Leicina Frame Counter

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Leicina Frame Counter

Post by Sparky (forgot to log in) » Wed Nov 10, 2004 9:40 pm

Just finished a frame counter for my Leicina, as I'm going to need it for a project I have in mind - thought some might be interested.
Well you might ask, why do you need one, and whats wrong with the 2 counters on the side of the camera? They're OK but not very accurate, and you have to keep an eye on them to know where you are. They don't actually tell you where you are exactly in the roll. And they are only good if you can see them! What happens if you want to operate the camera remotely?

I used this sweet little module from RS components:
http://rswww.com/cgi-bin/bv/browse/Modu ... kNo=343442
It runs off a lithium coin cell for 3-4 years so it can be removed from the camera and remember what the frame count was.

Here are a couple of pics:

Image

Image

The big black button on the top is a remote run button, the small button to the left of the display is the reset button.

I used a connector on the case so I can add extension cables, and there will be another connector eventually for external trigger input, and maybe a frquency meter!

The ugly yellow blob on top of the camera is a home made connector (din plug pins epoxied into some strip board) that works OK

This could easily be made for any camera that has a flash output, should you need one!

It works perfectly on the Leicina up to 25fps, but not on the 54fps- I suspect the contacts in the camera don't have time to close properly at that speed.

Mark


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Post by reedsturtevant » Wed Nov 10, 2004 9:54 pm

Nice hack!


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Post by super8man » Thu Nov 11, 2004 3:09 am

Hey sir,

I made the same thing using the PC connection and found that all super 8 cameras bombed out at 18fps. Only the 9fps worked. Since the module looks very similar to the Radio Shack one from a few years back, do you have any solutions to the problem of the numbers getting blurred due to speed? It works fine for animation work of course where you click individually.

Nice look too by the way.


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Post by Sparky » Thu Nov 11, 2004 9:41 am

Super8man wrote:
and found that all super 8 cameras bombed out at 18fps
Not the Leicina :P

Actually when I was looking for the module it seemed the best spec'd- a lot only counted up to 10Hz, whereas this one is good for 500Hz IIRC, so I'm sure its the contacts letting me down above 25fps. I'll only be using it up to about 10fps anyway. I timed it running for 3 minutes at 25fps and it was fairly spot on 3200 frames so I think it works fine. Perhaps its your counter rather than the cameras?
The digits don't blur too badly- obviously the first digit is unreadable at 25fps!

Mark


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Post by Sparky » Thu Nov 11, 2004 1:02 pm

I timed it running for 3 minutes at 25fps
I meant at 18fps :oops:

Mark


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Post by Stevie » Thu Nov 11, 2004 3:20 pm

Hi Sparky, the counter looks great and is a really usefull looking tool as my counter isn't too accurate towards the end of a roll. I always seem to have more or less left on the roll than expected! Have you got the the part numbers you used as the link you gave has unfortunately 'expired'.
Steve


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Post by Sparky » Thu Nov 11, 2004 3:43 pm

Hi Stevie,
Sorry- I should have known better- the RS web page is a bit of pain like that.
Go torswww.com
The number for the display is 343-442. I used a standard lithium 2032 cell (597-419) and suface mount holder (367-4222) double sided taped into the box. The box is a standard metal box (343-9861) but I milled about 8mm off it for a lower profile.
You need to add a couple of components to the module for it to work on closing contacts- a 10nF cap and a 10K resistor.
Choice of connectors is yours- I used Hirose HR30s as I love them, but they are new out and not readily available.

Mark


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Post by super8man » Thu Nov 11, 2004 4:47 pm

By blurring, I just meant my counter couldn't keep up. I think it is the counter itself. I will have to devise something else. THanks for the part numbers, that helps.

Cheers,


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Post by Stevie » Thu Nov 11, 2004 4:58 pm

Thanks Sparky and yes those connectors do look nice!


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Post by Stevie » Fri Nov 19, 2004 12:55 pm

Hi Sparky, can I trouble you for the pins on the Leicina that you connected to? I have a PC based oscilloscope and was going to try and measure the frequency of the pulses to flash sync connector. It would be nice to see what happens on 54 fps at the camera end. If it doesn't output at that speed it may be possible to connect to the tape sync which I believe outputs 1 pulse every 4 frames and then multiply it back up before it enters the counter. Although I guess all that is pointless if the counter can't count that fast.
As an aside I see that Old Timer Cameras sell a service manual for the Leicina's which may be of interest to you.
http://www.oldtimercameras.com/stock/Mo ... lPage=true
Steve


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Post by romeojesus » Fri Nov 19, 2004 1:33 pm

here is what I measured on my leicina at 54fps!

viewtopic.php?t=7426


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Post by Sparky » Fri Nov 19, 2004 4:46 pm

Hi Stevie,
I have connected to pin 2 (flash) and pin 8 (gnd) for the count. The sync pulse is on pin3. Pin 1 (start) is the one closest the front of the camera. I didn't check if there was a pulse at 54fps yet but should. I have that repair manual, but it has a lot missing for the special and is better for the Super/RT1.
Mark


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Post by Stevie » Wed Jan 26, 2005 6:36 pm

Just got round to building my frame counter as per Sparky's excellent idea.
I did a quick check and got the following readings for the frame counts on my Special:

9fps = 9fps
18fps = 17fps
25fps = 25fps
54fps = 47fps

The 54fps speed seems to confirm other posts about the Special not running at a full 54fps.

I tried the timings on my RT1 and got similar figures except for the 54fps setting which came out at 52fps.
I must add that these were very rough tests timed over 15-30 seconds and none of the connections were permanent.
Steve


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Post by Sparky » Wed Jan 26, 2005 11:04 pm

Edit- pic links broken so here they are again:

Image

Image

Hi Stevie, those look good speeds indicating that your special is in good health. Interesting about the RT1- I have obtained a cheap super as a potential motor donor for a special but before I do that I'll have to check its speeds. It has the same motor but a finer pitched spur gear- I'm not sure why they went to a coarser gear for the special. I'm kind of loath to gut it though as it too is a beautiful camera and I believe the only one with a Leitz zoom lens(at least I dont think it was schneider but maybe angenieux?), unless the 8V was leitz as well? I'll definitely shoot some tests with it first!

BTW I'm in the process of making a 12 unit frame counter for my friends multi Special rig!! (its grown!)

Mark


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