Slide Cube projector

A slide cube projector is a type of slide projector.The slide cube system was created by Bell & Howell and was sold up through the 1980s.The system gets its name from the plastic cubes that slides are stored in.The cubes are about 5.5 cm in each dimension (a bit larger than a slide),and hold 36-44 slides depending on the mount thickness.Unlike the trays used in carousel projectors,the slides in a cube are not separated from each other; they are simply stacked one on top of the other.The slide advance mechanism depends on a slide dropping from the loaded cube into a slide-size hole in a circular plate.The plate is thinner than a slide and so should grab only a single slide and move it forward,first to a preview section, then to the projection position, then to a holding position from which it can be returned to allow for a single slide's worth of backup, and then finally to a position in which it drops into a stack that can be pushed back up into the cube after projection is completed.

Slide cube projectors were popular at one time because the cubes were cheaper than carousels and they allow for much higher storage density - a book or drawer of 16 40-slide cubes (640 slides) fits in the space of a single carousel that holds at most 140 slides.The stack storage and preview feature also makes for much easier editing of slide shows; slides can be added or removed from the show without having to shift all of the remaining slides up or down in their slots one at a time.Carousel projectors can use stack loaders to view a stack of slides, but they don't lend themselves to this type of operation and there is no associated storage system.

However, the slide cube projection system ultimately faded out because of its serious drawbacks,including the inability to back up more than one slide, the fragility of the cubes, and more than anything, the unreliability of the system.The advancing plate had a strong tendency to jam, interrupting slide shows and making the projectors unsuitable for the less mechanically apt.

Slide cube projectors are no longer manufactured, but cubes, bulbs, and a few replacement parts are, and used projectors and cubes are readily available on eBay and elsewhere.


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