De Vere 504 problem: counterweights removed

Discussion in 'Darkroom Equipment' started by niina, Apr 20, 2010.

  1. niina

    niina Member

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    Hi,

    I know here´s a quite few experts familiar with De Vere 504 enlarger. I wish you could give an advice how to fix my enlarger.

    I recently bought one with cream/beige dichroic head. As I was assembling the parts I noticed it has something missing which has something to do with counterbalancing the head when turning the focus lock/friction knob. As I turned the knob without the head in place the bellows got stretched and the upper part of the bellows was flown up until the column´s end.

    I know there´s something missing (the weights perhaps) because there´s a cable hanging loose inside the column. I´d love to fix it. Otherwise I believe I will eventually break the bellows when forgetting not to touch the focus friction knob.

    I know that when I have it assembled with the head, it will counterbalance more with it´s weight but does anyone have an opinion or explantion why there´s that mechanism removed? Or was it broken?

    I would be very grateful for your help or experience with this particular problem.
     
  2. Ian David

    Ian David Subscriber

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    Hi. Probably what you are seeing inside the column is just the spring. The Devere top stage will always want to shoot to the top of the column when it doesn't have a head attached. When you put your head on, it will contain a counterweight that should solve your problem. (The counterweight on my Ilford head is about 5kg of steel.)

    Ian
     
  3. snallan

    snallan Member

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    Hi niina, the behaviour you are seeing without the head in place is what I would expect. So I do not think there is anything wrong with the counterbalancing.

    The cable you see hanging down inside the column should pass through a hole in the lens carriage, and it should have a cylindrical fitment on the end. The fitment is too large to go through the hole in the lens carriage, so when the head is raised it reaches a point where it pulls the lens carriage up as well, preventing the bellows being overstretched. It sounds as if this part is missing on your enlarger.
     
  4. Ian Grant

    Ian Grant Subscriber

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    Niina, you should NEVER release the knobs without the head in place, that's what happens when you do and it's potentially dangerous, I've seen it happen and put a hole in a ceiling above.

    As Steve says it's normal, there should be no problem once you attach the Dichroic head.

    Ian
     
  5. snallan

    snallan Member

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    Ian makes a very good point. The springs that provide the counterbalancing are VERY strong, and can move the unloaded head carriage at a heck of a speed.
     
  6. eclarke

    eclarke Member

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    I have a 4x5 and the 8x10 and both will launch the carrier stage as if shot from a catapult with no head in place. Be careful, you can get hurt..Evan Clarke
     
  7. niina

    niina Member

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    Nice to hear it has a safety mechanism although mine might not work at the moment.

    Also with this particular column it is actually impossible to fly out because the column is not open from the top. Only danger is for the bellows.

    Now I have finished assembling it and everything seems alright. In fact I am thrilled with my enlarger and it´s so much brighter than I expected. And the knobs beneath the board are a bliss. Upgrading from Kaiser to De Vere is a joy.

    My only minor inconvenience is the fan which is very noisy to my ear. Perhaps the cooling fan is exhausted. It seems to do it´s job but is very loud. Have any of you guys changed it? Perhaps a regular computer fan could work?

    Please let me know if you have tips for this one. Thanks everyone for the previous replies, I am very grateful for your time and effort!
     
  8. Ian Grant

    Ian Grant Subscriber

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    The fans used are fairly standard and easy to get hold of, but computer fans are low voltage, De Vere fans I think are mains voltage.

    Removing the fan and cleaning might help, there's possibly a filter pad that gets blocked.

    Ian
     
  9. Bob-D659

    Bob-D659 Member

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    With most pancake style fans, there is a rubber plug on the impeller you can remove and oil the ball or sleeve bearings. The plug usually hides under a sticky label. BTW most computer fans usually die from lack of oil. Mains voltage fans from a company named PA-Motor are usually noisy and move a lot of air for the size, hence the noise.
     
  10. Ian David

    Ian David Subscriber

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    Glad you have sorted it out - the 504 is a very nice enlarger!

    BTW, even though the carrier stage cannot actually launch out of the column, it is still bad for it to slam into the top of the column (or any part of your body that happens to be in the way!). When you don't have a head on the enlarger, it is best to store the 504 with the carrier stage right up at the top so that there won't be an accident if someone loosens a knob...

    Ian
     
  11. Martin Aislabie

    Martin Aislabie Subscriber

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    The cooling fan in my 504 colour head is not my noise problem

    The cooling fan on the transformer (transtab) is the noisy one - quite how noisy is not really apparent until you turn it off at the end of the session - bliss

    If the fan in the head is noisy - check it out for vibration - it might be shaking the head enough to blur the image on the baseboard.

    I too moved up from a Kaiser (which is itself a nice enlarger) to a DeVere and its hard to go back to use the Kaiser even when I need the smaller format capability

    Martin
     
  12. yellowcatt

    yellowcatt Member

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    I could be wrong but I thought the fans were 24V like the ELC lamps.

    In my experience it is normal for them to be a bit noisy.
     
  13. Ian Grant

    Ian Grant Subscriber

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    Depends on the head, some use 120v lamps, paired in series for 240v supplies.

    Ian
     
  14. niina

    niina Member

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    Thank you for your opinions and solutions. I know for a fact that the fan has been a little noisy for atleast decade because the previous owner honestly told about it. I think for the time being I am not looking into this any deeper than cleaning it.

    Next I think I can direct a thread established by myself to new direction. The next question is: THE DICHRO FILTER DIALS. Are they suppose to be a little sticky and and hard to roll? I can feel it in my fingertips because of their friction. I hope these would be a little easier to operate, because I suspect they might chance the place (just marginally) of the head when it comes to split grade printing. Have any of you guys tried to do anything about this, or is it something I have to accept?
     
  15. Martin Aislabie

    Martin Aislabie Subscriber

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    My CMY Dials require a moderate effort to move them but nothing unusual of unexpected - pleasantly firm rather than stiff.

    I use a set of Ilford Under the Lens MG Filters for my printing, as I did not believe the head would be stable enough not to move during split grade printing (although I never verified this suspicion)

    The standard MG Under the Lens Carrier will cope (just) with a 52mm filter barrel of a Componon-S or Rodagon.

    Actually, I have dialled in 50Y/50M/50C to keep my printing time in a sensible time range.

    If I have a very large print or very dense Neg, I just dial the filters out using the white light knob, so leaving the filter settings unaffected.

    Martin