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TOPIC: Projectors - gear or belt driven?

Projectors - gear or belt driven? 30 Aug 2004 23:04 #21960

  • VoxSpectra
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I have discussed this with several Owners and have yet to get enough info to make an "informed" decision.

Some swear by gear driven projectors because they last so long and work perfectly until the gear wears or break and so then fail completely but htat thorough inspection will take care of that.

Others are adamant that the belt driven are better because they also last longer and you can notice slippage before they break or become too stretched and can replace them with not interruptions and thorough inspections can prevent the slippages and you won't have to worry about downtime caused by gears breaking that sometimes occurs even with thorough inspections.

Humble and teachable student requests wisdom.
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Re: Projectors - gear or belt driven? 31 Aug 2004 00:41 #21961

  • rodeojack
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My personal opinion is that you can make a choice without worrying about this issue at all.

I have gear driven Simplex projectors at my drive-in... before that, I had Brenkerts. The drive was never a problem. The sound heads are Simplex SH1012 units with over 20 years SMOH... no problems whatsoever.

In all the booths where I use Century machines, they are belt-driven... same with the Ballantyne installs I've had & dealt with. The belts constitute an issue you need to know about... but they're little more trouble than a gear drive. In one case I'm involved with, the booth has 1947-vintage Century C's, running one show per day. They're on their SECOND set of belts.

That's why I'd say there are much better criteria for selecting a projector than whether it's belt or gear driven.

Just my .002 worth!


[This message has been edited by rodeojack (edited August 31, 2004).]
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Re: Projectors - gear or belt driven? 31 Aug 2004 08:01 #21962

  • John Pytlak
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I agree with RodeoJack -- almost any "name brand" projector will give excellent service, IF you maintain it properly. It's not that unusual to find well-maintained decades-old Century or Simplex projectors outperforming poorly maintained projectors only a few years old.

You really need to establish a business relationship with an equipment dealer in your area, who can advise you and provide needed service and parts.

Check out the comments about various equipment on this site, and on http://www.film-tech.com .

Generally, try to equip your multiplex with similar equipment, to minimize spare parts inventory, and simplify training and maintenance.

John P. Pytlak, Senior Technical Specialist
Customer Technical Services
Entertainment Imaging
Research Labs, Building 69, Room 7525A
Eastman Kodak Company
Rochester, NY 14650-1922
Telephone: +1 585-477-5325 Cell: +1 585-781-4036 Fax: +1 585-722-7243
E-Mail: This e-mail address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it
Website: http://www.kodak.com/go/motion
John P. Pytlak, Senior Technical Specialist
Customer Technical Services
Entertainment Imaging
Research Labs, Building 69, Room 7525A
Eastman Kodak Company
Rochester, NY 14650-1922
Telephone: +1 585-477-5325 Fax: +1 585-722-7243
E-Mail: This e-mail address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it
Website: http://www.kodak.com/go/motion
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Re: Projectors - gear or belt driven? 31 Aug 2004 11:11 #21963

  • outaframe
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"JACK" & JOHN are both correct... Given 2 projectors with specs that are EXACTLY identical for your wants, and the ONLY difference is in how they are driven, I would lean towards the gear driven one, unless there is a significant cost difference in favor of the belt drive model... There have been some belt problems which took a while for the manufacturer to correct, but as far as I now know, no one is experiencing any belt problems with recent model projectors... That said, gear drive is STILL hard to beat... Keeping an eye on BOTH is still your best way to avoid a breakdown...
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