Intermittent Mechanism

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Intermittent Mechanism


a device in motion-picture cameras, projectors, and copying equipment that imparts a periodic intermittent motion to the film passing through the film gate during filming, projecting, or copying. For a certain time period tn, the film remains stationary while the photosensitive material is exposed—during filming or copying—or while the image is projected on a screen—during projection. The film is then advanced one frame during the time period tg. In order to avoid a smearing of the image as the film is advanced, the light beam is interrupted by a shutter during tg. The total operating period of an intermittent mechanism is T = tn + tg.

The two most widely used types of intermittent mechanisms are a Maltese cross and a claw mechanism. In the Maltese cross a gear drum mounted on the shaft of the cross moves the film. A claw mechanism has a film-traction tooth (or teeth) moving along a closed path in such a way that for a certain part of the path the tooth engages the film perforations and imparts motion to the film; for the remainder of the path the tooth is disengaged from the perforations. The necessary motion is transmitted to the tooth by means of a cam, crank mechanism, link gear, or other mechanism.

Intermittent mechanisms have a number of engineering characteristics. The kinematic characteristics describe the relations between time and the movement, speed, and acceleration of the film-traction teeth. The dynamic characteristics describe the relations between time and the force applied to the film perforations. The coefficient of efficiency

defines the light losses in the film apparatus during the time tg. Another important characteristic is the stable positioning of successive frames with respect to the film gate. The spread in the positions of successive frames should not exceed 0.01–0.015 mm for filming and 0.025–0.03 mm for projection.


Melik-Stepanian, A. M., and S. M. Provornov. Detail i mekhanizmy kinoapparatury. Moscow, 1959.


References in classic literature ?
At any rate, as the dusk came on a slow, intermittent movement upon the sand pits began, a move- ment that seemed to gather force as the stillness of the eve- ning about the cylinder remained unbroken.
Harter has engineered condensation drying efficient enough so that bulk material does no longer have to be centrifuged but can be fully dried inside the barrel with minimal intermittent movement.
It feels more like walking around a group of Duane Hanson sculptures that have somehow been endowed with the potential for slow, intermittent movement than watching a film or video.

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