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Eclair Cameras: converting old 50 foot mag load cameras to S-16-response-cnc sug


i was thinking how nice it would be if someone started a repository with cnc 'g-code' that relate to particular cameras.  now that people can purchase mini mills and mini lathes with full cnc controls, it is reasonable to assume if someone has one of these machines, and a camera of a specific model, like the eclair acl, and wanted to perform a modification of sorts that has already been performed/completed by someone else, all they should simply have to do is locate the applicable script, load up a piece of metal or plastic into the mill or lathe, and download the g-code, plug it into their cnc software, and press print.  and voila!  the part would be made to exact spec.

i am just now getting into milling and lathe use, and will hopefully be receiving my machines in the next couple of weeks.  as such, some of the first things i would like to make would be a c-mount to m-42 mount extension tube for use with my s8 camera and telescope.  because i have neither used a mill or lathe, and will need to spend time learning, what better way to learn then with someone you need, like the above mentioned part.  it would be EXTREMELY cool if i could go to a webside and download code that would allow me to make such a part, with detailed instructions, tool sizes, material type, g-code, steps in the process, testing and measuring for accuracy, etc.  this way i would not have to figure out all the math behind making the part .. i would simply need to modify the g-code to my own specifications(like the lenght of the tube, for example), and insert the piece of metel, and press go/print.  now that would be ideal.  so rest assured, all of the parts i eventually
end up making for my own camera modifications, i will no doubt make publically available the instructions and g-code so anyone else can either take and use it themselves, or provide it to their local cnc machine shop and have them do it.  either way, it would be a walk in the park compared to the alternative.  and it would also be EXTREMELY AFFORDABLE!!  would anyone agree with me on this point?  heck, just like all the mount converters ... a basic library of g-code for such items that now cost $200-600. from someone, where you yourself could purchase a $5.00 chunk of aluminum, and pay $50.00 to your local machine house to simply print what is already spelled out for them.


I never completed the project due to time, but it didn't strike me as terribly difficult to have a few little parts made for the magazine, or even to modify the existing ones. The major thing to deal with is that the film is driven through the magazine by a cheap little sprocket wheel that engages the track-side perfs. So this would need to be re-worked to drive the other edge of the film. I don't think it would be a massive thing for any tinkerer. I bought about 25 magazines to work on (now those are harder to find and more costly ... like $20 each or something), but I never got the time to do it. But if you wanted a tiny "Kodak Instamatic-like" camera in S-16 for skydriving or car crashes or just insane grab shots where no one must know there is a camera, this would be the way. Mark. PS - naturally you'd then need to file open the camera aperture, possibly re-center the lens (easiest way would be to bore out the c-mount from the body, and reset it off center with epoxy --- not trying to to make anything pretty).

eric jarvies
cabo san lucas, bcs mexico cp 23410


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