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 Post subject: WARNING against buying from Iceco/Magnatech
PostPosted: Tue Jun 23, 2015 6:30 am 
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Joined: Mon Nov 17, 2014 12:19 pm
Posts: 6
Location: Glenolden, PA (Philly Suburbs)
Hey all,

I posted this on the other forums, as I am hoping my 'getting the word out' prevents someone from going through what I went through.

This is a long post with lots of references, in hopes of saving someone from making the same money-making mistake I did. Let this serve as a huge warning against buying from ICECO/Magnatech for their 'NOS Projectors' (specifically, the B&H 2585/AML military projectors on Ebay).

Last June my wife/inlaws treated me to a surprise anniversary & Father's Day gift of (2) of the above mentioned projectors. I had minor issues when I first received them (socket issues), which I posted on the 16mm forum. Weeks later as I used them, I had much bigger issues, which if you are a member of the 16mm forum, can be viewed here:

http://16mmfilmtalk.com/viewtopic.php?t ... ight=iceco

If you are not a member of that forum, the short version is that the film would be "jittery and bouncy" after threading (and sounded like it was chewing the film) and was unwatchable. Here's a youtube video showing one of the projectors problems:

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=15kxBvw ... _0I_YkO3TQ

Upon Iceco receiving the projectors (less than 7 weeks after I got them, and still under warranty, AND shipped back at MY expense) they claimed they found nothing wrong and blamed it on the film I was using (I tested with 4 different types of film; ALL had the exact same problem). I wrote back that the projectors ARE in fact, problematic; that the 16mm forum alone has MULTIPLE people who have had issues; that the 16mm forum has rebuilders like Richard Burgess claiming he has had to repair multiple projectors that Iceco 'fixed'. I said they BETTER check again and fix it. I didn't want them sent back to me still plagued with problems, needing me to ship it AGAIN at my expense. Well, they 'claimed' to fix the problem, showing me a video from them and the projectors running ok (it should be known that the projectors would *sometimes* run ok on their own (maybe 1 out of 10 times). I got the projectors back...and problems were still there. I was disgusted at this point and wasn't wasting more money to with shipping sending it to them again, esp. since they already claimed 'nothing was wrong'. They absolutely would NOT pay to have it shipped to them (trust me, been there done that). They were VERY difficult to get responses from when I sent them back the first time, either by phone or email.

After pouring through the 16mm forum archives and seeing others who had identical problems, I also saw some comments from repair professionals who had stated things like:

"Sounds like the timing is not correct. ICECO is hit or miss when it comes to this, it is a very precise adjustment and even being off a little can cause this to happen".

"The rebuilding of a B&H 2585 takes a highly skilled expert to adjust properly, followed by some intense testing with different types of film. The specifications are critical. I doubt that Iceco go to these lengths. I have heard other stories of misaligned 2585's. Collectors have sent me some of these rebuilds for further adjustment".

" One of the issues with these New Rebuilt 2585's is that they have been completely taken apart and realigned with a new worm gear. These are extremely critical timing adjustments. I think the person who did yours didn't get it right."

After talking to one of the rebuilders privately, he offered me a price to repair them and have them set to "better than factory specs". At the time, funds were short so I waited. I finally got around to it this month -- Richard has recently repaired the projectors and had sent me a list of all the things wrong with both projectors. This is what he found:

-Claw protrusion out of specification.
-Sprocket timing off, causing incorrect loops, loss of loop.
-Loop restorer would not work, continuous tripping.
-Sound stabilizers way out of adjustment, virtually no tension.
-Speaker polarity off on one projector even though it is color coded.
-One projector had a mis-installed loop restorer cam. It was a hair loose and worked itself out of position.

This is a disgrace! To have this many things wrong, both after a rebuild (before selling) AND after it was sent back to them again? Unacceptable. And while some may say this was an isolated case, it wasn't. The 16mm forum has multiple cases of others who had issues with these projectors AND the exact same problems!

Point is, ICECO/Magnatech have a HISTORY of their 'repaired' projectors NOT being repaired correctly at all. I am out quite a bit of money in shipping to 2 different places (Iceco, and then the rebuilder as well, Richard Burgess), and the additional cost to have it fixed 'right'. My gripe isn't with Richard (quite the opposite, I am delighted it is now 'correct'). My issue is with Iceco selling a poorly rebuilt projector, and then doing a piss-poor repair after it was sent back to them, AGAIN (and initially claiming 'nothing was wrong, it must be your film').

I tried to contact ICECO about this whole matter via email last week, since there was too much to reference on the phone (original Ebay auction #, past repairs, etc.). I sent a detailed email to them last Wednesday morning, asking for their thoughts on the matter before I posted here. Still no response after almost 1 week. Suffice to say, I am done with them, lesson learned the hard way.

Bottom line: Buyer Beware! Think VERY carefully before buying projectors from Iceco. The warranty is USELESS, their rebuilds are a disgrace. Be prepared to have it serviced by someone OTHER than Iceco, if you do buy one of these projectors. I do want to publicly thank Richard Burgess for making this right. I only wish I went to him first as it would have saved me shipping (and headaches) to Iceco for 'warranty repairs' which were far from done correctly.

Thoughts and comments are always welcome.


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 Post subject: Re: WARNING against buying from Iceco/Magnatech
PostPosted: Tue Jun 23, 2015 11:58 am 
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Joined: Wed Apr 02, 2014 2:42 am
Posts: 50
Location: Olympia, Washington
Sounds like whoever did the work at ICECO either:

(1) Did not pay attention to what he was doing.

(2) Did not use the special Bell & Howell tools & jigs.

(3) Did not read the service manual.

(4) All of the above.

Sounds like Richard Burgess did a good job of ferreting out all the problems for you. He's a good guy and knows what he's doing.

Another problem that can happen when replacing the worm gear is that the claw stroke and the claw tension can get out of adjustment. Bell & Howell made special gauges for setting the stroke and tension of the claw and are described in the various service manuals for each projector model.

Now you can see why it costs a lot to have the worm gear replaced. I liken it to replacing the head gasket in an automobile engine. Sure it costs a lot, but it sure is going to run like new again. :)

Perhaps you should also post on the Small Format Film Forum's 16mm section.


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 Post subject: Re: WARNING against buying from Iceco/Magnatech
PostPosted: Fri Jun 26, 2015 2:32 pm 
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Film Expert

Joined: Mon Nov 17, 2014 12:19 pm
Posts: 6
Location: Glenolden, PA (Philly Suburbs)
Ken Layton wrote:
Sounds like whoever did the work at ICECO either:

(1) Did not pay attention to what he was doing.

(2) Did not use the special Bell & Howell tools & jigs.

(3) Did not read the service manual.

(4) All of the above.

Sounds like Richard Burgess did a good job of ferreting out all the problems for you. He's a good guy and knows what he's doing.

Another problem that can happen when replacing the worm gear is that the claw stroke and the claw tension can get out of adjustment. Bell & Howell made special gauges for setting the stroke and tension of the claw and are described in the various service manuals for each projector model.

Now you can see why it costs a lot to have the worm gear replaced. I liken it to replacing the head gasket in an automobile engine. Sure it costs a lot, but it sure is going to run like new again. :)

Perhaps you should also post on the Small Format Film Forum's 16mm section.


Ken I am not a member of that forum (and already on 3 as it is), and have a hard enough time keeping up with all 3 unfortunately :-(

You assessment above pretty much mimics my own. When I think back to the conversation where they told me "they checked, nothing was wrong" and I said "Did you WATCH the multiple videos I did????", and they still claimed the projectors were fine....just pisses me off to no end. ESP. after Richard listed ALL the things not done correctly when HE fixed them!!!! [set5_b/set5_b/banghead.gif] [set5_b/set5_b/banghead.gif]

I don't mind the costs involved for replacing a worm gear; I know there are other projectors out there if I don't want to invest in that expense (I own 7 more myself including several older Kalart Victors and other B&H's with cracked wormgears). But I truly love how well the B&H models perform. As I said, the wife and inlaws wanted to repair my current B&H's but I would have noticed them missed, thus ruining the chance for a surprise (I mistyped above, it was a surprise 40th bday/Father's Day....not anniversary).

When they saw these on Ebay they figured "PERFECT", based on the description and positive feedback. When I got them....in the back of my mind I was worried, because I already had read other stories on the forums (of course they didn't know this at that time). Sadly, I got added to that list of complaints.

If there is a silver lining, it's that Richard Burgess got them running correctly, finally....and I can enjoy them as they were meant to be enjoyed, finally. Just annoys the hell out of me how much extra had to be spent when they were advertised as "perfect" already (and that's not knocking Richard at all, mind you -- I'm fuming with Iceco). The end kicker was them not even responding to my email about the situation...I wanted to see if they had anything to say. Absolutely, positively a half-assed, BS outfit to deal with.


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 Post subject: Re: WARNING against buying from Iceco/Magnatech
PostPosted: Fri Jun 26, 2015 10:26 pm 
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Joined: Wed Apr 02, 2014 2:42 am
Posts: 50
Location: Olympia, Washington
The loop restorer can be easily installed out of time/incorrectly if you're not watching carefully. I know because I accidently did that to one of my 567 arc projectors a few years ago when I replaced the worm gear. A friend had come over and was talking to me while I was installing the loop restorer and distracted me. I did not discover my error until after I had completely reassembled my projector. I had to completely tear it all down again to correct the problem.

One thing I have also noticed over the years is that the nut attached to the in-out cam bracket which holds the claw protrusion adjusting screw breaks loose from the frame. The nut is never supposed to spin. Only the protrusion adjusting setscrew should turn, not the nut with it. If the nut has come loose from the bracket, it will cause erratic claw protrusion. One time the nut had been broken loose for so long, the in-out bracket could not be repaired so I threw it away and purchased a brand new one from KMR Electronics (back when they were still in business). Another time I had a loose one I was able to glue it in place with good old reliable JB Weld epoxy.


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