Super 8 Camera - Battery / 3D printing advice

Hello everybody. I’ve just bought, possibly unwisely, a Super 8 camera off of eBay. It has, however, no battery holder and the replacements cost more than double what I paid for the camera. My suspicion is people often left batteries in them, they corroded and destroyed the pack holders.

It takes 6 x 1.2v AA rechargeable batteries to run at 7.2v (assuming it works) and these were originally hidden in the handle. I don’t know if the most sensible thing to do is to try and make a new battery holder or to somehow modify an existing battery pack to run at the right voltage / fit in the space available. The space is about 6cm x 4.5cm x 3cm. The bonus of using AA batteries is they’re easily rechargeable and presumably with some kind of pack I’d need to build a charger too.

I am completely new to 3D printing and save for doing the intro here at least two years ago, I’ve never used the thing mostly because of a complete lack of software modelling skills so I don’t know if that’s even really a starter, especially as I have nothing to compare sizes with.

Does anyone have any suggestions?

First thing I would do personally is try and connect the thing to a power supply. The bench supply at the space has current limiting so you can safely try to power it and get a feel for how well it’s working.

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Next I would get the general dimensions for a generic battery holder.

I’m guessing but I think that’s right general size.

I would then try to see if it actually fits inside. If so then you might get away with only needing to convert it to the correct connection type which seems considerably easier than anything else I can think of.

I would probably just solder long wires between the generic holder and the contacts inside but I’m sure that’s pretty unsuitable for anyone who cares about the quality of the camera.

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Honestly that seems like the best solution. Looks like the original had sprung contacts but I doubt I’ll ever be using it enough to need multiple battery holders.

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Test it with a bench psu and if it works fit a lithium battery in , if you can’t get the battery clip .
They were often standard units and you may pick one up for a few pence

It’s making a noise but doesn’t seem to be spinning, can’t tell if it needs a cartridge in to do any though. Looks like lots of little interlocks. Power assisted zoom works though, as do internal lights.

I thought we had a box of battery holders of every size under the sun but can’t find it now, any idea where it might be or if it still exists?

Having done some more research apparently it’s not a good sign that it isn’t spinning the take up side, though I couldn’t actually find a manual for this specific model. Possibly it has a non-functional trigger or it’s had a belt inside perish with age.

Damn it.

Both of those may be easy to fix… anything with a belt drive is likely to perish with age, it is common to replace belts on cassette players, so you may be able to get a replacement, take it apart and see!

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Not sure I know enough to take it apart without damage, can’t work out how I’d start taking the buttons off for a start. Maybe something to bring to an electronics night and ask for some help?

Yes, thats a good plan, I won’t be there this week otherwise I would help, but I have taken stuff that was above my comfort/ability and people were super helpful and helped me fix it!

Think that they were thrown out because no one would ever want one

Except when they do.

Well due to being inside this week I’ve had a chance to work on the camera again. I know a few of you came and were surprised at the complexity of 1979 era electronics but I’ve dug in further and found out what was wrong, namely a broken drive belt.
Biggest problem seems to be now disassembly to actually fit in a replacement if I can find one, given that there are precisely zero socketed connections and an awful lot of tiny springs on things.
Anyone done anything similar with belts have any advice about how to judge sizes for replacing old and snapped belts that have probably deformed too?


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