Besler 45A info

Discussion in 'Darkroom Equipment' started by Skygeezer, Jan 4, 2011.

  1. Skygeezer

    Skygeezer Member

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    Hi. I have a Besler/Minolta 45A colour head that has been stored away for 2 years since being purchased on Ebay. It was listed in working condition. After our latest move I dug it out and plugged it in. The display lights up and shows the 3 colour windows. I can't move between the windows with the colour key, or change the colour levers with the up and down key. The colour levels all read 0. I can change between the data and ring around mode, step through the memory levels and set the mode for colour or black and white, but I can't make any changes to the colour setting. Hitting the focus button also does nothing. The colour and focus tubes are all in place and look good. The head looks like new. Is there anything I should be doing to get the controller to set colour levels?

    I realize that this head is very old and the Xenon tubes are probably unavailable. I have always wanted to try printing with it, but it looks like I got stiffed by Ebay. Any info on this head out there?

    Thanks
    DonM
     
  2. EdSawyer

    EdSawyer Member

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    This is a great head, I have 4 of them, 1 I use regularly and 3 others as spares. Often the keys get sticky and non-conductive with use, my guess is that is what happened to yours. LIkely the head is fine, just needs key cleaning. Here's documentation on it:

    http://web.archive.org/web/20041204172543/http://colorbat.com/PDF_Files/Cleaning_Keys_020599.PDF

    If you backtrack up that URL to: http://web.archive.org/web/20041204172543/http://colorbat.com/45A_Downloads.htm You can find other documentation. I have a pretty full archive of the various files including the manual, I can email if need be.

    Indeed the tubes are hard to find, even on ebay. It's easier/cheaper to buy complete heads as spares, since they will have the tubes already installed in most cases, and often are no more expensive than the tubes separately. The complete heads can be found pretty regularly in the $50-200 range, on ebay and elsewhere. not bad for a head that was $2500-4k when new.

    This is a great head, I think the best color head available that I have ever tried. Spend the effort and get yours working, it's worth the time.

    -Ed
     
  3. Skygeezer

    Skygeezer Member

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    Thanks for the info. The article on cleaning the keys came through fine and I will try it, after leaving the unit unplugged for a week. The second link didn't work for me. Hope I can get this thing going, I would like to give it a try.

    DonM
     
  4. glbeas

    glbeas Member

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    Theres a reset button that may need resetting. A tiny little thing on the front that needs a paper clip to push it. This is an often overlooked item.
     
  5. EdSawyer

    EdSawyer Member

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    Don, let me know if you need any of the manuals or any other info, I can email them to you. I think you should be able to get it running no problem.

    -Ed
     
  6. trbajaz

    trbajaz Member

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    Hello Ed, I have one of the 45a heads that I purchased as a light source for my Zone VI 4x5 enlarger. Could I get the manual from you also? I just received the head which I purchased on ebay. There are a couple people selling tubes now at 65.00 each. I think your idea about buying heads makes more sense. Glad I found you while searching for info on this head. Regards, Ted