GraLab timer repair

Discussion in 'Darkroom Equipment' started by PhotoPete, May 20, 2006.

  1. PhotoPete

    PhotoPete Member

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    Has anyone had any experience with repairing Gralab Timers? The on/off toggle on my model 300 is going. I am confident I can replace the switch, but I am not sure if there is a way to open the case other then brute force...any expertise out there...?
     
  2. RalphLambrecht

    RalphLambrecht Subscriber

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    I did send mine to GraLab in Ohio. They have a flat fee for the repair of about $60. I believe the case is riveted and I didn't feel comfortable opening it. Their service was good, fast and friendly.
     
  3. Jon Shiu

    Jon Shiu Subscriber

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    It is easy to take apart. Just pry out the plastic "rivets" with a small knife blade and it will come apart.

    Jon
     
  4. Lopaka

    Lopaka Member

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    Since used ones go for about $50 - $60 when you find them, I think sending it
    to Gra-Lab is a toss-up. I have 3, each a different age, and they all have little screws on the sides holding the back in place - opening is relatively easy. I did have one that had metal rivets - drilling them out was a pain, then I found the motor was frozen and gave up, got another used timer for $50.

    Anyway, good luck.

    Bob
     
  5. Alex Hawley

    Alex Hawley Member

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    I replaced the toggle switches on my Gra-Lab 300 recently. The case was held together by screws, so no problem taking it apart. Found the replacement toggle switches at Radio Shack for about $4 each. All of the toggle switch wiring connections were soldered on mine, so the longest part of the process was de-soldering and re-soldering everything back together.

    Be sure to make yourself a drawing of the wiring before you take anything apart.
     
  6. Max Power

    Max Power Member

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    Even if it does have rivets, they are simple to drill out with a good titanium bit and drop of oil to each rivet as you drill. Good thing is that rivets are easy and cheap to replace too!

    It's at least worth the trouble to see if it can be done.

    Kent
     
  7. fromero

    fromero Member

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    Additional Gra-Lab question

    I have a Gra-Lab in pretty good shap, but I, too, need to take it apart to troubleshoot a little problem: the timer hands don't stop when they circle around to dead-center zero. My question is, yes, I see four little screws that appear to hold the metal casing intact (two on top and one on each side), but what about the three toggle switches (one on top and two on the face); don't the threaded retaining rings also need to be unscrewed so the metal case can slide off, or is it just the top toggle switch that needs to be freed? Any constructive advice would be greatly appreciated!
     
  8. Loose Gravel

    Loose Gravel Member

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    I bought a couple a couple of years ago. I think I paid $20 and $25 for them. Both look brand new. I use one of them as a kitchen timer.
     
  9. eddym

    eddym Member

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    I did the same thing for mine about 10 or 15 years ago, and it's still working fine. I was relieved... I've only had it now for about 25 years, and I'd hate to have to replace it so soon! :wink:
     
  10. eddym

    eddym Member

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    I had this problem too... about 20 years ago. You don't need to remove the cover. The knob that holds the second hand should have a set screw that holds it to the shaft, and you just need to tighten that. Mine was so loose that it would "clunk" as it went over the "0"!
     
  11. raucousimages

    raucousimages Member

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    Get big hammer
    Smash timer
    Buy new timer
     
  12. fromero

    fromero Member

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    Sorry, but the set screw on the main knob is as tight as ... (fill in the apparopriate example). Methinks I really have to take the metal cover off to get into the guys of this beast; and although I could start prying with a screwdriver, I would much rather be guided by the counsel and good talent on this board. Once again, I need some DETAILED advice on exactly how to take a Gra-Lab apart.

    No matter how much work it is, traditional photography - especially B&W photography - is way better than digital!
     
  13. Jon Shiu

    Jon Shiu Subscriber

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    Hi, just take out all the screws/plastic rivets on the and the back cover will come out. No need to remove switch or other stuff. (But the hands on the clock and knob can be taken apart from the front side without disassembly of case.)

    Jon
     
  14. eddym

    eddym Member

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    The set screw may be tight, but it is tight in the wrong place, namely not at 12:00 on the clock face. Loosen the set screw until the knob turns freely, then turn it to the 12:00 position, and tighten it again. I'm assuming you are speaking of the second hand, which has a set screw in the knob. The minute hand is separate (of course) and has a set screw underneath the knob. All of this is on the front of the face, and you do not need to open the box to adjust it.
    If you need to replace switches or other interior parts, then you would need to open the box.
     
  15. Steve Smith

    Steve Smith Member

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    A good tip here if all the wires are different colours is to cut the wires off of the old switch leaving just enough coloured insulation on the old switch so you can see which contacts the wires went to.

    Stripping the cable and making a new joint to the new switch is usually neater and easier than trying to de-solder the wire from the old contacts.


    Steve.
     
  16. kgibb

    kgibb Member

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    GraLab Timer Parts

    Does anyone have a GraLab Timer they'd sell for parts? I need a buzzer for mine.
     
  17. Whiteymorange

    Whiteymorange Member

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    Pete,
    You should have outbid Andrew at the auction. He got that box of (I think it was) 6 GraLab timers for $25! I've got a spare if you need it while figuring out what to do with yours. It'll cost you another mythical beer, however.
     
  18. lee

    lee Member

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    pop rivets will put the timer back together perfectly or a set of small bolts with nuts to secure the time halves.

    you should be able to have it complete in about an hour.

    lee\c