing game as to what to keep on hand...

BULBS: I keep replacements on hand for everything in the theater, and that of course, includes the booth... If you replace your Xenon projection lamps before they fail (which is a VERY good idea), the used ones can also be put back in temporary service to stay on screen til the new ones arrive...

[This message has been edited by outaframe (edited November 20, 2003).]


[This message has been edited by outaframe (edited November 20, 2003).]
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