Because 8mm projectors are no longer produced, finding spare parts for them can be difficult. This is made more complicated as those who sell the parts don’t necessarily use the right terms to describe the various parts. On this page, I will discuss how to find out what part you need, and how to find the model number.
First, you’ll need to figure out what part of the projector you have that needs replacing. Since these aren’t named, I’ll give a description of each below:
- Lamp: This is the source of illumination. Note that it is not called a “bulb”.
- Feed Spool: This is the spool onto which you place your film before you start watching.
- Take-up Spool: This is the spool that your film goes onto after watching.
- Condenser: This is a lens that goes directly in front of your lamp to focus the beam towards your lens.
- Rotating Shutter: This is a small rotating device that goes between the condenser and the gate, to prevent the light from illuminating anything except the full frame.
- Gate: This is a piece of metal with a frame-sized hole in it. It ensures the light lands only on the film you wish to watch.
- Lens: This is the place where the light actually leaves the projector before heading to the screen.
- Upper Feed Sprocket: This goes between the Feed Spool and the Gate, and has small pegs that move the film when rotating.
- Motor: This actually moves the various devices inside of your camera. It is large and usually situated at the bottom.
Next, you’ll need to find the model number so that you can order the right replacement part. For Bell and Howell projectors, this is fairly easy. They have a sheet with a number of specifications placed on the side of the projector, right between the two reels. On this screen, you can find the model number, which will be a number between 100s and 400s. For other projectors, the model number is usually contained either on the bottom of the projector or, in the case of many MovieDeck projectors, on a panel on the back of the projector. “Model #” is the number you are seeking.
With all of this information, you’re now ready to find your missing part. If you type the model number plus the name of the part into a search engine, you will find results that exactly match what you need.
Good luck in your search!