Re: 3Discover viewer problems

Michael Levine

When I saw Dale and Jaques posts I remembered my collection of 3Discover cartridges.  

I am not sure how many titles there were but I am pretty sure it was less than the 90 that Dale has.  

Maybe Jaques (from whom I bought most of mine many years ago) has the definitive list.  

In the viewer they are very impressive stereo.

But alas I checked my viewer and it does not work with fresh rechargeables and manual movement of the white gear. 

I will try unscrewing but I don't hold out much hope as this viewer has only been used about 10 times and it appears it may be a product design failure.


Well I unscrewed the top hoping to get access to the gears but that was not possible as they are in what appears to be the glued part to the top assembly. 

All solder joints and wiring neat and accounted for.

Reassembled but resigned to failure I put batteries in for one last go -and it worked!

Could it be pressure from top screws.  Could it be a break I could not see in the solder or board that just "got it together".

Don't know but I will be getting out the cartridges again to have a look before there are more problems.

On Tue, Aug 11, 2020 at 3:02 AM Jacques Cote via <> wrote:
Hi Dale,

Sorry to read that your 3Discover viewers stopped working. This is a common problem with viewers when they are not used for a long time. Here is a way to fix it. It works 90% of the time. If you can't fix them all, please contact me off list and we will find a way for you to enjoy the pictures again. By the way, thanks for the good comments about the images. I shot about 85% of all the pictures released on this system.

We have noticed that some viewers will stop working, especially after being left unused for a long period of time. Usually, the longer the viewer was left unused, the harder it is to fix it. If this is the case with your viewer, please try this procedure.

First, remove the batteries and check the battery contacts. Are they clean? Did the batteries leak and block the contacts? If they are dirty or rusted, you can use a metal tool to remove dirt and rust from the metal to get some clean battery contacts. Then check their shape. Sometimes, dropping the viewer on the side may crush one of the folded contacts to a point it doesn't touch the battery anymore. If this happens, only one battery contact will touch the battery at any time, and the viewer needs both contacts to work. You can use a flat head screwdriver to pull the contact back to shape and try again.

If the batteries contacts are fine, put brand new, strong batteries in your viewer. Remove the film cassette from the viewer. While pushing and holding one of the 2 mauve advance buttons, use your finger to turn the white sprocket gear that is visible when the cassette is removed. This gear and other internal gears (there are 5) may be jammed by internal pressure or a piece of dust. Move the gear both ways and keep pushing the advance button while doing so. Changing button may help, because un-jamming the gears may be easier in one way than the other.

If this doesn't work, you can also try using a kitchen knife, not a sharp one, to move the gear. Slide the knife along the top of the gear in a back and forth movement, while applying enough pressure on the knife and still pressing one of the mauve button. Change the way you are holding the viewer to modify internal pressure and keep switching from one button to the other. Try to move the knife slowly and fast, varying the pressure you apply on the gear. And be patient. It can sometimes take a few minutes of work to make it function again. And when it does, the viewer will be as good as new. It works 90% of the time if this is the problem.

If the above doesn't work, the only left solution is to unscrew the top of the viewer and check the wiring. A wire may be unsoldered. If you spot one, it

is easy to solder it yourself or have someone do it for you.

Good luck!

Jacques Cote

On Monday, August 10, 2020, 12:03:45 p.m. EDT, dale yingst <dyingst4@...> wrote:

Many years ago , I heard about the 3Discover viewer and film cartridge
system.  I got a viewer and cartridge and fell in love with it.  The
views were very nice and immersive and the motorized advance was very
simple to use and share.  As a result, since the system was out of
production then, I searched for and found new and old stock and
accumulated over 90 cartridges and 10 viewers. It was a great match of
image and optics.  I cut up a cartridge and mounted as slides to project
and view in a better viewer. First the cartridges are made with dupe
film so the images would not polarize.  Also, they looked poorly in a
good Ekeren viewer which revealed the grain and softness of the images. 
But in the 3Discover viewer with plastic lenses, they looked great. 
It's been several years since I had a look, but now I have a problem.
None of my 10 viewers work.  I tried different batteries, different
cartridges as some do get a little stiff, but no luck. I would
appreciate any advice from owners of this system.


Dale Yingst

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