I broke it!

Discussion in 'Darkroom Equipment' started by Digidurst, Mar 11, 2005.

  1. Digidurst

    Digidurst Subscriber

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    My safelight bulb, that is. Any simple Home Depot alternatives that'll get me thru till I can order another one? Just doing some printing...

    Thanks
     
  2. rjr

    rjr Member

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    You have a few options:

    get a normal 25W bulb and a sheet of Rubylith from the arts store/MCPaper/Printshop nearby. Rubylith is a red masking film used by printers.... two or three layers of it taped over the lamp shade should do it.

    The other - solder your own LED safelight. I added an attachment showing what a friend made for me... three of these banks (Red/660nm and Amber/Yellow/595nm, output is around 5000mcd) plus a mini "flashlight" cost me 15EUR in materials and they give LOTS of light. Two banks light my darkroom of approx 3,5x5m size to a level allowing me to read in there. :smile:
     

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  3. Flotsam

    Flotsam Member

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    Go to your local 'Red Light' district. Of course once you get there, you run the risk of losing interest in printing :tongue:
     
  4. Digidurst

    Digidurst Subscriber

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    Ha ha ha! You are SO funny, Neal!

    But don't you just KNOW that Murphy and his merry band of laws would show up just when I have everything else set up and ready to go to do some experimenting. Actually, I think it was movers ignoring the fragile warnings on some of our boxes.

    Now I have some red gels - will those work in pinch?
     
  5. David Brown

    David Brown Subscriber

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    I used a 7.5 watt orange bulb for years with graded papers. Don't know about VC.
     
  6. Claire Senft

    Claire Senft Member

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    Why?

    It is very easy to print withoit the use of a safelight. Very low energy costs. No inclination to take a print out of the developer early, Ultra low safelight fogging problems...in fact non existant.
     
  7. Donald Qualls

    Donald Qualls Member

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    Roman, two quick questions on this light -- first, is it intended to run directly from mains voltage (and if so, do you have 120V or 240V?), and second, can you post a circuit diagram? I can operate a soldering iron (even have one, and some electronic solder, around here somewhere), and the materials to make that kind of light board are cheap (though I'd probably use all red LEDs -- it'll let me use a higher light level and not worry about VC paper).
     
  8. rjr

    rjr Member

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    Donald,

    remember, I didn´t make that. ;-)

    I hook each of these banks on a switching power supply set to give 12V Output (the "flashlight" is operated with a single 9V block cell) - these cheapo things (<3EUR).

    If you want to, I can upload a scan of the backside, just ask here. All you need is to set the LEDs in serial, add the right kind of resistors.

    Depending on your LEDs and the Voltage you run them at, you need to choose the resistors. Jochen used a calculator hosted at
    http://www.elektronik-kompendium.de/sites/praxis/led-vorwiderstand.htm
    , according to his notes it gave: Red: 5LEDs -> 10V 30mA 12V => 68Ohm

    I put the banks on the top of two shelves, directed to the ceiling. Thus I get a bright darkroom and it still is safe, even with the Foma papers which usually will get fogged by amber light. Not with these.
     
  9. titrisol

    titrisol Member

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    You can get a 15W bulb, I think the ones used for refrigerators are good enough.
    I'm assuming you have the FILTER????
    Otherwise Roman's idea is great, could you post a pic of the back ??

     
  10. noblebeast

    noblebeast Member

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    Mongo had an alternative that I read about on one of the other threads - a 25 watt red "party" bulb. I picked one up for $2 at the supermarket and did a fog test with it last night using J&C Polywarmtone Fiber and Ilford MG RC. Results, with the bulb about four-and-a-half feet away, showed no evidence of fogging even after more than six minutes under the nice red glow. And as a plus I could see around the darkroom much better than with my usual low-watt amber bulb. A very nice, low cost alternative.

    Joe
     
  11. rjr

    rjr Member

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    Pablo,

    I´ll scan it later tonight or tomorrow.

    Following your mentioning of the frigde - once the bulb in my old lamp was broken, so I stole a replacement from our fridge. ;-)
     
  12. titrisol

    titrisol Member

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    yup, last time i had to replace my premier safelight bulb I bought 2 bulbs for $2.
    Can't rememebrif it was labeled as refrigerator ir microwave though
     
  13. Neal

    Neal Subscriber

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    Dear Diquidurst,

    For about $2.00 you can get nitrile goves at home depot. Then just work in the dark as if you were developing color in trays.

    Neal Wydra
     
  14. Flotsam

    Flotsam Member

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    I don't think I'd like gloves. I think that it would be a PITA to have to take them off and put them back on a hundred times during a session. It is easier just to grab a pair of tongs and keep your hands dry and uncontaminated.
     
  15. eheldreth

    eheldreth Member

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    Last time I had a bulb break. I replaced the socket in the lamp so I could use a normal "Candle Light" bulb(Assuming you have one with a filter). Also, I have heard if you use the party bulbs you should put electrical tape around where the glass meets the base. From what I understand sometimes there can be light leaks there because they are not coated as carefully as a bulb designed to be used in a darkroom.
     
  16. Digidurst

    Digidurst Subscriber

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    Yeah, I've seen those party bulbs and always wondered if those could be used. Can they?
     
  17. Donald Qualls

    Donald Qualls Member

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    Okay, that tells me what I need -- for 12V, it's very simple to use a small power supply and battery (which will also keep my darkroom lit for a while if the power goes out, which it does here from time to time), and I should be able to get enough current from a single supply to run several of these arrays. Calculating the correct resistor is easy enough, just need to know the voltage drop and desired current of the diodes (which varies depending on the diode you get, of course). I think I can get/make a few of these arrays and get a small 12V gel cell battery for considerably less than buying a darkroom safelight, which is a Good Thing...
     
  18. kwmullet

    kwmullet Subscriber

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    Not to derail the thread, but I print with one nitrile glove on my right hand. I keep a darkroom towel handy, and after souping a print, I just rinse my gloved hand off (cold water, since it's cheaper) and it gets drier faster than my skin. Just to be sure, though, I try to only handle the emulsion of dry paper with my left hand. Works a LOT better for me than tongs.

    If I'm batch processing prints, I'd use two gloves.

    -KwM-
     
  19. eheldreth

    eheldreth Member

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    I've talked to other's who have used them, I would do my own fog testing before trusting one. You could use any lighting which restricts the wavelength of the light to the appropriate red(I know that's obvious). I have even heard of people painting regular bulbs with dark red nail polish(I don't think I would trust that one). The dimmer the bulb I think the better the chance it will be safe. The advantage I can see, as stated earlier, The party bulbs can be had from $1 - $2 U.S. at most department stores. If you live in an area like mine there are no local photo stores so you mail order everything and it cost $40 and up for a safe light which will take a week or so to arrive. I think I will give one a try next time I need a safelight.