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How to clean and fix movie projectors

To keep a projector running smoothly, examine the gate and the pressure plate before each use. One piece of grit on either can scar a film from end to end. Clear away dust with a camel’s hair brush and an ear syringe and remove any film emulsion buildup with a round toothpick or an orangewood stick. Clean the projection lens only when necessary. If your owner’s manual so directs, oil the projector, being careful not to get oil along the film path.

Clean the light bulb, the reflector, and the condenser lens with a soft cloth at least once a year. Check the bulb a few times a year and replace it if it develops a bulge. To increase the bulb’s life, turn it off and let the fan run for 1 or 2 minutes after each use.

Let a bad bulb cool before taking it out. Leave the cover on the new one until you put it in; oil from your skin can damage it. Ifyou do touch the new bulb, wipe it clean with a cloth moistened with rubbing alcohol.

If your projector won’t operate, check that the wall receptacle is receiving power by plugging in a working lamp. Then check to see if the power cord has shorted; if it has, buy a manufacturer’s replacement.

If the projector’s motor goes on but the film fails to move or advances in jerky starts and stops, the drive belt may be broken or worn. To replace it, pull the old belt off the pulleys and clean the pulley surfaces with a cloth moistened in rubber-cement thinner or rubbing alcohol. Then slip on a new belt from the manufacturer.