I need a voltage stabilizer...

Discussion in 'Darkroom Equipment' started by rjas, Jul 20, 2006.

  1. rjas

    rjas Member

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    Ended up getting a Beseler Dichro 67s instead of the Nikor enlarger I made a thread about earlier.

    It didn't come with any sort of Voltage Stabilizer, and to buy one new from B&H for my enlarger, I am looking at $160usd.

    Can anyone make any reccomendations on what would work? The bulb is rated at 85watts/82volts so I assume I need a stabilizer that is rated for about 100 watts just to be safe? I've also read about people using UPS devices made for computers to keep their enlargers regulated. I'm going to check out what they have at the computer store but I thought I'd ask here before.

    edit- I've found this:

    Vivek regulator Model 110


    "750W, Input 105-129V. Output 100V"

    So I assume it can handle up to 750W bulbs, the 105-129v rating is suitable for my north american 120v plug, but I'm confused about the output of 100V. The beseler 67s head is described as being a 120v head, and I'm pretty sure it has a built in power supply to turn that down to 82volts for the bulb? A bit confused here...
     
  2. Donald Miller

    Donald Miller Member

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    You do not want a power supply that has a 100 volt output unless you want to buy bulbs in large quantities.

    What you want is a power supply that will transform 120 VAC to 82 Volt VAC. It should have a 150 VA rating. If you plan on printing color the power supply should be stabilized to prevent color shifts. If you plan on printing only black and white it is not necessary to have a stabilized supply...although you could use one if you wanted.

    The other option would be to switch to another type lamp that operates on 120VAC rather then the 82-85 volt halogen that you have now. If you did that you would no longer need a power supply. That would only be applicable if you printed black and white.

    You might check with Bulbman if you decide to explore a different lamp. WWW.Bulbman.com

    Good luck.
     
  3. MattKing

    MattKing Subscriber

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    Which Beseler Dichro 67s head did you get?

    There are two (possibly 3) versions. One of them has the Voltage Stabilized power supply built in.

    Does your Dichro 67s head have a regular power plug, or a proprietary one?
     
  4. rjas

    rjas Member

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    http://cgi.ebay.ca/ws/eBayISAPI.dll...20006478951&rd=1&sspagename=STRK:MEWA:IT&rd=1

    From what I can make out, it looks like a regular plug. Its in the mail on its way to me right now so I can't actually check it in person.
     
  5. Steve Smith

    Steve Smith Subscriber

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    My LPL 6700 also has an 82v 85w lamp but runs off 120v AC and does not have a separate power supply so any voltage conversion is done in the head. If you want to stabilise the voltage, you will need a 120v stabiliser.

    Although I am in the UK with 230v mains power, I got the enlarger via someone who moved here from Canada (and brought the enlarger with him) so I use it with a 230 - 120 step down transformer but no stabiliser.

    Steve.
     
  6. rjas

    rjas Member

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    I'm fairly certain that is the same with my enlarger, but I should wait for a proper response.

    So the "750W, Input 105-129V. Output 100V" stabilizer would or wouldn't work? I assume it won't blow bulbs because the enlarger will convert the 100v down to 82v in it's head, but do I need exactly 120v output or would 100v output be fine? I am so bad with electrical stuff!
     
  7. Steve Smith

    Steve Smith Subscriber

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    If the enlarger comes with a standard mains plug then it will be designed to work on standard mains. It should have a label on it somewhere with voltage, power, serial number, etc. This will probably say something like 'Supply Voltage 110 - 120 VAC 60Hz'. If so, it will be fine with domestic mains and no separate stabiliser.

    Steve.
     
  8. Steve Smith

    Steve Smith Subscriber

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    .... but to answer your actual question, yes, the stabiliser you mentioned should work but would probably not be necessary.

    Steve.
     
  9. rjas

    rjas Member

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    ok, what I should have said in the first place is:

    I want a voltage stabilizer for my enlarger. I know that my dichro head has a power supply built in, but I want the stabilizer for consistency in prints (the vaccum / dryer / etc dims my lights when it turns on) especially since I want to do colour printing sooner or later. I'm assuming that the 67S dichro heads that Mark mentioned that have the stabilizer built in are the newer ones with the black face, possibly the S2 models (from checking B&H), mine is the older grey faced one.

    I'm gonna buy that stabilizer, (something like $20 bucks) unless I can find one locally from a PC store that has an on off switch on it. I want to use a metronome as a timer, and don't want to resort to plugging the enlarger in and out of a socket to turn it on and off.


    Who knew buying an enlarger would entail me asking so many questions!??! Thanks again
     
  10. Changeling1

    Changeling1 Member

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    run a search on ebay for a Beseler Resistrol voltage regulator. I've seen them on ebay a number of times new in the box. But remember, NEVER use a voltage regulator with a Zone VI cold-lite head- only the Zone VI stabilizer will work and not wreck the head.
     
  11. dmax

    dmax Member

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    rjas,
    I have the Vivek voltage stabilizer that you mention. And yes, it brings the nominal 120V mains power down to 100V. The net effect on any enlarger is that the bulb goes dimmer by a significant amount, since you are supplying a lower voltage. It works with regular enlarger bulbs (including halogen lamps), but I suspect the voltage drop comes with a corresponding shift of the bulb output towards the red-yellow. This may affect your B&W printing on variable contrast papers which are designed to respond to the blue-green spectrum. Perhaps not by very much, and which something consistent work habits can easily compensate for, but should still be mentioned.

    Color work may be another thing, since the voltage drop makes halogen lamps shift towards the warmer end of the spectral range. This is likely to affect your color balance and filtration settings. By how much I do not know. I have not printed in color using the Vivek voltage stabilizer since I have a Beseler dichroic head with a built in stabilizer set aside for specifically for color work (which I rarely get to do nowadays.)

    Changeling1: The Beseler Resistrol is actually a variable resistor (potentiometer). As an electro-mechanical device, it works by reducing current flow to the bulb, thus dimming light output. Worked great for graded papers, because it allowed fine-tuning by small exposure increments not quite replicable via stopping down the lens and/or by controlling exposure via the mechanical timers like Time-O-Lites and the subsequent Gralabs that followed. With today's variable contrast papers and their peculiar spectral sensitivity, and the spectral shift accompanying use of a line resistor, I'm not too sure. Besides, a solid state voltage regulator is much more efficient and consistent in controlling voltage spikes and line fluctuations. A potentiometer cannot accomplish that task.
     
  12. Peter De Smidt

    Peter De Smidt Member

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    You want to be careful about voltage stabilizers. Many less expensive ones only work on gross voltage differences. (I once bought a $100 computer "voltage regulator". Well, it would only regulation when the voltage fell below 90 or above 140. It was useless for photography. Whatever you get, test it with a voltmeter.) For color, you want as low a permitted fluxuation as possible. I believe that the only thing that really works is a Sola CVS transformer, or equivalent. These are big, heavy and expensive, although can be bought used, as they last a really long time.
     
  13. Gerald Koch

    Gerald Koch Member

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    Unless you are already doing color printing and have actually seen a problem with your prints I seriously wouldn't bother. While you may see a momentary fluctuation in light output this probably has no effect since your exposures should be greater than 10 sec in length and a half second dip amounts to a few percent difference. Remember the power is not going off for a half second. But even in this case the error is only 5%.

    BTW, unless a stabilizer has enough spare capacity you can serious damage the power supply in the enlarger. Such damage would not be covered under any warranty.