TechniCraft motor control panel alongside the motor blimp housing for Mitchell BNC #357

A Motor Update for Mitchell Rackover BNC #357

A quick recap since my last update on this camera back in March: I have been restoring an original rackover Mitchell BNC (#357), but ran into some difficulties with motors. I first tried the TechniCraft motor that came with the camera, but the motor would not find sync, it just ran wild. Then I tried a Mitchell 110V AC sync motor, but the 2 starting capacitors failed almost immediately. I replaced the capacitors, but the motor would still not run at speed, and it was determined that the motor needed to be rewound. This was a very costly repair, so that motor was put aside.

TechniCraft motor control panel alongside the motor blimp housing for Mitchell BNC #357, the replacement electronics designed by Arnold Peterson, the motor powered up and running at 24 fps.

I had a phone conversation with my friend Arnold Peterson to see if he thought he could fix the TechniCraft motor. As usual, Arnie came up with a brilliant solution. He designed and built a replacement board that would run the motor just as it worked when it came out of the factory originally. All the controls work the same, the meter tells you what speed the camera is running at and syncs at 24 fps, the variable speed works as intended, and best of all, it will now run between 30 and 36 V DC.

A close-up on the module that converts from 24 fps to variable speed, a view of the motor and of the inside of the motor blimp housing, and a close-up on the broken on/off switch still needing repair in the blimp housing for rackover Mitchell BNC #357

I am still waiting for a plug to make the power cable, and a switch to replace the on/off switch in the motor blimp housing, so no final demo this week. We will do a full demo (pending no further delays!) next week and show the camera running. I can’t wait to see it!

A side view of the TechniCraft motor with the Columbia Pictures engraving, the camera side of the motor, and a close-up of the motor control panel.