JOBO CPP2/CPA2 refurbishing/rebuild?

Discussion in 'Darkroom Equipment' started by Denis P., Nov 30, 2012.

  1. Denis P.

    Denis P. Member

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    Lately I've acquired a couple of older JOBO CPP2 processors, with some defects (which I repaired in the meantime), which got me thinking...

    I saw several ingenious rebuilds/repairs of older JOBO processors, so I started thinking about this a bit: many of older JOBO machines are in need of repair/spare parts (which are expensive and/or difficult to obtain - think pumps, pump motors, or rotation motors).

    So, I'm thinking about perhaps offering a complete rebuild of CPA2/CPP2 processors: new rotation motor, new pump/pump motor, new electronics, which would either fit in the existing motor housing, or be attached to a separate control unit, something like this (on LFF):
    ingenious JOBO CPP2 upgrade.

    I'm thinking there should be at least some interest, so several units could be rebuilt: it's not cost-effective to do just one-off...

    However, I'm in Croatia, and most of the potential clients are probably in the USA - the shipping cost won't be negligible. But, still: having in mind the cost of the new CPP3, I think that for the price of about $400-$500 for a total rebuild, there might be a few interested parties.

    I'll most likely have one ready in a month or so, but would like to have some input in the meantime: do I put a new control unit in a separate housing (away from possible spills, like the one in the above link on LFF), or fit everything in the existing housing, like the original?
    I'm leaning towards a separate unit, like in the link above: no matter how careful you are, you often end up spilling a bit over the knobs :sad:

    Separate switches for heating element, solenoid and pump?

    Any other considerations?

    Is the price too high? I don't think so - I think I read somewhere that just the new replacement JOBO pump is somewhere in the $150-$160 range... Add a new rotation motor, new electronics (something like THIS, could be a high quality item, like Omron, or a cheaper one - available starting from approx. $30-$40....).... plus the work involved... - I don't think $400-$500 is too much to ask.

    Which still leaves us with the question if anyone will be willing to pay that much for it?
    :smile:

    Any thoughts on the above? Any interest in something like this? What about the price?

    Thanks for any thoughts you might offer :smile:

    I'll definitely rebuild one for myself (in a month or so, most likely), and then post some photos.

    Denis
     
  2. rawhead

    rawhead Subscriber

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    Let's say there is a "dead" CPP2, which just can't be used without a total overhaul. Then I'd say, if everything can be contained w/in $600 would be around the threshold for me, including shipping. For a complete ressurrection, that's not expensive.

    BUT, considering how shipping would be prohibitive between Croatia and, say, the US, I think a DIY kit & tutorial video for, say, $350 might be a coold option.

    I personally have stashed away a late version CPA2 just in case my CPP2 dies so I won't be needing something like this for a while (fingers crossed).

    On a completely unrelated note, no word on the camera yet :sad:
     
  3. gliderbee

    gliderbee Member

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    I would definitly be interested. I'm in Belgium and have a cpp2, and I know it WILL fail someday. ..

    Stefan

    Verstuurd van mijn GT-P7510 met Tapatalk
     
  4. CatLABS

    CatLABS Subscriber

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    Denis - this sounds super interesting! i would love to see the results. I wonder what the actual benefit and or cost of this upgrade would be. How fast can it be done, and if the unit running 110V 60Hz needs to be shipped to you would you be able to work on it?

    Looking forward to seeing some photos!
     
  5. AgX

    AgX Member

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    In that posting on the LFF forum there are these modifications I don't understand:

    5) switch for solenoid-to turn off when controlled by temperature controller

    6) switch for solenoid to turn on manually

    8) Switch on off for motor (that modification already employed a pump-on&motor-off selection)
     
  6. Denis P.

    Denis P. Member

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    The original poster is not a native English speaker, so I would take what he wrote with a grain of salt.

    Basically, the original JOBO CPP2 already has the switches for power (main red switch, which turns on both the heater and digital readout), pump and motor (motor turn on/off and speed selector knob) - basically the three knobs in the lower row, from left to right.

    However, my CPP2 does not have any means of turning off the cold water solenoid. Since I don't have a cold water inlet (intake and overflow are not connected to anything), I wish I could simply turn off the solenoid when not needed - it just makes unnecessary noise and scares me every now and then into thinking something's broken! :smile:

    So, a separate switch which turns off the solenoid completely would be welcome, IMHO.

    On the other hand, a separate switch for powering the unit and another swhitch for heater might also be OK. Sometimes one might just want to take a reading of the current temp in the bath, without turning the heater on. That would also reduce the danger of overheating when e.g. there's no water in the bath - although JOBO CPP2 has a temp sensor on the heating element which is probably used to prevent such overheating. However, I think that other, smaller processors (CPE?) do not have this safety mechanism, as far as I remember (I had a CPE a few years back,before upgrading first to CPA2 and lately to CPP2).

    I'm just thinking aloud... it's the stuff that I've come across so far (or heard of here on apug and on LFF).
    But, with the PID temp. sensor & control, some of these issues are avoided.

    In short, the aim is to replace the aging (and failing) parts - mostly electronic, with something standard and relatively easy to obtain/replace (PID controller), beef up the rotation motor, and perhaps replace the pump (and its motor), if necessary.

    I'm waiting to hear any other suggestions....

    Satoru's (rawhead) suggestion to offer the upgrade as a kit isn't really practical: the innards of the JOBO motor unit are not easily disassembled, and it would take some skill to be able to do the whole shebang using the supplied new parts. But, who knows, maybe that would also be possible.

    BTW, of course you would not send the WHOLE processor for the upgrade: just the motor unit (the unit with the heater and the pump, which easily unscrews from the water bath) - which makes the whole thing much more manageable.

    Denis
     
  7. rawhead

    rawhead Subscriber

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    A separate heater switch would be nice, as I use my CPP2 quite often for my B&W developing when I don't need any temperature control (faucet gives me 20˚C most times of the year). Currently I just change all the temp dials to the lowest setting, which usually keeps the heater off, but that means I need to reset it back to the 37.4˚ or so that I use for my color dev every time :smile:
     
  8. gliderbee

    gliderbee Member

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    I have an early version and the motor has some trouble with 3000-series tanks. How much would an upgrade to a newer motor cost?

    Stefan

    Verstuurd van mijn GT-P7510 met Tapatalk
     
  9. fotch

    fotch Member

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    I think a Do It Yourself kit with instructions make better sense or partner w someone in USA to do it. Even then, shipping cost would be expensive so DIY would seem the practical solution.
     
  10. CatLABS

    CatLABS Subscriber

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    The CPP2 upgrade to newer motor and DC board board is avialble and possible but fairly expensive, and in most cases it is easier and cheaper to find a used late model machine then to do the upgrade.

    A CPP3 upgrade option will be available as soon as 115V become available.

    Another alternative is to keep a spare "old style" motor on hand (which are fairly cheap), in case you end up killing the motor.

    This more extensive upgrade suggested above seems very promising, and is altogether a different idea.

    That said - parts and service for most Jobo processors (and all CPA\CPP\CPE) are readily available.
     
  11. ic-racer

    ic-racer Member

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    Just sell the parts. New motors, pumps, circuit boards etc. Shipping should not be too bad that way.
     
  12. Denis P.

    Denis P. Member

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    Thanks everyone for your replies and thoughts.

    Like I said, currently it's just an idea - although I do intend to refurbish one CPP2 motor unit for myself, replacing the rotation motor, pump and the electronics, just to see how difficult (and expensive) it would be.

    I'm doing this together with a friend who's very good with electronics, and so far we've decided that the whole story should not be too complicated.
    Once we get one of those beasts done, I'll have more info and more detailed price and, possibly, available options.

    Anyway, I'd still like to have your opinions on the setup and possible improvements.

    I've been thinking about adding a programmable timer with audible alarm(s) (like the new CPP3 has), but it complicates matters greatly. Besides, having a separate timer is not a big deal (smartphones come to mind, although for that purpose I still use a Palm Pilot :smile:)
    The majority of electronic parts should be replaced by PID temperature control unit, plus the module for setting the rotation speed.
    That one redesign on the link in my first post (on Large Format Forum) got me thinking about the whole thing: given the average age of these processors, I am of the opinion that the best thing would be to replace everything with readily available parts, i.e. both motors and the electronics.
    I'll be able to tell you more in a week or so, after we've done some sourcing for the motors and other parts.

    In short, I'm not offering anything yet - currently I'm just trying to see if there is any interest in such a service, at the (tentative) price I mentioned.

    In the meantime, please feel free to suggest anything else that you might think of, including the preferences (e.g. everything contained in the existing motor unit, or with a separate control panel, like the one in LFF link I provided in my first post...).
     
  13. rawhead

    rawhead Subscriber

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    Probably completely out of the question, but I've always wanted a little red led lamp telling me which chemical is currently being run through (or, telling me which to use next; you get the idea :smile:
     
  14. Sirius Glass

    Sirius Glass Subscriber

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    Denis, I think that you have a good idea, however your market will be in Europe rather than North America.
     
  15. Denis P.

    Denis P. Member

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    Satoru, I think that what you have in mind is actually a JOBO ATL processor - the one which is fully self-contained, and in which you don't need to change chemistry manually: it sucks it automatically from the containers....It's also programmable for different processes. But, that's an altogether different beast: see the link HERE.
     
  16. AgX

    AgX Member

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    Nearly twenty years ago there already had been a DIY modification of a CPE-Lift into an automated processor. Denis could offer such modification, but meanwhile he would have to compete with used ATL's.
     
  17. rawhead

    rawhead Subscriber

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    Denis: I've thought about the ATLs, and I actually came pretty close to picking up an ATL-1000 from a guy in Maine a couple years ago.. ultimately decided against it as it wouldn't handle Expert Drums, which is pretty essential for me :smile:
     
  18. Denis P.

    Denis P. Member

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    Final update - sorry, but...

    After extensive research into materials and parts availability, and particularly after my recent experience with shipping some minor items abroad (UK, USA, etc.), I have decided that the contemplated JOBO processor service/refurbishing is, after all, not economically viable.
    Given that you can purchase a second-hand processor for about $400-$500 (sometimes less), spending $500 for refurbishing, and again about $150-$300 for postage doesn't really make sense.
    Besides, you can never be 100% certain that the stuff won't be broken/damaged in shipping. Also, the insured/courier shipping, which is (supposedly) more reliable, would cost an arm and a leg.

    Simply not realistic. It might work locally (even within the EU), though shipping would still be a killer, but overseas is simply not economically viable :sad:

    Therefore, I have given up this project, and am moving to other projects... soon to be announced :smile:

    Denis
     
  19. CatLABS

    CatLABS Subscriber

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    Denis,

    I guess this has been the realization of the MANY suggested Jobo upgrade\clone\DIY projects that came and went over the years.

    The bottom line is that in essence the existing Jobo system works, albeit with its inherent flaws, which over time have all gotten workarounds of various levels of creativity.

    BTW - The numbers you mention above, even without the shipping are close to the actual cost of upgrading a CPP2 with Jobo parts to start out with.

    It still is a nice idea and perhaps one day it will come to fruition.
     
  20. Sirius Glass

    Sirius Glass Subscriber

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    Denis, I picked up a Jobo CPP2 with bottles and tanks on APUG for $150US shipped. I think that you are giving up too easily.
     
  21. Denis P.

    Denis P. Member

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    Does it mean that you would be willing to spend about $500 plus postage to Europe and back for refurbishing the processor you bought?

    If not, then that's exactly my point :smile:
     
  22. Sirius Glass

    Sirius Glass Subscriber

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    And there is nothing available in Europe?
     
  23. Sirius Glass

    Sirius Glass Subscriber

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    There was no need to refurbish the processor which I bought.
     
  24. Denis P.

    Denis P. Member

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    I think there is some misunderstanding here.

    I was planning to offer refurbishing service for failing JOBO processors. After a lot of deliberation and looking for available parts which could be used, plus a very close look at the postage costs, I decided that such a service would not be economical - which you indirecly proved, since you bought yours (in a good working condition) for $150 - which is waaaay below what I would charge for refurbishing - and when you add the shipping costs, you see that it's a service which would be way too expensive.
    So, in a nutshell, I decided NOT to offer such service, on the grounds that it would be too expensive. :smile:

    Regards,

    Denis
     
  25. Sirius Glass

    Sirius Glass Subscriber

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    Sorry, I had not read all the posts in the thread. My apologies.