Dr Virago Pete's
Film Scanner Maintenance, Repairs and Mods

I am not affiliated with any vendor or manufacturer or seller and am posting this page based on my own opinions and experience. I own one scanner at this time and have had some pitfalls along the way and my resolutions to these issues may be helpful to the reader. Use my information at you own risk. I dont have any personal experience with other brands and models and they may or may not be similarities between brands and models.

My livelihood depends on film transfers, videotape transfers and delivering a high quality end product is important to me. I own many brands and models of film transfer equipment. Frame-by-frame slow scanning is something new to me and I am learning about it as I go. There exists no service manuals parts or help-along-the-way for most of the equipment I own. My own skills in repairs and maintenance is self taught from several decades of personal repairs maintenance of my own equipment purchased new and used.

Very recently (a few days ago) in March 2017 I ordered and received my very first frame-by-frame film scanner and after only 2 orders (film counter odometer 00025 approx) was seeing and hearing some telltale signs that something was not working correctly.

1. Clickity Clackity scraping noise
2. Video image instability and twitching left/right/leftright on lower righthand corner of image

I opened up the unit ("odometer" as I call it) showed at 00025 and I knew that opening up this unit will void the warranty (what warranty? Is there any such thing anyhow?)

I saw some plastic gears and a very sticky black neoprene belt (looks like sinthetic-petroleum-jelly coated on neoprene belt- my hunch). I thought about what to do after closing it back up fully. Then proceeded to look online for a grease that would not harm the plastic gears.

Update 4/14/17
It is possibly the same grease that is put on o-ring seals on waterproof cameras. I own a vintage Eumig Nautica Super8 camera which is made for underwater use. I also own a Mako Radio Controlled submarine toy. Both of these devices have a sticky clear grease which helps the waterproofing o-rings to seal. At this time I dont know which Namebrand grease it is. But the clue of underwater camera o-ring seal grease is probably what it is. There is a youtube video where the man is complaining about his Wolverine Moviemaker unit's sticky belts and he is claiming that the unit is melting his belts and is a factory defect. Well I opened up my unit with odometer 00025 and had come to the conclusion it was made that way and had a purpose. I dont agree with that youtubers conclusion of a defect. The grease was put there for a reason- it is no defect. Update 4/24/17 On my second unit I opened it up before ever powering it on and had counter number 00005 and I can tell you that it had a sticky internal belt also. The stick belt came that way and I have concluded - it is supposed to be sticky. I lubed the plastic internal gears with plastic compatible grease (see elsewhere on this page)

I looked online in forums and performed a thorough search for "plastic grease" "plastic lubricant" ... and all combinations I could find. Some people wrote online about this product and that product ....

What I ended up buying on a Sunday (on big auctionsite) and on Wednesday arrived was Labelle 106 which is a small 1/2 ounce tube of white grease which contains PTFE which is the generic term for the non-stick coatings that are on frying pans.

I reopened up the unit by unscrewing
1. 2ea screws in the handle recess
2. 5ea screws on the backside with long deep holes

I have a collection of screwdrivers of different sizes and found a long deep philips screwdriver that fit the screw perfectly and wouldnt round over the X on the head. This screwdriver was magnetized by me as a DIY by running a refrigerator magnet back and forth along the steel chrome plated shaft. I magnetized it years ago and didnt have to re-magnetize it ever again as it stays magnetized. This magnetic philps screwdriver is handy in retreiving the screws from the deep holes and also reinstalling them later.

Here is a pictorial of all of the locations where I applied a thin long application of Labelle 106 grease.

1. the 2ea 45degree angled black gears
2. the large black gear (I turned this black gear by hand to get it all lubed 360degrees)
3. the axle for sticky belt pulley
4. the 2ea reel spindles (in between plastic and steel shaft) both takeup reel and drive reel spindles

I studied how the lubricant goes around - as at first I though that lubing a little will make its way all around - but no this strategy didnt work as the gear reduction is an even number not an odd number- so I decided to just grease the whole thing by applying the thin line of grease all the way around every gear mentioned.

I also noticed (before I lubed) that the takeup reel would TUG TOO MUCH at the film in the gate. It is supposed to pull very lightly and so I applied grease to the reel hub/spindle (access this from the from of the machine)


The danger is in the delicate LCD screen- I used a blanket comforter sitting on a soft sofa cushion and layed down the film scanner LCD screen face-down on the soft blanket. I didnt damage it - but it is very very easy to damage the screen. In fact the recessed handhold is where your fingers go and then your thumb naturally goes on top of the face of the LCD - very easy to damage the LCD - USE CAUTION not to break the LCD screen.

After I lubricated the above parts, I noticed that the sound of the machine was just like it was brand new at an odometer counter of 00000 Right now my odometer is at 75 and I am on my third order with this machine. Mostly 3" reels but about 5 5" reels also.

I found that using a vintage film rewinder (Solid metal vintage Craig Master Rewinder) for 16mm and 8mm films works good for some of the metal can reels in which the film scanner hub is slightly too wide for the old steel reels to fit on. This hand crank rewinder is mounted next to my machine and so the film feed from the rewinder with the clutch disengaged on the rewinder so it just freewheels very very easily.

I also use this rewinder to rewind the film when it is done- which saves wear and tear on the film scanner- hand cranking is just fine for rewinding and isnt a chore at all (eliminates the need to go into the menu and select rewind)

So far I have not done any 7" reels but I see 2 boxes ahead of this current order - that future order has a few 7" reels and Ill cross that bridge when I get to it.

Some notes about scanning times

1. Super8 reels Kodachrome - I set my timer to 27minutes after I press the run button on the scanner - which gives me about a minute to spare to watch the last of the reel go through. Sometimes the very end is curled or jagged and I stop it just before that bad-spot reached the film gate - to avoid damaging the machine.
2. Regular8 - Technicolor brand film - about 31 minutes - gives me a minute to watch the last bit of film go in
3. Regular8 - no-name brand 25 to 27 minutes set on timer

On my other film processing units (I own some telecines and some flying spot scanners and some CCD transfer units) with real time playback some films are 3min 12 seconds on up through 4 minutes on some 3" reels. So for an unknown film type I set my timer to 25minutes which means I might sit and watch the last 5 minutes get fed through.

Sometimes I get sent very amateur films with globs and knots of scotch tape homebrew amateur buyer repairs - and some times broken pieces stuffed in the box along with the reel - I find that these small bits of film are scannable also.

As I check the film before scanning I want to avoid
1. Homemade splicing and scotchtape homemade sloppy splices - which would snag in the filmgate and damage the machine
2. Bulb burns and blisters as these bumps interfere with the film passing through the gate and may break the machine
3. Sticky gooey areas of film and mold and mildew.

I make note of blisters and sticky areas and watch those areas and stop the scanning just before it reaches the filmgate- then I manually unload the film ( clean the backlight with the included blower brush - it works good ) and then advance the film just past the BAD SPOT of the film - then continue scanning.

This results in lots of little snippets of film rather than one big long scan - but is safe for my machine which is a big investment of $$$.

It is my hunch that the following brands/models MAY have the same or similar mechanism

1. Wolverine Film2Digital Moviemaker ( I have this )
2. Somikon HD-XL
3. Reflecta Normal 8 and Super 8 Scanner
4. 3R Anyty (Japan)

Here are some links which show these machines in operation
(copy and paste into your browser to view) -These are not my video demos.

Shows 3R Anyty in operation

Shows Wolverine Film2Digital Moviemaker testimonial and output demo (This demo and testimonial convinced me to buy this)

Shows Somikon HD-XL in operation (in a language I do not understand)

I could not find an operation demo of Reflecta Super8 and Normal 8 scanner but here is a photo of it and video output demo
Reflecta Normal 8 and Super 8.JPG Reflecta Normal 8 and Super 8.JPG
Size : 35.878 Kb
Type : JPG
Update 4/24/17
As I looked at the above photo from Reflecta, I see a poor choice of image appearing on the LCD display screen. If you look close you can see one person bending over and 2 people behind that one. It can be misconstrued into something it is not. I emailed both Wolverine and Reflecta about the poor choice of image displayed and hopefully they will change their ad. I remember back in 1973 Kodak ran an ad that was very unsuccessful due to poor choice of images (showing a black and white clown face on a scanner and ad/article mocking the features and comparing features to non-existent competitor models). I own that film scanner x10 units from Kodak and love it. I also am fond of this new film scanner marketed/made by various vendors/sellers etc (I have 2 units so far) and I hate to see it become a flop due to poor choice in pictures and ads. I offered my email to them- whether they do something to correct it or not - who knows? I bet Kodak would have fared better in their 1973 film scanner - if someone wrote a letter to them back then about their ad and ad photos. I love the machines and hate the ads.

When I boot up my own unit - the title screen shows "Wolverine" so obviously the software is specifically for this unit and the other brands and models may differ in their software and firmware etc.

My own unit shows

Version 1.0 hardware and Firmware version 20161102-P08a (which as of March 31 2017 was the latest version - as I contacted Wolverine by email and was told this is the latest version)

There is a glitch in the firmware where media playback sequence is jumbled as the firmware is arranging the playback sequence by date/time rather than file number. Since the internal clock is lost when you unplug - the date reverts back to 1/1/2014 and then the next recording sequence gets the same date as last session - but the recording time stamp causes it to become inter-weaved between the file numbers of the last recording session.

I was told by Wolverine that they will request a firmware fix from their engineers for this glitch. That was a week ago.

Here is the brand new sealed SD card I use with this unit since odometer 00000. I have not used any other SD card.

Update 4/14/17 I have purchased a second Wolverine Film2Digital Moviemaker (open box discounted perfect condition) and also purchased the very same SD card model for my second unit. Just a week later, I paid $3 more for the very same SD card. And $160 less for my second scanner. I am awaiting the shipments to arrive.

Update 4/5/17
At the time of this writing Im at film odometer 00075 and my machine works fine and quiet (jumbled MP4 sequence present in firmware 20161102-P08a version.) Unit#1

At the time of this writing (4/8/17) Im at film counter 0097 and my machine works fine and quiet (jumbled MP4 sequence present in firmware 20161102-P08a version.) Unit#1

At the time of this writing (4/9/17) Im at film counter 0111 and my machine works fine and quiet (jumbled MP4 sequence present in firmware 20161102-P08a version.) Unit#1

At the time of this writing (4/14/17) Im at film counter 0137 and my machine works fine and quiet (jumbled MP4 sequence present in firmware 20161102-P08a version. Unit#1 (yesterday I purchased a second unit - "open box" from big seller with hundreds of thousands of feedbacks)

At the time of this writing (4/17/17) Im at film counter 0151 and my machine works fine and quiet (jumbled MP4 sequence present in firmware 20161102-P08a version. Unit#1 (last order and this order has alot of medium& large reels so odometer ticks up more slowly)

At the time of this writing (4/21/17) Im at film counter 0171 and my machine works fine and quiet (jumbled MP4 sequence present in firmware 20161102-P08a version.

At the time of this writing 4/21/17 my Unit #2 arrived with film counter 00005 and attempting to test the unit to make sure all functions work. It was "open box" and probably was returned by first owner to the store it was purchased from. It arrived with missing packing material but still considered a brand new unit.

At the time of this writing 4/24/17 Im at film counter 0193 and my machine works fine and quiet (jumbled MP4 sequence present in firmware 20161102-P08a version. My Unit #2 at film counter 00019 works fine and quiet (jumbled MP4 sequence present in firmware 20161106-P08a)

At the time of this writing 4/24/17 Im at film counter 0202 and my machine works fine and quiet (jumbled MP4 sequence present in firmware 20161102-P08a version (This machine is now beyond Warranty even though Ive only scanned 125 due to film counter quirks). My Unit #2 at film counter 00027 works fine and quiet (jumbled MP4 sequence present in firmware 20161106-P08a)

I like the following settings for most customer orders so far works well

Exposure -0.5
Sharpness Low

Regular8 / 8mm Wide gate view - image has spasmic tremors right hand side?????
(Too much spasmic/unsteadiness in lower right hand side - on some but not all films - I see some snowflake-like mold and possible warping on customer films - which may be the culprit)
for Super8 Frame Adj (just a few scanned with these settings- still learning)
Z12 (setting this to 13 on a few reels will give a flickering line at the bottom 12 seems to be more universal)

Super8 Cropping View - similar to a standard projector
A better setting for Super8 films in which the film has signs of mold or mildew or warping is this setting which reduces drastically the spasmic/unsteadiness right hand side (zoom in mimic-ing the typical cropping of a movie camera and film projector)

A few Regular8 reels containing snowflake-like mold and possible warp - cause the righthand side of screen tremors/spastic- The following is fine for excellent condition films only. Otherwise use the cropped settings typical of a projector (still figuring that one out- will post as I learn.

Regular8 / 8mm Wide Gate View  - For excellent condition 8mm films

for Regular8 Frame Adj (most reels so far Reg 8 - very sure of these settings)- good settings to avoid line at top of image)

***** I should note***** (Update 4/14/17)
 that after I wrote the above, the very next order had zero warps, twists, sprocket damage etc Was in nearly pristine condition and the MP4 file was nice and flat and no distortion or any image problems. I had three bad orders in a row (now done and shipped) which caused me to slant/skew/question my perspective of my perfectly working machine. Even with awful condition film the results were quite respectable. I used the very same settings for good film and bad film (see above)

Back Cover - No Vent Holes

As I have viewed some youtube video demonstrations - I see that some of these units have 2ea vent hole grilles (looks like speaker holes in a radio case) but my own unit does not have any vent holes in the rear at all.

I have set a personal rule to ONLY use my unit for 2 hours at a time and then give it a 6 hour rest period. (As of this writing my lab is 65degrees F and early spring - in hot summer months even 2 hours runtime with no vent holes may cause excessive heat inside the unit)

I get about 3ea scanning sessions per day based on my own rule - that means 3ea 5" reels per day or about 12ea 3" reels per day.

I plan on getting more units over time so I can do more scans per day.

My observations about the VISUAL differences between models/brands etc

1. Some advertize 1080P and some advertise 720P (is it possible some units are truly 1080p - I dont know??????)
2. I have observed the youtube film output demos and see no difference between units in quality
3. Some units have a chrome plated plastic front
4. Some units have a non-chrome plated front - gray plastic
5. The unit looks the same but the printing on it differs
    a. name brand
    b. 8mm or Normal 8 (same function but the printing on it differs)
    c. Startup screen shows brand logo
    d. possible firmware difference in function???
6. Big difference in prices from vendor to vendor and brand to brand.
7. Some units have no vent holes on the backside (mine has no vent holes)
8. Some units have vent holes on the backside (looks like stereo speaker grilles on a radio - but no speakers or sound)

Of all of the demos and discussion about these units - I have never read any one mentioning the thick heavy metal steel front panel plate. It is a VERY GOOD steel plate and coated with a textured/bumpy OLD STYLE black finish like found on vintage cameras and projectors.

When I ordered mine I was EXPECTING a solid plastic unit and I was PLEASED to see that it has alot of METAL internal and external parts.

I also observed a youtube video where the author was chuckling about this and that and nitpicking everything and saying how the blower brush is useless BLA BLA BLA. I disagree 100% with his views. It is a very good unit and despite its shortcomings it is STILL a very good value and I am PLEASED to own it In the short time Ive owned it - it has made me EXTRA money as people ARE WILLING to pay for frame-by-frame above and beyond my regular price.

It is VERY SLOW but I plan on owning a whole rack of these units so I can do alot of reels simultaneously.

I had a buyer - BIG LOT OF FILMS - who would only go with film scanning frame by frame and nothing else would be acceptable. So I decided NOW is a good time to make the investment. When I looked online (BIG photo shops, BIG Retailers, BIG auction sites, Original MFG/Vendors/Resellers etc ALL SOLD OUT of this item. I found ONLY 1 source of a brand new unit (at a reasonable price) on big-auction-site and they wanted a premium $100 over and above the mfg price and I GLADLY paid that as I needed it to begin scanning right away. It arrived a few days later and was everything I hoped it would be. When I viewed the mfg website it said that it was sold out until late April 2017 as an estimate. Whether that means a new model will arrive or possible - no more being made - who knows what that would mean. Pure speculation as of today 4/7/17 none are available and ads pulled or there is a blurb on their ad "SOLD OUT" etc. Now dont get me wrong, there are a few still for sale at a much higher price depending on namebrand - but the price is SO MUCH higher than even even what I paid with a $100 premium attached. I feel like I bought one new- just at the last opportunity.

I plunked down my money and the $100 extra was well worth getting my hands on a brand new one.


I have noticed that several videos show how to load the film and they (even the name brands show it this way) just push the lever to the left and WHAM the film gate flips up. Then put the film under the two tabs and CLICK the filmgate closed.

THIS IS BAD IDEA- clicking down the filmgate and WHAM flipping the filmgate up -

What I do is - to unload film from the filmgate

1. Hold the top portion of the filmgate - with my left hand
2. Gently push the lever to the left
3. With my left hand carefully allow the gate to go up - without slamming

What I do is - to load film in the filmgate

1. clean this area with the included brush
2. load the film under the two tabs (on the first frame after the leader)
3. It takes 2 hands - hold the film in place - gently ALMOST completely close down the filmgate (dont snap closed yet)
4. gently push lever left and hold it there
5. Push down GENTLY on the gate - make sure the film has not moved over one of the tabs
6. release the lever slowly to the right while holding the filmgate closed

I plunked down the funds for this machine and I plan on buying a ALOT of these. See that is one reason why I dont hire anyone - they wouldnt care about the machine (not as much as I do for my own equipment) - it would be snapped and unsnapped / clicked and unclicked and then worn out very very soon. It is DOUBTFUL there will be ANY spare parts available (possibly someone will make a 3-d printed set of spare parts - who knows) but in the meantime - there is NO POINT in wasting the mechanism or the filmgate UN-necessarily.

Im sure in the future (projecting my experience forward) I may buy some used ones on big-auction-site and then when I received the unit (they will probably say "untested" or works fine etc BLA BLA BLA and then I will observe how the click/snap is SO LOOSE or worn out because the previous owner - abused the plastic snaps. This is MY PREDICTION of the condition of used units in the future.

Also Ive noticed that currently USED units are being sold for FULL price/or more or close to that- the owners are transferring their home movies and then selling the unit - this HAND_ME_DOWN strategy is also common in Nikon  scanners on big-auction-site. I would imagine some of these units have been sold OVER_AND_OVER_AND OVER again - through no fault of Nikon. And the sellers still want alot of money for their tired worn units. Ridiculous.

CAREFUL USE for this delicate item will prolong its useful life. Its a moneymaker and makes high quality recordings in file format that buyers want. I like it alot. Im pleased with the end result.

I bought mine brand new in a sealed box, the odometer was 00000 and each and every plastic bag was sealed with factory tape, all styrofoam perfect. I know what a brand new unit sounds like. I have noticed that every batch running through my scanner sounds a little different. I suppose it depends on the condition of film, mold present, warps, thickness of various brands of films etc. The sound varies ... But the smoothness and quietness of the whirring gears is noticeably drastically improved with adding grease.

The unsupported Filmgate

As I receive boxes of customer films, I notice that some films are warped and twisted and others are very flat and straight. The Wolverine Digital2Film Moviemaker has a WIDE open filmgate - what I mean by that is that - the current film frame AND THE ONE BEFORE AND AFTER after just in an open air 4:3 Square cutout in the filmgate. If a film is warped or twisted or curled - this WIDE OPEN unsupported area is enough to cause movement in the actual frame being scanned.

A standard projector supports the current frame on two or more sides- but this unit leaves it hanging at least 3 frames - so curl is more evident. In the MP4 video, it looks like the image is going in/out - STILL IN FOCUS - but moving as the twisted warped film goes through. For the past 3 orders all of them have had some degree of warped or curl or twisted. Some reels played perfect and others had some image slight contortions / convolutions /Expand & Contract in the right hand side of the image.

It is possible that someone with a 3d printer will someday invent some type of plastic snap-in guide system to go in the overly large 4:3 hole to support the film better?? Why was it made so wide- is it possible to Modify for us with 16mm? Is it possible to make 3d printed interchangeable snap-in modules for different film size???

For now the warping and twisted film is best remedied by
1. Using the built-in frame adjustment to ZOOM in the image more which crops the right side of image which tends to have more warping in the films.
2. Use a hand crank rewinder ( I use CRAIG brand vintage Rewind ) instead of the standard left reel mount (clutch fully off and freewheeling) The extra very slight drag helps the film be just a tad straighter going through.
3. In addition to the Craig Rewind, I also use the upper standard guide and "Golf Tee" guide to make a letter "S" before the filmgate. This helps to reduce the film bouncing before it enters the filmgate
4. I keep the super8 RED adapter inserted into the left spindle as it is flat and the "S" of film leaving the CRAIG rewinder and then entering the filmgate - the film slides over the flat RED super8 adapter - better than nothing.

The warped areas are more like the filling of a blow-up balloon with an image or words printed in the balloon. I realize that there are some current software tools like "Deshaker" but that is where the whole image is intact and just bouncing. The warp/twisted makes one side of the image balloon in/out in size where the other part of the image is a-ok. So it is possible a software tool will someday be made -similar to "Deshaker" but to cure portions of the image that balloons in/out. I have no affiliation with these image tools and have no intention in making this. Hopefully the reader will invent this.

Update 4/13/17
I found a large seller on big-auction-site selling 2ea Wolverine Film2Digital Moviemakers and was New Open Box - the ad aid carefully inspected and in perfect condition. So I quickly called/emailed my existing film customers to see if they want to upgrade their order for a few dollars more and a few more said yes. Those additional funds from these upgraded orders (Albeit a very good deal at a bargain price for the amount of time/scanning labor) So I went ahead and purchased my Scanner #2 and will be coming from California and expected to arrive in 1 weeks time. In the meanwhile I am scanning twice daily on a batch of 8ea 5" reels. I should be done in a few days. After that I have 2 more large orders- the additional scanner should come just in time to help with those 2 orders next week sometime.

I have noticed that my current order containing Kodachrome films on metal reels are in really nice straight condition without any warping. I checked the created files so far and I see no wiggle, no convolutions or expand/contract on right side of image. Could it be that the last 3 orders were just awful? This current order is SO DRASTICALLY much easier and is not starting stopping to avoid blisters. This order just runs so smoothly without any hiccups. I get to see what this wonderful scanner can do. I would like to have a whole rack of them. Each one scans slowly and by doing several reels simultaneously - then that slowness is no longer a negative thing. Im glad to have purchased this OPEN BOX unit- there was one more but my small budget didnt allow for multiple purchases at this time. I got a pretty good deal with discount and free shipping. I just hope it is as described and is in wonderful condition.

Takeup Reel Stopped

Yesterday while transferring a 5" reel, my takeup reel stopped (Was 75% full) and was starting to spillover the film onto the table (I was right there babysitting and reel only stopped for 20 seconds- I saw it and then quickly wound the takeup reel by hand (less than a couple of feet only) I put alot of thought into this since yesterday- I have concluded that it is not a machine fault.
1. Using reel where the inside hub is recessed- outside of reel scraping against the black steel front panel
    and reel has mold flashing from a bad injection mold- which catches on the textured black steel front panel
2. As the film on the reel grows larger - the pull tension lessens
3. The weight of the 5" reel when full causes the film reel to angle down- which further makes the reel even closer to the steel textured front panel

My solution for now is to simply pull the reel slightly forward on the 8mm to Super8 adapter. The small nub that holds the reel from falling off is no longer just past the reel - now that little nub is under the actual reel's hole. By pulling the reel out slightly- this avoids any chance of scraping.

A better solution is to 3d print a custom reel adapter which holds the takeup reel further away from the steel body. Or possibly to make a small washer which fits in between the reel and the 8mm to Super8 adapter. I actually have several of these small adapters (the machine is provided with a red one and a grey one) I have a few vintage beige colored ones. I can also glue one of these to my takeup reel ( I use a non original 5" reel which has auto-loading )

Since I use my CRAIG REWIND for the supply reel - I havent had any supply reel issue so far.

It isnt the fault of the machine that the Reel I use has a recessed middle portion. There are hundred of used/new reels available online - so Im sure the reader can find an alternative reel to use.

Exceptionally good job at Overexposed Films "Polar Bear in a snowstorm"

The LED backlight is very very good. It does a much better job than an incandescent lightbulb or lamp for OVEREXPOSED film
in which the amateur camera person let in TOO MUCH LIGHT while filming.

For these very very white scenes
1. Snow
2. Filming against the sun
3. Sky and clouds on a bright sunny day
4. Camera has wrong setting and has almost transparent "ghost-like" faint images

Compared to a bulb/lightbulb/lamp - the LED is safe for film and CCD camera. Trying to record with a camera and projection lamp/hot lamp RUINS the Camera CCD and makes dead pixels in the CCD because lightbulbs are too bright and hot. The LED backlight is a nice even light and evenly lights the film and is safe for the built-in scanner even in the "polar bear in the snowstorm" shots. Using an expensive CCD camera and filming "polar bear in a snowstorm" from a projector with a hot lightbulb/lamp is basically like aiming your camera at the sun - bad idea for your cameras health AND doesnt make a good shot. Since the lamp is not a pure white light source - it is yellowish reddish, your snow and polar bear now look orange-ish and loses whatever is left of the color. THE LED is much better and captures whatever is left of the faded image - including the residual color.

The Wolverine Moviemaker is good at scavenging faded overexposed film with very light images.
Normal films have dark/light/full spectrum images - the scanner is the best Ive seen at capturing the worst faded and discolored horrible photography. Almost every order Ive seen has a few BAD SHOTs and this machine makes even the bad shots viewable.

Update 4/17/17
Here is a photo of Craig Master Rewind Editor which I have purchased from a local Craigslist seller about 8 years ago. I never used the editor but I have used the 2ea rewinders for my Super8 Regular8 and 16mm orders as checking the film before running a transfer is important to fix bad splices, clean etc.

Most recently I have removed the editor box (which I never once used) and simply place my Wolverine Moviemaker exactly where the removed editor (was held in place by 2 screws under the board) was. I didnt secure the Wolverine unit in place at all. I mostly use the left rewinder. The right hand rewinder I just ignore. The film splicer is there too and makes good clean splices for 8mm or 16mm but is not for super8.

This wooden Craig rewind editor looks home-made but it CAME THIS WAY from the factory. You can find ones just like it on big-auction-site. Some people sell just the rewind separately.

Update 4/17/17
As I gain more and more experience with my Wolverine Film2Digital Moviemaker, I run into the same glitches here and there and try different things. The current order has some 5" metal reels/cans and some larger reels - which will be done last. The 5" reels have been stopping (but I am closeby babysitting) and I have tried pulling the reel forward next-time on the spindle slightly over the nub/bump on the spindle so the reel doesnt snag on the black textured steel front panel. But still stalled occasionally. So I tried only threading the film on 2ea golf tee guides rather than 3ea - but still stalled occasionally. I would say that it stalled less often for higher-than-normal-friction films. Although I see no issues with the film splices somehow it is snagging on the 3ea or 2ea golf tees due simply to friction.

I dont have a solution - and Im still going to use 3ea golf tee guides for most film orders. This one Im going to use 2ea golf tee guides as it seems to reduce the number of take-up reel stalls - which reduces the number of times I have to intervene and pull the film just-past-the-gate just slightly beyond where it is not feeding. I find it is happening 2-3 times per 5" reel on this order. Last order - no stalls. So that tells me it is the film condition which is causing this. The films are nice and straight but the age of films is 1950s and Kodachrome mostly.

I havent checked to see if the stalled areas have OVER/Under splices or UNDER/over chemical splices. It is my hunch that it could be the sharp bend at the Golf Tee Guides versus the splice point - causing a snag there. I still havent figured it out. I hurry to move the film beyond the snag - so there isnt a whole of of dwell time or dilly-dallying while I make an observation. My main point is to get the film going as quickly as possible.

Hairs and Dust and Mold Specks

As I use the factory stock blower brush I get the LED backlight clean at every reel change and also if I see some debris snuck in there during the transfer. As clean as you try to get the film before the transfer - sometimes it sneaks in...

I ordered a LINT roller from China and will try to adapt one as a homebrew PTR (Particle Transfer Roller) which has been used on large TV Station telecines for the last 50 years. Those typically have a Silicone material which picks up dust and hairs. The current China-made lint rollers are probably slightly sticky and dont leave any residue on clothes as a lint brush. I ordered one and plan on cutting it like a salami LOL and making an adaptation for my Wolverine Moviemaker unit(s) as I have one here and another Moviemaker which should arrive this week sometime.

Here is a photo of the mini Lint Roller

I purchased it from big-auction-site and will probably take a month to arrive but was less than $1 including shipping. I have a 3d printer. And plan on cutting the mini roller into a film-size roller and replace one or more of the golf tee guides with a sticky roller - to collect dust and hairs and lint which sneaks into the filmgate - even after a good careful gentle cleaning sometimes. The photo shows washing the material under a running sink and even over-stretching the material. TV station Telecines with Cleaning Rollers are not as stretchy- so it may be a different material then what they use on those full sized machines. The amount of dust Im trying to avoid is just one speck. It should work for that. Hopefully it is not so sticky as to add film drag. Who knows what color they will send me? Red, Blue, Green. Any color is fine.

Update 4/21/17
I received my second Wolverine Film2Digital Moviemaker from big-auction-site and was "open box" and most likely a returned item. Missing cardboard packing materials and damaged box. Nothing was sealed in plastic bags except for the 2ea spindle adapters from 8mm to Super8. All accessories were included power adapter, tv-out cable, 5" reel, 2ea spindle adapters 8mm to Super8, manual ver 2.0, blower brush and had factory tape across the film gate and clear screen protector on the LCD display.

It doesnt appear that any film was ran though it - or maximum 4 reels. When I powered it on the film counter said 00005 and that counter increments each time you power it on and every time you stop scanning. So the seller had counter of 00004 the last time it was powered off.

I immediately greased everywhere outlined above. I scanned 1ea 5" dia film and was nice and quiet- about half of the noise of my first unit. As the 2 hours of scanning time went by - the sound increased in volume and the clicking became increasingly crisp. Initially the clicks were very muted in volume. The whirring of the gears is much less pronouced. This unit makes a continuous Whir sound - compared to my first unit which makes a double-syllable sound Whir-Whir.

The lcd viewing angle is much different on this second unit as I have it on a top shelf of a 5-shelf rack. In the exact spot my other one was. I replaced the unit temporarily to give the newly puchased on access to my Craig Rewind. I find that it is just above my eye leve by a few inches. The LCD viewing angle is like "photo negative" and when I stand on my tipie toes then the viewing angle of the LCD changes and becomes "photo-positive". This tells me that there is probably some adjustment pot on the PCB that I will need to locate and adjust?

I now see why they parted with this unit as the LCD viewing angle is not quite right. Also as I scanned the 5" reel I was wondering if the focus was off as it does have the razor sharp image of the first unit.

I also see that adjustment numbers between the 2 units differs slightly. When I put the same number in the newly acquired unit- I see a film border at the bottom of the image.  Also it seems like the image is darker than the first unit. So my setting it to exposure -0.5 may be wrong for this unit. I may leave it at 0 exposure on this newly purchased unit.

As I have only scanned 1ea film and the film itself is questionable quality/focus/brightness etc I will not jump to conclusions about whether adjustments are needed or not. Its too early to tell.

I will also check to make sure functions like rewind and tv-out etc function properly.

Interestingly there was an extra thing in the box - a Micro SD to SD card converter was in the SD card slot. However there was no microSD memory card included. I remember reading online that this unit is not compatible with MicroSD cards or adapters. Is it possible the seller had a previous buyer who returned it- and forgot to take out the microSD adapter. They may have tried to record unsuccessfully and then returned it.

I doublechecked my 1st recording on a brand new SD card (same model as before) I used a utility knife to open this brand new SD card Sandisk Ultra 32GB and it went straight from the package to the back of this newly acquired fim scanner. I successfully played back the recording and viewed it on the built-in LCD. So that worked fine. I just tilted the scanner so I could easily see the display as it was sbove eye level. The playback was nice and straight and all colors present. A tad out-of-focus (which I havent determined if it was the machine or the film)

Right now it is cooling off as I only use machines for 2 hours at a time. It doesnt have rear vents - just like my other unit.

Non-Vented enclosure is probably best as it keeps the dust out of internals
and gears and LCD backlight. It wouldnt take long for a blower fan to suck in a
speck of dust and go into some crevice which would interfere with picture quality
or get attached to the sticky coated take-up reel drive belt (located internally).

Update 4/23/17
As I have completed the warped/moldy film order and now onto the large order - the main purpose in my buying 2 of these units was the upcoming large order. I find that there is alot of "Almost black" footage in the customers first ziplock bag of Kodachrome Super8 film. I spent 2 hours scanning these reels after sorting them by approx date and numbering them. The first half of numbers on one scanner and the second half of numbers on the second unit.

I noticed somethings when running 2 units simultaneously.
1. LCD Screen is different on both units
   A. My #1 unit was more expensive & I paid a "scalpers" price for it - has an ULTRA HIGH RESOLUTION LCD - WOW!!!!
          a. "Grid Style" pixels - every line of pixels directly above the next row
          b. As I count the onscreen "e" I see approximately 12 pixels across
          c. The pixels appear a clean defined crisp color - not requiring the combination of adjacent pixels to make a color
   B. My #2 unit was discounted "OPEN BOX" & counter of 00005 when I received - LOW RESOLUTION LCD  - good enough!!!
          a. "Brick Style" pixels - like a brick wall - where a line of pixels is staggered - not directly below the previous row
          b. As I count the onscreen white "e" - I see 8 pixels across
          c. Color separation - resembling a CRT monitor which takes several adjacent primary color pixels to make white
2. Tic Whir Tic Whir Tic... sound is exactly in-time throughout the scan and doesnt deviate on both units
3. I can use the same CRAIG rewind for both units - no need to buy another one
4. I find myself loading both units FIRST so I can press the scanning start on both units simultaneously
     A. That way I can use one stopwatch timer to know when both units will end
     B. Some film reels have a longer length than other reels
     C. 2 units are not twice as loud - the volume seems to be approx the same as before even with 2 units going simultaneous

The scanning quality is the same on both units. But the second unit has a drastically lower LCD screen image quality that I mistook for "out-of-focus" in m above paragraphs. No it is NOT out of focus. I used a jewelers loupe (a projector lens that I have had for years for this purpose) and I observed the screens from very closeup- too look at the LCD screen pixels. The low resolution LCD reminds me of old camcorder eye viewing CRT tube images - as I look through the jewelers loupe.

The high resolution LCD screen is very much like a laptop's screen - as I write this I am typing on a Dell Inspiron 2650.

When using the Low resolution screen from a distance of even a few inches - the pixels combine into an image and I dont see dots anymore. However, when a really in-focus sharp image is scanned - having the 2 units so close together - I see a drastically better LCD image on the high resolution LCD.

My conclusion is that there are at least TWO VERSIONS of LCD screen - the better one is about 1/3 better resolution. The body of the unit looks the same, the menu system looks the same, the firmware version is very similar. I dont think there is ANY WAY to request which version of LCD you get.

Even so, it scans in the same quality as my other unit. From across the room, The LOW RESOLUTION screen is not viewable as it looks "photo negative" from far away. The High resolution screen has a much better viewing angle and you can see the image from across the room. This is important as babysitting is required - in case the film gets stuck or the unit stops on its own due to "overly white image" or "overly black image" - which on this order with "mostly black footage" means that every 2-1/2 minutes the film scanning stops and I have to push the button to start the scanning again - which creates an enormous number of small files- approx 8ea files for 1ea 3" reel which has all black or all white, increments the counter falsely (what warranty anyways? Exceed 200 counter and ends warranty) and having to resume every 2-1/2 min is a nuissance.

I see a demo of another brand and model and version of this scanner- on youtube. The UK scanning firm shows the menu (possibly an older version of the firmware) and you can select 5" or 3" reel from the menu - which may be some sort of timer which mine doesnt have. The Artificial Intelligence built into my units shuts it off after 2-1/2 minutes of scanning just black film - I have no way to turn this feature off. I would prefer to have it just scan black and whatever slight images may be there occasionally. It scans well - but turns off the scanning - it would be better (for my needs - this feature may be fine for someone else) if it just continued without stopping.

Both the Low Resolution LCD and High Resolution LCD are Good/Excellent and the main thing is to monitor where the edge of the frame is, exposure, dust and specks - important for cleaning. Both versions of built-in LCD are acceptable and enable the user to see what is going on. Having a standalone (no PC required) unit with built-in LCD display is GREAT and very handy.

I Could Have Sworn There Was a Remote Control???????
I was festering for a few days about the Low Resolution LCD and missing a remote control. I emailed the seller of my "Open Box" item because I saw that there were 2ea for sale and immediately after I purchased - the seller lowered the price by $65 for the next buyer - but not for me. I felt like I got the wrong box - you know the box without the remote control - but paid the higher of two prices. I made a nice polite email to the seller and got back an answer "no discount ... the unit didnt come with a remote and is brand new"

That email response from my seller left me puzzled. I doubted my own recollection and hunted through all of the materials in both original boxes. I found manuals, usb cords, dust blower brushes, spindle adapters, extra SD to microSD adapter, ... but I didnt find a remote. How could that be??? Makes no sense??? I looked through the manuals (both version 2.0) and I also looked through the online PDF file manual (version 2.2) which I downloaded from Wolverine website - I looked through the packing list of items - doesnt say any remote - at all. How could that be?

I figured it out ...

At the same time as I ordered the film scanner unit#1 ... I simultaneously received an MP4 recorder for YPBPR and HDMI and Composite from China which records to a flashdrive. So I GOT CONFUSED ... the remote I was thinking about is for my brand new MP4 recorder. There is no remote for the Wolverine Moviemaker. OOOPS my mistake.

I actually went back and deleted a whole section on this very page about a non-existent remote cntrol. Unbelievable that for a few days I was festering about something non-existent. To the point where I felt gypped.

It was an honest mistake on my part. Here is the photo of my new MP4 recorder and the remote I had in mind.

What is the Extra Wide Unsupported FILMGATE for?

I figured it out. It took me 3-1/2 orders to figure out why the film is unsupported. It really ISNT a flaw at all. The nuissance I have fighting Dust, Debris, Hair, bits of mold, etc in the middle of the scanning process - the LCD shows a blob or other debris which is now clinging to the backlight.

The blower dust brush worked very well - but I received such a horrendous order from my SECOND order ran through this machine that my dust brush became infested with microscopic stickiness and I tried cleaning it in the sink, letting it dry, using cotton ear swabs to clean it. But it is ruined as it deposits just as much dust as it cleans off. The fault is NOT THE BRUSH. The fault is the AWFUL condition films that people store in their moldy crawlspaces and basements- they are totally unaware of the condition.

I havent tried this yet - but blowing off the dust brush with a shop air compressor with a strong air tip nozzle (do this in your shop - not in your filmlab) may remove all of the bits of dust and debris now microscopically infesting the blower dustbrush making it useless. I remember a youtuber chuckling over how useless the included dustbrush is. Well my own dustbrush became useless to after the second order - as the film was moldy and even water damaged and I was endlessly trying to keep that backlight cleaned- stopping and starting the scans. My hunch is the youtubers films were all moldy.  There is an old saying, "When you point your finger at someone - you have three fingers point back at yourself."
(That applies to me too as it is easy to jump to conclusions - falsely)

So what is the solution - buying a new brush for each and every order - not feasible (these same dust blower brushes are available for sale on big-auction-site for not much money). I have used ear cleaning cotton swabs which I manually bend the tip at a right angle- gleaning both the backlight and entire black plastic film gate. That helps alot. Even so - a cotton swab is required for EACH AND EVERY film - because even the fibers of a cotton swap trap and release that dust back where it came from- if you try to use it multiple times.

Back to the extra wide filmgate ...

The solution is a CAN OF AIR
- the extra wide filmgate and unsupported film hanging in mid-air - it allows the user to dust the film and underneath it and the backlight WHILE THE FILM IS SCANNING. See I have been through three mid-sized orders and stopping the scan and restarting after it is cleaned - this unloading and loading of film - creates un-necessary wear on the filmgate. I wrote a whole section above on how to OPEN CLOSE the filmgate without SLAMMING or WHAM or CLICKING the filmgate open and closed. Furthermore, I can reduce the wear and reduce the number of file snippets - by using a can of air to clean dust and debris which - no matter how well you clean that film there is always a chance for dust to sneak in there.

Being vigilent and watching the LCD screen with a can of air nearby is important - while your film is running. Give a tactical spurt of air if you see a bit of dust sneak in. Cleaning with a cotton swab ear cleaner (paper stick type) bent to a 90degee angle before loading your next film.

The awfulness of some peoples films is apparent in the number of just filthy/dirty cotton swabs as I clean the filmgate between reels. Other films (from well stored films) leave zero crud on the filmgate. Unfortunately I made the mistake of using my blower brush on a grimy film order and ruined the blower brush. I realized that too late after seeing the growing pile of dirty ear cleaning swabs as I scanned each customer reel. As I finished that order and started the next customers order with a nice clean machine- I felt a BIG RELIEF and saw a great reduction in babysitting required.

Big-Auction-Site Disaster Modified Filmgate by Amateur - YIKES

As I try to increase the number of these film scanners in my lab, I often check big-auction-site for deals, and bargains etc. I search for "Wolverine Moviemaker" "Wolverine Film2Digital Super8 Super 8 Regular8 Regular 8 Normal8 Normal 8" you know, all combinations of the words in my search.

Well I found a JUNKER as the modifications that the amateur seller posted in his/her HONEST AD was that the filmgate was widened - the stated reason is that the film wouldnt fit. That doesnt make sense as I have run probably 100 films at this time and they all fit - Regular 8 and Super 8. This widening of the filmgate - makes no sense.

Even worse is the horrendous craftsmanship where it looks like either sandpaper or a file was used. The filmgate is JUNK NOW as it will scratch the film as it is going through.

Just look at this AWFUL PHOTO - it is NOT MY SCANNER - I DIDNT DO THIS. Im showing you so you DONT DO THIS to your unit.
And the worst part is that I see 6 bidders on that hacked up unit and they will ruin their priceless film on someone taking sandpaper and putting those rough surface against a precious vintage home movie is just asking for severe scratching of the image.

YIKES- makes me cringe to see this hackjob amateur mod photo (seller user name not devulged)

Dont Do This to your FRAME-BY-FRAME scanner:

IF YOU HAVE a frame-by-frame film scanner  FOR SALE

- let me know

Pete (847) 454-7858 between 11am and 7pm daily
Illinois, USA

I am posting my own repairs and maintenance here- use at your own risk as it voids warranty to open up your unit and I used my own BEST HUNCH/EXPERIENCE in figuring out what to do and resolve issues. What works for me may not work for you.

(C) Copyright 2017 All Rights Reserved Dr Virago Pete