best uv light source wattage

Discussion in 'Alternative Processes' started by MVNelson, Mar 9, 2007.

  1. MVNelson

    MVNelson Subscriber

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    after reading a lot of post here about pt/pd printing I decided to give it a go.. Following the advice that there were UV (mercury halide) platemakers out there I found a NuArc VFC43 model on ebay that I captured for $128.00(i was shocked that is $600 freight cost and the phsyical size of this baby!). The unit is in great condition and fully functional. It has 1000, 3000, 6000 watt settings and light integrator. I am about to do my first step tablet calibration print as per Dick Arentz book. Everything I am doing is a first mind you. Is there any best wattage setting? I assume 3000 and 6000 watts are going to print signifigantly shorter times than the 1000 setting but are there any other benifits or problems with higher wattage? Will there be contrast, colour, DMax, etc changes with using different wattages? Any help is appreciated. Will I need sunscreen lotion for the 6000watt setting :smile: .

    Thanks Miles
     
  2. MVNelson

    MVNelson Subscriber

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    I suppose the answer is test and see... :smile: .
     
  3. sanking

    sanking Member

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    Yes, not many of us have one of those big boys. You are pretty much on your own from here on out, as it were.

    But let us know how the unit works out. And be careful. You are dealing with coastal lighthouse type radiation when you get into the 6000 watt range. Your neighbours are going to be really curious about the level of radiation from your dwellig. I can just hear them now, "what's he doing in there" and " Sounded like someone was groaning".


    Sandy
     
  4. MVNelson

    MVNelson Subscriber

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    Now you've got me nervous... I honestly didn't know what I was purchasing and really didn't expect to "win" it on ebay at $128.00. I haven't fired it up yet because (surprise!) I needed a 60amp 240 volt outlet which is being installed monday. The dual vacuums look brand new. I wish I had this vacuum frame when I did dye transfers. As for the glow, the nearest neighbor is a few wooded acres away. I imagine the eery glow in the forest might arise some curiousity. I don't imagine that I will be going anywhere near the 6000 watt setting. I'm not that curious. Meanwhile I am practicing coating techniques with brushes and mock solutions and paper so that I'll be ready for when the big moment comes. BTW tomorow a.m. I'll process the first sheets of tmy using extreme minimal agitation exposed per your generous BTZS donation :smile: .

    Miles
     
  5. Donald Miller

    Donald Miller Member

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    Well you can pay for the electric bill on that beast by growing a little hemp. Then the problem becomes the local authorities..

    Be sure and set up a stand renting welding goggles at the driveway to your home. I am sure the neighbors will want to come and watch the meter spin. Heck Al Gore is a piker with those $1200 per month electric bills of his.

    You are definitely my kind of guy. Anything worth doing is worth doing to excess...
     
  6. JLP

    JLP Subscriber

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    Miles, remember to let us see what you can do with this seventh wonder.
    Makes the 8 BL tubes i have coming look miniscule. :rolleyes:


    jan
     
  7. MVNelson

    MVNelson Subscriber

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    guys, guys, guys,...My level of anxiety has mounted exponentially enough :0.

    I think I'll let the electrian kick it up tomorrow and I'll lay back as the spotter... I hit my optometrist buddy up for some of those post dilation glasses... The good news is the thing looks fully automatic... put the materials in the frame, close, turn on the vacuum, push one of the 8 memory channels and run outta there screeming "fire in the hole..." Thanks for the humor all. I'll keep you posted.


    Miles
     
  8. MVNelson

    MVNelson Subscriber

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    Oh Donald, the local authorities is my son and law, besides Florida hasn't quite gotten to where California is with "medicinal use issues..."

    Miles
     
  9. Donald Miller

    Donald Miller Member

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    Miles,

    Seriously this brings to mind my experiences when I created my 3 second wonder. (when I converted my 200 watt Durst enlarger to a 1000 watt dehydrater). To grasp the implications of this, you would have had to seen the wonder and amazement on my face when my first enlargement (f45 at 3 seconds) turned the print surface...you've got it, stark featureless black.

    The smoldering edges were a bit hard to pick up off the easel...that is after my vision returned.

    Good luck to you.
     
  10. richard ide

    richard ide Member

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    When you are not using it your family can open a 30 second tanning salon. I had a camera enlarger with a 6000watt light source. It is like owning your own miniature sun.
     
  11. MVNelson

    MVNelson Subscriber

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    Hey Donald as I sit here wading through 4x5 negatives to choose which will be the "first" your experiential words echo through my head. I too have been prone to go a few steps further than what was called for to put it mildly. I sorta like the guy in the off road vehicle commercial that keeps hearing a voice that tells him "go further" repeatedly, finally he finds himself and vehicle floating on a raft in the middle of a great tropical river with what sounds like a waterfall in the distance. At that moment the ethereal voice pronounces "too FAR!" I hope I haven't gone too far with this one :smile:. Thanks for the encouragement. I'll try not to fry anything.....hmmmmm that's an idea.....
     
  12. MVNelson

    MVNelson Subscriber

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    Richard, I'm gonna have to delete your entry somehow. You must understand nothing personal but.... I have knucklehead offsprings that might read your note and try it! :smile: .
     
  13. MVNelson

    MVNelson Subscriber

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    Ok, I know by now I should have an image to show,but.....The electrician just finished the 240v60amp supply this p.m. and tomorrow I have to hang the luminare. However, I did fire the system up just now and everything works. I did fire up the light and WOW !!! @1000watts the light was BRIGHT! I didn't have the guts to go to 3000W and wouldn't deam of hitting the 6000W button. After my real job tomorrow I hang the luminare and the curtains (i may need lead ones) and if time permits try to knockout a step tablet exposure calibration on cot 320 .

    Miles ...of anticipation
     
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  15. sanking

    sanking Member

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    Come on. Go for the gusto and see what happens when you hit the 6000 watt button! I could never have held off this long.

    Course, I would never have dreamed of using a light-house bulb for exposing alternative processes!!

    But I read somewhere that Fresson color prints are exposed with a 10,000 watt bulb, don't know what kind.

    Sandy King
     
  16. MVNelson

    MVNelson Subscriber

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    Sandy, perhaps one day when I'm feeling ....fast...I wil throw on a welder's helmet and leaded gloves and push THAT button. For now I will be satisfied with using what the manual calls "low intensity setting" 1000Watts. Is there an "ideal" printing time with alt. printing? Is the quicker the better or should you spread the time out longer for ,say, dodging and burning? I will calibrate this pm and I need to target a "reasonable" exposure time (maybe...5 minutes?). Suggestions? I'm so anxious to see a pt/pl print that I thought....Just go out there and slap some coating on that paper ,dry it,stick any negative on that paper and slide into that vacuum frame, close and shield eyes, push the manual button and count to 180, retrieve the paper and process, all the time hoping for the best! At this point after all the delays I just want to Git-R-done.....

    Hopefully something tonight :smile: !

    Miles

    p.s. I aint a feared of that there 6000W button I just can't figure out how I'll ever learn Carbon printing reading Braille....
     
  17. MVNelson

    MVNelson Subscriber

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    Oh and Sandy your right about the four color seperation(CMYK)gelatin/pigment process that uses a powerful (Bright!) carbon arc lamp to make the four exposures on the pigment coated paper which is developed in water and sawdust (Fresson print). Do you think that I might with my......nawwwwww

    Miles
     
  18. Steve Smith

    Steve Smith Member

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    This reminds me of a place where I used to work about 20 years ago. We used to make our own printed circuit boards and screen print our own front panels - both on a small scale.

    A UV light is needed for both of these processes and the one we had was a 1000 watt bulb soldered directly to some twin core cable hanging from the ceiling - that's right, not even a socket fitting for the bulb!

    We would set up whatever needed exposing, plug in the lamp, close eyes, switch on then find your way out of the small room which all of this happened in. From the outside, there was a bright glow around the door!

    After the exposure time, which was usually about five minute, you had to close your eyes and go back into the room to find the switch to turn it off.

    Health and Safety issues were not such a concern then as they are now.

    We also had a mini gold plating line using gold cyanide which was made from a plastic lunch box with an old record player providing agitation movement - but that's another story.

    Steve.
     
  19. Neil Poulsen

    Neil Poulsen Member

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    How do you know how bright this thing is?

    Jeepers, 240v at 60 amps is over 14K watts. You might want to plan for the narco squad showing up, when they see the spike in your electrical bills. You could serve them tea and pastries.
     
  20. wilsonneal

    wilsonneal Member

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    MV Nelson wrote: I will calibrate this pm and I need to target a "reasonable" exposure time (maybe...5 minutes?). Suggestions?

    I have an Amergraph platemaker with a 1200 watt Mercury lamp. Most of my exposures are running about 6 minutes for PtPd. My exposure unit has a built-in integrator that keeps track of fluctuations in light output, so I don't set 'minutes' as my target but 'units' of light. I would expect yours also has an integrator. Play with the integrator/timer (without negs or sensitized paper) until you determine how many units gives you about 5 minutes? That's how I began my calibration process, and arrived at a standard of about 30 units for most negs.
    N
     
  21. TheFlyingCamera

    TheFlyingCamera Membership Council Council

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    You may well find that even the 1000 watt setting is a bit much - I've got 6 15w BLB fluorescent tubes and I get 6-8 mins as a standard exposure time with my pt/pd prints. When I took my pt/pd seminar in New York, they had a Kino-Flo lightbank to use for an exposure unit - it had eight 40w tubes, and our exposure times were under 2 minutes at full output. For a contact printing process, this is TOO fast, as it makes it hard to control changes in exposure. Also, at that kind of light intensity, we were running into problems with the prints cooking down too fast, and having contrast issues among other things, because they were getting too hot and drying out before the exposure was done.
     
  22. sanking

    sanking Member

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    Miles,

    There is no "ideal" printing time, though intensity of light and length of exposure can affect contrast, though for that to happen times need to be at the extremes.

    If you are printing pt./pd. with in-camera negatives you should expect exposure times to be in the 5-10 minute range with the 1000 watt setting. HID metalhalide lamps do not reach full radiation until a minute or more after you turn them on so light integrators are used to time exposure in units, and the unit can be calibrated to whatever amount of time you like. I am sure your unit has a built-in integrator so this should not be an issue.

    Sandy

     
  23. sanking

    sanking Member

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    I have the AmerGraph ULF-28, which uses a 1200 watt continous wave xenon light source. When prnting well-exposed negateives y exposure times for palladium are less than two minutes. Course, it is hard to equate times because speed of printing varies a lot with conditions of RH, but the ULF-28 is a lot faster than my bank of BL tubes, and the BL tubes print faster than the NuArc 26-1k I previously owned.

    One of the real attractions of the CWX light is that radiation reachs full output within just a few seconds of firing up the unit. Another is that you can re-strike almost immeidately after turning it off. If anyone is actively looking for a new UV light source I highly recommend the ULF-28, which is in my estimation the "Ferrari" of UV light sources in the 1000-1500 watt range. See my review of the ULF-28 at the unblinkingeye web site.

    Sandy




     
  24. MVNelson

    MVNelson Subscriber

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    Sandy,Wilsonneal and FlyingCamera(is there a story behind the name?) I really appreciate your help and suggestions for calibration. I know that it is hard to be precise in this situation but starting points are very helpful. We (i'm doing a tom sawyer act as we speak) are Hanging, framing and bolting the light source as i write. They...I mean we are having a little snag getting the thing centered up. The original framing was not sent with the units and they...I mean we are having to custom built it. Yet another delay but it gives me a chance to find out why I have ammonium citrate instead of potassium oxalate as my paper developer(it came with the kit). I notice most postings and seem to be mostly using pot. ox. ??? I have a lot to learn. I better run they...I mean we are at a decision point :smile: .
     
  25. TheFlyingCamera

    TheFlyingCamera Membership Council Council

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    the next time you order a kit, or just want to replace your developer, call Bostick & Sullivan and ask them to swap out the Ammonium Citrate for a bottle of PotOx. Ammonium Citrate works as a developer - I think it is also cheaper, so that's why they put it in the kit.

    The story behind the name, The Flying Camera, is that it is the name of my business - I started out trying to offer adventure tours to interesting places for photographers. It's been on hold for a while.

    Whatever your tool for exposing your prints, you'll have a blast at it. The learning curve isn't nearly as steep as you're afraid it will be, especially with all the really kind folks here on APUG to help you out.
     
  26. MVNelson

    MVNelson Subscriber

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    Thanks for the encouragement TFC(sorry for the abrev.), I have noticed that there is a wealth of wisdom here and delivered with much needed humor, espacially during my time of trial and tribulation with getting this light source up to snuff. They...I really mean we seriously decided to knock off till tomorrow. Only thing left to do is hang the curtains...the holding rings were too small. I wouldn't use the unit without the cutains...Hmm does flying imply like your are a pilot and flew folks to photo destinations? I call B-S and told them to send some Pot Ox. I also noticed they had a sale on Pd sol.#3 I wonder is this a real deal or just a bit of hype ? Your suppose to save $52.00.

    Miles ,nuff for today!