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The EIKI 16mm


- a repair and service guide


High voltages are present inside the back cover of these projectors.

All work should be performed with the power lead completely unplugged from the power

By no means a service manual or a definitive work on the range of Eiki projectors – this article was written with the hope that some of the information regarding the common problems found when repairing these projectors, may be of assistance to the many owners of these fine machines.

The common models:

ST1 240volt model - 200w 24v lamp

RT0 120volt model - 250w 24v lamp

RT1 240volt model - 250w 24v lamp

NT1 240volt model - 250w 24v lamp

SL1 240volt Slot Loader - 250w 24v lamp


Like most brands of film equipment, genuine spare parts for the Eiki are becoming increasingly difficult to obtain. There are a number of people offering spares, in particular belts and lamps. But many parts for these machines are no longer available, and some ingenuity is required to 'make do'.  With the demise of 16mm films as an educational medium in schools, many of these machines have appeared on the second hand market at give-away prices – so much so, that they can be picked up for under $50.00. At that price, a second machine just as a back up is a viable proposition.

There are 5 belts in the Eiki. The main drive belt from motor to the main shaft, the rewind belt from main shaft to rewind drive clutch, the two reel belts located within the reel arm and the toothed timing belt that drives the sprockets from the main shaft.  Fortunately, the toothed belt rarely gives trouble, but the other 4 belts require replacement due to breakage or stretching.

Many of these machines have been sitting around unused for long periods. It is not uncommon to find that the grease or oil meant to lubricate the shafts, etc may have become sticky, and is now acting more like glue. All shafts and moving parts should be checked for free movement. If any of the shafts show a reluctance to move freely, remove, clean and re-lubricate.

Fortunately, the design of the EIKI is such that it can be disassembled and reassembled quickly and is relatively easy to repair.


No take-up reel drive, or low take-up reel torque.

The take-up drive spindle is driven from the main drive shaft via a belt within the rear take-up arm and a cork clutch on the reel spindle itself. The cork clutch is intended to increase the take-up torque as the weight of the film on the reel increases.

Before making the assumption that the cork clutch is faulty, check the rubber belt within the take-up arm – replace if necessary and retry. If the cork clutch is not gripping, take it apart and give it a good wash in kerosene or similar, clean off all oil and grease and allow to thoroughly dry. Reassemble and retry. If still problems try a light rough up of the cork with sandpaper. As a last ditch effort, remove all of the cork and fit new cork the drum.

Note: On some earlier models, there is a screw adjustment to set the take-up reel torque. This screw should be adjusted and set to just enough torque to drive the reel correctly - try with empty and then full reels to ensure correct operation. Do not over-tighten the screw, excess take up tension will cause the film to slip over the teeth of the final sprocket and will cause the projector to lose the intermittent loop below the gate.

No rewind or reverse take-up

There are two belts here, one within the arm housing (same as the rear arm -above) and a drive belt from the upper sprocket shaft. There is a clutch on the pulley that joins them, which engages in reverse run mode only. Check and replace the belts if necessary, dismantle the clutch clean and allow to dry and refit. Adjust the clutch for correct rewind torque

Reel arms wont stay up.

The two round silver release buttons are not popping out when the arms are located in their operate position, due to the grease having become sticky.

Push the locaters buttons forward from inside the machine, and then apply spray lubricant to both front and back of buttons and push in and out until free. If particularly difficult to free up, lay projector on back and ‘flood’ the button with spray lubricant and leave overnight

Focus knob inoperative

The focus drive shaft has a rubber sleeve which mates with the thread on the lens; this rubber disintegrates or wears away with time. First, remove the lens, and then remove the lens bracket from the machine by loosening the two small locking screws, then loosening the two pivot screws.

Then remove the two small screws and the retaining bracket on top of the lens housing, now withdraw the focus shaft. The rubber sleeve can be removed from the other end of the housing. A suitable replacement can be cut from 4mm, thick wall rubber tubing. To reassemble, refit shaft to housing, apply a small amount of Kwik-Grip or similar 'rubbery' glue to the inside surface of the rubber tubing and fit to shaft

Poor sound quality

This can fall into several categories, which require differing repair techniques. It is essential to make a good diagnosis of the actual problem before ‘diving in’.

Problems can usually be divided into three categories:

1. Speed variations – or wow. This will be evident on music, particularily slow sustained notes. Check the pressure arm (arrowed), which holds the film against the sound drum shaft – the lubricant on this shaft (and others) often becomes tacky and restricts free movement. Remove the shaft, clean and lubricate. Ensure the flywheel runs freely – it should continue to rotate for quite some time after spinning it.

2. Low level sound - give the exciter lamp; lens and solar cell a good clean with a lens cloth and small brush. These items often pick up dust and particles from the film and should cleaned regularly. See also next item.

3. Low level and poor quality sound – If this is an unknown projector, check the exciter lamp – it must be a type BRK 4volt .75amp with a vertical filament. It is not unusual to find the phantom fiddler has fitted a Bell & Howell exciter with a horizontal filament.

Remove the exciter cover and check the exciter lamp voltage (if multimeter available) it should be be a little under 4 volts, a visual check of the exciter should show it to be very bright to look at. If low voltage, it can be the exciter rectifier diodes of the filter capacitor, located in the amplifier chassis.

Amplifier problems

Crackling noises when controls are rotated. This is very common and is generally due to the volume and tone control potentiometers becoming dry over time.

It will be necessary to remove the amplifier chassis – this is surprisingly easy. First, remove the flywheel by unscrewing its retaining screw – (it may be necessary to grasp the sound drum from the front of the machine if the screw is tight) Then unplug the 3.5mm plug to the solar cell and the 9-pin power connector plug. Remove the two Philips head screws at either end and pull off the three knobs from the front. The amplifier chassis will now lift free. Obtain a can of spray lubricant with an extender shaft and spray into the three potentiometers - there is a gap just to the front of the terminals of each control which by bending the supplied extender shaft and a bit of juggling you can force some lube into - a couple of good squirtes should do it. Now a few rotations of each control will fix the noises.

Whilst the amplifier is out, a couple of other considerations – spray the lubricant into both the speaker and microphone sockets, now push a suitable plug in and out the sockets several times – this will clean the contacts and ensure a good connection

Line output for external amplifier

It is possible to connect the projector’s speaker output to the input of the amplifier via an attenuator network, but this method means some juggling between the projectors volume setting and that of the external amplifier to get the sound anywhere near reasonable.

A much better method is to take a line level output from the Eiki. A line level output can be easily fitted by taking the sound off the top volume control potentiometer before the adjustment section. The above picture shows the connections – simply solder a length of shielded cable as shown and either mount a socket on the back cabinet or a fly lead to the amplifier. Better still – if you have no use for the microphone socket – a very simple modification will turn the microphone socket into a line out socket.

The picture at left shows the shielded cable from the solar cell socket to the switch contacts in the microphone socket and then to the printed circuit board (PCB). Follow the yellow wire coming from the solar cell socket and unsolder it and its shield from the microphone socket – then solder it in place of the other yellow wire and shield where they connect to the PCB.

The wires removed from the PCB are now connected to the volume control – the yellow to the terminal as shown at right.

The microphone socket now becomes a line output socket; its level is independent of the volume setting, so the projector’s volume control will control the internal speaker without affecting the level going to the external amplifier. The projector will operate as normal, with the added bonus of a line output for an external amplifier output.


Under the lens, there is a screw that will adjust the closed position of the lens. Some people believe this is to adjust the film gate tension – wrong!

This screw allows the lens to be adjusted to exactly 90 degrees to the film plane. A degree or so either way and it will be impossible to obtain sharp focus on both left and right sides of the screen simultaneously.

This screw adjustment is quite critical – adjust slowly while viewing the projected picture – at the same time, correct the picture position and focus until the image can be sharply focused from the left edge to right edge of screen simultaneously.

Note: the projector will need tpo be moved to compensate for the horizontal picture shift that wlll occur as the screw is adjusted - concentrate on getting both left and right edges of the image to focus at the same time.

Sound adjustment

Ideally the exciter lens should be adjusted for best high frequency response – this is best done with a test film and an oscilloscope – However, if necessary, it can be done reasonably well by ear if you dont have the equipment, but if you are unsure, leave it alone – it is unlikely to be out unless the phantom fiddler has been about!



All Eiki machines use a type BRK exciter lamp – this is a 4volt .75watt vertical filament lamp and is readily available.


Early ST models – 24volt 200watt mirror backed lamp. Type EJL

From RT models onwards – 24volt 250watt type ELC.


Eiki made a wide range of genuine lenses to suit their projectors. The standard lens that came with most machines was a 50mm (2”) lens. Lenses were also available in 38mm (1½”) and 25mm (1”) focal length for a bigger picture, and a 75mm (3”) lens for a smaller picture. Eiki also made a zoom converter lens that screwed onto the front thread of any of their lenses. They also produced an anamorphic lens and bracket that could be fitted for CinemaScope films

LAMPS - Important!

The earlier models used a 200watt 24volt lamp – do not be tempted to fit the more readily available ELC 250watt lamp. This would present a 25% overload on the transformer – half a reel later the transformer will start to smoke.


"O" rings are not intended to be used as belts – they are designed to be used as a pressure seal between two surfaces - they are not designed to flex continually as required for belt use, but they are cheap and will work as belts and they are easily obtainable from automotive bearing suppliers in a wide range of sizes.

I have found that some O rings when used as belts will shatter within a few minutes of starting the machine. For some unexplained reason, I have found that if I buy a few, 2-3 may shatter within a few minutes, and the rest seem to work without incident – use at own risk, but when the genuine sized belt is not available – they are worth a try.


The rear take-up arm (with cover removed) showing the belt and half of the clutch unit


The rear clutch unit, note the internal cork ring


The rewind / reverse run clutch and drive belt assembly


The latch button which should pop out when the arms are in the up position


The focus knob with the worn rubber part, removed from its housing

Auto-thread system will not release

Normal operation - the black lever below the lens is pushed towards the rear of the machine, when film has threaded correctly and has found its way to the take up reel, the film should be pulled towards the TU reel this pulls the final film path roller, which is the release for the auto-thread - the auto-thread should immediately return back to its normal running position - if it’s slow or won’t release, read on…

This is generally due to the grease on the auto thread shaft becoming sticky. This can be a little difficult, but easily fixed. Firstly remove the two screws near the front of the rear cabinet holding the power transformer in place. Position the transformer out of the way - no need to disconnect it - now manually moved the large black auto-thread lever below the lens back and forth, locate the shaft below the claw mechanism that is moving with the auto-thread arm. Partially unscrew the slotted screw in that shaft (do not fully remove), now pull the black auto-thread lever out from its mounting (if its real stiff, it may be necessary to use a flat blade screw driver to prize it out), clean the shaft and apply light oil to it. Now refit it and tighten the retaining screw, Check the operation and if OK remount the power transformer.


The slotted screw which retains the auto-thread shaft (transformer removed)


Right:  The amplifier chassis removed from the projector.

Exciter lamp - (removed)

Final roller and auto-thread release

- should move freely

Final drive sprocket

Double roller - both rollers should run free and the assembly should rotate at the mounting screw.

Rotary stabiliser / sound drum - should rotate freely

Exciter lens

Loop restorer arm

Pressure roller

- should rotate freely on its shaft and should pivot freely against the sound drum

Above:  The main components in the sound section of the Eiki 16mm projector

Above: Simple cable connection change turns the mic socket into a line output connection


Copyright Mike Trickett Geelong, Australia 2008 / 2012

Lens alignment screw