There's probably a buck to be made by anybody who decides to put together a stainless steel hardware kit for the Marquee LC assemblies. Just throwing that suggestion out there.
Make up a kit that includes stainless steel versions of ALL LC hardware (fill screws, bellows attachment ring screws, scheimpflug adjusters) and offer it as a complete kit for a reasonable price and I'm sure it'll sell. Because it'd be more convenient than each one of us trying to hunt down this stuff on our own, particularly when minimum order quantities are likely to apply to the less common screws. You'll probably have to buy a box of 100 stainless fill screws as it's quite possible that your local hardware store won't stock any, and you ony need six (per projector) but the screw probably is only sold in boxes of 100.
Joined: 03 Apr 2006 Posts: 5180 Location: Buried under G90s
Link Posted: Thu Apr 07, 2016 2:52 am Post subject:
I figured I should post this here.
I bought a set of Athan's bellows before this FAQ was posted. Not sure which year, exactly, but I definitely bought from the first batch and I'm sure it was before 2008.
I just had to (finally) replace the glycol due to discoloration and loss of clarity, a problem that had been creeping up on the unit very slowly over the past year or two.
I installed the bellows with no RTV and they never leaked more than a few drops over all the years. I suspect those drops were trapped between the outside of the bellows and the back of the front plate anyway.
Bellows condition turned out to be perfect. I have simply reused them as if they were new. I'm sure they'll be just fine.
I also took Athan's advice and sprayed black VHT epoxy paint over the exposed aluminum surfaces before I first put the new
bellows in, so many years ago.
The VHT paint held up perfectly, protected the aluminum, and is as good as the day I sprayed it.
The only thing I noticed was that when I wiped down the insides of the bellows, I got a bit of a black smudge on the cleaning cloth,
but only a little bit. I think a little carbon black leached out of the rubber and caused the coolant discoloration, but it was more than five years before it was noticeable at all on any tube.
In my opinion, Athan's bellows are a lifetime product. They'll outlast the coolant, they'll outlast a set of tubes in many cases.
I did note that the bellows on one tube did not clamp in place with much clamping pressure. I check the sealing by two methods, one of which is simply to use a flashlight and LOOK for the inner surface of the bellows around the outer diameter of the C element, and the other of which is to use a round nosed probe to poke gently at the edges of the bellows and ensure that they don't move.
On one tube, the bellows really had no clamping pressure at all. I corrected this issue by installing a loop of thin steel wire (guitar
string, actually) between the clamp ring and the C element. This has the same effect as making the rim of the C element just that much thicker, thus applying more force to the clamping surface of the bellows. This resulted in a very satisfactory level of sealing force.
I don't think it was any issue with the bellows that caused this light hold, I think it is actually a manufacturing tolerance issue in the LC casting itself.
In my opinion you need one set of Athan's bellows for each Marquee you own. Get at least one spare set, too, just in case.
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