Enlarger Timers - Digital or Analog?

Discussion in 'Miscellaneous Equipment' started by bvy, Mar 17, 2012.

  1. bvy

    bvy Subscriber

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    I need an enlarger timer -- something in the $25 - $50 range. I had been holding out for a digital one, but maybe I'm being fussy. I had gotten a Paterson digital timer, but the buttons were bad (contacts worn), and I returned it. I see the (analog) Gralab 300 come up a lot. Are these things the workhorses they look to be? I want something that's realtively easy to set and that will last for a while. I don't think I need anything too advanced; I don't print that frequently. Thoughts?
     
  2. tkamiya

    tkamiya Member

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    Gralab 300 meets all of your requirements. They ARE workhorse timers. They are easy to set and two of mine were probably made in 70s or 80s which tells me they lasts quite a while. The new ones are made out of mostly plastic and I don't know how good they are, but older ones are very rugged.

    For a simple timer, they are very nice.

    I now use Gralab digital timers. I purchased mine in your price range right here on APUG classified. It seems whenever a school or something decommissions darkroom, they come out in quantity. These are nice and accurate. But has one negative. They malfunction every now and then. When multiple timers are connected in the same circuit, (meaning same circuit in the chain of outlets), triggering one sometimes triggers the other. Also, every now and then, they fail to shut off. Even brand new one exhibited this issue. Weird.
     
  3. bdial

    bdial Subscriber

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    Gralab 300's are great timers, I use one for processing, but I don't like using them for enlarging because they don't reset.
    For analog type timers, I think the Time-O-Lite's work better for enlarging.
     
  4. Bill Burk

    Bill Burk Subscriber

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    That's the combo I am using right now... Just came out to get the scissors to cut a test strip.

    I've got Omega's branded Time-O-Lite for enlarger and Gralab for fixing/washing times. The develop time's by CompNTemp...
     
  5. pstake

    pstake Member

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    I use a gralab 300 for enlarging. Works perfectly. Easy to use. Simple and accurate, that's what I like. I think I paid $40 for mine but it was like new. All metal, metal switches and timer arms.
     
  6. MattKing

    MattKing Subscriber

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    The digital display enlarger timers do have advantages - finer adjustments, easy repeats, foot-switch options, clear displays, etc.

    That being said, a Gralab 300 will be useful for lots of things, including film development, so if you start with one and later replace it for enlarging, you will still be glad you have it.
     
  7. phelger

    phelger Subscriber

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    hello bvy,
    I have a first class Kaiser enlargement timer counting up to 60 sec in half second steps. Electric, it switches the enlarger on and off. It works perfect, it does not look used, I don't need it since I've got an RH-Design Zone Master. At 25$ + postage it'll be yours, if you think you can use it. Just send me a message. Postage is 16$.
    I attach a photo
    Peter
     

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  8. zsas

    zsas Member

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    Fwiw, I use the Omega Dual Range timer for enlarging abd just love it

    This is what they look like
    http://bit.ly/AksdrM
     
  9. bvy

    bvy Subscriber

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    Thanks everyone. This is good information. Phelger, I'll keep in mind that you have one to sell. I'm looking at a few others right now also...
     
  10. RalphLambrecht

    RalphLambrecht Subscriber

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    GraLab.jpg and you csn tutn thrm into an f/stop timer too!
     
  11. Wade D

    Wade D Member

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    I use the Gralab 525 for enlarger timing and for developing negatives as well. As a digital timer it is easy to use for most functions that are required for darkroom use. It is an older timer and finding one that all of the buttons work on varies. I cleaned the contacts on mine and it works well.
     
  12. fotch

    fotch Member

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    If you only have one timer, then you cannot beat the Gralab 300. If more than one, then perhaps an electronic on the enlarger.
     
  13. X. Phot.

    X. Phot. Guest

    I'm using a Beseler Audible/Repeating Enlarging Timer. I believe it falls into that area known as Solid-State. I like it because it can be set without looking, by feel, counting the switch clicks. The down-side is that they may need to be adjusted for accuracy. Experience as an electronics tech definitely comes in handy.
     
  14. Jim Jones

    Jim Jones Subscriber

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    A quartz clock with sweep second hand works well enough, and the one second ticks are nice for timing dodging and burning.
     
  15. jp498

    jp498 Member

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    I use a gralab 300. After an exposure, I turn it off and set the dial back for whatever exposure time I just used. In case I forget the exposure time while developing a test print.

    I've had a couple used electronics timers too where the buttons were worn/dirty/unreliable.