Darkroom timer recommendations, please

Discussion in 'Darkroom Equipment' started by tkamiya, Nov 22, 2009.

  1. tkamiya

    tkamiya Member

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    Would someone please recommend a fairly simple timer for enlargers?

    I am currently using an very old electronic timer (analog) that is neither accurate nor consistent. I have to check its setting against my watch to make sure it is set correctly.

    I'd like to have something that will be accurate to, and readable to a second, do up to 60 seconds at minimum, have an ability to repeat the same setting multiple times, and cost as little as possible.

    Thank you.
     
    Last edited by a moderator: Nov 22, 2009
  2. Craig Swensson

    Craig Swensson Member

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    Novex R? still analog or analogue - ha, Czech made, so robust and reliable ,does all you require, mine is still accurate, do not know if much of this eastern euro stuff ever got to the US though. regards
     
  3. Dave Pritchard

    Dave Pritchard Member

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    Have you ever used a GraLab timer?
     
  4. David Brown

    David Brown Subscriber

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  5. Larry.Manuel

    Larry.Manuel Member

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    I favour a metronome, counting the seconds. The enlarger lamp stays on all the time, with red filter between exposures. My on/off is a card under the lens.
     
  6. Denis R

    Denis R Member

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    time-o-lite

    time-o-lite

    automatic repeating

    easy to set

    accurate

    no chance of using focus when you want time

    durable

    cheap
     
  7. Nicholas Lindan

    Nicholas Lindan Advertiser

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    Get a used Paterson, GraLab or Omega on ebay. Avoid Beseler timers, they have reliability issues.
     
  8. vdoak

    vdoak Subscriber

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    I also use a metronome, count seconds, and an old gray-card as a "shutter".
     
  9. Wade D

    Wade D Member

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    I use an older model GraLab 520 digital timer I found for $15. Very functional and reliable. It counts up or down to 1/10 sec. and can be used for timing film and print development as well as enlarging. Can be used as a metronome too.
     
  10. mexico531

    mexico531 Member

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    I like Rayco timers, simply because it's what we used when I worked in a pro lab and I'm used to them. They may be a bit old fashioned but they're reliable and have tens, seconds and tenths. I use one on each of my 2 enlargers.
     
  11. DAP

    DAP Member

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    I have always liked kearsarge timers (the 301 is a good basic model). Lektra timers are nice too - and usually cheap on the second hand market.
     
  12. Vincenzo Maielli

    Vincenzo Maielli Member

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    I own a Meopta Vipo Combi Model B6, simple and reliable.
    Ciao.
    Vincenzo
     
  13. jgjbowen

    jgjbowen Member

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    Lektra made the Zone VI enlarging timers. They are workhorses. Highly recommended.
     
  14. RalphLambrecht

    RalphLambrecht Subscriber

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    If you're are looking for a new darkroom timer anyway, it may be a good opportunity to start with f/stop timing and look for a timer that supports it.
     
  15. ic-racer

    ic-racer Member

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    I just refurbished the old Omega Solid State timer for a friend. Its the little box that forms the top of the "Power Tower" for the Chromega light source.

    That is a fantastic little circuit. All resistors (high quality) and capacitors (Sprague 'orange drop') and a single SCR (that was blown). Very straight forward design. Big relay with easy to clean contacts. No complex integrated circuits or rare components.

    If I ever see one of these in a box of junk I'm going to pick it up for myself. Should be easy to get working.
     
  16. Mahler_one

    Mahler_one Member

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    I think Ralph makes a very valid suggestion. If one is indeed "starting from scratch", then one should at least check the two F stop timers that are easily available, i.e., R.H. Designs, and Darkroom Automation. I have rarely seen these timers available on the used market though. Furthermore, the initial cost will certainly be somewhat higher than the other timers mentioned.
     
  17. JackRosa

    JackRosa Member

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    Lektra TM8

    The Lektra's are surely workhorses! They are indestructible.

    Any insight on how the keep over the years re: repeatability? accuracy? I am beginning to suspect some drift with my LektraTM8 workhorse and would like to solicit insight before I take it apart, etc. I can get my hands on a Kearsarge to replace the Lektar. Good move? Bad move?

    Thanks in advance.
     
  18. mopar_guy

    mopar_guy Subscriber

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    This thread is from four years ago...
     
  19. JackRosa

    JackRosa Member

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    I know the thread is old but I thought it would be a good venue to pose my question re; Lektra TM8 timers.
     
  20. Richard Jepsen

    Richard Jepsen Member

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    I found it convenient if the timer is configured to support a safe light.
     
  21. cliveh

    cliveh Subscriber

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  22. Joey Anchors

    Joey Anchors Member

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    I just scored a vintage Kodak darkroom 60 minute timer in near new condition for cheap.
     
  23. Michael L.

    Michael L. Subscriber

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    Novex R recommended

    It's probably a bit late in the day to join Craig in putting in another good word for the very dependable Novex R timer, but perhaps my two bits' worth can benefit newer members who are wondering where to find an affordable darkroom timer.
    Czech precision mechanics are outstandingly reliable and durable ('Planned Obsolescence' definitely played no role in post-war Czech industrial production). I have two working Novex timers, one at home and one at the youth club. They are about 45 years old, and both are still eminently trustworthy. I think a beginner could do much worse than pick up a Novex R; they are plentiful at European auction sites and can be had for a song.

    Regards, Michael

    PS: The only thing about them I havent figured out is what to make of the inner scale on the display (see picture). The ascending arithmetical seconds scale is self-explanatory, but the descending logarithmic scale remains a mystery to me - but then again, I have never needed it. Suggestions would be most welcome, however!
     

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