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» Film-Tech Forum   » Operations   » Film Handlers' Forum   » What is the value of a Simplex Standard? (Page 1)

 
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Author Topic: What is the value of a Simplex Standard?
Paul Trimboli
Master Film Handler

Posts: 274
From: Perth Western Australia
Registered: Dec 2002


 - posted 06-27-2004 01:55 AM      Profile for Paul Trimboli   Email Paul Trimboli   Send New Private Message       Edit/Delete Post 
What is the value of a Simplex Standard? I have cleaned one up and am ready to run it, I have another and thought of completly striping it and powdercoating it, is it even worth the effort and cost? What spares are avaliable?

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Pete Lawrence
Expert Film Handler

Posts: 192
From: Middleburg, PA
Registered: Aug 1999


 - posted 06-27-2004 10:06 AM      Profile for Pete Lawrence   Email Pete Lawrence   Send New Private Message       Edit/Delete Post 
Commercially zero.

From a collector point of view, if it's complete in very good original condition it's probably worth something. That's hard to put a figure on. It's only value is as a historical curiosity item, not for running film. I have two sitting on a shelf in the basement that I just don't have the heart to throw out.

If you have the hand crank it's worth more than the head.

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Ken Layton
Phenomenal Film Handler

Posts: 1452
From: Olympia, Wash. USA
Registered: Sep 1999


 - posted 06-27-2004 11:22 AM      Profile for Ken Layton   Email Ken Layton   Send New Private Message       Edit/Delete Post 
The standard makes an excellent museum piece! For use in a modern theater running film forget it. Might be ok in a screening room though.

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Will Kutler
Phenomenal Film Handler

Posts: 1485
From: Tucson, AZ, USA
Registered: Feb 2001


 - posted 06-27-2004 01:03 PM      Profile for Will Kutler   Email Will Kutler   Send New Private Message       Edit/Delete Post 
Standards, Supers and E-7s are all wonderful machines.

One problem with the Standards and Supers is that their shafts all rotated directly in the main-frame casting, and there were no inserted bearings to help prevent excessive wear or scoring. However, I have seen several of these machines operate smoothly, with no slop or roughness with worn and scorred shafts.

One possible solution that is one of my many "get-around-to-it" projects is to over-bore the mainframe casting and press-in oil-lite bushings.

As for the shafts, they are pretty much straight-forward machining and o-d grinding projects.

On the E-7s, the gears rotate on the shafts, and there would be little problem overboring the gears and inserting oil-lites.

The only potential problem I see is that there are a few areas that might result in thinning the main frame casting a little too much.

If adding oil-lites is possible, then yes, constant day-to-day usage of these machines would be more possible.

Vertical shaft Standards, Supers and E-7s are less prone to excessive gear wear than the oblique shaft E-7's. But one way to help reduce wear (besides meticulus cleaning and lubing) is to constantly repositioning shutter shaft gear in relation to the vertical/oblique shaft gear (by adjusting the machine), which will allow for an even wear of the shutter shaft gear.

There were also a couple of different gear tooth designs used for Standards, and I understand that one was better than the other. The pics and info are in the manuals on FT.

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Gordon McLeod
Film God

Posts: 9389
From: Toronto Ontario Canada
Registered: Jun 99


 - posted 06-27-2004 01:35 PM      Profile for Gordon McLeod   Email Gordon McLeod   Send New Private Message       Edit/Delete Post 
standards and supers are consigned directly to the bin behind my shop

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Paul Trimboli
Master Film Handler

Posts: 274
From: Perth Western Australia
Registered: Dec 2002


 - posted 06-28-2004 07:45 AM      Profile for Paul Trimboli   Email Paul Trimboli   Send New Private Message       Edit/Delete Post 
Well I am planning to run it at a summer outdoor venue for a couple of months a year 3 nights a week. Lindsay Morris just removed 2 of them at his outdoor cinema and he ran them for 7 seasons I think and he said they never missed a beat, ran perfect, he has now installed a Century and Zenon. He had the upper and lower sprocket holes bored and bushes inserted. Will there were 2 types, bevel gear and a sprial gear, I have 2 bevel gear heads and one sprial gear head. Gordon if you come across any let me know, although getting it to Australia will cost much more then its worth probably, really just need spares and am chassing a heavy duty front and lens holder that can take a scope lens.

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Aaron Sisemore
Flaming Ribs beat Reeses Peanut Butter Cups any day!

Posts: 3061
From: Rockwall TX USA
Registered: Sep 1999


 - posted 06-28-2004 10:42 AM      Profile for Aaron Sisemore   Email Aaron Sisemore   Send New Private Message       Edit/Delete Post 
quote:
he has now installed a Century and Zenon(sic)
Apparently he finally got a clue and upgraded...

IMO, Standards and Supers are nothing more than museum pieces if in very good condition, and scrap metal if not.

-Aaron

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Lindsay Morris
Expert Film Handler

Posts: 220
From: Darlington, WA, Australia
Registered: Sep 2002


 - posted 06-28-2004 10:11 PM      Profile for Lindsay Morris   Email Lindsay Morris   Send New Private Message       Edit/Delete Post 
Aaron,

Did not get a "clue" as you so eloquently put it and upgraded just for the sake of upgrading.
If it were not for the impending Cyan track and the fact that finding a real projectionist or two in my patch who can handle or knows what cues are and keep a carbon lamp on trim I would STILL be running the Simplex Standards over very old Westrex heads (206A) that do not have rotary stabilisers.
Even carbon supplies are still plentiful from Carbon Imports in NZ so no real reason to change.
Only problems ever were main drive belts parting and always when you have a full house and end up madly fusing together the busted belt between reels.
Occasionally the odd TU belt also parted but I had a an old clip together springy one I could whack on while the machine was going and gather up all the film of the floor back onto the spool without stopping the show [Big Grin] (Film Done Right?? I doubt it but the show went on).
However I put a few feelers out to try and flush out some people who could handle a two machine setup and got quite a few who fronted up announcing that they were projectionists... HA!
They took one look and wanted to know "where was the platter" and then the thought of actually having to be close by the machines all night doing changes and everything else that goes with a C/O setup shook their confidence totally... and they left.
One complained that it would be a problem for his back to lift 2k spools of film onto the feed shaft as they were too heavy [uhoh]
As it was IF I was sick there was NO show as there was nobody else about who would do it apart from one mate who could do some but was frequently in the North of WA with his family... no real backup.
What started out as a passion type of hobby has grown into a fairly full on summer business and any business cannot survive with a stop/go attitude so good business sense meant that I had to get weaving on getting the Century up and going.
Was a lot of work going over the Century with a fine toothed comb at home in my garage and when I was confident that all was well with that combo I had to go about getting the old girls out.
This past season all was done and things looked fine and dandy until I encountered the focus popping with the Century which finally was sorted out and things are probably as good as I can get them.
We are ready for Cyan with a ACL laser unit driven from the existing exciter supply thru a small regulator mounted on the old exciter lamp bracket... it does not care what voltage or whether it is AC or DC supplied.. gives me a nice clean 3.5V DC.
The Xenon light is as good as the carbons were and the surround sound scrubs up OK for an outdoor setting.
IF the Century CC proves as reliable as the Simplex pair did over 7 seasons of about 90 sessions per season I will be delighted and NOW I can almost get "any" projectionist to walk in and do a show IF I have to be elsewhere.
What to do with the old Simplex pair is now a problem as they have served me so well I almost cannot chuck them onto the tip. So, until I have to really clean out my big shed that is where they will stay all tucked up nice and warm and dry.
There are still a few sites in OZ that run Simplex Standards but I guess those sites will have a few decisions to make as Cyan moves in and they have to think about the older type soundheads.
The Simplexes were built like the proverbial tank, heavy as all hell but very well engineered and as Frank Angel noted in another post this industry as it is, is so "backward compatible", the "D" revolution will have to be really something out of the box when a machine built in 1927 can last so long and STILL put up a creditable performance.
IMO Simplex are PRICELESS. [thumbsup]

Lindsay

PS, Ask me in 5 years time what I think of the Century!!

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Will Kutler
Phenomenal Film Handler

Posts: 1485
From: Tucson, AZ, USA
Registered: Feb 2001


 - posted 06-29-2004 12:27 AM      Profile for Will Kutler   Email Will Kutler   Send New Private Message       Edit/Delete Post 
Aaron

In actuality, the Standards were well built machines, and they are even capable of some things that some modern machines are not (like adjusting travel ghosting as needed, while the film is running).

Aaron, I have personally seen Standards and old Powers that looked like they were ready for the trash heap. They were simply disassembled, cleaned up and put back together. Even though some parts were worn, they still ran smooth! As I stated before, some of the problems can be solved by inserting bushings.

You degrade Standards...but you tend to forget that many companys cam into being by duplicating those machines...or at least serving as parts suppliers. You also forget that althoug "improved", many of the basic design concepts used on Standards are still incorporated into projectors today.

Have you ever had the chance to examine a Powers up close? Some of the craftsmanship that went into those machines is awesome, and would literally cost a fortune to do today!

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Gordon McLeod
Film God

Posts: 9389
From: Toronto Ontario Canada
Registered: Jun 99


 - posted 06-29-2004 01:45 AM      Profile for Gordon McLeod   Email Gordon McLeod   Send New Private Message       Edit/Delete Post 
"In actuality, the Standards were well built machines, and they are even capable of some things that some modern machines are not (like adjusting travel ghosting as needed, while the film is running)"
hmm Centurys' Simplex XL's have travel ghost shutter timing knobs even Motiograph AAA's do

The Powers was a unique machine and the movement deserves renewed intrest but the rest of it does not
It had many issues in the field in its day

The standard and the super and even the E7 are now due for "green pastures"

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Will Kutler
Phenomenal Film Handler

Posts: 1485
From: Tucson, AZ, USA
Registered: Feb 2001


 - posted 06-29-2004 03:27 AM      Profile for Will Kutler   Email Will Kutler   Send New Private Message       Edit/Delete Post 
Gord,

The only reason E-7's are due for "green-pastures" is because of the lack of available parts and knowledgeable Projectionists.

From my understanding, a properly maintained and adjusted E-7 produces about the steadiest image of any projector ever built.

I have seen some of the early hand-cranked Powers machines. All of the parts were beefed up, and the quality of all that nickel plating would cost a small fortune today!

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Gordon McLeod
Film God

Posts: 9389
From: Toronto Ontario Canada
Registered: Jun 99


 - posted 06-29-2004 10:08 AM      Profile for Gordon McLeod   Email Gordon McLeod   Send New Private Message       Edit/Delete Post 
The powers is a beutiful to look at machine but the very short gate had steadiness issues as well as it ran very hot
even when they got converted to a rear shutter they were still very hot

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Steve Kraus
Film God

Posts: 3987
From: Chicago, IL, USA
Registered: May 2000


 - posted 06-29-2004 11:26 PM      Profile for Steve Kraus     Send New Private Message       Edit/Delete Post 
It would be awesome to see a Super or Standard either on a soundhead fitted with a basement reader or with the digital penthouse of your choice, with a modern lens and backed up by a good lamp and cranking out state of the art picture (and sound)...in a booth adjacent to a DLP machine. It would be great when visitors come up to see the digital box and you start talking about a century of compatibility and the economics of digital. All the while the worthless piece of scrap metal is entertaining the masses for $9.50 a head.

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Paul G. Thompson
The Weenie Man

Posts: 4718
From: Mount Vernon WA USA
Registered: Nov 2000


 - posted 07-01-2004 12:52 AM      Profile for Paul G. Thompson   Email Paul G. Thompson   Send New Private Message       Edit/Delete Post 
I usually pulled the movement from the machine and tossed the rest in the trash.

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Daryl C. W. O'Shea
Film God

Posts: 3977
From: Midland Ontario Canada (where Panavision & IMAX lenses come from)
Registered: Jun 2002


 - posted 07-01-2004 12:57 AM      Profile for Daryl C. W. O'Shea   Author's Homepage   Email Daryl C. W. O'Shea   Send New Private Message       Edit/Delete Post 
Supers are awesome! When I run them outside in my driveway all the oil keeps the dust down.

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