Hot darkroom, hot chemicals, hot water, hot allround

Discussion in 'Darkroom Equipment' started by Nicole, Jan 6, 2006.

  1. Nicole

    Nicole Member

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    Hi all, I just saw a thread on it being too cold in your darkroom on your side of our planet, so I thought I'd have a heat vent. :smile:

    It's over 37+C again today (and we're the lucky city at the moment - other cities have been really sweltering above 40+C) and we still don't have air-conditioning in our house yet. Crazy, I know! It is a priority but there are still others further up the list that I can't dodge yet.

    So, my darkroom is very hot and humid, the tap water is so hot it burns, takes forever to cool down and even then flows with uncontrollable 'hot spots' coming through. It's very difficult to keep chemical temps cool and relatively consistant and even more difficult to keep me cool under all this. :D

    So apart from shipping some snow my way, pleeease do :D ....

    What are your best tips to keep your cool without airconditioning in your darkroom? (on a budget) My darkroom is a pretty good setup considering it's temporary until my big one gets finished out the back.

    Hmm, I think I may build my new darkroom into a commercial coolroom (so I can store my couple of bottles of Merlot perfectly as well). :D

    Kindest regards,
    Nicole
     
  2. Dave Parker

    Dave Parker Inactive

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    Nicole,

    I can ship some "snow" your way, but I don't think it would cool things down! LOL

    Dave
     
  3. chiller

    chiller Member

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    Hi Nicole,

    Funny you should mention the heat :smile: The other day here in Adelaide the shade temperature was 47 and the sun 59. My darkroom was inbetween untill I turned on the airconditioner.

    Now combating the heat for chemicals is very easy. Freeze half a dozen 1.5 litre bottle that have a very strong water salt mix. Fill the bottles to about 6 CMS from the top allowing for expansion. Remove the labels and generally make the bottles very clean.

    Get a 9 litre bucket and put the bottles in it and cover with water and within ten minutes the water will be about 10 - 14 c. You can now mix that very cold "clean" water with your developer and standard water to get a suitable temperature.

    To cool the stop and fix get a suitable size container and make a water and ice mix [clean, not salted in this case] that will get very cold. You can now put the container with just the amount of stop needed for processing in that water ice mix and move it around and it will get to 20c rapidly. Do the same with the fixer.

    Also get a container big enough to sit your tank in and have a bath of 20 water in it.

    Night time processing with the door open works if you have a BIG fan.
     
  4. Soeren

    Soeren Member

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    3 parts chrushed ice + 1 part salt(NaCl) cools from 0 to -21 C
    1,2 parts ice + 1 part Magnesium chloride (MgCl2.7H2o) :-34 C
    1,4 Parts ice + 2 parts Calciumchloride (CaCl2.6H2O): -55
    Methanol + Dryice (CO2) :-77 C
    Ether And dryice : -100 C
    Apart from the last 2 they should all be practical to use.
    Regards Søren
     
  5. nick mulder

    nick mulder Member

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    1 1/2 oz. Tequila
    3/4 oz. Triple Sec (or Cointreau)
    Dash of Fresh lime juice

    Shake with ice & serve in a salt rimmed glass on the rocks or strain to serve up Add more liquid and blend with ice for a frozen variation Garnish with a lime wedge
     
  6. Soeren

    Soeren Member

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    LOL
    Darned I forgot that one. :smile:
    Søren
     
  7. Andy K

    Andy K Member

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    In summer I only wear boxer shorts in the DR (apologies for any nightmare visions!). It also helps to only work for 30 minutes at a time to can get some air through periodically. I also keep several litres of water on the bottom shelf of the fridge ready to cool chems.
     
  8. Soeren

    Soeren Member

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    My point was that it is easy to cool down water to 20 C.
    Here i DK we get winegar in 5L plastic canisters. When I did B&W I used to keep water in some of those. One I'd cool down to whatever temp needed. You could place a canister in a a termobox an make a coolant you fill around it, Vupti you have some very cold water.
    Mix with some of your "hot" water to desired temp and................ you know..... Whoops, another one for the banned phrases thread :smile:
    Cheers Søren
     
  9. noseoil

    noseoil Member

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    I keep water in the fridge to use as a tempering agent for mixing and bath developement. Use an electric fan to keep the air moving and evaporation will help a little with the bath temperature. Film is the most critical part, but times for paper development can be managed by shortening. Just do a test for maximum black to see how much time you need and have the stop bath ready.

    In Tucson I use "swamp coolers" on our house and the darkroom. It is just a sheet metal box with water, pads, a recirculation pump and a fan. Not as efficient as air conditioning, but on a dry day (6% humidity) it works very well. When the monsoon get here it just gets hot.

    Iced tea for work, beer for relaxation. Cool thoughts for you and yours, tim
     
  10. Shmoo

    Shmoo Member

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    I buy the small Blue Ice gel packs and keep them in the freezer. If things get too warm, I pop one in a plastic baggie/Ziploc bag and dip it into my chems to cool them down.
     
  11. srs5694

    srs5694 Member

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    I also use water baths to get chemistry down to 20C in the summer. For film, a very small amount of refrigerated water in a 0.25-liter measuring cup will chill a 0.5-liter bottle with 0.25 liters of chemistry quite quickly. (I just chill the developer; I don't bother with the other chemicals.) For paper, I've not had problems, but my darkroom is in my basement and seldom gets above 30C.

    Another option, though, is to use a "tropical" developer. Anchell describes these in The Darkroom Cookbook. Some conventional developers can be converted into tropical variants by adding sodium sulfate (note: sulfate, not sulfite). Try 105g per liter of working solution. Anchell's got a table with times and temperatures on p. 58. He also presents several specialty tropical developers elsewhere in the book.

    In extreme conditions, you might want to combine both approaches. At 37C, the developing solution temperature is likely to rise significantly from 20C as you develop the film unless you've got a large enough mass of ~20C water to use as a tempering bath between agitations. If you use a tropical developer with an optimum temperature of, say, 32C, the temperature rise over the course of development may be small enough that you don't need to worry about it; you just need to reduce the initial temperature by 5C.
     
  12. Sal Santamaura

    Sal Santamaura Member

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    I've stopped fighting the heat. Using Perceptol 1:3, I established sets of times for 75 degrees F and 81 degrees F. It's almost never warmer than 81 here on a summer morning and, if it is, I'll wait a few days to process the film. Printing is relegated to the other three seasons.
     
  13. juan

    juan Subscriber

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    Like Sal, I've stopped fighting the heat. I was able to chill everything when shooting 35mm and 120, but now with large format, I find it easier to establish summer developing times at 80F (27C) - the temperature of my tap water. Pyrocat HD works fine at that temperature.

    As for me, fans and as little attire as I can get by with.
    juan
     
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  15. gchpaco

    gchpaco Member

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    I think Anchell's Darkroom Cookbook has some stuff on developers that are appropriate for use in very hot climates that you might find useful. Hand mixing, though.
     
  16. Eric Mac

    Eric Mac Member

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    Cooling off

    In my quest for ways of heating up my chemistry, I ended up with salt water aquarium heaters. Browsing through the salt water aquarium sites, they also make an aquarium water chilling/heating unit. This set the smalls cogs in my head for some sort of water bath system until I saw that the price for some of these units are $500 to$1000. For that money I can get an a/c unit that cools me down also.

    For every problem there is a ways to make it more complicated.

    Eric
     
  17. Claire Senft

    Claire Senft Member

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    Hate to say this but considering the hours you will be spending in the darkroom I would bite the bullet and install insulation and air conditioning in at least a portion of your space.
     
  18. df cardwell

    df cardwell Subscriber

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    brett weston used to work at night in his open air darkroom...

    shoot, in colorado I could even open all the windows and doors and print au plein !
     
  19. Nicole

    Nicole Member

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    There's loads of info and inspiration here. Thank you all very much!
     
  20. haris

    haris Guest

    There are processors, and I belive that Jobo has some of them, but if I am wrong for Jobo, there are others, which have option for cooling down chemicals. If you can fin one cheap... And for cooling yourself down, well... :smile:
     
  21. retep

    retep Member

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    hi I even do not have so problems in my darkroom so I do not see any proble in winterr more problems are in summer i think

    peter
     
  22. Sal Santamaura

    Sal Santamaura Member

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    I use a Jobo for film processing. Jobo instruction manuals explain how one can freeze water in one of the chemical bottles, then have the heater "work against" the ice to maintain one's selected temperature.

    It works OK to a point but, given the ambient temperatures Nicole's facing, she'd need a lot of frozen bottles and probably have to replace them (melted) in the middle of processing runs. The bottles expand when water within them turns to ice, making insertion into the processor openings difficult. My experience is that Jobos maintain selected temperature more precisely when ambient is lower rather than higher. Finally, tap water for washing is likely to be much hotter than the process temperature, risking reticulation at worst and increased grain at best.

    For all these reasons, I've decided to use higher-than-ambient processing temperatures with my Jobo throughout the year.
     
  23. waynecrider

    waynecrider Member

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    I don't now what the prices are down there for a window air conditioner, but here in FL USA they run as low as $89 for a small one which will usually take care of a small darkroom. This may not resolve your water temp problem, which is easier to overcome, but at least if you had a a/c unit you'd be more willing to spend time in the darkroom. Of course this depends on having a window or wall to the outside for heat exhaust.
     
  24. Room101

    Room101 Member

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    Use the biggest igloo/ esky you can find for a water bath, filled 2/3 up to the top of your stainless tanks. More volume = more temp stability.
    Dip n dunk in the dark to keep your chems in the bath - works for C41 too (that's how we got buisness done at the Texan for anyone who knows Austin).

    For the wash:
    Run cold water supply line through a beer brewing chiller (i.e. coil of thin copper pipe) in a bucket of ice water (use frozen 2L bricks per Sorens suggestions). Beware the temp limits of your water filters and the cold surge every time you restart the flow. Output along w/ hot water supply into a good temp control mixer. Mount filters and controller on a waterproof board for portability. Replace filters regularly.

    Or bury a 25gal reservoir (to insulate it), hook up an RO unit and run a recirculating chiller off ebay.
     
  25. sperera

    sperera Member

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    I have the same problem.....raging summer right now....for developing.....i just stick chemicals in the fridge til they get to temp. then i do stauff at night too when its cooler!
     
  26. Nicole

    Nicole Member

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    We're heading back to the hot summer again... Went from 22+C to 37+C overnight! I think summer has arrived. Note to self... need to insulate the darkroom!! Hope you're all enjoying your darkroom time.