Retro-8 Pro Set Up
to return to general Retro Instructions and Links page.
If you have any issues or questions,
please contact us at
email@example.com or call us at
For RetroScan-HD Pro software
instructions, please click HERE.
NOTE: All instructions are for
RetroScan-HD version 3.0.4 or above.
If you are using a previous version, please get your free
NOTE: Please unpack carefully and keep the shipping box
and internal packing materials for warranty shipping, if
necessary. This is a precision optical device and the
warranty does not cover repairs of return shipping damage
if unit is not packaged appropriately using the original
box and internal packing materials we have provided for
Unit is designed to be
stored and used in climate controlled
environment of 68-75 degrees F or 20-32
degrees C with minimum humidity.
after unpacking, please let the unit set for about an hour
at room temperature before attempting to use.
This is necessary as changes in humidity can alter the
precision alignment on components within the unit.
Attempting to use the unit without letting it stabilize
will not hurt anything but performance
may be affected until stabilization is complete.
After unpacking, please set unit on smooth, level
If the unit rocks, adjust the leveling by loosening the
screws on one of the plastic legs, pressing down on the unit
from the top lightly, then gently tighten the screws. However,
for proper operation, do not remove the plastic legs from the
Do not loosen or adjust any screws
on this unit other than as outlined
in these instructions.
All components are calibrated for
Making unauthorized adjustments to
the gate or other components can
affect performance and void your
Attach the provided USB cable to the back of the unit but DO
NOT plug USB cable into the PC.
You will be notified during installation of the software when
to connect the USB cable to the PC.
To dust off the unit, use a can of compressed air but do
not invert the can nor turn it sideways.
Clear the nozzle first with a short blast and then bend then
can's tube as shown to clear dust and debris
from the mirror above and the gate below. Do not touch the
mirror and do not use any type of
liquid cleaner on its surface. If necessary, use a cotton swab
to gently wipe the surface
and then follow up with a soft puff of compressed air to blow
away cotton fibers.
Remove the accessories from the cardboard
insert and locate all the parts shown above.
Locate included power supply and plug into
back panel as shown.
NOTE: This is a universal DC power supply. No transformer
is required for international use. The AC power
cord included is for North America but you can safely
replace it with a power cord to match
your local power mains requirements.
Also, please note the "Slow - Fast" switch located on the
rear of the unit.
The normal operational speed of the unit is about 15fps in
the "Fast" switch position.
This speed is fine for compressed transfers on typical
laptop and desktop PCs.
The "Slow" switch position will reduce the speed to about
This is recommended when transferring on slower PCs or
when scanning uncompressed due
to the inherently larger file size for each frame. You
will need to experiment for desired results.
Selecting either 15fps or 10fps
transfer speed makes no alteration to the playback speed
of your film,
which will be determined by settings in the RetroScan-HD
Also, please note that if you are running old commercial
movies with a clear edge around
the sprocket holes, you will need to run the film at
high speed or the image will be
unstable and jump around in the capture window. For this
reason, you may not be able
to capture these old movies uncompressed unless you have
a really fast Raid-0 array
that can keep up with the higher data rate of 15fps
Because plastic can warp over time, please
take a moment to gently flex the take up reel so that it
will not squeeze the film edges during transfer. Lay the
reel on a flat surface and pull up slightly as shown in
the photo, turning the reel a bit with each flex, until
you have adjusted the entire reel.
Insert the locking screw into the take up reel retainer
and turn until the tip of the screw is almost flush with
the surface as shown.
Place the take up reel on the right spindle and turn reel
retainer until tight and then loosen a bit so the reel
At this point, do
not continue until software has been installed.
Unit does not have to be turned on for
Please make sure that all screen savers, sleep
mode functions and antivirus are turned off during
operation of this software.
Leaving these active can cause instability on some
systems. Also, make sure that the font size of
your Windows OS
is set to "default" or "100%". Using a larger font
size, such as 125%, etc, can cause malfunctions in
download the latest RetroScan-HD Pro software, please
Make sure that your BIN registration key is on your
You will not be able to load the RetroScan-HD Pro
software without the BIN registration key.
RetroScan-HD Pro software instructions, please
Before you proceed, please note the
various controls of the unit.
The "Forward" and "Rewind" switch has a
The "Super 8" and "Regular 8" switch chooses
between the two BluePoint sensors to the right
of the unit.
The Exposure knob controls the amount of light
that illuminates the film.
Sensor knob controls the
sensitivity of the BluePoint
(NOTE: The Sensor knob
actually requires a full 10
turns to reach each end of
travel, so don't think it's
Typically, most film
will transfer fine with both knobs at the
11:00 o'clock position as shown
but you may to need to adjust for best results.
The brass framer knob
is used to align the film vertically. This knob will
turn 360 degrees
in either direction with no "stops" at either end of
travel. This knob adjusts the position of the frame by
or decreasing the amount of film that exists between
the gate (where the camera is) and the sensor block
(where the BluePoint sensors trigger the capture of
It should be noted that, because
the sensors are a number of inches from the gate,
and good sprocket holes are important for best
performance. This is because each target frame that
is captured at the gate depends on a trigger frame
that is passing the sensor several inches ahead of
the target frame. For example, if you have a piece
of tape covering the sprocket hole of a trigger
that hole will not "trigger" the capture of a target
frame that is still at the gate.
Also, changes in film thickness can alter the
calibration of the unit. For this reason, it is best
to calibrate the unit using the actual footage and
not the leader, which is thicker.
There are two sensors. The sensor on the left
is for Super 8 and the sensor on the right is
for Regular 8.
When you turn on the power, you should clearly
see the light from the BluePoint sensors
shining down on the lower surface of the
sensor block. If the light is not present or
then the tiny pin hole in the sensor block is
clogged and will need to be cleared. You can
compressed air but, if that doesn't work, then
you will need to manually clear the tiny hole.
Use the sensor pick provided to gently clear
After launching the RetroScan-HD Pro software, you will
need to calibrate your unit before you can transfer.
Gently move the film tension clip from the "closed"
position to the "open" position as shown.
The purpose of the film tension clip is to keep the film
pulled flat as it spans the open gate during transfer.
It is normal that this clip may lose tension over time.
See bottom of this page about adjusting tension on this
To calibrate, you will need super 8 or regular 8mm
For super 8, insert the retainer hub into reel as shown
As shown, the center hub is facing in for super 8 film and
is facing out for regular 8 film.
(In truth, it is not required for this hub adapter to be
in place during transfer. It is only required for rewind.)
As with the take up reel, tighten slightly and then loosen
a bit so that the reel turns freely.
This hub will ONLY be tightened when rewinding the film.
During transfer, it should be loose.
Please note that, unlike regular
projectors, the sprocket holes are to the inside of the
Pull film through guide
rollers as shown. There are several ways to attach the
film to the reel hub but the easiest way is to fold the
end of the film several times. On film that is brittle,
you may have to tape the end of the film to the hub or
attach more supple leader that won't break when you fold
Compress the folded film end with your fingers and insert
into the open slot of the reel hub.
Keep back tension on the supply reel and turn the take up
reel a few turns to get a good wrap.
Then thread the film onto the gate as shown, taking care
to insert the sprocket hole edge under the tension clip.
Gently move the tension clip from the "open" position to
the "closed" position as shown.
Your film is now threaded properly into the Retro-8
should be noted that the take up reel is the only thing
that pulls the film through the scanner. Normally, you can
lock the reel to the hub by just holding the reel and
tightening the black retainer against the reel firmly. But
for runs longer than 50 feet, it is probably a good idea
to also use the locking screw as shown. If using the
locking screw, it is important to make sure the end of the
screw aligns with one of the many open spaces in the reel
hub to prevent damage to the take up reel. Loosen the
retainer and turn the reel to new position, if necessary.
Always loosen this retainer or remove completely when
After launching the software, let it sit for a moment
while the drivers finish loading.
Select the film type from the drop down menu and click the "C"
in the lower left hand corner of the software. A red box will
appear to the left of the
capture window. For Super 8, this box will appear as shown.
For Regular 8, it will
appear at the very stop of the frame as a partial box only.
Select Super 8 or Regular 8 and then start the unit
running by switching to "Forward".
Once the film starts moving, the LED will come on that
illuminates the film.
It should be
noted that the
LED is very,
Do not look
the gate with
the LED on.
Doing so runs
the risk of
damage to your
the film starts to move, the unit
will take a second or so to find
You will know that the film is
triggering the sensor properly by
the blinking green tally light.
If the light is not blinking then
adjust the sensor knob until the
tally light blinks.
Press the "Set Up" button on the software.
leader pass and then you will see the film in
the capture window.
The film may be too low or too high and may
also not be in the correct position
left to right. The goal is to calibrate the
unit until the sprocket hole is parked
in the middle of the red box as best as
the knob as shown to adjust
the horizontal position of the
As you slowly turn the knob clockwise, the
sprocket hole will move to the left.
Depending on the start position of the knob,
it may take several turns before
you see any results but don't turn too fast!
Turn the brass framer knob to move the image up and
down. There is no right or wrong
direction when turning this knob. For Regular 8
film, repeat these same two calibration steps.
You may need to check calibration at the beginning of each
roll to be transferred.
When finished, click "Set Up" once to stop the
calibration and then click
the "Calibration" symbol again to remove the
The Retro-8 unit has now been calibrated and
you are ready to transfer your first roll of
It should be noted that the
RetroScan-HD Pro software must be able to "see" the
sprocket holes or the frames will not be captured
properly. If the sensor knob is set too high or
too low, the unit will not trigger properly during
capture. This can result in instability or, in extreme
cases, loss of capture. Until you are used to using the
scanner, it is recommended to use only normal home
movies that have a black edge around the sprocket holes.
Commercial films with a clear edge require a very fine
adjustment of the sensor knob to achieve a stable image
and should be avoided until you are familiar with the
To capture, again
put the unit in the "Forward" mode and then click
"start" on the RetroScan-HD Pro software. When you
finish your scan, click
"stop" on the software
and then stop the unit. If you let the entire reel
transfer unattended, the Retro-8 Pro unit and the
RetroScan-HD Pro software will stop automatically
about one minute after the reel ends or in the event
of a film jam.
To rewind your film, loosen the locking screw until
the tip is again flush on the back side and also
loosen the take up retainer a few turns.
Tighten the source reel retainer firmly and move
tension clip to the "open" position.
If the film was stopped before the tail end left the
path, remove the film from the Retro-8 and loop under
guide rollers as shown. Do not rewind directly between
reels or you risk the film rubbing against the
overhead mirror assembly. This can damage both the
film and the mirror assembly.
Put the Retro-8 unit in the "rewind" mode. It is
advisable to hold your hand lightly on the reel on the
to provide back tension during rewind.
Congratulations! You have
completed your first RetroScan-HD Pro transfer!
Useful tips on your Retro-8 scanner.
To ensure that the source reel does not come off during
super 8 transfers, press the provided rubber grommet into
place as shown. The grommet will come off automatically
when you unscrew the black retainer knob to remove the
Regular 8 transfers do not require the grommet.
NOTE: It is a certainty that you will lose this grommet at
some point, however, they are commonly available at your
local hardware store.
Though the unit itself has no wet-gate nor any kind of
built-in film cleaner, we anticipate Retro-8 Pro users being
inventive enough to experiment with devices of their own
design. To accommodate that, we have added some user accessory
screws on the left side of the unit. These are wood screws and
have no nut on the back side so they can be removed safely.
These screws can be used to hold user-designed or aftermarket
attachments in the future. Also, some older source reels may
be warped. If you find they rub on the front of the unit, you
can use the provided spacer to offset the reel.
is recommended to re-tension the
clip at the beginning of each day of
the provided 1/8th" hex wrench to loosen the screw
out about 1/8th of an inch or about 4mm, pull the
clip forward and down into the middle of the gate
slightly as shown. Make sure that the bottom
"hook" of the clip is firmly and completely
against the screw shaft, then tighten the screw.
After resetting the tension, put some film on the
unit and thread it under the clip
like normal. Pull on the film with your hand. It
should be firm enough to keep the film flat at the
gate but not so tight that it is hard to pull. If
the tension is too hard, it will deform the reel
and/or possible break the film so adjust
To extend the life of the tension, always return
the tension clip to the "closed" position when not
Do not loosen or
adjust any screws on
this unit other than
as outlined in these
All components are
calibrated for optimal
adjustments to the
gate or other
components can affect
performance and void
If you have any issues or questions,
please contact us at
firstname.lastname@example.org or call us at
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