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» Film-Tech Forum   » Operations   » Film Handlers' Forum   » difference between bell&howell TQ3 1692 and 1698

Author Topic: difference between bell&howell TQ3 1692 and 1698
Floris Vanhoof
Film Handler

Posts: 7
From: Kiel, Antwerp, Belgium
Registered: Oct 2017

 - posted 12-05-2017 04:42 AM      Profile for Floris Vanhoof   Email Floris Vanhoof   Send New Private Message       Edit/Delete Post 
I'm using a green Bell & Howell 1692 (TQ-lll Specialist) and want to use a black Bell & Howell 1698 (TQ3 specialist 16mm filmosound).
Can anybody tell what's the difference between these projectors?

I mainly use the internal trimpot to slow the projector down drastically. Does this work the same way on both TQ3 models?

Thanks for the help!

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Leo Enticknap
Film God

Posts: 7111
From: Loma Linda, CA
Registered: Jul 2000

 - posted 12-05-2017 08:08 AM      Profile for Leo Enticknap   Author's Homepage   Email Leo Enticknap   Send New Private Message       Edit/Delete Post 
The only significant difference is that the 1698 can play magnetic stripes, but the 1692 plays optical sound only.

I was not a fan of this projector (in any of its variants). The autothreading film path was over-engineered, very difficult to keep clean and would scratch prints badly if not maintained near perfectly. The preamps tended to hum a lot, and their big weak point was the worm gear transmission: the OEM ones are notorious for cracking, and being very difficult to replace (because doing so requires almost complete disassembly of the mechanism). For a while at least, aftermarket replacement worm drives made from metal of some sort were available: I don't know if they still are.

In the 1970s and '80s, British schools tended to use either these Hell & Bowells, or their main rival in the 16mm classroom portable market, the Eiki NT or RT series (branded as Elf in the UK). As a result, both were manufactured in large numbers and the last I looked (which admittedly was about 7-8 years ago), good examples still went for reasonable prices.

For a 16mm collector or home enthusiast now, I'd always recommend an Eiki over a Bell and Howell, and especially a manual threading model. Their modular design makes them very to maintain and troubleshoot, the film path is easy to keep clean, and picture stability and audio quality is extremely good, except with very severely shrunken acetate prints (which the Bell and Howell will also destroy the perforations of). The only significant gotcha with the Eiki is the factory fill molybendum grease in the camtank, which can thicken and stress the mechanism if a surviving example is not cleaned out and replaced with synthetic grease before any serious use. In the unlikely event that any of the OEM natural rubber belts survive, they'll need replacing, too, as might the capacitors in the amplifier module. But unlike equivalent tasks on the Bell and Howell, these are very simple fixes to do, and the necessary parts are easily available.

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Frank Angel
Film God

Posts: 5199
From: Brooklyn NY USA
Registered: Dec 1999

 - posted 12-05-2017 04:20 PM      Profile for Frank Angel   Author's Homepage   Email Frank Angel   Send New Private Message       Edit/Delete Post 
Consider ALL Bell & Howell autoloads the equivalent of a Cuisinart for film...a pristine print from the lab goes in, film puree comes out. Oh yah, and if you think that conscientiously using the trimmer to perfectly trim the leading edge of the film is going to ensure that everything will work smoothly...listen carefully because along with the sound of sprockets being ripped to shreds, off in the distance, you hear the ghosts of the guys who designed that film mangler laughing their asses off.

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Scott Norwood
Film God

Posts: 8001
From: Boston, MA. USA (1774.21 miles northeast of Dallas)
Registered: Jun 99

 - posted 12-05-2017 05:26 PM      Profile for Scott Norwood   Author's Homepage   Email Scott Norwood   Send New Private Message       Edit/Delete Post 
quote: Frank Angel
Consider ALL Bell & Howell autoloads the equivalent of a Cuisinart for film
That would be hilarious if it weren't so true. I have also heard the auto-threading machines referred to as "the International Harvester of film projectors."

Note that it _is_ possible to convert the auto-thread machines into (somewhat awkward) manual-thread machines by removing some parts. That does not solve the worm gear issue mentioned above, however.

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Floris Vanhoof
Film Handler

Posts: 7
From: Kiel, Antwerp, Belgium
Registered: Oct 2017

 - posted 12-06-2017 08:25 AM      Profile for Floris Vanhoof   Email Floris Vanhoof   Send New Private Message       Edit/Delete Post 
Thanks for te replies.
I have multiple Eiki projectors and always like to project with them.
I only use the Bell&Howell TQ3 for slowing down film.
The fan still runs when I turn down the motor way slower then 18 frames per second. This is done for a special flickering effect during a performance.

This slowing down of the motor (for example towards 10fps) can only be done with the TQ3's as far as I know. Would this be possible with other projectors too?

Analytical projectors can do this but are very rare.

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